The roof on any building is very important and it’s also something that can be expensive as it’s a major component of the building. When an issue happens with the roof, the owner of the building will have to decide whether it’s best to repair it or to replace it. If you can understand the different cost factors that will be involved when replacing a commercial roof, it can help with making the decision. To determine the cost it would be necessary to decide the type of roof you want to replace it with and how much budget is available.
There are five factors that will determine the cost of a commercial roof replacement and we’ll discuss those below:
1. What are the code requirements?
2. What type of roof is it?
3. How is the roof access?
4. What is underneath?
5. What are wind loads and fastenings?
Roof Types – In most cases, commercial roofs fall into one of two categories. They are either flat and these are sometimes referred to as a low slope. The other category is a sloped roof.
When it comes to a flat roof the best material is usually single-ply. There is also built-up bituminous roofing. Single-ply was available starting about 25 years ago. When it was first introduced some were worried that it might leak. Even so, it has stood up to the test of time and proven itself to be highly durable and for that reason, it often comes with up to a 30-year warranty. It is typically less expensive and it is easier to install than other choices you might select for flat roof materials.
When making a choice you want to balance the materials ‘estimated useful life’ and its warranty when compared to its initial cost for the different roofing products. The warranties that are offered on the different types of roofing products are there as an insurance policy and like other policies, you can choose the amount of coverage that you want to pay for. You do want to keep in mind, however, that they are prorated which means that even long-term warranties will have some limitations with the amount they reimburse you on a claim. Sometimes it might only be pennies on the dollar rather than the value to cover the cost of a replacement.
Regardless of the roof system that you choose it will have an estimated useful life expectancy. It is based on the type of material used as well as the climate where it is installed. When you try to evaluate the roofs EUL, you definitely want to consider its true potential lifespan more than what type of warranty came with it.
Roof Access – Roof access plays as big a part as other things when it comes to the total cost of replacing the roof. It can be as big a factor as the material you choose. Here are some accessibility factors you’ll want to consider:
If a building is 20 stories high, replacing that roof will cost considerably more than if the building were only two stories. This is because the equipment and expertise that is required to replace it is considerably more. If the roof is large then the project is bigger and will require more materials. If the roof is open and wide then this can make the job easier and that would, in turn, help the cost be less.
If the building is occupied then that creates certain challenges when putting on a new roof. This is because the roofing company will need to consider the safety and health, as well as the comfort of the occupants, and their productivity may also be a factor. It could mean that the work has to be done during abnormal working hours. If so, it will come at additional costs. The company will need to be able to get the necessary equipment into the property and it needs to be close enough so that they can do the work. This too will be a factor in the cost.
What Is Underneath – Regardless of the roof, there are always certain things that are underneath it. As an example, the structure may have wood decking or it could be concrete or metal. It will usually have insulation and cover board. There is often substrate materials there as well.
Whatever condition those materials are in will affect the overall cost. If those materials have been damaged in any way, they may need to be replaced which will further raise the cost of the roofing job. There are situations where a contractor or consultant is able to recognize repairs that are needed simply by feeling the roof. In most cases, however, technology will need to be used for accuracy. In the end, you won’t know about some of it until after the existing roof is removed.
Wind Loads And Fasteners – Some areas will have local codes as well as weather that determines the type of fasteners your roof system needs. If the building is in Florida then it will have to be able to stand up to winds that are a hundred and fifty miles per hour. This means the fasteners have to be stronger and placed at closer intervals than would be necessary somewhere else.
Code Requirements – Every locality and state has different code requirements. The building is subject to those. They might reference insulation or ventilation or they may have to do with the substrate or its slope.
All of these factors matter and will have an impact on the total cost of a commercial roof replacement. They help in determining at least a ballpark estimate. To have the project go as smoothly as possible you should use a reputable roofing consultant to help in determining how to do the project cost-effectively.
Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors, (512) 333-7663, is a commercial roof replacement contractor and commercial roof replacement company serving Austin, Texas and the surrounding Austin, TX area cities. We have been providing quality professional roofing services since 2003. Give us a call when you need solid, experienced advice from a commercial roofing contractor about your potential commercial roof replacement or commercial roof installation.