Smart Ways to Reduce Roof Replacement Cost in Los Angeles

Roofs are one of the more taken-for-granted parts of our homes. Most of us ignore them until there are signs of an issue, which will happen when it starts raining. Only once the water starts dripping from the ceiling, do you know there’s a problem and turn your attention upward.

Regardless of whether your roof is already leaking or you’re planning ahead toward the rainy season, the first thing homeowners usually want to know about roof replacement is the roof replacement cost in Los Angeles or Southern California.

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable roofing contractors, we get inquiries every day about roofing costs in the area– here are some key points you need to know.

Key Takeaways

  • Roof replacement costs vary widely, influenced by house size, roof complexity, and materials. While larger houses may incur lower costs, unique materials, additional repairs, or intricate roofs can escalate expenses.
  • Roofing material significantly affects costs. Asphalt shingles incur lower expenses than concrete tiles, with labor costs varying based on material intricacy. The common local choices in Los Angeles include concrete tile and asphalt shingle.
  • Unexpected repairs, influenced by hidden damages or added features like chimneys, skylights, or bay windows, can increase replacement costs. Climate, roofing season, and the need for permits also play roles.
  • Roofs lasting 15-30 years may need roof replacement after 20+ years, even without leaks. Visible wear, such as cracks or granule loss in shingles, indicates aging. Neighbor replacements or plans for solar panels can be prompts for assessment.
  • Most cities require roofing permits. Choosing a reputable contractor is crucial, considering regulations, quality, and adherence to building codes. Homeowners’ associations may also have specific requirements.
  • Consider HOA guidelines and neighborhood aesthetics when choosing roofing materials. Maintaining cohesion with the community prevents potential impacts on home resale value.
  • Seek referrals from trusted sources, and consider firms like GreatBuildz for screened and recommended contractors. Asking detailed questions about repair or replacement, estimates, permits, and safety measures is essential when selecting a roofing professional. Ensure they have liability and workers’ compensation insurance.

How Much is the Average Roof Replacement Cost in Los Angeles?

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The average roof replacement cost in Los Angeles is $8,000 to $30,000. This is a big range of pricing, and your roof replacement cost could be higher or lower depending on several variables. The first thing to consider is counter-intuitive: roof replacement costs on a larger house will often be less than on a smaller house. Let me explain: If you have a single-story house, the size of your roof is often bigger than on a two-story house (which only has one roof that covers both stories).

With that being said, a second or third-story roof is higher and might be harder to access, so labor costs could increase to some extent. Also, roofs with a steeper pitch could require extra safety precautions for the roofer, adding to the cost. Finally, homes with complicated roofs would be more expensive as they require more labor and materials to deal with items like multiple chimneys, skylights, dormers or protruding bay windows, extra flashing or valleys/gutters, etc.

When a roofer gives you an estimate to replace a roof, it will generally encompass all aspects of the job including:

  • Labor, which Forbes reports makes up to 60% of the price
  • Materials
  • Demolition
  • Waste removal
  • Any other supplies they may use

And when it comes to measuring the size of your roof, they usually calculate it using a measurement called “roofing squares” which equates to 100 SF or 10ft x 10ft sections. If you have a 1000 square foot roof, a roofing company should give you a price for 10 roofing squares. 

How Does Roofing Material Affect the Average Roof Replacement Cost in Los Angeles?

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Roof replacement cost in Los Angeles largely depends on the roofing materials on your current roof. Although there are a number of materials used for roofing including slate, metal, clay tile, and shake, the most common roofs locally are concrete tile and asphalt shingle. The roof replacement cost with an asphalt shingle will be lower than with concrete tile. More likely than not, you will be using the same or similar materials as your current roof. 

With asphalt shingles, the roofer will remove your current roofing material down to the plywood; and then install new shingles. On the other hand, with concrete tile, the roofer will remove your roof tiles, replace the worn felt underlayment (roofing paper), and put those same tiles back. So, with concrete tile roofs, the cost of material is less since the tiles are re-used, but the amount/cost of labor is significantly higher. 

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Related: Composite Roof Tiles

What Other Items Affect the Roof Replacement Cost?

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First and foremost, the size of your roof will dictate the roof replacement cost in Los Angeles. Next, is the difficulty of your specific roof, both in height, pitch, and in complexity. If you choose a unique roofing material, that will obviously increase the roof replacement cost, or if you choose underlayment that is of higher quality.

In addition, once the roofer has removed the roofing material, they will be able to see if there are other portions of the roof that need repair or replacement. For example, if your roof has been leaking, the roofer might find there is rotted, decayed, or damaged plywood on the roof which needs replacement. Also due to wind, water, or termite damage, they could also recommend the repair or replacement of fascia boards, gutters, flashings, etc. Just make sure you acknowledge that these surprises can increase your roof replacement cost.

When researching “roof replacement cost near me”, make sure that you’re looking at roof replacement cost pricing for Los Angeles or Southern California, as these areas will be more expensive than other parts of the country. And keep in mind that replacing your roof during ‘the rainy season’ could cost more because roofing companies are especially busy during this time of the year. Ideally, you might want to re-roof during the summer months.   

roof replacement cost exterior

Seasonal Considerations

Understanding the impact of seasons on roof replacement is crucial for homeowners navigating this significant investment. Seasonal considerations play a pivotal role in both cost-effectiveness and the overall success of the project.

