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What is the cost of re-roofing a house in the UK? New roof costs explained

Re-roofing is the process of totally renewing the roof on your home so removing the old roof completely and this may include upgrading the support structures. This is not the same as re-tiling a roof which is generally a less major project and cheaper too. The average cost of a new roof in the UK is between £5,000 and £20,000 - complexity, size and materials are the key factors.

Last Updated: October 2022

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The roof is considered part of the integral fabric of your house and as such, is something that needs care and attention, regular maintenance and repairs when it is damaged.  Notwithstanding good care, a roof will have a natural point at which repairs will become too frequent, costly or so significant that it makes sense to renew the roof in its entirety.  A  re-roofing will increase the value of your home and is a selling point when you come to market.

 new roof costs

What are common new roof cost factors?

The only way to find out what your new roof costs is to ask for some estimates.  Every single house is different and so averages, to a degree, become so general, they are a little bit meaningless. 

The cost of a new roof will depend on several key factors:-

  • The size of the roof which pertains to the size of the house but also the number of roof planes
  • The choice of materials you are using and their quality.  If you want to keep the current tiles because they are historic then the cost of carefully removing them and stacking them for re-use may incur a higher charge due to the labour than re-roofing with new materials.  The size of tiles also has a bearing, smaller tiles take longer to install and will increase labour hours
  • Whether any of the support structures need renewing due to rot
  • The height of the house and the consequent amount of scaffolding required
  • The complexity of the roof design
  • Whether you are upgrading or restyling the roof to add features like a chimney or dormer windows for a loft conversion, installing roof tile vents or rigid eaves
  • Where you are located in the country – any building works tend to be more expensive in metropolitan areas especially in London where the cost of living is higher

How are re-roofing quotes broken down?

Quotations will essentially be divided into labour, materials and equipment.  The estimate should be very detailed and include the following:-

  • A full work description including a detailed list of all the roofing materials including your  choice of roof covering, underlayment type and thickness and the flashing locations, right down to the types of nails and fasteners
  • Any sealant costs
  • Equipment and plant hire typically the scaffolding costs and the hire of a skip for waste and rubbish
  • Costs for disposal of the old roofing materials
  •  Guaranties and warranties some of which will be issued by the contractor for his own work and some of which will attach to the roofing materials used in the project

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How do you know when you need a new roof?

Usually when you see the roofer on a regular basis!  If the repair work is not lasting or the repairs are just becoming ever more frequent then you might just find you are throwing good money after bad.  Endless wear and tear will eventually get beyond the point of economic repair.  A new roof is not a cheap solution but the works might not be as extensive as you fear and the finished product will increase the value of your house as well as looking fabulous and providing a watertight environment against the worst excesses of the winter weather. In the long run, a new roof may be more economical solution than having to constantly spend on costs of roof leak repair.

These are some visual indicators that your roof needs attention and possible replacement:-

  • The shingles are curling
  • Some shingles are missing
  • The old cement chimney flashing has degraded and worn away or if there is metal flashing, it has become detached by the force of the weather
  • Interior water damage or staining at the top of the walls in the upstairs rooms or on the ceiling is a big indicator that your roof is no longer watertight

The other obvious trigger for a new roof is weather or a storm damage event where the impact is so significant that repairs alone will not do the job.

Re-roofing Costs by Type of House

Type of jobDetails of worksAverage Re-roofing Price
Renovate the whole roof on a semi-detached three-bed house using plain tilesRemoving all of the old tiles from the roof and replacing them with plain, new tiles. The price includes the cost of all the materials and labour.£5,550
Roof renovation of a detached 4-bed house with 2 storeys using plain tilesThe removal of all the old tiles from the roof and their replacement with plain, new tiles. Price includes all the labour and materials.
Renovate entire roof on a 2-bed bungalow using natural slateStripping all the old slate from the roof of the bungalow and replacing it with new slate. Cost includes labour and material£4,700
Full renovation of a semi-detached 2-storey house with 3 bedrooms using natural slatesRemoving all the old slate from the roof and replacing it with brand new slate. The cost includes labour, roofing materials and scaffolding hire.£6,250
Renovate entire roof on a 2-storey house with 4 bedrooms using natural slateReplacement of all the old slate with a brand new natural slate. The price includes materials, labour and the cost of hiring scaffolding.£8,250

Your new roof options – what the choices available?

