Installing, repairing or replacing a roof can be expensive. Few roofing companies will quote a price over the telephone or by email, even if you provide project specs and images. However, many reputable roofing contractors will offer free, no obligation estimates on commercial and residential projects.

Some of the factors that roofing companies consider when estimating a job are:

Photos to use:

Project location
Is it close to a distribution point or the roofing company’s office? Will crews need to pay tolls or drive long distances to reach the job site each day?

Square footage
How large is the roof? Will there be a volume discount on parts and labor?

Condition of existing roof
Is the roof structure damaged or decayed and in need of replacement? Will crews have to make any emergency repairs?

Roofing material type
Will your roof require shingles, tiles or metal panels? Will you install a budget-friendly material or choose a more expensive, but durable, material?

Labor force
Is there an ample supply of skilled laborers in the market or on the company payroll? What is the average salary for experienced roofers?

Will a crane be required to access higher elevations or deliver materials to roofers? Are crews able to walk quickly across a flat roof or will their pace be slower because of a higher pitch?

Does the warranty cover just replacement parts, or parts and labor? Is there an option for an extended warranty?

Will A/C units, solar panels or skylights complicate a roofer’s job and take more time to complete a project?

Building codes
Do local or state codes require contractors to install a more secure roof that meets new hurricane codes? Are building permits required for the project?

Experienced roofing inspectors will address these questions and more when estimating a project. Another factor is profit margin – how much money does the contractor want to make on the project? Some contractors go for volume, charging less for roofing work knowing that lower prices help drive additional business. Other contractors try to maximize profit on each project while focusing on a smaller number of customers. Beware of a rock-bottom bargain; that could indicate a contractor is using unskilled workers, substituting lower-quality materials or lacks the proper licensing and insurance.

Below are ballpark averages for material and labor costs in the region:

Shingle roof: $4 to $5 per square foot
Use this photo:

Tile roof: $8.50 to $9.50 per square foot
Use this photo:

Metal roof: $10 to $12 per square foot
Use this photo:

Flat roof: $12 to $13 per square foot
Use this photo:

Obtain at least two to three estimates for a roofing job. Costs vary widely, but don’t automatically assume the lowest price is the best estimate. Pay close attention to what’s included in the price and the outlined scope of work.