Summer Advantage

Opting for roof replacement during the summer months offers several advantages. Dry weather conditions are conducive to efficient installation, ensuring that roofing materials adhere properly. Contractors are often more available during this season, reducing potential delays. Additionally, homeowners may find competitive pricing as demand tends to be lower compared to the peak of the rainy season.

Winter Challenges

Conversely, winter poses challenges for roof replacement projects. Cold temperatures can affect the flexibility of certain roofing materials, potentially impacting the installation process. Snow and ice accumulation (in colder parts of California) may hinder accessibility to the roof, leading to delays and increased labor costs. However, scheduling a roof inspection during winter can help identify issues early, allowing homeowners to plan for a more suitable replacement timeframe.

Fall and Spring Considerations

Fall and spring offer a balance, with moderate temperatures and fewer weather-related obstacles. However, spring is often a popular time for roof replacements, potentially resulting in higher demand and increased costs. Homeowners should carefully weigh these factors and consult with contractors to determine the optimal seasonal window for their specific roofing needs.

When Do I Need to Replace My Roof?

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If you haven’t replaced or repaired your roof in 20+ years, it’s time to start thinking about getting it inspected by a local roofer, even if you’ve had no leaks. Most roofs in SoCal will likely last for 15-30 years, depending on the roofing shingle material. It’s easy for an experienced roofer in Los Angeles to take a quick peek at your roof and give you an assessment. For a tile roof, they would actually lift off a few easily accessible tiles and look at the condition of the roofing paper underneath. If they find that it’s getting brittle (baked by the sun/heat), that’s probably a sign that it’s nearing its useful life.

With an asphalt shingle roof, you might be able to see issues just by looking at the roof. If you see any cracking, deformation, or ‘waviness’ in the roofing material, that’s a sign it’s starting to wear out. Also, once the little ‘sand-like’ granules that make up the shingle start coming off (or the shingle starts to look bare), that’s another sign it won’t last much longer. 

Another clue that you might need a roof replacement soon is when you start seeing your neighbors replacing their roofs, as most communities were built around the same time. Or if your neighbors start complaining or leaks after a rainstorm. Of course, if you see any damage to your roof shingles, flashing, etc. after a windstorm or rainstorm, that’s another sign that you’ll need some roof repair. 

If you’re thinking about installing solar panels on your roof, it’s a good idea to find out if your roof is getting old. The last thing you want to do is install solar panels on top of an old roof and have it start leaking shortly thereafter. Then you’d be required to remove the solar panels to replace the roof; a major headache. 

Do I Need a Roofing Permit in Los Angeles and Southern California?

Most cities require a permit to re-roof your home, so make certain that the roofing contractor you choose will secure and pay for this permit in their scope of work and cost estimate. The city building department inspector will also come back after the work is complete to sign off (or “final) on the completed job if it is completed according to the building code. Make sure to ask your roofer for a copy of this final sign-off before paying their final invoice.   

Which Roofing Shingles Do I Choose?

Firstly, remember that if you live in an HOA (homeowners association), your community probably has CC&Rs (design guidelines), and you, therefore, have to abide by their requirements for roof material, color, shape, etc. You may even need to get HOA approval before replacing your roof, so start by inquiring with your association or property management company.

Equally as important is the look and style of the roofs in your neighborhood. Unless you desire to stick out like a sore thumb, you’ll want to go with similar materials as the homes in your neighborhood. If you go with a strange-looking material (or color) as compared to their neighbors, that could adversely affect your home’s resale value. 

How Do I Choose a Good Roofer in Los Angeles?

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Requesting referrals from trusted acquaintances, neighbors, or coworkers is a good place to start when looking for a quality roofing company. If you’re looking for recommendations on social media, you should only consider the comments of “real-life” friends. People you do not know tend to be biased; for example, they may promote their brother’s roofing company.

Consider working with a firm like GreatBuildz that performs extensive roofer screening and gives customized introductions to reputable Los Angeles and SoCal roofing contractors. It is not advisable to choose a roofer at random from an advertisement in your junk mail or a national contractor directory. Roofing costs in Los Angeles are significant and you don’t want to have someone do a shoddy job.

Questions to Ask a Los Angeles Roofer About Roof Replacement Costs

  • Is this roof repairable or does it need to be replaced?
  • How old do you think this roof is and how much life does it have left?
  • Can you please break down your roof replacement cost estimate into labor and materials?
  • Will you be in charge of getting a permit and final inspection from the city?
  • Can you give me some references for some recent roof clients?
  • How long is your workmanship guarantee? How long is the roofing material guarantee from the manufacturer?
  • How long will it take to re-roof my house? 
  • Will you be working every day until you’re done?
  • Will you cover/tarp my roof if there is any chance of rain?
  • What will you do if you break any concrete tiles while working on my roof?
  • What are your safety procedures?
  • Do you have both liability and workers’ compensation insurance?

Pro-tip: NEVER hire a roofing company without liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Roofing is a very dangerous profession, and if there is an accident on your job, you could be liable if the contractor doesn’t have adequate insurance.

Related: Never Make These Renovation Mistakes

When it comes to finding the best roofer for your project – GreatBuildz is simplifying the contractor search. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened contractors and provides project support from start to finish.


Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information:

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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