We hear from a number of people who comment on the pricing guidelines offered in our free re-roofing booklet. Whether they’re shopping for copper, steel or aluminum roofs, it’s not uncommon to hear a comment like, “Your price formulas were way off!” We definitely get a lot of comments from folks who say these guidelines and formulas were useful, but it’s the negative comments that always seem to echo longer.
Because we hear from people all over the country, here’s what we have concluded from reading all the feedback: Metal roof prices vary considerably according to your location. And they vary not only from state to state, but also from city to city.
The big, dense urban areas tend to be the most expensive places, and rural areas the least expensive regions for roof pricing. Keep in mind when reading this that it’s not the metal material prices that vary - it’s the contractors’ labor component. In our price guidelines, we used about a 1:1 ratio between labor and materials as a basic assumption for determining prices (roughly). What has been pointed out to us regularly of late is that this number ratio is horribly inadequate in these common situations:
- Expensive urban area
- Small scale of job
- Difficult job access
While we had used numbers that would arrive at a range of prices for a metal roof in the range of $5-$10 a square foot, there are many instances that involve one or all of these three situations that can blow that range out of all proportion. A difficult job to access (like a three-story home on a crowded street with neighbors abutting the residence - think San Francisco or New York) that is small and steep may end up with a price that could be 5 or 10 times our ballpark formula! And it’s definitely NOT because someone is making a killing on the job! It’s because the set-up, access, waste, permits and overhead costs shoot up the price of the metal roof long before the first nail or screw is driven on the roof.
All of that to say that our pricing guidelines are best applied to a suburban home with good access and average labor costs, and that you shouldn’t be surprised if they have little or no relevance to a some of the expensive urban areas in the country. Don’t blame anyone - just keep in mind the many variables that are part of contracting, and hire the most experienced person for the job. His price for your new metal roof will be good value, I have no doubt, even if it’s much higher than any formula you find on the internet!
We're happy to prepare an estimate for your roofing project and its specifics. Contact us today.