What is the Cheapest Roof to Install? Expert Insights on Cost-effective Roofing Options

When it comes to installing a new roof for your home, cost is often a primary concern. With various roofing materials available in the market, selecting the most cost-effective option without sacrificing quality and durability can be challenging. This article aims to help you navigate your choices and find the cheapest roof to install that suits your needs and budget.

Roofing Experts - New & Replacement Roofs, Roof Repairs

Considering the long-term performance and lifespan of roofing materials is important while assessing the cost. Factors such as the shape, pitch, and size of your roof can also influence the overall price. In general, it’s crucial to strike a balance between upfront costs and lasting value to ensure you’re making a wise investment for your home.

The cheapest roofing materials available are bitumen sheets for pitched roofs and roofing felt for flat roofs. However, taking lifespan and performance into account, concrete roof tiles can often provide better value for pitched roofs, while EPDM membranes are a more cost-effective choice for flat roofs. Throughout the rest of the article, we will delve deeper into these options and discuss their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding Roofing


When it comes to choosing a roofing material for your home, there are several factors to consider. Your budget, the style of your house, and your preferred durability will all impact your decision. In this section, we’ll explore some of the most common roofing materials and their advantages and disadvantages.

Bitumen Roofing Sheets: This is the cheapest roofing material for a pitched roof per square metre. While it may be affordable, its lifespan is shorter compared to other materials. Bitumen roofing sheets are ideal for sheds and garages but may not be suitable for residential homes.

Concrete Roof Tiles: Although slightly more expensive than bitumen sheets, concrete roof tiles offer better value in terms of lifespan. These tiles are a popular choice for pitched roofs and can last for many years with minimal maintenance. However, they are heavier than other materials, so it is essential to ensure that your roof structure can support their weight.

Tiled Roofs: Tiled roofs are an attractive option and come in various materials such as clay, concrete, and slate. They provide excellent insulation and have a long lifespan. However, they can be costly to install and may require additional maintenance.

When selecting a roof covering, it is crucial to consider the specific needs of your property. Factors like climate, structural requirements, and aesthetic preferences will undoubtedly influence your decision. By researching the different materials available and considering your budget, you can make an informed choice on the best roofing material for your home.

Factors Determining Roof Costs

New Roof Costs London & Surrey

When considering the installation of a new roof for your home, it is important to understand the various factors that impact the total cost. By remaining knowledgeable on these elements, you can make better decisions and minimise your overall expenses.

Size and complexity: The size of your roof plays a major role in determining the cost of installation. Larger roofs will require more materials and labour, resulting in higher costs. Moreover, a complex roof design with multiple angles and slopes can also increase both labour and material cost.

Materials: The choice of roofing materials significantly affects the overall cost of installation. Common materials include metal, slate, and clay tiles, each with varying prices.

Labour costs: The cost of labour is another crucial component to consider. Skilled roofers command higher rates, but their expertise can also save you money in the long run by ensuring your roof is installed correctly and efficiently.

Location: The location of your property can impact the cost of roofing installation due to regional differences in material prices, labour rates, and accessibility challenges. For example, costs tend to be higher in certain areas of the UK compared to others.

Accessibility: Difficult access to your roof can increase installation costs. If your property is located on a steep hill or your roof is several storeys high, additional equipment or safety measures may be required, adding to the labour and material expenses.

When planning a roof installation, it’s essential to obtain multiple quotes from reputable providers to ensure you’re getting a fair price. Keep in mind the mentioned factors while comparing the quotes, as these will directly influence the overall cost per m² for your new roof. By staying informed and making well-informed choices, you can keep your roofing costs under control while ensuring the best results for your home.

Popular Low-Cost Roofs


When considering a roof replacement, it’s important to choose cost-effective and durable materials. One of the cheapest roofs to install is the flat roof. Flat roofs are typically less expensive than other roofing styles, as they generally require fewer materials and take less time to construct. Furthermore, flat roof replacement costs are usually lower than those of pitched roofs due to their simpler design.

The cheapest roofing material for a pitched roof per square metre is bitumen roofing sheets. However, considering their shorter lifespan, concrete roof tiles offer the greatest value for your money.

In addition to materials, labour costs also play a role in determining the overall cost of a roof replacement. Typically, roofers charge between £25 and £35 per hour or £200 to £280 per day. The final costs are influenced by factors such as the roof style, its size, and the type and quality of materials used.

To help lower your flat-roof installation costs, compare quotes from multiple local contractors, and consider factors such as their experience, reputation, and warranties offered. Additionally, the timing of your roof replacement can impact costs; offseason installations may be cheaper as contractors are likely to offer discounts during slower periods.

