How to calculate the cost of a flat roof

Written by kristie lorette
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How to calculate the cost of a flat roof
Learn how to estimate the cost to add a flat roof. (RG-vc/iStock/Getty Images)

Calculating the cost of a flat roof varies according to the material, size of the roof, the removal of the existing roof, and the time of year you are replacing or adding the roof. Several online calculators can help you calculate the cost of a roof, but you can also work through the steps using simple maths.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure

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  1. 1

    Calculate the size in square metres of the roof. Since the roof is flat, you do not have to worry about adjusting the number for the pitch of the roof. To calculate the area, measure the width and the length of the roof and multiply these two numbers together.

  2. 2

    Identify the type of roofing material you want to use. Some roofing materials include asphalt, steel, aluminium, tile or copper. Go to your local home improvement shop or building supplies retailer to price the roof covering material and adhesive for attaching the materials to the roof. Use the area of the roof to determine how much roofing material you need to complete the job. You should also consider the cost of tools, such as hammers, rollers for spreading the tar and a saw for cutting roof tiles.

  3. 3

    Verify if you will remove the old roof yourself or hire a contractor to remove it for you. Contact local roofers for estimates on tearing off the roof. Also, verify that they take away the debris, and include the price of the skip in the demolition. If you do the work yourself, contact local skip hire companies to determine the rental, delivery and takeaway fee for the skip.

  4. 4

    Identify who will install the flat roof. Determine if you are going to install the roof yourself or hire a roofing contractor to install it for you. If you decide to do the work then you do not need to consider labour costs. If you need to hire a roofing contractor, then contact local roofers to obtain an estimate for installing the roof. Have them send two estimates -- one that includes the cost for materials, and one that only includes the cost of labour, so you can compare the contractor's cost of materials with what you can buy the materials for directly.

  5. 5

    Add up the costs of the material and labour for a total cost estimate of a flat roof.

Tips and warnings

  • If you decide to install the flat roof without hiring a roofing contractor, you may want to consider hiring an assistant or two to help you complete the work. You can hire the assistants as subcontractors.
  • If you use one of the online calculators to help you estimate the cost of installing a flat roof, fill in the information that the calculator requests.

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