Consider Life-Cycle Costs When Purchasing A New Roof

cycleRoofing projects are frequently evaluated based on initial cost, but any new roof discussion must consider multiple life-cycle cost factors, not just the initial price.

Different roofing systems vary on these life-cycle factors, so it is important to compare your options to make the right roofing choice. Some systems offer substantial energy savings; some are virtually maintenance-free but may cost more to install; others offer lower initial installation costs, but require an expensive tear-off of the existing roof; others may need frequent maintenance once installed.

Clearly, investing in a new roofing system is a major decision that should not be taken lightly, especially if you’re expecting it to last 15 years or more. Make sure to research all your roofing options by visiting manufacturers’ web sites. You should also look at independent industry sources to ensure that you are educated in making the right roofing decision.

Here’s a brief list that should help you estimate the real, long-term cost of any roof you are considering:

1. Installation

  • Roof product cost.
  • Installation costs (labor & overhead).
  • Tear-off costs, if required. Some roof systems can be installed directly over the old one without a tear-off.
  • Disposal costs, in case of a tear-off of the old roof.
  • Building disruption costs. Can you continue to operate normally during the roof installation? Or will you need to move people or equipment around to accommodate work crews and their tools?

2. Long-Term Durability

  • Regular maintenance costs.
  • Roof replacement costs, if necessary in fewer than 15 years.

3. Repairs

  • Roof repair costs.
  • Interior repairs or equipment damage from leaks.

4. Energy Savings

  • Estimated energy savings: Reflective roofs can reduce building energy consumption and the associated costs.
  • Energy rebates/incentives. Some states, municipalities and/or utilities may offer these when an energy-efficient roof is installed

5. Warranty. Are there exclusions? An exclusion for ponding water is common. Other warranties may exclude winds above a certain speed or exposure to chemicals. If your roof warranty doesn’t cover these areas, it potentially means more out-of-pocket cost for you.

Ultimately, the single most important factor in how long your roof will last and how much it may cost you in the long run is the quality of the installation. Make sure you choose your roofing contractor carefully!