In summary, popular low-cost roofing options include flat roofs, bitumen roofing sheets and concrete roof tiles. When deciding on the best option for your home, consider factors such as material costs, labour costs, and the potential lifespan of the chosen materials. Remember to compare quotes from multiple contractors and consider the timing of your installation to save even more on your roof replacement cost.

Types of Cheapest Roofs


Flat Roofs

Flat roofs are an affordable option for many homeowners. They can be constructed using various materials such as PVC, bitumen, and fibreglass. Bitumen roofing sheets are typically the cheapest material per square metre. However, flat roofs generally have a shorter lifespan compared to pitched roofs and may require more frequent maintenance.

Pitched Roof

A pitched roof is typically more expensive upfront than a flat roof, but it can be a more cost-effective choice in the long run due to its durability and longer lifespan. Concrete roofing tiles are a reasonably priced option for pitched roofs, offering good value for money over time.

Metal Roofs

Galvanized steel is a relatively inexpensive metal roofing material. Though metal roofs may cost more upfront than other options, they have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance. Zinc is another affordable choice amongst metal roofing materials that offers corrosion resistance and a modern aesthetic.

Synthetic Roofs

Synthetic roofing materials, such as polymer and rubber composites, can offer a budget-friendly alternative to natural materials like slate and clay tiles. They are lightweight, easy to install, and can imitate the appearance of their natural counterparts.

Concrete Roof Tiles

Concrete roof tiles can be a more economical option for pitched roofs over time, as they offer a balance of affordability and durability. As a cheaper alternative to natural slates and clay tiles, concrete tiles provide lasting value for homeowners on a budget.

In conclusion, there are various options for homeowners seeking affordable roofing materials. The most budget-friendly choices include flat roofs (bitumen), pitched roofs (concrete tiles), metal roofs (zinc and steel), synthetic roofs, and concrete roof tiles. Your choice will depend on your budget, aesthetic preferences, and long-term goals for your home.

Various Aspects of Roof Design and Build


When it comes to designing and building a roof, several factors come into play. From the structural design to construction and building regulations, it is essential to consider all these aspects. In this section, we will discuss various roof designs and their components, as well as the building regulations that affect their construction.

A crucial element in designing a roof is its structural design, which involves selecting the appropriate roof style for your needs. There are several popular roof designs, with gable and hip roofs being the most common. Gable roofs offer good roof space and are strong, stable, and easy to construct. In contrast, hip roofs are more complex to build but provide better stability and resistance to wind.

The construction of a roof involves using various components such as battens, valleys, hips, and ridge tiles. Battens are horizontal members that support the roof covering and are typically made of timber or metal. Valleys and hips are the internal and external angles formed by the intersection of roof slopes, and ridge tiles are used to cover the apex of the roof where two slopes meet.

The pitch of the roof, which refers to its slope, plays a significant role in the overall roof design. Roofs with a steeper pitch generally have better water runoff and better resistance to heavy rain and snow loads. However, steep roofs also require more materials, result in higher costs, and have more complex construction processes.

Building regulations are important to consider when designing and constructing a roof. These regulations ensure that the roof meets safety and performance standards, such as structural stability, fire resistance, and insulation requirements. Make sure to consult your local building authority for specific regulations that apply to your project.

To summarise, when designing and building a roof, it’s essential to keep various aspects in mind, such as the roof style, construction components, pitch, and building regulations. By considering all these factors, you can create a safe, functional, and aesthetically pleasing roof for your property.

Lifetime and Performance of Cheapest Roofs


When considering the cheapest roofing options, it’s crucial to take into account their lifespan and performance. This section will provide you with an overview of the most affordable roofing materials and their ability to withstand different weather conditions, energy efficiency, and the potential need for re-roofing or replacement.

Bitumen Roofing Sheets

Bitumen roofing sheets are one of the most cost-effective choices for a pitched roof per square metre. However, they may not provide the longest lifespan in comparison to other materials. Bitumen sheets can endure various weather conditions but may require more frequent replacements or re-roofing over time.

Concrete Roof Tiles

Concrete roof tiles offer a more affordable option than some other types of roofing materials whilst still providing a good lifespan. Although they may be slightly pricier initially compared to bitumen sheets, they generally offer better long-term value when accounting for replacements and re-roofing needs. These tiles can withstand diverse weather conditions and require less maintenance.

Roofing Felt

For flat roofs, roofing felt is the most budget-friendly option available. While its initial cost is low, it may not offer the best performance in terms of weather resistance and energy efficiency. Over time, the need for re-roofing or replacement may be more frequent with this material than with other, more costly options. However, it still offers a viable choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive solution.

