Repair or replace: Re roofing costs, benefits, and professionals you need to know

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aerial view of a metal shingle installed

Would you consider re roofing instead of replacing?

A roof is important since it protects a house or a business, and everyone who lives and works in it. Aside from safeguarding you against the weather, it also serves as a barrier from debris, hail, storm, etc. If you’re renovating or you’ve finally had enough from the roof damage last season, you may want to sit down and consider the alternatives.

In this article, we'll discuss the differences between repairing or replacing your roof, as well as the professionals you'll need to hire for either task. We'll also talk about the benefits and costs of repair and replacement.

What is the difference between a re roof and a new roof?

pullenvale and the new roof

Although getting a new roof is a good and a necessary investment, re roofing saves you time and cost and get you the latest look for your roof. Whether you’re plainly renovating, or your roof started breaking down, you might want to consider this alternative instead of an expensive version — a total roof replacement.

Re roofing is updating your current roof by removing the covering and placing a new layer of your chosen material over your existing ones. It’s also done to repair any damages, restore the appearance, and provide a layer of protection for your roof.

It has two main methods: roof overlay, which is keeping your roof and adding a layer on top; while tear-off is when your contractor inspects your roof, section by section, removes them and replaces them entirely.

Replacing your roof, on the other hand, is a remedy for rotten or damaged roofs and their structure. Total replacement is called for when the internal structure starts to face damage, and the sagging becomes visible. If there are areas of your roof that aren’t any more salvageable, it’s best to opt for a new roof to prevent further damage and costly repairs. However, if the replacement is more than 20 per cent of your roof area, you or your chosen roofing contractor has to obtain the building approval.

When should you do re roofing?

process of tearing down the roof

The materials used for your existing roof determine the longevity and durability of your roof. Old materials that have survived wear and tear and the harsh weather risk your house from further damage. Here’s when you should consider reroofing.

  1. If it’s an ‘80s roof. If your roof was constructed in the 1980s, there’s a possibility that your roof contains asbestos. Asbestos was a common roofing material in suburbian Australian homes but is now banned due to the harm it can cause to one’s health.
  2. If you haven’t done it before. Adding another layer is only possible for roofs that have a single layer. If your roof exceeds two (2) layers, you might need to fully replace your roof since adding more is against the building codes.
  3. If your roof is already damaged. If you’re living in an area that has extreme weather, there may be present issues that you have overlooked. Schedule an inspection with a roofing contractor and know what needs to be done with your roof. Such a problem needs to be addressed as it could cause further damage and inconvenience. In some cases, obvious damage isn’t what it only is as there could be underlying structural damage. That’s why you need to call in a roofing contractor.
  4. If you’re currently doing a renovation. Of course, when your house is undergoing a makeover, you might want to include changing your roof’s design and style. Re roofing is the best option when you just want to modify your roof to fit the current design your house is going for.
    If you’re renovating for profit, reroofing may improve its visual appeal and ultimately, the value of the property.

Superdraft tip: You may want to add roof extensions to increase the visual appeal of your home.

  1. If the building standards have changed. Roofs are built to last for 30 to 50 years*, depending on the durability of the materials used. However, if your roof was built in the late 20th century or earlier, there’s a huge chance that the building standards have changed. That’s why today, a building approval is required to accurately assess the new roof system.

Can you re roof over the existing roof?

close up look of a finished re roofing

Despite the misconceptions about metal roofs, you can actually install a layer over an existing one. This technique is faster, cheaper, and convenient. It also adds another layer of protection to your house.

It’s a faster alternative as you won’t have to remove the old roof and the installation can happen immediately. There’s less time incurred on the part of the labourers and less cost for the whole project. It’ll also save you transport and disposal fees for your scrap materials.

If you have doubts, reach out to Superdraft. We can match you with the professional you need — architect, draftsman, name it. In your case, a building designer or a roofing contractor. We assure you that they are licensed to do the job, have a strong portfolio, and have the capabilities to design and proceed with your re roofing project.

How often do you need to re roof?

workers doing re roofing

The truth is: there’s no absolute timeframe on when a roof of a certain material can last. Their lifespan depends on the material, location, weather, humidity, salt level, and others.

In cases of unforeseen events like fires, or burglary, for example, if your roof is insured, the providers shall cover the repair costs. In regular cases such as a leaking roof, it’s not covered by insurance at all and is primarily due to your inability to follow the roof maintenance.

Material wise, there’s no perfect roofing material. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. 

Tiles are great for steep roofs. However, they are expensive and may not withstand extreme weather conditions. They can last up to 40 years*.

Asphalt or bitumen is the traditional material for flat roofs. It’s cheap and easy to install, but it may pose some health risks during installation and is prone to heat damage and peeling, etc. It needs regular maintenance as well. Its longevity varies depending on local weather conditions but usually lasts for 50 years*.

Metal including steel and aluminium is lightweight, easy to install, and cost-effective. Although they are the same in performance, aluminium is more malleable and is more resistant to seawater. It costs more than steel, but its inability to store heat makes it an energy-efficient roofing material. Meanwhile, steel has more strength than aluminium and is more fire-resistant. Metal roofs have a life expectancy of 40 years*.

