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How much does it cost to tear off and install shingles?

When it comes to maintaining the integrity and appearance of your home, few projects are as essential as replacing your roof. If your roof is aging or damaged, tearing off old shingles and installing new ones is a necessary investment. However, the cost of this project can vary widely based on several factors. Here’s a comprehensive look at what you can expect when budgeting for tearing off and installing new shingles.

Factors Influencing the Cost

Several key factors influence the overall cost of tearing off and installing new shingles:

  1. Roof Size and Slope
    • The size of your roof is a primary cost determinant. Roofs are measured in “squares,” with one square equaling 100 square feet. A larger roof requires more materials and labor, increasing the overall cost.
    • The slope of your roof also impacts the price. Steeper roofs are more challenging to work on, requiring additional safety measures and increasing labor costs.
  2. Material Choice
    • The type of shingles you choose greatly affects the price. Asphalt shingles are the most common and economical option, but there are other materials available, such as metal, wood, slate, and tile. Each material has its own price range and lifespan.
    • For instance, asphalt shingles typically cost between $100 to $400 per square, while premium materials like slate can cost $600 to $1,500 per square or more.
  3. Labor Costs
    • Labor costs vary depending on your location and the complexity of the job. On average, labor accounts for 60% of the total roofing project cost.
    • Experienced and reputable roofing contractors may charge higher rates, but their expertise can ensure a quality installation that lasts longer.
  4. Roof Condition
    • The condition of your existing roof can impact costs. If there are underlying issues such as rot, water damage, or structural problems, additional repairs may be necessary before new shingles can be installed.
  5. Permits and Disposal
    • Local building permits are often required for roof replacement projects, adding to the overall cost.
    • The cost of tearing off old shingles includes disposal fees. Properly disposing of old roofing materials can add to the expense, especially if the materials need to be hauled away and disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

Average Cost Breakdown

To provide a clearer picture, let’s break down the average costs involved in tearing off and installing new shingles:

  1. Tear-Off Costs
    • The cost to tear off old shingles generally ranges from $1 to $5 per square foot. This cost includes labor and disposal fees.
    • For a standard 2,000-square-foot roof, the tear-off cost can range from $2,000 to $10,000.
  2. Installation Costs
    • The cost to install new shingles varies based on the material chosen. Here’s a rough estimate for some common materials:
      • Asphalt Shingles: $100 to $400 per square
      • Metal Roofing: $300 to $900 per square
      • Wood Shingles/Shakes: $300 to $600 per square
      • Slate: $600 to $1,500+ per square
      • Tile: $400 to $1,200 per square
    • For a standard 2,000-square-foot roof (20 squares), installation costs can range from $2,000 to $30,000 or more, depending on the material.
  3. Labor and Additional Costs
    • Labor costs generally range from $1.50 to $3 per square foot.
    • Additional costs such as permits, ventilation, underlayment, and flashing can add $1,000 to $3,000 to the total project cost.

Total Cost Estimate

Combining all the factors, here’s an estimated range for tearing off and installing new shingles on a standard 2,000-square-foot roof:

  • Low-End (Basic Asphalt Shingles): $5,000 to $10,000
  • Mid-Range (Higher Quality Asphalt or Metal): $10,000 to $20,000
  • High-End (Slate or Tile): $20,000 to $40,000+

Tips for Managing Costs

  1. Get Multiple Quotes
    • Obtain estimates from several reputable roofing contractors to compare prices and services. This helps ensure you get a fair price and quality work.
  2. Choose Quality Materials
    • While it might be tempting to opt for the cheapest materials, investing in higher-quality shingles can save money in the long run by reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.
  3. Consider Timing
    • Roofing companies may offer discounts during their off-peak seasons (late fall and winter). Scheduling your project during these times can help you save on labor costs.
  4. Maintain Your Roof
    • Regular roof maintenance can extend the life of your shingles, delaying the need for a complete replacement. Addressing minor repairs promptly can prevent more significant issues and expenses later on.


The cost of tearing off and installing new shingles varies based on factors like roof size, material choice, labor, and the condition of your existing roof. By understanding these variables and obtaining multiple quotes, you can budget effectively for your roofing project. While the upfront cost may be significant, investing in a quality roof ensures long-term protection and value for your home.

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