It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each of these roofing materials before making a decision. While some options may offer a lower initial cost, they could require more frequent maintenance, re-roofing or replacements, which may not be ideal for you in the long run. Always consider the local climate, the structure of your home, and your priorities regarding performance and energy efficiency when choosing the most suitable and cost-effective roofing option for your property.

How Homeowners Can Save on Roof Costs


DIY Roofing

One option for saving on a new roof is to consider DIY roofing. A homeowner with some experience in construction or roofing can significantly cut costs by doing the work themselves. This may include tasks such as ridge tile replacement, which ranges from £100 to £350 per square meter. However, it’s essential to weigh the risks and ensure you have the appropriate skills and tools for the job. Incorrect installation can result in additional long-term costs, so it’s wise only to undertake DIY roofing if you’re certain of your capabilities.

Opting for Local Roofers and Quotes

Getting quotes from multiple local roofers can help you find the best deal on your new roof. By comparing prices for services and materials in your area, you’ll be able to determine the most cost-effective option for your home. Local roofers may also have knowledge of regional weather patterns and suitable materials for your specific location. Make sure to verify the roofers’ NFRC (National Federation of Roofing Contractors) membership to ensure quality services. Comparing roofing quotes based on factors such as experience, materials, and warranty will enable you to make an informed decision.

Considering Environmentally Friendly Options

Environmentally friendly roofing options may save you money on your new roof costs, both upfront and in the long-term. When looking for cost-effective materials, consider options like concrete roof tiles or bitumen roofing sheets. Concrete tiles offer value for money in the long run, while bitumen sheets are the cheapest material per square metre for pitched roofs. Additionally, adding insulation to your new roof may increase the initial cost but can result in substantial energy savings over time. With proper insulation, your home’s heating and cooling costs will decrease, ultimately cutting down your overall expenses.

To conclude, while new roof costs and roof repair expenses can be a major budget item for homeowners, there are various ways to save money. Exploring DIY options, seeking multiple roofing quotes from local contractors, and considering environmentally friendly materials and insulation will help in finding the cheapest and most suitable roofing solution for your home.


New roof options London & Surrey

Bitumen roofing sheets are an economical choice for pitched roofs per square metre. However, when taking lifespan into account, concrete roof tiles offer better value for your money. If you have a flat roof, roofing felt is the cheapest option due to its low initial investment, but performance may not be at par.

Clay roofing materials typically cost between £12.50 to £24 per square foot, with more exotic clay tiles being more expensive. Another option is concrete tiles, which are made by mixing sand, cement, and water, and differ from clay tiles in terms of their water absorption rate.

In 2023, although roof installation costs may have increased due to supply shortages and labour costs, it’s worth evaluating the style, size, and type of materials, along with your budget and preferences, to make the best decision for your home.

Remember, your final choice should be based on balancing the initial investment, maintenance, and performance of the roofing material, as well as considering the specific requirements of your project. By weighing these factors, you can make an informed decision and set up the best roofing solution for your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about new and replacement roof

What are some affordable roofing materials?

Some affordable roofing materials include bitumen roofing sheets, concrete roof tiles, and roofing felt. These materials have lower initial costs and can be suitable for homeowners on a budget.

What is the most cost-effective roofing solution?

The most cost-effective roofing solution depends on various factors such as the longevity, durability, and maintenance of the materials. For pitched roofs, concrete roof tiles can offer good value for money due to their long lifespan. For flat roofs, EPDM membranes may be a cost-effective option when considering performance and lifespan.

How much does it cost to install a roof per square metre?

The cost to install a roof per square metre depends on the type of material being used. For example, bitumen roofing sheets are typically cheaper than concrete roof tiles. However, it’s important to consider factors like lifespan and maintenance costs when determining the overall cost-effectiveness. The average roof installation cost in the UK is around £5,000-£8,500.

Which roof tiles offer the best value?

Concrete roof tiles generally offer the best value due to their long lifespan, relatively low cost, and low maintenance requirements. They can provide a cost-effective option when considering performance and longevity.

What is the least expensive option for a flat roof?

Roofing felt is the least expensive option for a flat roof. It offers a very low initial investment, making it attractive for those on a tight budget. However, when considering factors like performance and lifespan, EPDM membranes may be a more cost-effective choice.

What are some low-maintenance roofing options?

Low-maintenance roofing options include metal roofing . Metal roofs typically require less care than other materials and can last up to 50 years with minimal maintenance.