You Don't Have to Be Rolling in It to Afford a New Roof: Roll Roofing Installation Costs

by Team HomeServe
Roofer installing rolls of bituminous waterproofing membrane for the waterproofing of a terrace

Roll roofing is a popular solution for low-slope roofs. It is relatively plain-looking — especially compared to slate or shingles — but it's also practical, inexpensive and long-lasting.

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Roll roofing is also easy to install, making it a common choice for homeowners who need to replace a roof quickly or want to keep the overall cost of a renovation project as low as possible.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Roll Roofing?

The cheapest roll roofing material for flat roofs costs about $30 (CAD 40) per square. More expensive roll roofing can cost $100 (CAD 133) per square. In roofing terms, a square is 100 square feet.

This means you can expect roof replacement costs to be between $1,500 to $3,000 (CAD 1,991 to CAD 3,982) for an average-sized roof. If you need to have the existing roof removed, you can expect to pay around $2 (CAD 2.65) per square foot for the labor costs of that removal, plus disposal of the waste it creates.

The most common use of roll roofing is on flat roofs or for gentle slope roofing. If you have a roof with a much steeper slope, you may find shingles are a better option.

Is Rolled Roofing Cheaper Than Shingles?

If you compare the cost of roll roofing per yard to the cost of shingles for a full roof, roll roofing should work out to be far less expensive. If you already have a shingle roof and it's in generally good condition, replacing one or two damaged shingles is a cost-effective method of leaky roof repair. However, if you're planning to install a new roof, the speed and simplicity of rolled roofing installation make it the most economical option.

Installing shingles takes longer than laying rolled roofing, so you can expect cost estimates for a full shingle roof to be much higher. Some people are willing to pay the extra amount for shingle roofs because they are aesthetically pleasing. However, the quality of modern roll roofing is very good, and you can expect a flat asphalt or MFR roof to last for 10 to 15 years. So, from a purely functional point of view, roll roofing is a good option for flat roofs.

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How Do You Calculate How Much Roll Roofing You Need?

Estimating roofing prices can be difficult because there are so many factors to take into account, including the size and slope of the roof, the material you use and how it's installed.

Some MFR rolls are "peel and stick roll roofing." Asphalt roll roofing of this type is very easy to install because it simply sticks to the roof deck in a similar fashion to something you could find at the craft store. The rolls can be overlapped slightly to ensure a watertight seal. A similar process can be used for rubber roof installation.

To calculate flat roof replacement costs, work out how large your roof is and then the cost of the roofing per 100 square feet. Divide the square footage of the roof by 100 to get the number of rolls you need. This will give you an idea of the materials cost, assuming the roof decking underneath the current roofing roll is in good condition.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.