Roofing Materials and Prices Calculator Update

The Roofing Calculator tool has gone through a major update on Oct. 15, 2010. Now, it is even better at estimating roofing materials and installation prices. You can get the most accurate quote to install asphalt shingles, metal or a variety of flat roofing options – all of these are reviewed in depth in our roofing materials guide.

New Features

Selection for Number of Stories

Option to select the number of stories in your house, ranging from a single story home to a triple decker or a 3-story colonial. This is important, as most contractors across the US will add an additional charge per story, after the first floor.

Our research shows that most contractors will add $30 per square (100 square feet) of total roof area, for a two-story house, and $60 per square for a 3-story home. With this option now activated, your price estimate gets more accurate, as it closely represents how most contractors would calculate a roofing price

Selection for ridge-vent cut-in and installation

Another addition is a new option to calculate prices for <b>ridge vent</b> cut in and installation. The price of most ridge vents is about the same across most roofing accessories manufacturers and suppliers, so we base it on a Cobra ridge vent. Though you may opt to use a ridge ventilation system from another manufacturer, the prices would be about the same.

Our research indicates that most contractors will charge about $9-10 per linear foot of cutting a ridge opening and installing a plastic or mesh ridge vent with ridge cap shingles on top.

Steep Roof Up-Charge

A third major update is the up-charge for a steep roof. Most contractors divide roofs into two categories – walkable and non-walkable, based on the roof pitch. Walkable roofs have a pitch between 3 and 6 or 7. Non-walkable ones start at a pitch of 7 and go all the way up to 12 or above. Anything over 14 in 12 pitch would be considered a mansard. Since mansard roofs usually have a great deal of detail and flashing work (such as windows, crown moldings, etc.), we won’t even attempt to estimate the up-charge for a mansard roof.

As our pricing research indicates, the majority of contractors will add $20-30 per square, on roofs with pitch between 7-9, and $45-60 per square on roofs with pitch of 10-12. Walkable roofs are all priced the same, using base price per square.

Future Updates

Before the new year comes around we plan to polish and fine-tune the roofing calculator algorithm and to rearrange the results in a way that will give you more information about your prices. In particular, we will combine the annual energy savings of cool roofs into one column, as there is really no reason to have one for Boston and one for Los Angeles. We will add a column with your roof’s approximate square footage, and approximate life expectancy for every roofing material included in the calculator.

Secondly, in the next 3 weeks we will release the long-awaited Roof Pitch Calculator, and Roof Area Calculator. The second one will be able to calculate not only simple gable roofs, but also more geometrically complicated Hip Roofs, as well as draw a three-dimensional diagram of your roof. This calculator will still be limited to rectangular and square-shaped roofs. It also might be too difficult to implement the calculation of dormers and valleys, as it’s difficult to measure and plug those numbers in even for a roofing contractor. We will also add a separate calculator, which will exclusively estimate the price of a flat roof, such as the one that appears on

We already have a dedicated Metal Roofing Calculator, which estimates prices for various types of metal, such as standing seam, corrugated steel, stone coated steel, metal shingles, and copper and zinc.

Stay tuned for future updates to the Roofing Calculator. Also, we would appreciate your suggestions and feedback on how we can improve the usability, features and pricing. Please submit your feedback in the comments section below.

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