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Roof Replacement Arlington Wa

What Determines the Cost of Replacing My Roof?

Not all contractors are created equal. Not all contracts are created equal, either. If you are a homeowner getting estimates to replace your roof, the contractor and the contract are extremely important. Also, if you have received several estimates for replacing your roof, you may be confused about why the cost varies so widely. Here are the determining factors and how Robinson Roofing goes about determining the cost of your roof replacement.

1. Materials

Just like most things that we buy, roofing materials come in many different styles and qualities. At Robinson Roofing, we choose to install roofing products made by GAF, North America’s biggest roofing manufacturer. The quality of any of GAF’s roofing products meets our high standards, and they look beautiful on a roof. 

Roofing shingles are made in many different styles. The most common roofing type used is called architectural composition. Chances are that you know exactly what this type of roofing looks like because it is the most common. But there is more than that when it comes to roofing materials. Architectural composition is the starting point, and the cost of your roofing project will increase based on what you choose. There are Designer composition roofing shingles, standing seam metal roofing, composite roofing tiles, clay tiles, slate, cedar, PVC, Torch Down, TPO, and metal roofing tiles. 

There are more than just roofing shingles that go with a new roofing system. There is underlayment, starter shingles, hip and ridge cap shingles, flashing, nails, and vents. When it comes to other components of a roofing system, we are extremely happy that GAF manufactures many of the supporting components of the roofing system, including underlayment, starter shingles, hip and ridge caps, and ventilation components. This means that our homeowners receive a comprehensive warranty with every component of the roofing system covered by GAF. When it comes to nails and flashing, Robinson Roofing uses the highest-grade materials for the cost. We use electro-galvanized, hot-dipped roofing nails, and we use 26-gauge metal flashing with baked-on enamel paint.

When Robinson Roofing provides you with an estimate for your roof replacement, we account for every component of the roofing system. That way, we are as accurate as possible regarding the cost of the materials.


Least expensive roofing material: Architectural composition.

Most expensive roofing material: Metal and cedar.

2. Cost of Labor 

Roof Replacement Company Arlington Wa

Labor rates can vary between different companies. There is no set rule on what labor rates should be for residential roofing outside of the State’s minimum wage requirements. This is where we believe one of the biggest differences is in your roofing estimates. The cost of labor extends beyond what the installers earn. 

A large portion of the money for your roofing project is allocated to the Department of Labor and Industries, or L&I. L&I helps contractors and workers support those that are injured on the job, leaving you without liability for injuries due to a workplace accident. L&I taxes are a critical cost in your roofing project, especially considering that roofing is the most dangerous job for construction workers.

While you might consider that labor rates can vary greatly between contractors, you might be asking yourself; why do I care? If I can get the job done for less money to the employees, that is their decision to make. What you might want to consider is if the employees are covered by L&I. Without the coverage, you may be liable for injuries that occur while working on your home. This means that you are exposed to a lawsuit if someone is injured while performing work at your home.

At Robinson Roofing, we pay our laborers more than is expected, and they are covered by L&I. We take pride in the fact that roofing is a very difficult job and one we don’t want to shortcut any job. Most of our laborers are single earners in their households and enjoy providing a great life for themselves by working hard.


-Ask your contractor if the employees are covered by L&I.

-Remember that there are no rules to how much employees are paid outside of minimum wage.

3. Pitch of the Roof

The steepness of your roof determines a big part of your roofing project. The steeper the roof, the longer the project will take, which means more cost. Making sure to account for extra time is important in determining cost. Some roofs can be installed quite easily by standing on the roof decking and installing the roofing system piece by piece. Steeper roofing requires building stands to perch on while performing the installation. In addition to the installation process taking longer for steeper roofs, the roof removal process can take longer.

Steep roofs have another time factor to them, disposing of the waste and bringing the new material to the roof. Steep roofs require dropping all roof debris to the ground and handloading it to the dumpster. With lower-sloped roofs, most, if not all, of the debris can be tossed from the roof directly into the dumpster, saving time and money for the cost of labor. In addition to debris removal and disposal, getting the new roofing materials up to the roof is also labor-intensive. Oftentimes, a very steep roof requires using special equipment to hoist the new roofing materials to the roof, one piece or bundle at a time.

While you cannot choose the steepness of your roof once you own your home, you can have a better understanding of how the cost may be affected by how steep the roof is. At Robinson Roofing, we account for the time required for the roofing project to be completed to our high standards.


-Roof pitches are measured with rise over run, using 12 inches as the run and the other number as the rise.

