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Question DetailsAsked on 7/31/2014

Generally speaking, should I expect re-roofing (a second layer) to cost more than 1/2 that of new roof installation

I received an estimate from a roofer who told me that applying a second layer of shingles should cost ~2/3 as much as the installation of a new roof that included removal of old shingles. Does that seem roughly accurate? His argument was that much of the cost was in the materials.

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Roughly half the cost is in the materials and about half in labor - but yes, about 2/3 for an overlay sounds about right - you are eliminating about $0.50-1.00/SF tearoff cost and about $0.25-0.75/SF for the underlayment depending on type used - so about $0.75-1.75 cost reduction on a total cost of typically about $4-5/SF range (for normal type shingles) is about 1/4-1/3 range reduction.

I would really consider doing the complete tearoff, especially if planning on living there a long time and getting long-life higher-end shingles or if you live in a frequent heavy rainstorm/hailstorm or hurricane area, for several reasons:

1) no question on warranty then as to whether failure is due to underlying shingles or underlayment

2) typically, by the time shingles need replacement, the underlayment and ice and water shield is pretty well shot too from heat, so you are putting good money over questionable underlayment which could leak in the event of a leak from above - which could come from driving rain, wind/storm damage to shingles, or backup of water under snow or due to ice damming.

3) not tearing it off eliminates the opportunity to check the sheathing condition, so you could be covering over damaged sheathing that should have been replaced

On a complete reroof, costing in ballpark of $7-12,000 for normal size range houses, the $1-2,000 for the tearoff is not to me a savings worth taking the risk of skipping if you are looking at long-term or extreme storm condition life for the roof.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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