The choices available for a new roof are pretty extensive but most people ultimately are guided by what suits the style of the house and their budget.  Here are some of the options:-

  • Interlocking Roof Tiles – made of concrete and one of the cheapest options.  They are quite large and don’t require much of an overlap so are very quick to lay.  They are suitable for simple roofs where not much cutting is required
  • Pantiles – a good look for both modern and period properties and a traditional tile in the East of England, these can be made of either concrete or clay
  • Plain tiles – these give a very traditional and handmade finish particularly when they are made from clay.  Every tile looks slightly different in terms of colour and shaping and this adds a wonderful texture to the roof
  • Slates – a choice of roofing material that became very prevalent during the Victorian era as the new railways opened up access to the Welsh slate quarries for housebuilders in other parts of the country.  Natural slate from the UK tends to have a premium price tag but there are cheaper imported versions available from Spain, Brazil and China with some incredible colour choices which can look stunning on a contemporary property.  There are also pseudo-slate alternatives available which look like slate but are essentially thin concrete tiles made with fibre-cement and reconstituted slate which are cheaper
  • Stone Belt roofing – these are stone roofs on house in what is described as the ‘stone belt’ of England so the Cotswolds and parts of the North.  Often planning requirements insist that you use local materials particularly if you have a period or listed house or are in a conservation area.  There are new, reconstituted alternatives which are cheaper
  • Thatch – thatching is expensive and very labour intensive which is why there are very few new-build thatches today and that’s before you consider the fire risk.  Thatch is made either from straw or reed depending on your geographical location.  It is mainly considered as a craft or restoration skill and there are few thatchers available and they always have very long waiting lists
  • Green roofs – these seem to be new and contemporary but have in fact been used in Scandinavia and parts of Scotland for hundreds of years.  The 21st-century version is, however, quite a different thing to the old turf roof that you might see on a croft in Scotland.  The green roof is constructed in layers with careful attention being paid to the waterproofing element as you go.  It requires significant skill in planting and is very popular for new eco-build homes
  • Metal roofs metal is laid in sheet form and the two most popular choices are zinc and copper.  Lead is used for flashing around the chimneys and at the roof junctions.  As an alternative, you can also fit steel roof tiles which are a combination of a traditional tile but made of metal.  These are especially suitable for very windy locations where a traditional concrete or clay tile or slate would be vulnerable

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 What are the benefits of re-roofing?

The benefits are considerable and worth the outlay.  A new roof is a significant investment in the fabric of your home and can also improve weatherproofing, insulation and thermal regulation.

  • If you have been having patch repair work done then this is a chance to upgrade properly and then really forget about your roof apart from any annual maintenance.  A leaking roof in poor repair is a constant strain and financial headache in bad weather and a new roof will mean you can just simply stop worrying
  • Your roof has been damaged by a storm or other weather incident
  • If you are selling your home then a new roof will be hugely attractive to purchasers
  • A new roof represents a significant return with many studies suggesting 63% ROI – Return on Investment

 What are the other considerations when replacing my roof?

If your roof has been irreparably damaged by storms or freak weather then you can make a claim through your insurance company.  They will need to send out an assessor or loss adjustor and survey the site.  Usually, you will need to obtain three quotations for the work and the insurance company will have to approve the funding before the job commences.  They may inspect the work as it progresses.

You do not normally need planning permission to re-roof your house but if your house is listed or in a conservation area then you should check out whether you will need any formal consents for the work even if you are not changing the roof in any material way but just installing new tiles or slates.  This includes inserting roof or skylights providing they don’t extend more than 150 millimetres beyond the existing roof plane. However, if you are making significant structural changes to your roof then you should speak to your local council or a planning agent as you will probably require planning permission.

You should consider the impact on neighbouring or attached properties which your work may have.  A new roof itself does not usually trigger the requirement for a Party Wall Agreement but if the scope of the works is larger, say a loft conversion, this will require a Party Wall agreement.  This is normally handled by the architect as part of their professional service. 

How to reduce roof replacement costs?

  • Become informed – do your own thorough research.  If you understand the detail of the job then you can acquire more accurate quotations and will begin to learn where you can make adjustments to help lower the cost
  • Shop around for a roofing company.  Avoid rock bottom estimates that are suspiciously much lower than everyone else’s but do obtain several quotations and don’t be put off if the first ones you receive are high
  • Ask you, contractor, if there are ways that you can reduce the cost – many firms are happy to suggest alternative materials which can be used to get a quote within budget
  • Choose late winter/early spring to do the work when roofers are less busy – you can often get a cheaper price because they want the work but do bear in mind, that you may have to contend with unseasonal weather which can slow the work down
  • Do part of the work yourself – you will need the skill and experience, the time, the equipment and a good head for heights!  It’s not really a job to be undertaken by a keen DIY enthusiast – it could end up costing you money in the long run and you may even put yourself at risk

Questions about new roof costs

 Can I get a roofing grant from my local authority?

In some areas, local councils will provide grants to help people re-roof their homes but this are usually only granted if the house is classified as falling seriously below acceptable living standards and the occupants of the property thereby being put at serious risk.  This is called the Home Repair Assistance Grant but it is a discretionary award so you may not qualify.  Council funding has been notoriously tight for several years and they can really only help people who have a property in a serious state of disrepair.  Further, there can be criteria other than the state of the roof such as being resident in the property for a specified number of years – no good if you are new to the area.  There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to local authority funding, every council is different so you should make your own enquiries to see if there could be anything available.

Where else could I obtain finance to pay for the roof?

