How Much Does it Cost to Install a Roof by Yourself?


How Much Does it Cost to Install a Roof by Yourself?

Perhaps you are a do-it-yourself type, and you want to save money on the next big project for your house: a new roof. Before you purchase shingles from your local hardware store and climb onto the roof, you need to consider the investments replacing your roof will require. Roofing requires a number of specialized tools, and if you’re doing it yourself or with a buddy, it can take days to accomplish. Plus, you will want to determine whether it’s worth the risk — considering the money you’ll spend — of you not correctly installing the roof or putting the wrong materials on your home. A roof that is incorrectly installed will age prematurely or let in moisture, which will wreak havoc in your attic space. In that case, you will have to hire a professional anyway.

Below we’ve listed tools and materials you’ll need to complete a roofing job. The list isn’t exhaustive, however. Seam tape, anchors, flashing, a bin for discarded shingles, dumping costs, tarp, and other miscellaneous items are not included in our count.


Price range: $125 to $675

Average cost: $230 (for 32’)

The size and kind of ladder you’ll need will depend on your house. Before choosing a ladder, you will have to take into account

  • Building height
  • Roof pitch
  • Whether the ground is flat or inclined at the base of your house.
  • Multiple gables
  • Storage

In general, the larger the ladder, the more it will cost. Material of the ladder will also affect the price (fiberglass costs more than aluminum). Some ladders also come with adjustable legs that allow them to sit uneven ground — a feature which will also add cost.

The type of ladder will also affect price. Straight ladders are the least expensive ladders available. These are the kinds that simply lean up against a structure. Their positive is that they face the roof or structure. Their negative is that they get unwieldy the taller they become. A 13’ straight ladder will cost you about $125 dollars.

Step ladders (ones that fold out in an A-frame) are slightly more expensive. They, too, can be unwieldy, especially the larger they get. And as a downside, they don’t face the roof; they sit perpendicular to it. However, you can also use them for other purposes because they can stand on their own. You also don’t have to lean them against a structure, which is important if you’re worried about damaging siding. They’re good to get onto single-story roofs without steep slopes.

Extension ladders are straight ladders that collapse for storage. They’re useful to get onto taller roofs, and you can lean them against steep inclines to work on areas you cannot stand. They cost more than step ladders.

Multi-position ladders are the most expensive type of ladder, but they offer the most features. You can use them as workbenches, as straight ladders, as step ladders, and for scaffolding. On the downside, these aren’t as tall as extension ladders. You’ll have a hard time finding any that reach 30’.

Roofing Hatchet / Roofing Hammer

Price range: $12-$200

Average cost: about $30

Roofer’s Utility knife

Price range (Utility Knife): $2.25-$16

Average cost: $15


Price range (blades): $15-$50

Average cost (bowtie blades): $40

Safety Harness and Kit

Price range: $65-$1,650

Average cost: $160


A bare-minimum safety harness is not much more than nylon straps. Better ones have full vests, pockets, and padding for comfort. The most expensive ones are generally for the electrical field.

Low-end safety kits come with a lanyard that you hook onto a safety point. While this may keep you from falling off the roof, it’s no good if you’re constantly moving. More expensive safety kits come with multiple pieces of equipment, such as adjustable lifelines, roof anchors, and adjustable lanyards.

Tape Measurer

Price range: $1.50-$40

Average cost: $16

Chalk Line

Price range: $8.50-$30

Average cost: $10


Price range (Circular Saw): $50-$2,300

Average cost: $150

Price range (reciprocating saw): $40-$1,400

Average cost: $150

Circular saw cuts plywood and OSB sheathing. Reciprocating saws work better for rough demolition.

Roofing Spade

Price range: $13-$270

Average cost: $150

Roofing spades are specialized tools used to pry up and remove old shingles.

Lawn Rake

Price range: $3-$30

Average cost: $15

No, a lawn rake is not a specialized roofing tool, but you will need one to clean up the lawn.

Magnet Sweeper

Price range: $10-$300

Average cost: $100

Roofers use magnet sweepers to pick up stray nails that have fallen to the ground. The lowest-end ones have a round head on a pole, which a person sweeps over the ground. At about $15, you begin seeing push models with wheels.

Pry Bar

Price range: $11-$119

Average cost: $40

Coil Nail Gun

Price range: $65-$1,100

Average cost: $280

Unless you opt to drive in your roof nails by hand, you will want a nail gun.

Hammer Tacker

Price range: $10-$85

Average cost: $30

Use a hammer tacker to tack down roofing felt before putting on the shingles.

Calk Gun

Price range: $3-$660

Average cost: $10

Roofing Felt

Price range: $100-$2,200*

Average cost: $500*

Asphalt Shingles

Price range: $750-$2,250*

Average cost: $1,500*


Price range: $23-$1,623*

Average cost: $50*


Price range: $8-$32*

Average cost: $13*

Total Cost to Do It Yourself

TOTAL: $3,489 (plus tax)

Comparing costs

Contractors’ prices vary, but say a contractor charged $425 per square (100 square feet). For a roof with 1,500 square feet (15 squares), they would charge about $6,375 for the project. Thus, you’d save $2,856 (less the tax) if you replaced the roof yourself.

Again, the “total cost” we calculated here does not include other miscellaneous items you’re sure to need like fuel costs, etc.

If after reading this you’ve realized reroofing your home is too much of a task to handle, call the professionals you can trust, E3 Roofing and Restoration, located in Greenwood, Indiana. We have years of experience installing roofs, and we’ll ensure the right materials go on top of your house and that they’re installed correctly. Contact us for a free estimate.

*For a 1,500-square foot roof