Building a new property can be a pretty expensive endeavor. There’s not a single part of the process that you should be cheap on, but it’s always important to consider what elements provide the best quality and still fit your overall budget.
Tile roofing is, on balance, one of the most attractive options. Being made from non-combustible materials it’s more fire-resistant than a lot of other roofing choices. It’s also very strong; well able to withstand even some of the more extreme weather — including hurricanes to some extent — that we get in Texas. It’s overall durability means that it can last upwards of 50 years with the right installation, so it’s certainly a smart investment.
But what does this mean to the nuts and bolts of your budget?
The short answer
How much does a tile roof cost? Well, if we’re going by the average-sized home in the U.S., it is generally accepted that it could come in anywhere from $11,000 to $35000. However, it’s important to understand that these kinds of blanket estimates assume a lot about what your home is like, the types of tile you might like to use, and even the location you live in.
As such, in order to get a better idea of what it could cost you to invest in a tile roof, it’s worth taking the time to consider the various elements that go into it.
If you’re fitting your roof personally, materials are going to be the main contributing factor, but it’s still worth paying attention to if you’re using a contractor.
The material costs usually break down into the following elements at the very least:
The most obvious material cost is with regard to the tiles themselves. Again, there can be variances here that are likely to affect the costs. Concrete tiles are usually among the lowest cost, as the manufacturing process is cheaper. Clay tiles are often the next step up in price, with a more aesthetically pleasing appearance that is more in line with Spanish villa styles. Slate and Terracotta are generally the more expensive options due to their durability and the latter’s generally fade-proof appearance.
As such, the cost of tiles alone could range between $2-$10 per square foot, but this can fluctuate depending on your location. If you are hiring contractors to undertake your roof fitting, it is likely they’ll have relationships with suppliers, and therefore be able to obtain lower per-tile prices than you would alone.
Underlay, Flashing, and Fixings
The tiles themselves aren’t the only material to go into your tiled roof — after all, the tiles wouldn’t last very long if they just rested on top of your house! Both underlayment and flashing are installed beneath the tiles. Underlayment acts as a barrier between your tiles, flashing, and the roof deck. It helps to provide additional protection from the elements to the inside of your house. The national average material cost for this runs at about $0.32 per square foot. Flashing on the other hand is more directly responsible for keeping rainwater on the tiles to run off naturally, rather than soaking into the underlay and causing it to erode prematurely.
As the name suggests, fixings secure your tiles to the roof. Usually, this is undertaken using nails or screws, particularly as a first fixing. However, tiles in certain positions on the home, or even simply for keeping them extra secure, can benefit from a second fixing. This can be in the form of additional screws or an adhesive. In some cases, additional caulk or sealant can be applied. Knowing when to use specific types of fixings takes significant knowledge of roofing techniques — using an experienced professional can help to reduce unnecessary costs in this area.
Currently, the average national price for roof installation is around $400-$500 per square foot. At first glance, it can appear as though one of the key ways that you might be able to cut the costs of your tile roof is by foregoing a contractor. However, installing a roof is not something to be taken lightly, and the costs that you could incur hiring a contractor take into account various aspects.
When you hire a contractor, one of the primary aspects that you are paying for is their expertise. This doesn’t just come from good training, but also takes into account years of experience in understanding not just how to install a roof, but the most efficient ways to go about doing so. A contractor or installation company may also have specific areas of expertise — apartment roof installation, renovation projects, even design approaches if you need your roof to have a certain aesthetic appeal. Experts understand the materials being used, the issues that can arise, and how to overcome less-obvious roofing challenges that amateurs generally don’t. As such, how much you pay for your contractor can also vary depending on the project and the level of specific expertise needed to accomplish it correctly.
When people think of the labor involved with installing a tile roof, they tend to assume this means the work of laying and fixing the tiles. This is certainly part of it. However, there is a lot more that goes into the labor of installing a roof. When you pay for a contractor you are also investing in the work of correct planning and preparation, sourcing the best and most cost-effective materials, and practices that are designed to ensure the longevity of the roof. Importantly, paying for labor also means paying for safe practices, as professionals are trained to operate in a way that protects both the project and the property’s owners. Indeed, what you invest into labor can also be cost-saving by avoiding potentially expensive and dangerous errors that can occur in the future.
Another area that needs to be taken into account when asking how much a tile roof costs is that the initial installation may not be the end of the matter. Depending on the materials, the weather conditions of the area you live in — Texas is the second most common state for hurricane landfall — and how the roof was installed, you may have some maintenance costs.
Unless there is a significant roof repair required, there is unlikely to be especially high maintenance costs. This is particularly the case if you have utilized a professional contractor in the first place, as they’ll also generally give you the best guidance on the upkeep of your roof, too. Alongside professional cleaning a couple of times a year, the greatest expenditure is likely to be replacing the underlayment, as this requires the tiles to be removed. However, as this usually only needs to be undertaken once every 20 years or so, you have time to build the budget for this over time.
As with many large projects, how much a tile roof costs very much depends on the circumstances. The different styles of tile fall around $2-$10 per square foot, but the amount of other materials utilized also factor into the final price. Professional installation can add upwards of another $400 per square foot, but again this can vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. However, it’s important to note that when making decisions based on cost, the money you spend on professionals helps to ensure safety, minimize unnecessary maintenance, and improve longevity.