How Much Does a Flat Roof Installation Cost?
A flat roof installation won't always work in all climates. If you experience a considerable amount of snow or rain throughout the year, having it pool up on the top of your roof is not desirable.
However, if you live in an area of the country with little in the way of precipitation and moisture, a flat roof can provide you with an excellent housing renovation option.
With a flat roof, it's possible to add extra layers on top or even enjoy it as an additional outdoor space. It's also great for installing solar panels. But, before you proceed with a flat roof installation, you need to understand what sort of cost range you'll be dealing with.
How Much Will It Cost To Install a Flat Roof?
There are several different factors you need to consider when looking into this type of installation on your house. A flat roof isn't as expensive as installing a diagonal roof because you do not need to use expensive shingles.
If you have a larger roof with more expensive materials, your new flat roof may set you back over $8,000 should you add some extras like underlayment, sealer and more. In general, however, most homeowners tend to pay in the region of between $3,000 to $5,000 for a professional flat roof installation.
But, the cost to install a flat roof is going to vary based on a few factors such as:
- materials you choose
- labor charges
- roofing enhancements
- regional pricing trends
Remember, if you are going to install flat roof, you should compare at least 3 quotes from professionals in your area. It's the only way to ensure you get the best value for your money and a feel for the current pricing trends in your region. Professional contractors can maximize your savings right from the start of the project by doing the installation correctly.
There are several variables at play when it comes to your installation. Be sure to keep all of this in mind when considering your budget and the overall cost to install your flat roof. For this cost guide, we will base our calculations on an average 1,200 sq ft area.
Flat Roof Materials
There are 3 different flat roof designs and costs to consider:
- built up flat roof
- modified bitumen
- rubber membrane (EPDM)
The built-up roof is a more traditional design made with the combination of tar and gravel. This is the least expensive option, but it only really works if you have an extremely supportive ceiling underneath as it is especially heavy. It offers excellent waterproofing but does make leaks hard to find and only lasts for 10-20 years.
This type of flat roof installation will cost between $2.50 - $3.70 per sq ft installed. On an average 1,200 sq ft roof, you should be paying in the region of about $3,000 - $4,500.
If you need to reinforce your roof supports for the added weight, the added expense can see the overall cost to install your flat roof drastically increase and come in at around $3.50 - $7 per sq ft for a total of $4,200 - $8,400.
A built up roof generally has 3 - 5 layers, but should you opt for adding extra layers to make it more durable, also expect to spend between $590 - $750 extra per layer.
Modified bitumen combines many of the features in the standard tar and gravel roof with the addition of layers of polyester or fiberglass impregnated with bitumen, a derivative of tar or asphalt. It is highly desirable as it is extremely energy efficient and can last up to 30 years. It uses a roll peel-and-stick system ingrained with minerals, cutting down on labor costs as it is easily installed.
This type of flat roof installation project is highly specialized, however, and can present a possible fire hazard, so professional installation is the only way to go.
Costs will come in anywhere around $4 per sq ft installed, but should you be required to strip and dispose of your existing roof, this cost can be up to $8 per sq ft installed, totaling between $4,800 and $9,600 on an average sized roof.
Rubber membrane (EPDM) is available in two colors ( black and white) and also comes in 45 and 60-millimeter thickness. Black is a more popular option for colder areas, whereas the white rubber membrane generally costs 30% more due to its heat reflective energy saving characteristics.
This material won't scuff or tear, and any leaks can be easily patched up. It's is extremely light and easy to install.
EPDM roofing membranes cost about $0.50 - $1.50 a sq ft depending on thickness and color. This includes adhesive/tape, tools, and other supplies for a do-it-yourself installation. Be sure you know what you are doing when you opt for a DIY project, however, as mistakes could end up being costly.
Expect to pay anywhere around $2.50 - $4.50 per sq ft for a professionally installed, totaling around $3,000 - $5,400 on an average sized roof. The cost may be higher or lower depending on the tear-off and removal cost of the existing roof, insulation layers, and other factors.
You'll typically be charged per square foot for labor and not by the hour. It all comes down to the size of your home, regardless of material you are using. Generally, you can expect to pay $2 - $3 per sq ft on labor.
If you perform most of the labor yourself, you can cut the price down to around $1,000 - $2,000. Unfortunately, do-it-yourself projects of this nature often end up causing more costly mistakes, and you may end up paying more than you initially budgeted for.
Other Factors To Consider
Not all flat roof installation projects are the same, so be sure to consider all factors that may influence the overall cost to install your flat roof.
- Underlayment - Underlayment is a waterproof membrane that helps to prevent moisture and other elements to from accessing your roof. It is often a requirement, so be sure to check your local building codes. Underlayment will cost you anywhere between $0.61 - $0.90 per sq ft. This totals anywhere between $700 and $1,000 to cover an average 1,200 sq ft roof. This price should include all planning, equipment and material acquisition and area preparation
- Leaks - If you never want to deal with leaks you can add roof sealers to the installation which would naturally cost more. Expect to spend $800 - $1,000 to cover a standard roof size.
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