Cost of having your Roof Replaced

All you need to know about having a replacement roof installed including costs of materials, costs of labour and time frames.

replace a roof

What the job entails

Replacing a roof is expensive and time consuming, but if you fail to inspect and repair the roof as required, then neglect can lead to even bigger and costlier problems down the line, including a complete roof replacement. This article is designed to be a rough guide to the costs of roof replacement in the UK. However, although different roof types will be mentioned, this article does assume a typical UK house structure, so if you have a home with an unusual, non standard construction, then the typical costs and description of the works involved below, may not be especially relevant in your particular situation. This article is of course no substitute for professional advice, which should always be sought when considering replacing a roof.

Replacement roof costs are generally estimated by the size of the roof in square metres and the type of roof covering (i.e. type of tiles). A typical job would include the hire and erection of scaffolding, then the removal and replacement of the the battens, lead flashings, tiles, fixings etc. Plus the removal of the old roofing usually by way of a skip (though you should always try and recycle any undamaged tiles if possible, this can produce huge savings on the total replacement cost).

Roofing problems can easily go undetected until they become more serious and costly to fix, so regular checks should be carried out to detect faults early and avoid costly roofing disasters. But if you are considering replacing a roof, then things have probably progressed way beyond minor repairs. Typically leaking roofs will cause water damage in the upper storeys of your home, everything from watermarks to damp patches and mould. More severe water damage could present as sagging or bowed parts of the roof internally. At this stage, not only will you need expensive roofing work, you could also require a joiner to replace ceiling, plus a plasterer and/or interior decorator to repair the water damage inside your home.

Sometimes it may be possible to patch roofing problems rather than replacing the entire roof, whether this is a good idea or not depends on the age of the roof and the severity of the problems. For example, if the roof is very old and likely to need a full replacement in the next few years anyway, plus the roofing repairs required are expensive and cropping up with monotonous regularity, then it could be more cost efficient to simply bite the bullet and replace the entire roof. On the other hand, if the roof is relatively new and the damage that needs repaired is confined to one small area (such as a few missing or damaged roof tiles) then it makes financial sense to simply repair that area.

We all like to save money on home maintenance, but replacing an entire roof is not recommended as a DIY project, although there are no laws preventing home-owners from doing roofing work, a few mistakes can mean the DIY job can easily end up costing more than hiring a professional would in the first place! You do not normally need planning permission to replace the roof of your house, especially if it is a simple "like-for-like" replacement. But any roof alterations that project 150 millimetres from the existing roof plane may need permission. As always, consult a professional before considering any building work.

Be very wary of using "cowboy builders" or trying to do your own roof repairs to save money. Working at height is dangerous and even for professionals the injury rate is higher than for other building jobs. A bodged repair on a roof could lead to extensive water damage which could remain undetected until very serious, even a relatively simple job like repairing a few tiles can easily be messed up, the placement and pressure used on the roofing nail is crucial, get it wrong and the slate is broken or the underlying waterproof material is penetrated - do this a few times and the costs really start to add up.

When removing the old roof it may be the case that long term water damage could mean replacing the internal roof frame (rafters) and even bedroom ceilings, though this is unusual without any prior indication of problems such as large water marks or bowed bedroom ceilings. When it comes to gathering prices for a complete roof replacement, the surface area of the roof, the type of roof design, and the cost of the replacement tiles or shingles are the main considerations, but your location will also be a factor, both in terms of the prevailing labour costs in your area, and also the access to the property.

Roof Replacement Cost

Pricing for a new roof can vary greatly depending on materials, location, surface area and type of roof, average labour costs etc. But the average cost of a replacement roof in the UK is around £4000. However, this figure assumes a detached house with a typical “up and over” gable only roof design of average size, using cheap but popular roofing tiles with a long life expectancy. But remember when comparing quotes from builders and roofing contractors that price is not the only factor you should consider, the quality of materials and workmanship are just as important!

Most roofers work in pairs and charge around £250-£300 per day in total. The time it takes to complete the job can vary significantly depending upon numerous things including size of roof, design, materials and ease of access.

Here are a few average costs of having a replacement roof fitted assuming common normal sized tiles. Please bear in mind that prices can vary considerably depending upon your location, size of house, roof type, tile type, and whether or not you hire a small or large company to carry out the work. The numbers below should only really be used as a guide.

Roof Type House Type Avg. Cost Duration
Gable Roof Not Applicable £3500 2-3 days
Hip Roof Semi-Detached £4500 3-4 days
Hip Roof Detached £5500 4-5 days
Gable Roof with 2 valleys Not Applicable £5000 4-5 days
Hip Roof with 2 valleys Semi-Detached £6000 5-6 days
Hip Roof with 2 valleys Detached £7000 6-7 days


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs for hiring a pair of roofers to replace a roof on a semi-detached house with a hip roof - Total Cost: £4500

50%

Materials & Waste
£2250

25%

Tradesmen
£1125

25%

Scaffolding
£1125

FAQ's

The amount of time taken will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your roof, the weather and the number of roofers working on the job. A small, straightforward roof may be replaced in just a few days, whereas a large roof with a non-standard design may take a few weeks to complete.
Modern roofs are designed to provide at least 20 years of service life, but the actual lifetime will be determined by the weather, proper installation and adequate maintenance.
Most roofing work should not be done as a DIY project. Professional roofing contractors and builders are trained to be able to safely and effectively repair or replace a roof. Whereas those without the necessary training and experience, can end up damaging the roof or themselves! However, there are simple maintenance tasks which can be performed on a DIY basis to detect any roofing problems before they become too serious. For example inspecting the roof to check for cracked or damaged tiles and cleaning gutters to prevent a blockages due to dead leaves and other debris. Remember if inspecting your roof to always use a firmly braced ladder and to stay off the roof if possible.
Always ask for references when collecting quotes from contractors, in addition it is a good idea to check they are members of a reputable trade organisation. The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) is the largest roofing trade association in the UK. They represent over 60% of the roofing industry and they actively ensure all members provide high standards of workm through a strict code of practice and independent vetting. All NFRC members hold comprehensive insurance cover and offer insurance-backed warranties on replacement roofs.