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How Much Does a Commercial Roof Replacement Cost?

 •  8 min read


Jonathon Lemoine

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If you own a commercial property, the roof is an integral part of your building's structure and plays a key role in its longevity. A well-maintained roof will last for years, but eventually, it may need to be replaced when it has reached the end of its life cycle. In this article, we explore all aspects of commercial roof replacement including what factors contribute to the cost and why it might be necessary.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Commercial Roof?

Commercial roofs come in various materials and have different lifespans depending on the type. Built-up roofs (BUR) are one of the most common types used in commercial settings and generally last around 20 years with proper maintenance. Other popular commercial roofing material choices include modified bitumen, metal roofs, and single-ply membranes which can range from 10-30+ years depending on the material chosen.

Which Roof Lasts Longest?

Metal roofs typically last 20-30 years with proper maintenance, while tile roofs can last 40-50 years or more. Single-ply roofs are also a popular option due to their durability, but they can only last around 10-15 years before needing repair or replacement. Built-up bituminous roofing systems tend to be very long-lasting and can sometimes reach over 50 years.

No matter what type of roof you choose for your commercial property, investing in a high-quality product with excellent warranty coverage and carrying out annual inspections is essential to keep it performing optimally throughout its lifespan. 

What Does A Commercial Roof Replacement Cost?

The cost of a commercial roof replacement can vary greatly depending on several factors such as the size of the roof, the type of materials used, and the complexity of the installation process. Generally, the average cost ranges from $5 to $12 per square foot.

For example, a 10,000-square-foot roof replacement can cost anywhere between $50,000 to $120,000. It is important to get multiple quotes from reputable roofing companies to ensure you are getting a fair price. In addition, investing in a high-quality and durable roofing material can save you money in the long run by avoiding frequent repairs and replacements.

What Affects The Cost Of Commercial Roof Replacement?

Roof Angle

When it comes to replacing a commercial roof, one of the major factors that can affect the cost is the angle. A flat roof needs more material and labor than a roof with a slight slope because additional components are needed like a cover board and single-ply roofing membrane. Flat roofs also need extra reinforcement in order to withstand wind loads as they have little or no natural drainage. As such, it’s important to factor in any necessary reinforcements into the project budget when getting an estimate for roof replacement work.

If your building has multiple stories, then access to the roof will be another consideration. You may need scaffolding which means added expense. Similarly, if you're having trouble accessing certain parts of the roof due to obstructions then this could cause delays and increase the price. Furthermore, depending on what type of material you want for replacement (metal, shingle, etc.), you might require special tools and techniques for installation which may incur higher expenses.

It's essential to get a professional inspection done before starting any kind of repair or renovation on your existing roof. This way, issues such as structural integrity, leakage points, and other potential problems can be identified beforehand. 

Size And Materials

Commercial roofers can provide advice on what type of material is best suited for your particular building structure. Single-ply membrane or thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) are two common types of flat roof replacements used in commercial construction projects. For metal roofing, prices will depend on local availability as well as the grade and type of material chosen.

In terms of foot-in-materials costs, you could expect pricing from $3-$6 per square foot depending on the types of roofing materials chosen for your project. Asphalt shingle roofs may cost more than single-ply membranes due to their higher quality components. Additionally, some commercial buildings require additional insulation layers which also adds to the overall cost.


Accessibility is an important factor to consider when budgeting for commercial roof replacement costs. After all, if it’s difficult to reach the roof or access certain parts of it without the right equipment, that can add up in terms of labor and materials. To ensure accurate estimates, a thorough inspection should be done by a qualified professional. This will help determine what type of repair or replacement needs to happen as well as any associated accessibility factors.


Underlayment is an important factor to consider when it comes to commercial roof replacement costs. Underlayment provides a waterproof barrier for the roof and serves as protection against wind-driven rain, ice damming, and other weather elements. It also helps protect against UV radiation damage from the sun and can help reduce heat loss in colder climates. There are several types of underlayment used in commercial roofing including asphalt shingle roof replacements, barrel tile roofs, partial roof replacements, built-up roofing (BUR), modified bitumen membranes, etc.

When calculating the cost of a commercial built-up roof or any type of metal roof replacement, you should include the price of the materials needed for installation such as flashings, membrane sheets, sealants, and fasteners. Additionally, labor costs need to be factored in depending on how much work needs to be done to replace the existing surface with new material. Depending on your situation, there may also be additional fees associated with removing debris or hazardous waste caused by tearing off an old surface.

Local Climate

When it comes to the cost of a commercial roof replacement, local climate plays an important role. Depending on where your business is located, you may need to invest in energy-efficient features such as improved insulation or metal roofing systems that can withstand hurricane-force winds. The wide range of materials and warranties available also factor into the total price tag for a solid roofing membrane.

Code Requirements

Code requirements are important for commercial roof replacement because they ensure that the roof is built to withstand the specific environmental and safety conditions of the building's location. Building codes set minimum standards for structural integrity, fire resistance, wind resistance, and other safety factors.

Compliance with these codes is critical for the safety of the building's occupants, as well as for legal and insurance purposes. Failure to comply with code requirements can lead to costly fines or legal liabilities, and can also compromise the integrity of the roof and its ability to protect the building from weather events. Therefore, it is essential to work with licensed contractors who are familiar with local codes and regulations when replacing a commercial roof.


A good warranty can provide an extra layer of protection for your investment, as well as peace of mind that the work will be done right and last for many years. Most roofing companies offer warranties on their commercial roofing installations, so it's worth researching what type of coverage they include in their warranty agreement.

The average price ranges vary greatly depending on the type of roofing material used and the condition of the existing board installation. If you have a board installation in poor condition, then you may incur additional costs above and beyond the cost of materials alone. For example, if rafters or joists need replacing due to rot or water damage it could add significantly to the total cost of a new roof. 

Roof Replacement And Repair Services

LeMoine Roofing & Construction offers roof and fascia replacement and repair services. We specialize in quality composition shingles, single-ply torch-down systems and metal roofs. We can assess your roof structure and help you select the right materials based on the weather conditions at your site and your budget. You can choose from large selection of styles. We handle both residential and commercial roof replacements and repairs in greater western Washington from Bellingham down to Vancouver.

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