THE TRUE COST OF COMMERCIAL ROOF REPLACEMENT
Replacing the roof on your commercial building is a major undertaking. It is something that most building owners see themselves as “having” to do, rather than “getting” to do. It isn’t something many people look forward to.
Of course, we love roofing and the roofing industry, so we get excited over just about every roofing project. However, since most other people don’t look forward to their commercial roof replacement project, they want it to cost as little as possible. They aren’t going to enjoy it, they’re only doing it because they have to, so it’s a reasonable position.
How does one calculate the cost of commercial roof replacement? It varies with each and every building. That is why it’s more important to know the principles behind commercial roof replacement than the hard numbers. There are website that attempt to calculate the cost of commercial roof replacement. We won’t get into specific costs here, just the items you need to consider when calculating your commercial roof replacement costs.
The size of your project is going to impact the cost of your commercial roof replacement. This is very obvious, but is occasionally ignored. Don’t forget to factor in the size and height (do you need lifts, do you need special equipment, etc.) of your building.
Do you have numerous roof features and protrusions such as skylights, chimneys, vents, drains, hatches, parapet walls, etc.? These will all need to be removed with caution, will probably require some metal work around them, and will then have to be re-installed. This adds time and money to your cost of commercial roof replacement.
If you are planning to completely remove your roof, this will be a major added cost. A commercial roof replacement can be done by removing your roof, installing a second roof, or by restoring the roof. If you are removing the existing roof, add time and cost to your replacement estimate. If you want to cut out this step that takes up time, money, and fills up landfills, what are you other options?
Restore Your Roof
You can apply a roof coating or install a spray foam roof directly over top of your existing roof. This allows you to eliminate the tear-off step and save time and money. Most roof restoration products are also renewable at the end of their lives. This means you’ll save even more money when the warranty expires and you can quickly renew the roof to extend its useful life once again.
Installing a Second Roof
You can also install a second roof on your building, which postpones roof tear-off. It doesn’t completely eliminate it, because at the end of the second roof’s life, you then have to tear both roofs off. However, this is a method sometimes used to bundle roof tear-off into two roofs, rather than just one.
How Much Waste Will You Produce
As we touched on briefly above, roof tear-off produces waste. Not only does this fill up local landfills and take up time, but it costs money. The labor to remove the old roof is an obvious cost, but often overlooked is the cost of the dumpsters, the cost of roof deck repairs, and the cost of adding new insulation and other roof features that are torn out. Tearing off your existing roof produces waste, which costs money. Make sure you add this into your cost of commercial roof replacement estimates.
New Roof Installation
Once you have determined your method of roof removal (if any), it’s time to look at the installation of your new roof. Some systems are more expensive to install than others. These price variances should be included in your overall commercial roof replacement calculations. Again, the price varies so much from one roof to another, it would be difficult to give exact figures here.
A good rule of thumb is that roof coatings are the least expensive option (with acrylic being less expensive in terms of material cost than silicone), then single-ply, then metal, then built-up, then spray foam. Of course, there are many others systems in between these, but these is a rough estimate. The cost of commercial roof replacement depends heavily on the new roof being installed.
Life Cycle Cost
Finally, don’t forget to include the cost of operation and the life-cycle cost of the roofs you’re considering. Spray foam roofs save you significant dollars on energy costs, fewer repairs, and a long life-cycle. Silicone roofs offer fewer repairs, but don’t provide much in the way of insulation. Metal roofs offer insulation (when it is installed separately), but they are often fraught with leaks and require repairs, and their life-cycle leaves much to be desired. There is much more to the cost of commercial roof replacement than everything that happens before the contractor leaves your jobsite. The roof still has 20+ years to either cost you money or save you money after installation.
The cost of commercial roof replacement is a difficult number to calculate exactly and broadly. Each roof is different, so there is some guesswork involved. For your specific roof, consult a professional contractor (or two) and get prices for multiple systems. This will help you calculate the most accurate cost of commercial roof replacement and determine the best option for your situation. As always, give us a call if you’d like us to look at your roof and give you a better calculation of your expected cost.