How much does a roof restoration cost?

Finance Journalist · 2 October 2019

Has your roof seen better days? If it’s leaking, lost its colour or requires more than a few repairs, it may be a sign that it needs a restoration. To help you ensure the cost doesn’t go through the roof, here are some factors to consider beforehand.

What is a roof restoration?

The process of restoring a roof typically involves cleaning, repairing and repainting. This is designed to extend the life of your roof, while usually being a cheaper option compared to a full roof replacement. 

A roof restoration is different to a repair or a replacement. For starters, a repair is usually cheaper than a restoration as it typically involves fixing a small problem with the roof, for example repairing a leak. A roof replacement is generally the most expensive option, as it involves totally removing an existing roof and replacing it with a new one. 

How much does a roof restoration cost?

Based on estimates from multiple roof restoration companies, a full roof restoration for an average-sized Australian house will start from around $2,500. Roofing companies typically charge by the square metre, with the price per square metre decreasing for larger areas in some cases. For example, Reliance Roof Restoration says restoration for smaller roofs generally costs $28 to $38 per square metre, medium-sized roofs come in at about $22 to $28 per square metre, and larger roofs cost between $17 and $22 per square metre. 

When determining cost, Mr Hannam says the height of the roof will also be important, as businesses will need a safety rail in order to work on roofs above a certain height. 

Other factors that may impact the price include: 

  • Pitch or steepness of the roof 
  • The amount of repairs required
  • Types of coating required 
  • Accessibility of the roof 

It’s often a good idea to get a couple of quotes from different roof restoration companies or contractors. When doing so, make sure you outline what needs to be done and describe your roof in as much detail as possible.

What are the options to finance a roof restoration?

How you finance a roof restoration may depend on how much work is needed and now much it costs. There are several options available for would-be home renovators to consider, including:

Home loan: If this job is big enough, or you are doing a range of jobs at the same time, one choice you may consider is refinancing or restructuring your home loan, or adding a “line of credit”. For example, depending on your lender you may be able to add a redraw facility to your existing loan (although it’s wise to keep in mind that some fees could apply to any loan changes and there could be redraw limits). Or, you could add an offset account, which could help reduce the interest paid on your loan while still allowing access to your money (although it’s wise to keep in mind there could be some fees involved here, too, and higher interest rates could apply to these types of loans).  Compare home loans with Canstar.

 Personal loan: Depending on your personal circumstances and the cost of the job, you may consider using a personal loan to fund the work. This could be a secured loan, or an unsecured loan. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that interest rates are generally higher for personal loans than for home loans, and it’s a good idea to read the lender’s terms and conditions first. Compare personal loans with Canstar.

Credit card: It may also be possible, depending on the cost and your ability to repay the debt quickly, to pay for the job on a credit card. There could be some fringe benefits for doing so, such as extra insurance cover in some cases (read the card’s Product Disclosure Statement to find out the conditions of the cover). Keep in mind that credit card interest rates are typically much higher than home or personal loans, and interest can quickly accumulate on large balances, so it is a good idea to weigh up your options and consider them carefully. If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay off the card’s balance in full each month, it may be worth re-considering whether a credit card is the right option for you. Compare credit cards with Canstar.

→ Renovating a home could change what insurance cover you may need. Compare home and contents insurance providers.

When do you need a roof restoration?

An obvious sign that a roof might need a restoration can be its cosmetic appearance, according to Matthew Hannam, Director of Roo Roofing

“If you look at your roof and it’s looking degraded, the tiles are looking very porous or they’ve lost their colour, those are good signs that the roof needs to be restored,” Mr Hannam told Canstar. 

Broken roof tiles
Source: Tom Gowanlock (Shutterstock)

Other common signs are a leaky roof, a degrading ceiling – for example, if the plaster is starting to look exposed or if there are nails popping – and cracked bedding and pointing on tiled roofs, he said. 

Roof bedding holds the tiles in place and roof pointing helps create a stronger hold and seal around the tiles, roofing and property maintenance company PorterVac explains.

When do you need a roof replacement?

If you’re unsure whether your roof needs a restoration or a replacement, it can be a good idea to get a professional to carry out an inspection and give their opinion. For example, Mr Hannam noted that it can often be better to replace rather than restore sheet metal roofs and some older tiled roofs. 

“A lot of the time, some of the very older tiled roofs are not worth restoring because, for example, certain designs are less sufficient in keeping moisture out,” he said. 

“We [also] generally recommend replacing rather than restoring sheet metal roofs because a good quality sheet metal replacement can last you 40 years, whereas a restoration is only as good as the paint you’re putting on it.”

What does a roof restoration involve?

Generally speaking, a roofing professional will start by cleaning the roof with a high pressure washer to remove any dirt, algae and mould. 

Secondly, they will repair any damage. For tiled roofs, this can involve replacing any cracked or broken tiles. For sheet metal roofs, this generally involves sealing any leaks or replacing the metal sheeting. Tiled roofs may also require rebedding and repointing. 

The final step is usually repainting or recoating the roof. According to Mr Hannam, this generally involves a general primer, then a filler if it is an older tiled roof, followed by a top coat.

Roof painting
Source: Dmitry Kalinovsky (Shutterstock)

How long does a roof restoration take?

According to Mr Hannam, you’ll need to allow around three to 10 working days for a roof restoration. The exact time it takes to restore your roof may vary depending on factors like what repairs are required, the size of the roof and the weather. 

How long does a roof restoration last?

You can expect a roof restoration to last for approximately 15 years, according to Reliance Roof and Homestyle Roof Painters. Additionally, paint manufacturers will typically give a warranty for the paint used, which can often be for 10 years or more. When seeking out roof restoration quotes, consider double-checking what warranties apply and what you will and won’t be covered for. 

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Main image source: Rob Bayer (Shutterstock)


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