Will A New Roof Add Value To My Home?

June 28, 2019

As a licensed real estate agent and a member of the roofing industry, I have often wondered just how much value, if any, a new roof adds to a home. And, from what I can see, I am not the only one. So, I did some research, took my notes, and now I am going to share with you what I found.   


The answer is yes. A new roof will absolutely add value to a house. Looking at Remodeling Magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report, a new asphalt shingle roof, on a national average, added $15,472 resale value and a new metal roof added $23,526 resale value. The cost recouped for an asphalt shingle roof was 68.2% and 60.9% for a metal roof. 


I also found that a new roof can do a whole lot more than add value to your property. Some of the hidden benefits of a new roof include boosted curb appeal, lower insurance premiums, extended warranties and energy efficiency.   


Boosted Curb Appeal


While functionality is great and all, a mentionable benefit to a new roof is increased curb appeal. It is like getting a haircut before a wedding or high school reunion. Sure, getting your haircut is practical but it is also for the look. Curb appeal plays a big role in attracting potential buyers. A new roof is no doubt more expensive than trimming some of the bushes or buying a new mailbox, but it can make a drastic difference. 


Typically, one of the first things a potential buyer will look at is the roof. Making a strong first impression could benefit you in other parts of the property. It is about making your property appealing to the buyer. A house with great curb appeal is much, much quicker to sell and for a higher price than a home with poor curb appeal. 


A new roof can have the same effect on home inspectors. One of the first things home inspectors like to look at is the condition of the property’s roof. Home inspectors look for a number of things in their roof inspection such as: missing, cracked, buckled, chipped, blistered, or curling shingles, rusted flashing, cracked caulk, cracked rubber collars around vent pipes, and flashing around chimneys and skylights. If your roof is fresh off the assembly line and has all the bells and whistles any homebuyer would expect in a modern roof, then areas that are a little shaky in the inspection report may be a little less offensive.   


To add to the new look, you might as well add a few additional upgrades that will attract more buyers. Upgrades may include a new and improved custom ventilation system or dormers and skylights that help with bringing in more natural light. An up-to-date, custom ventilation system is a practical selling point for homebuyers and adds a little more value to the property. Bringing natural light into the home can be a very attractive cosmetic selling point for homebuyers. Natural light is something many buyers are looking for in a home. Both of these upgrades, however costly, will add value to the home and attract more homebuyers.


A new roof will also help your property stand out from other properties for sale in the neighborhood. Marketing your property as having a new roof will attract more buyers. Even if it is an online posting and they can not see the property in person, advertising the new roof will help your property stand out from others listed in the surrounding area. It is kind of like an online curb appeal that will attract more buyers and get your property off the market. 


Lower Insurance Premiums


This may seem like a silly point to make because the majority of you are selling the property you’re thinking about. But let me explain why I included this benefit and why it matters even if you do not plan on keeping the property. 


There are a number of agencies that will offer a discount for homeowners’ insurance premiums when a new roof is installed. They will offer a discount because a newer roof is less likely to have blown off or torn shingles than an older roof. While you can make the argument that a newer roof adds more value to the home and in turn requires higher coverage, that is not necessarily true. A new roof does add value to the home, but because a new roof is less likely to need repair than an older roof, it minimizes the risk taken by the insurer. A homeowner is more likely to make a claim involving an older roof than they would a roof just recently installed. 


There are some restrictions, however. This is only true in certain states and policies vary between agencies. The insurance agencies may only offer a discounted premium if you use a specific product/material like metal or hail resistant shingles. Nevertheless, a discount on homeowners’ insurance, however small, can be just one more marketing point to attract a greater number of potential homebuyers and, in turn, offers. 


Energy Efficiency


The trade industry’s growing understanding of building science and home improvements, alongside advancements in building technology, has greatly improved the energy efficiency of modern homes. A new roof can drastically change the comfort level of a home. However, it all starts with the insulation in the attic space. 


Older homes have blown-in fiberglass insulation that leaks cool/warm conditioned air from the home’s living space to its attic. Air can leak from any area that a wall or ceiling is penetrated such as light switches, power outlets, or ceiling lights. Without being properly sealed, these areas leak conditioned air. To better understand the cost, try to picture each of these areas sucking up a dollar bill every few hours. Over time the costs add up and homeowners are left paying hefty heating and cooling bills. 


In the summer months the HVAC system is struggling to keep up with the never ending battle to pump cool air into the home. In the winter months the HVAC system is fighting to keep up with the heat being lost to air leaks in the attic space. Both seasons overwork the HVAC system and have unnecessary wear and tear. This kind of system leads to a monthly heating and cooling bill that can feel like a small mortgage. So, how does a new roof change that?


A new roof offers a better, modern, custom ventilation system that helps keep warm air in the attic from radiating down into the living space. Now, I could talk ventilation all day.  In fact, I have written an entire blog posting on the subject called Why Attic Ventilation Is Important, but I will keep things brief and just give you the rundown. 


Before I go any further, you need to know that R-values are used to measure how well a material can resist heat flow or, in other words, how well a material can act as an insulator. The greater the R-value, the greater the insulator.  


In the winter months, heat builds up in the attic space due to air leaks and can be further insulated by snow. Snow acts as a natural insulator for heat trapped within the attic. Snow has an average R-value of 1 per inch. Even though snow has a small R-value, 10 inches of snow adds up to an R-value of 10. The result is a whole mess of problems such as ice dams, moisture build up, and mold. 


In the summer months, heat in the attic can lead to a hot roof. Hot roofs occur when the temperature of the attic space is greater than the temperature of the shingles. In a nutshell, hot roofs essentially bake the shingles and cause accelerated aging. A newer modern roof should have a custom ventilation system to prevent any heat build up within the attic space. 


Extended Warranties


In recent decades shingle manufacturers have extended the life of their products to keep up with competition. A newer roof brings with it a newer and longer lasting warranty. Depending on the quality of the material a manufacturer may offer anywhere between a 20 to 50 year warranty. Bee careful, not all warranties are transferable to new property owners. If you are looking to sell the property then you will want to do some investigation. Shop around for a manufacturer that offers high quality product with a transferable warranty. 


Shingle manufacturers will use words like “lifetime”, “limited”, and “prorated”. Let’s define what these words mean to clear up any confusion. When the manufacturer says a “lifetime” warranty they are referencing the period of time which you hold possession of the property. A lifetime warranty will not transfer to a new property owner. When a warranty is labeled as “limited” it means the coverage is dependent on whether the roofing contractor followed proper installation instructions. This does not affect transferability but is important to note. Proration is probably the more difficult of the three to wrap your head around so I am going to type slow and make this as simple as possible. When a warranty is “prorated” it means the available coverage is lessened overtime because the roof is no longer as valuable as it was when first installed. A manufacturer will not cover the replacement of a 10 year old roof the same as they would an identical roof installed a week ago. Finding a great product with a transferable warranty will ensure additional value.


While your average homebuyer may very well know nothing about attic ventilation, energy efficiency, roof warranties or roofing in general, the home inspector will. If the home inspector sees a problem with the home’s roof system they will certainly notify the buyer’s agent. In the long run, you may come to realize your property needs more than just a fresh coat of paint. A new roof may be just what you need to give your property some extra value. Thank you for reading and I hope you found what I learned helpful. Please feel free to ask questions or give your input on the topic in the section below and if you did find this article helpful there is a button for Facebook sharing above the comments.

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