-0/12-2/12 pitched roofs are considered flat.

-3/12-7/12 pitched roofs are considered moderate slope or pitch.

-8/12 and up-pitched roofs are considered extremely steep slopes or pitches.

4. Accessibility

How close can we get to your roof? Do you live in an extremely rural area?  Are there obstacles or power lines in the way of access to your home and roof? Accessibility to your home and roof can factor into the cost of your roof replacement project, and it goes hand in hand with the cost associated with the pitch of your roof. Sometimes we cannot get close enough to a home to easily throw away the old roofing waste, even if the roof is lower-sloped and easily worked on. Labor to bring materials down a path or haul away the waste is a large factor in determining your roofing cost. Also, the most efficient way of having materials delivered to your home is by having all of the materials delivered at once by a large truck. If the truck cannot make it to your home due to the rural conditions, the cost of delivering the materials increases.

Again, you cannot choose the location of your home once you live there, but you can try to plan for these additional costs by offering alternatives to accessing your property. Maybe some pruning to vegetation can be easily done, or you can palletize the materials at your property before the roofing crew shows up.

Robinson Roofing accounts for access to your home. It is one of the factors we consider from the time we give you an estimate, avoiding surprise costs to your roofing project.

5. Other Material(s) Needed

Robinson Roofing Roof Replacement Arlington Wa

Roofs have many components to them, and one of the most important parts of a roofing system is the decking. The decking is usually plywood or OSB boards, which are 4ft by 8ft sheets that cover the rafters or trusts. This part of the roof is considered the envelope. If your roof is leaking, there is a good chance that some of the deckings need to be replaced. Sometimes this is not obvious until the old roof is removed. Other factors to decking replacement are poor ventilation or moisture problems.

Poor ventilation and moisture accumulation can cause the roof decking to degrade. Decking replacement may be necessary in this case and will increase the cost of the project. It is important to create a ventilation plan to circulate air to and through the attic constantly. Other materials for a roofing system include products for your attic.

Intake baffles, bird blocks, and other ventilation components are sometimes necessary to create a flow of air through your attic. Luckily, Robinson Roofing can usually spot the potential need for some of the products before the work begins so that you are provided with an accurate estimate from the start.


-Supporting materials may be needed to provide a good roofing system.

-Decking replacement is the most common product to replace on a roof.

6. Company Profit

Private businesses require profit to pay staff, laborers, marketing, materials, taxes, utilities, equipment, longevity, and so on. You already know this. What you might not know is that roofing is one of the most competitive construction trades. When it comes to roofing, receiving estimates is relatively straightforward, and it is easy to receive 3 to 4 estimates. That being said, not all contractors are created equal, and not all contracts are created equal either.

Some businesses require more or less profit depending on all of the factors of running a business. As stated earlier, you may receive several estimates for what seems to be the same job, and the figures are nowhere near close. What you might ask yourself is; how exactly did the contractor determine the cost of the roof replacement? Some companies do what is called ‘per square pricing,’ meaning they estimate the job based on the size of the roof. Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? However, if you consider your roof as a system of materials with costs associated with the level of difficulty, accessibility, supporting materials needed, and a company’s need for profit, you will understand that size alone does not determine the cost.

At Robinson Roofing, we pride ourselves on our estimation process. We account for every piece that will come off of your roof and every piece we will install. We consider the level of difficulty to provide a great finished product, and we know what we need to profit to be a successful business. We provide clearly written estimates that are easy to understand and are guaranteed by the biggest manufacturer in North America, GAF.


-Roofing is a very competitive business. Receiving multiple estimates is advised.

-The total figure for your project is not all profit. A better way to view the estimated total is to ask, what am I getting for my money, and how did they determine the cost? 

Your Local Roofing Contractors 

At Robinson Roofing, our family-run business takes pride in providing personalized, expert service. We are BBB-accredited and GAF-certified, so customers can rest assured they’re receiving quality work. From minor patch jobs to complete roof replacements, we offer a wide variety of services at competitive prices, plus offer roof financing and convenient payment plans. No matter what your roofing needs may be, our friendly roofing specialists strive to meet them with great attention to detail, ensuring satisfaction every step of the way.

We offer a wide range of residential roofing services, including:

  • Roofing Installations
  • Roof Repair Services (roof leaks, storm damage, etc.)
  • Roof Inspections
  • Roof Replacement Services
  • And More!

Contact Robinson Roofing to receive a roof replacement estimate, and we will show you how easy financing your project can be.

Posted on by Robinson Roofing
What Determines the Cost of Replacing My Roof?

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