Whether you undergo an emergency situation or you are trying to boost the value of your home, roof replacements are large home improvement project that require thorough planning. Understanding your budget, potential costs, and developing a financial strategy is vital to any home improvement project. Roofing can be an especially costly, but necessary, home project — so becoming familiar with roof replacement financing options is often critical.

When preparing for a roof replacement project, use this financing checklist for homeowners compiled by the experts at Modernize. The purpose is to help you avoid headaches and surprise expenses, while better protecting your home investments.

Table of Contents

Understanding Roof Replacement Costs

Not all roof repairs or replacements are created equal. Before contacting a contractor, it’s a wise decision to learn a little bit about the costs you can expect during your roofing project—and any surprise expenses that could pop up along the way.

  1. Learn the ins-and-outs of roof types and shingles. This will help you better understand your needs, preferences, and to get started on creating a budget for your roofing project
  2. Budget for labor costs. These typically range between $1.50 and $3.65 per square foot of roofing material installed, depending on the type of roof.
  3. Set aside money for disposal. Shingles must be disposed of properly, so budget for a dumpster and additional necessary disposal costs.
  4. Prepare for a roof inspection. An inspection helps your roofing contractor know the scope of work and provide an accurate quote. Explore questions such as: Will the roofing contractor include the cost of their inspection in the repair price? Will your contractor need to secure permits? If so, what will be the cost?
  5. Explore warranty options. Most installers offer manufacturer’s warranties that protect you from faulty equipment and some might offer additional guarantees for the installation. We’ll talk more about these later.
  6. Be aware of hidden costs. Not only become familiar with common hidden costs, but also set aside extra budget as to avoid any surprises.
  7. Get a preliminary estimate. Use the Modernize roof replacement cost calculator  to get a better sense for what the project will cost.

Paying For Your Roofing Project

Once you have a better understanding of the costs you can expect during a roofing project, you’ll be better prepared to put together a realistic budget, compare your financing options, and check off the next phases of our roof replacement financing checklist.

  1. Can you file an insurance claim? If your roof was damaged by a natural disaster or falling object, like a tree, insurance might cover some or all of your roofing expenses.
  2. Explore financing options. If an insurance claim isn’t an option, there are plenty of ways to finance your roofing project—including home equity loans, FHA loans, company financing, or even cash or credit savings. Make sure to compare financing offers thoroughly if you decide to go this route.
  3. Emergency budgeting. Remember those hidden costs we mentioned above? Occasionally a contractor might discover unexpected issues that need to be addressed during your roofing project. If these fall outside of your expected cost, there are still options to budget for these surprise expenses. Having a plan in place for these emergencies is always a wise idea.
  4. Look into tax deductions. A roofing project might not be as likely to net you a tax deduction as other home projects, but it’s always a great idea to explore what deductions are available for any repair or renovation.  

Meeting With Your Contractor

With a basic understanding of expected roof replacement costs and establishing a budget, you’ll be prepared to discuss your roofing project with contractors. When you meet with these professionals, there are a few things you’ll want to look for and do to ensure you make the best decision possible when signing a contract.

  1. Learn the terminology contractors use. An estimate is roughly how much the job will cost. The actual cost of the project may be more or less, within 10–15 percent. A quote, or bid, becomes a contract once it is signed. This should be a very detailed document that outlines all aspects of the project.
  2. Analyze the quote. Every detail of the project should be noted, including the cost of materials, start and finish dates, hourly rate, disposal/dumpster costs, permits, porta-potties, and labor.
  3. Is there a warranty? Discuss with the contractor(s) the cost of any warranties, its terms, and what they cover—as well as what they don’t cover.
  4. Watch for organization. A good contractor will make sure the pricing information is in an organized document. If your quote is not properly itemized, feel comfortable asking for a revised quote before signing a contract.
  5. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. You can always negotiate on the roofing project price before signing a contract. Discuss your budget with your contractors and have a plan for hidden costs—including presenting them in writing upon discovery.
  6. Compare contractors. It’s common for homeowners to compare three or four estimates before signing a contract. Evaluating multiple roof replacement quotes helps homeowners scope their budget and encourages contractors to be competitive with pricing.
  7. Keep your paperwork! Keep all estimates, quotes, and contracts in a folder, easy reference if you have any questions or concerns throughout the roof replacement process.

With this financing checklist at your fingertips, the pros at Modernize can help connect you with trusted roofing contractors in your area and walk you through the roofing process from education to completion.