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Commercial Roof Replacement

Factors to Consider When Estimating the Cost of Commercial Roof Replacement

The top 5 most expensive components of a building are the foundation, framing, flooring, plumbing, and roofing. This is why when considering a refurbishment of the house, many will opt for a repair over the entire replacement of either of the redeemable components. An old or worn-out roof, for example, needs to be taken care of, since the quality of roof one influences the overall outlook of the house, and keeps the interior free of damage. It is indeed a very important building component.

This article will explore all aspects that influence the cost of commercial roof replacement to help you make the best decision when replacing your commercial roof.

The top 5 aspects that influence the total cost of a commercial roof replacement include:

1. Roof Type
2. Roof access
3. What’s underneath
4. Wind loads and fastenings
5. Code requirements

Roof Type

Commercial roofs come in two major structural types: the flat roof type, also known as the low-slope roof, and the sloped roof.

Flat Roofs

The most preferred roofing material for this kind of roof is either built-up bituminous roofing or a single-ply roof.

Originally, the use of single-ply roofing raised a lot of doubts, but over the years, the single layer of protection has proved itself, lasting over 25 years in flat roofs. This has made single-ply roofing viable when constructing flat roofs. Moreover, they often come backed by a 25-30 years warranty. Single-ply roofing materials are some of the cheapest materials both in purchase and installation. Typically, they will cost from $3 to $5 per square foot.

Built-up bituminous flat roofs, on the other hand, are made of multiple roofing material layers. This makes them consume more material to construct, meaning they are more expensive and time-consuming than the former. A square foot of built-up bituminous roofing replacement typically costs from $3.50 to $6.50.

Sloped roofs

They have a wider variety of roofing material options. Some include asphalt shingles, which are the cheapest, slates, wood shingles, metal, and tiles. The choice of material depends on cost, durability, and aesthetics. Since sloped roofs generally expose the expanse of the roof surface, they play a big role in the look of a building. The beauty of the material chosen should, therefore, be considered. Asphalt shingle roof replacement typically costs from $3.50 to $7 per square foot.

Tiles could either be made of concrete, clay, or other structural materials. They are extremely durable and have a lifespan of around 50 years. This makes them some of the most expensive roofing materials, ranging from $6.50 to $20 per square foot.

Metallic roofs come in different kinds too. They could either be flat seam, standing seam, or corrugated. Moreover, they are available in numerous colors and models, thanks to technology. Manufacturers have even gone to the extent of adding textures and patterns to make them look like tiles and shingles. Besides their great aesthetics, this kind of roofing material could last a lifetime, making them expensive as well. Typically, the cost for metal roof replacement: $7 to $12 per square foot.

When choosing the material to go for, always have this in mind: Choosing the cheaper option doesn’t guarantee more savings. You should, therefore, evaluate the estimated useful life (EUL) and warranty against the cost of purchase. This guarantees greater savings in the long run. Remember that warranties are essentially roofing insurance policies, which means that the coverage limit you are willing to buy depends on how much you are willing to pay. With this in mind, take cognizance of the fact that most roofing warranties are usually prorated, meaning no matter how long the warranty is viable, the amount to be reimbursed is peanuts compared to the actual cost of roof replacement.

Depending on the climate of the area the building is located in and materials used in constructing a roof, the realistic EUL of roofing systems differ. Before making a decision, consider the realistic EUL based on these two factors, other than the perceived value of a roof warranty.

Roof Access

The roof’s accessibility impacts cost due to several factors like:

• Height
• Material storage areas
• Occupancy
• Property access

Commercial Roof Replacement ContractorsThe height affects the labor and machinery required in replacing a roof. A 15-story building, for example, will take more manpower and machine power (cranes and the like) to replace. A larger roofing project also means more materials, which implies the need for material storage areas. Buildings that have wide, open expanses save on the cost of storage zones, but those without may need an intricate system of material storage, costing more.

When it comes to occupancy, imagine re-roofing a 10-story building with at least 200 people constantly driving and walking through the construction site, as compared to re-roofing a 10-story empty building. Without a doubt, the former is more expensive due to the challenges occupant comfort and safety pose. Material storage, working hours, and techniques employed in re-roofing have to consider occupants and ensure that their safety, comfort, health, and productivity are met. Finally, access to the property affects the cost of material transportation and machines for operation.

What’s Underneath

Underneath every roof are cover boards, roofing structures made of wooden decks, metal or concrete, insulation materials, and other substrate materials. Depending on the roof type, the composition of these materials varies. The materials underneath are often affected by moisture, and as such, the condition they are in affects the cost of roof replacement. Using moisture detection equipment, roofing technicians can identify materials that need replacement. This can only be done after the removal of the overhead roofing material. If either of them is deteriorated, the overall cost of re-roofing your building will be higher.

Fasteners and Wind Loads

Local codes and weather conditions determine the kind of fasteners a roof system requires. Higher wind speeds call for more frequent intervals and stronger fasteners, which increases the overall cost of re-roofing accessories.

Code Requirements

There are many local, regional, and statutory codes that exist with regards to roof quality. Depending on the zone the building is located, these affect fasteners & wind loads, insulation, ventilation, roof slopes, and even substrate requirements. Since these affect the cost of re-roofing, compliance with code requirements affects the overall cost of roofing.

When developing a ballpark price estimate of replacing an old or damaged roof, these 5 factors will come in handy. To guarantee further accuracy and precision, do not hesitate to hire a reputable roofing consultant. With that, you are guaranteed of a cost-effective re-roofing plan!


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At Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors - we provide quality commercial roof repair, commercial roof installation, commercial roof replacement, commercial metal roof repair and commercial metal roof restoration services for Austin, Texas and the surrounding area.

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