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What is the cheapest commercial roof?

Aug 25

Roofs are one of the most critical and expensive components of any building. When a roof problem occurs, the building owner should consider whether to repair or replace it. 


It is essential to understand the cost factors of a commercial roof replacement. This will help you decide what type and how much to spend. We'll be discussing the top five factors that impact the cost of your commercial roofing replacement.

  1. Type of roof
  2. Roof access
  3. What's below?
  4. Wind loads and fastenings
  5. Code requirements

Type of roof

There are two major types of commercial roofs.

  • Flat (also known as low-slope).
  • Sloped

In most cases, a single-ply or built-up bituminous roof is the best option for flat roofs. Flat roofs were first made possible by single-ply roofing materials 25 years ago. Many people worried that one layer of protection could leak. 


These roofs have proven highly durable over time and come with a warranty of 25-30 years. These roofs are typically less costly and time-consuming than other flat roofing materials.

The average cost of a single-ply flat roofing replacement is $11 to $14 per square foot.

Built-up bituminous roofing is, as the name suggests, a combination of several roofing materials laid over each other. These roofing layers protect multiple roofing layers, but they can be more costly and take longer to install.

The average cost of replacing a flat roof with built-up bituminous material is $11.50 to $14.50/square foot.

There are more options for covering a sloping roof than with flat roofs. Asphalt shingle is the most affordable coverage. Slate or wood shingles are also options, but these can be more expensive. Shingle roofs are not only beautiful but also crucial for aesthetics. The roof can make a big difference in the overall appearance of a building.

The average cost of asphalt shingle roof replacement is $3.50-$7 per square foot.

Another popular covering for sloped roof tiles. You can choose from clay, concrete, or other materials. They can last up to 50 years. They are, however, one of the most costly materials.

Costs for replacing barrel tiles roofs range from $6.50 to $18 per sq foot.

Metal is the third most popular material for sloped roofs. Metal roofs come in wide varieties: corrugated, standing, and flat, in many colours. The aesthetics of metal roofs have significantly improved. You can make them look like other roofs, which will last forever.

The average cost of replacing a metal roof is $7-$15 per square foot.

It is essential to weigh the warranty and estimated useful lives (EUL) against any upfront savings. Although warranties can be granted for different roofing products, it is essential to remember that a warranty can also be used as a form of insurance. You can choose the coverage you want. 

Many roofing warranties are pro-rated, so even if you purchase an extended duration warranty, the amount reimbursed from a warranty claim may only be pennies on the dollar versus the value of a complete replacement.


Based on the material and climate of the roof, each system has an estimated EUL. It is better to look at the roof's actual EUL when evaluating its life-cycle cost than the perceived value of a roof warranty.

Roof Access

Roof access can impact the cost of replacing your roof just as much as the material and type. These accessibility factors are:


  • Height
  • Material storage areas
  • Occupancy
  • Access to property


Due to the requirement for cranes to lift material, a 20-story building is more expensive to remove. It may also be necessary to store large quantities of material for large roofing projects. Large areas of "laydown" near buildings can simplify logistics and reduce costs.


An occupied building will present additional challenges. Be mindful of the occupants' safety, comfort, productivity, and health. Additional costs may be incurred if roof replacement is required outside regular business hours. Transporting equipment to the property and the building is another factor that will impact the cost.

What's under the skin?

Every roof has a combination of several components.

  • Roof structure: This could be a concrete deck, metal deck, or wood roof
  • Insulation
  • Deck
  • Other substrate materials 

Your re roofing costs will be affected by the condition of these materials. The cost of repairing or replacing roof materials that have suffered significant water damage or impact damage will rise. 


An experienced contractor Toronto or roofing consultant can sometimes identify the areas that need to be repaired by examining the roof's "feel." Infrared technology and other moisture-detecting equipment are more effective in identifying trapped moisture. 


However, you will not know the exact cost impact of damaged substrate materials until they are removed.

Wind Loads and Fasteners

The type of fasteners required for your roof will depend on the location of your building. Florida buildings must be able to withstand winds up to 150 miles per hour. This area requires more robust fasteners to be used at a greater frequency than other areas.