Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Roofing System: Part 8 Life-Cycle Costs

Our final installment in this series discusses the life-cycle costs of a roof. Any roof life-cycle discussion must take into consideration the factors covered in previous posts: price; quality; prefabrication; installation disruptions; ease of maintenance; performance; environmental impact. Each type of roofing system will vary on these factors, so it is important to compare your options in order to make the right roofing choice. Some systems are beneficial because they offer substantial energy savings; some are virtually maintenance-free but may cost more to install; others offer lower initial installation costs, but require the expense of tearing off the existing roof and/or regular maintenance once installed.

Clearly, investing in a new roofing system is a major decision that should not be taken lightly. Your choice can determine how long your roof will last, its performance, maintenance, etc. Make sure to research all your roofing options by visiting manufacturers’ web sites and getting their literature or look at independent industry sources – this ensures that you are educated in making the right roofing decision.

Finally, don’t be fooled by lower initial costs. An evaluation of the areas in the following list should help you estimate the real, long-term cost of any roof you are considering.

1. Installation
a. Roof product cost
b. Installation costs (labor & overhead)
c. Tear-off costs (if required)
d. Disposal costs
e. Building disruption costs
2. Long-Term Durability
a. Regular maintenance costs (over 20 years)
b. Roof replacement costs, if life expectancy is less than 20 years
3. Repairs
a. Roof repair costs (estimated over 20 years)
b. Interior damage repairs (estimated over 20 years)
4. Energy Savings
a. Estimated energy savings (over 20 years)
b. Energy rebates/incentives
5. Warranty
a. Cost for 15-year No Dollar Limit (NDL) warranty