Slate is a heavy and costly, but it’s a popular choice for steep roofs. It’s easy to buy and install this material and has a number of patterns and colours to choose from. It needs regular painting and maintenance every 3 years and lasts up to more than 50 years*.

spanish terracotta roof tiles

Terracotta tiles are more expensive than other materials. They require regular maintenance against UV rays since they are more vulnerable to heat.  Its durability is commendable since most century-old European buildings have terracotta roofs. They have good resistant properties and are less likely to decay.

Asphalt shingle is typically used in reroofs since it’s cheap and easy to install. It can also be added above a layer of an asphalt shingle. However, as mentioned above, there are some health risks associated with its installation.

The best time of the year to do re roofing

re roofing by installing asphalt shingles

The seasons have a huge impact on your roof. The heat during the summer can make your roof brittle, making it crack; the rain, meanwhile, can seep through the cracks and create further damage.

More than the season’s impacts on your roof, you have a choice as to when you should start your re roof project. You can’t have it done during summer and rain due to obvious reasons. Roofs, meanwhile, are slippery during winter.

Fall, on the other hand, has cool weather and the perfect temperature for workers to fix your roof.  According to experts, it’s best to install roofs between 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the exact temperature during the fall.

Superdraft tip: You may want to enjoy the rest of the seasons with your outdoor space — a rooftop terrace

What are the benefits of re roofing?

metal re roofing installation

More often than not, in every renovation, there are absolute benefits. Here are the benefits of opting to re roof.

  • It’s a good investment. A new roof increases the value of the home. Your roof has an estimated return of investment of 70%* once you sell your house. If you won’t sell it, you still get to enjoy this safe layer of protection as a well-made roof has an average life cycle of 20 years*.
  • It’s safe from force majeure. If you choose the right materials and professionals for your home, you can mark your home as shielded from unavoidable circumstances such as natural disasters. If you seek help from roofing experts and building designers, they’ll suggest what type of roof is appropriate for your area.
  • It’s a cost-effective option. It’s cheap in terms of materials, affordable in terms of labour, and convenient in terms of duration. It’s the fastest way to change your roof as it won’t entirely replace your roof. Honestly, if you repair and re-colour your roof, it may just be the same as the cost of a re roof.
  • It can be modified to your style and specifications. You won’t have to worry that your roof may look more outdated than the rest of the house. You can opt to reroof to save money by replacing the whole of your roof.
  • It can save your roof from further damage. If you decide to reroof, an inspection is necessary. Thus, your roofing contractors or professionals can easily identify present roof problems and give you options on how to proceed.

What professionals do I need when I decide to re roof?

re roofing on site

A roofing contractor

When you re roof, you need to first seek a contractor. They’ll examine your roof and determine what needs to be done, the costs, and the duration. When you hire a roofing contractor, make sure that the person is a licensed and certified contracting service provider in Australia. There has to be a certification as to the roofing license, safety induction training, and Construction Induction Card.

An architect

It’s also a good choice to opt for an architect. A roof architect can notice flaws in the details that can make or break your project. Moreover, your chosen architect can actually advise you names of contractors that you can trust. These are contractors that they have worked with in the past and have passed their standards in terms of workmanship. Architects can also suggest materials or cost-effective options for your project.

What is the process of re roofing?

roof workers doing tiling

  1. It starts with an initial preparation. During this stage, the contractors will thoroughly inspect the roof. The contractor will provide an estimate of the cost and with the help of a roofing architect, they both can suggest what materials and features to suit your home renovation. Don’t hesitate to communicate with your contractor or architect about the specifications and modifications you want to happen.
  2. Next is pre-installation. Here, the team sets up the technical roofing equipment, organises safety precautions, and clears the roof for the next stage.
  3. During the re roofing proper, the overlays are installed as well as the roof. 
  4. Of course, another inspection must be done. Post re roofing inspection ensures that the results of the installation are safe.

Here at Superdraft, before the initial preparation starts, you can sign up at our project planning dashboard. Once registered, a Project Coordinator will reach out to you for a consultation. They will also provide you with a free quote which is beneficial for you to stay within the budget. Superdraft uses AI technology to match you with the right design professional — draftsman, architect, building designer, etc. for your budget.  

How much does it cost to do re roofing?

re roofing and safety precautions done by construction workers

There is no standard price to put on the costs for getting a re roof project done. In Australia, most of the projects cost around $15,000 to $25,000*. Usually, the overall cost is priced per square metre and depends on the roof size, materials used, and intricacies of the roof design and layout.

Expect to pay around $40 to $70* per square metre for concrete tiles and steel, which are cheaper than the rest of the materials. Traditional slate tiled roof and terracotta tiles cost around $200 to $500* per square metre.

Since steep roofs are difficult to access, the labour costs may be greater. 

Why do you need Superdraft?

Actually, the answer is easy: if the re roofing costs are less than the value of the roof, replace it; repair if otherwise.

Remember: When you’re building a home, you’re building for a family — for a safe spot, for a shielded hiding place. If you’re looking for professionals to help you literally put a safe roof over your family’s heads, Superdraft can help. We have had tons of successful projects since 2011, and we sure have invested in recruiting the best designers, extra support services, and design innovations for our company. Not only that, through our award-winning project planning dashboard, we’ll help you continually grow and innovate your homes.

Sign up for our dashboard for free! You can book a consultation with our Project Coordinators and you can get a free quote so that we can help you kick-start your re roofing in no time. If you’re renovating, we can even match you with a draftsman or building designer, whatever your project needs!

*The figures indicated above are estimates only and are subject to change.

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