Hitting the Roof: Things to Consider Before You Reroof Your Home

If you are considering having your home re-roofed, you might be wondering just where to start. The roofing industry has it own particular terminology, ways of estimating cost and choosing materials. Here's a look at some things you should know and consider before you make your decision.


When measuring your roof, you will probably think of using square feet. However, roofers measure a roof using squares. One square is equal to 100 square feet or a 10 by 10 foot area of roof.

The Existing Roof

If old roofing needs to be removed or the underlying structures which support the roof are in need of repair, this will add to the overall cost. The shape of the roof is another important factor which you should take into account. A roof that doesn't have additional structures such as chimneys, ventilation pipes or skylights will present a much easier job, which will reduce labour cost.


There are a wide variety of options when it comes to materials that could be used to replace the roof of your home:

  • Asphalt Shingle. This type of roofing is very commonly used, as it isn't as expensive as other options and is easy to install. Asphalt shingle is produced by mixing fibre glass with asphalt. The material is then surfaced with a coat of sand granules. Asphalt shingles are available in two grades, single thickness and a thicker laminated grade. While laminated asphalt shingles cost twice as much, their increased durability means they can last 25 years rather than the standard 15.
  • Slate. Slate is one of the most durable roofing materials, with a life expectancy of 100 years. It is also very attractive to look at. However, due to its weight, it can only be installed on property which is strong enough to support it and is generally only used on steep sloping roofs. Slate is also an expensive material, costing on average between $280 and $440 per square metre.
  • Wood Shingles. Wood shingles are generally made using pine or cedar. While wooden roofs look great, they do have some drawbacks. You should first check that your local planning laws permit the use of wooden roofing, as in some areas, it is forbidden as a fire risk. Wood shingle roofing has a life space of between 30 and 50 years, although unless the wood is treated, it can be susceptible to rot and mold.

Before making a final decision which materials to use to re-roof your home, you should have your roof inspected by a professional roofing service, who will be able to provide you with a quote and offer further advice.