When you are facing emergency roofing repairs that you did not expect, it’s hard not to worry that your budget for roof replacement is not going to place serious strain on your finances. If you are in this position, the first thing you should know is that you’re not alone: It is estimated that the home remodeling industry in the United States is a $99 billion sector. That means a lot of people are remodeling portions of their home at the same time you are.

Creating your budget for roof replacement can help you feel like the project is more manageable and under control. As the scope of the project starts to come into focus after you get the numbers on paper, you can begin taking actionable steps toward replacing your roof and getting your home looking its best.

Here is what to know about starting your budget for roof replacement and how you can find the finances you need to complete repairs.

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Making a Budget for Roof Replacement

Budgeting for roof repairs does not have to be confusing. In fact, by following a few simple steps you can get organized and prepared to create a workable budget that keeps you on track throughout your repair process.

Step 1. File a Roofing Insurance Claim

If your roof is damaged and you believe some of the costs could be covered by insurance, it’s important to start an insurance claim as soon as possible. If your insurance will cover the cost of your repairs, your entire budget might only be the deductible. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible and your roof will cost $4,500 to repair, you would pay the $1,000 and your insurance company would pay $3,500.

After you submit a claim the insurance company will likely work with you to find a time when an adjuster can come out to survey the damage.  

Step 2. Compare Quotes From Contractors

In order to make a budget to replace your roof you’re going to need an accurate idea of how much the entire project will cost. That’s why you should meet with several local contractors to have them each give you a quote on estimated repairs. Before moving forward with any contractor you should compare quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Even though your contractor might provide a general quote that has one line item for the cost of time and one line item for the cost of goods, ask if they can make the quote more specific. It could help your budget to know exactly what materials they’ll be using and if there are any less expensive materials that could do the same job. Getting a more detailed quote from your contractors allows you to do a better comparison. Plus, if the project goes off budget you’ll have a better idea of why.

Once you have several quotes from contractors you can show these to your insurance adjuster, who will also have an idea of how much these repairs typically cost and if your estimates seem accurate.

Step 3. Find Room in Your Household Budget

Here’s the tricky part — finding room to pay for your part of the repairs. If you don’t already have an emergency savings fund set aside you might find it difficult to come up with the finances to afford your repairs.

Here are some options if you’re trying to find the money to fix your roof:

  • Review your household spending: Are there any areas where you can slim down your spending so that you can reallocate the money toward your roofing project? Remember, this likely won’t be a permanent change in your finances, but a temporary adjustment while you’re finishing your roofing project.
  • Look for housing grants. Some states have programs for low-income homeowners that loan or grant money to help pay for necessary repairs. You can start researching what’s available in your state at the Housing and Urban Development website. The U.S. government also has a program for low-income rural homeowners to help pay for repairs. You can check online to see if you meet the eligibility requirements for this federal program. The federal government also provides some tax incentives for some home improvements that you can review on their website.
  • Consider a home repair loan. If you’re still strapped for cash and are having a hard time making room in your budget for a roofing project, consider applying for a personal loan to cover some of the costs. You can compare lenders online to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Lenders will review your credit history and current work situation to determine your creditworthiness. As you’re shopping, compare APRs and terms to make sure that the loans you’ve been offered are the right fit for you. Remember, if you extend the term of the loan you might have lower monthly payments but end up paying more in interest over its lifetime. Nonetheless, your main priority should be to find a loan with monthly payments that you can keep up to.
  • Look at 0 Percent APR credit cards. Some credit cards will have an introductory rate of 0 percent APR. What this means is that if you pay the entire credit card off before the introductory period ends, you won’t owe any interest on the money. If you don’t have the cash to pay for your roofing project now but you believe you can acquire it before the APR on the credit card changes, this could be a savvy way to finance your roofing project. Remember, depending on your credit you might not qualify for the lowest introductory rate advertised, so make sure you check to see the official APR you’ve qualified for before you open the card. Also, be careful to pay the credit card off before the introductory rate changes otherwise you might owe a lot of interest as the new rate could be significantly higher.  

Step 4. Create an Emergency Fund for Next Time

After you’ve created your budget for your current repairs, don’t stop there. Now that you have an idea of how to create a home repair budget, do yourself a favor and start saving for the next time. As a homeowner, you know that there’s always maintenance and repair work that needs to be done. If you’ve had difficulty saving for an emergency fund in the past, this time consider some new strategies that could help you. Have you tried a budgeting app? Apps like Mint or GoodBudget can help you track your spending and give you notifications to encourage you along the way toward your savings goal so that you’ll be able to handle any home repair emergencies in the future.

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