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Question DetailsAsked on 8/18/2017

what is the cost per sqaure for roofing labor, no materials

i will be paying for all materials and was wondering what the average cost of roofing labor is. That would include tearing off old shingles and putting new ones on.

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1 Answer


Can range from under $2 to as much as around $10/SF for labor and equipment depending on local labor costs and slope of roof and type of roofing - but for asphalt shingles commonly in the $3-5/SF range on normal roofs not requiring roof jacks or safety harnesses - so up to around 5:12 or 6:12 slope depending on contractor and state safety laws. Wood shingle/shake or metal sometimes same range (in areas where they are commonly used), in areas where less common can run about $0.50-1.00/SF more.

This assumes no replacement of sheathing (the plywood under the water barrier) - just tearoff. Replacing sheathing commonly about $0.50-1.00SF more range - also for additional tearoff of additional layer of roofing can runn from $0.25-1.00/SF commonly depending on method they are using, amount of manual labor in getting it into the truck or dumpster (i.e. straight from roof to container, or onto ground then have to collect up put into truck from ground).

My recommendation - though you probably you are saving money by paying directly for the materials - make sure the contract includes ALL equipment and tools and labor and all overhead, insurance, tax, etc costs in his quote, probably stated as EVERYTHING required for the job which you are not paying for direcdtly as mterials - and for a roofing job (easily exactly defined scope of work) that should preferably all be done as a fixed amount, not by the hour. Paying by the hour they have no incentive to get the job done quickly. Be sure it the materials are not being delivered diret to your site that pickup of them is included in his quote.

Should also make clear what his markup, if any, on materials is.

Also, if you are paying for materials directly, you have to be careful about over-ordering or not getting credit for returns of unused/unopened materials - some shyster outfits overorder by quite a bit and then return the excess for credit but do not give that back to the property owner. Another scam is buying materials for another job on your account or credit card, which never even show up on your jobsite, so you need to review the materials list carefully to see you are not paying for someone else's job as well.

As you can probably guess, especially if paying for the materials directly was his idea and not yours, I see a lot of red flags in a job where he is not charging a fixed price (plus maybe a SF rate for any needed sheathing replacement).

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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