Some building contractors work in tandem with finance companies and can arrange finance for you much like you would finance a new car.  Repayments will depend on the length of the term and how much deposit you can contribute.  Some people seek funding from their mortgage company by way of a Home Improvement Loan or Further Advance.  This will require sufficient equity in your home for the sum you want to borrow and satisfactory affordability.  It can also be possible to raise additional sums for work on the property on a straightforward re-mortgage.  For middle-aged or retired people who have paid off their mortgage, Equity Release schemes can help provide funding for home improvement projects like a new roof.

When is the best time of year to replace the roof?

It is easier to work during the longer days so from late spring through to early autumn as there is simply more daylight.  Winter is not a popular time of year to replace a roof as weather can be severe – wet and windy – which makes working at height difficult and cold/freezing temperatures can be problematical for fitting some of the materials which may be more prone to cracking.  Autumn can be busy as people try to fit in roof repairs before the weather turns: October is a difficult month for late autumnal storms bringing wind and rain.  The clocks change at this point as well and these two factors could squeeze you out of the calendar until the following year.

Are replacement roofs always the most expensive option?

No, not always.  A couple of expensive roofing repair jobs would make a big dent in the quote for a new roof and that’s because fairly serious repairs are costly and often not good value for money.  This is often money that would be better spent being put towards the cost of an entirely new roof.

Do I need planning permission to change my roof?

Providing your home is not listed, located in a conservation area and you not making any significant structural changes, then you should not need to obtain planning permission to renew your roof.  The addition of dormer windows is the type of development which would be considered sufficiently significant to require planning permission.  Speak to your local council or instruct a planning agent to act on your behalf.  A project like a loft conversion and a re-roof will require architect’s drawings and they will usually apply for the planning consents as part of their professional services.

Is there anything I need to do to prepare my home for the works?

Your roofing contractor will discuss access with you for small lorries and workman’s vans so you may want to consider where you can easily park your cars particularly if you need to use them throughout the day. There is a chance that some roofing materials may fall from height so most people like to remove their cars or any other valuable items to prevent any damage.  It is best to clear the ground area all around your property for a distance of approximately three metres removing items like plant pots and garden ornaments as this is where the base of the scaffolding will sit.  Sometimes it is beneficial to remove delicate ornaments from shelving in upstairs rooms as the vibrations of the work can cause some internal disruption.

How long will my new roof last?

This depends on the type of roof you choose but a well-installed tile or slate roof should last a lifetime.  Many roofing companies now offer a lifetime transferable warranty which means even if you sell the property, you can transfer the benefit of the warranty for the works to the new owners.

What types of warranty and guarantees should I be looking for?

There are usually two types of warranty offered on a re-roofing project.  The first is the manufacturer’s warranty which will cover some of the materials, usually the actual roof tiles or slates.  The integrity and effectiveness of this warranty will rely on the materials being correctly installed by a competent and experienced professional roofing team.  The other type of guarantee is the workmanship guarantee offered by the roofing company themselves.  These will vary in length – some will be for a specified period and others for a lifetime.  Many of these guarantees are transferable so stay with the property even when there is a new owner.  You should have this conversation in detail with roofing contractors before you decide on the estimate you want to use.  It’s easy to overlook warranties as they come at the end of the process and most of the focus is on the type of work, the cost and the date but the guarantees are very important, particularly when you come to sell your home.  This is not the time to ask yourself these questions.

How can I find a reputable re-roofing company?

Try and obtain a recommendation from someone you know and trust.  Ask for references and to see examples of their work in the locality.  Only ever hire certified installers who are members of a professional trade body and check that they offer a warranty on both the materials and the installation.

What does NFRC mean?

This acronym stands for the National Federation of Roofing Contractors which is the UK’s largest trade association for roofing contractors.  Members are required to adhere to high standards of workmanship and business practice via a code of vetting and site inspections.  Look out for their logo on the estimates, this should give you confidence that you are dealing with a reputable and professional company with the right insurances in place.

How long will it take re-roof on my home?

For a straightforward job with no snags or unexpected problems, a new roof should take two or three days on a fairly standard-sized house.  Unexpected bad weather or unforeseen problems with the build will add time to the job.  A larger house with a couple of storeys will take between a week and ten days to completely re-roof as will a house with a complicated roof design and different roof planes.

Will a new roof add value to my home?

A new roof will add an ROI – Return on Investment - of around 60%.  It will improve the aesthetics of your house as well as keeping your home dry and warm.

Will I need to move out of my home whilst the re-roofing is happening?

You don’t need to move out of your home whilst the work is being done but it is disruptive and noisy so if you work from home, you might want to consider moving location for the duration of the project.  There will be people walking around the top of your house all the time on the scaffolding boards and some people find this just too intrusive.

Re-roofing your house is a significant project which can be daunting to many people.  However, with care and planning and the right roofing contractor, this should be a straightforward job which will be completed in under a week leaving you with the delight of a smart new roof which is weatherproof, watertight and a considerable investment in the fabric of your home. If you're looking for additional information about how much a new roof costs, get in touch to learn more about reroofing costs.