How much a new roof costs and how to finance It

A simple but comprehensive guide to roof materials, roof financing and government-supported PACE programs in California


The recent trend of replacing roofs in California has been stimulated by a combination of affordable financing and a new homeowner’s awareness of the need to replace old and run-down roofs. While most people opt for the same roof material they've always had, many homeowners are using the opportunity of replacing their roofs to examine the possibility of choosing something different.

Types of roofs

Here we concentrate on the most common roof materials used and steer away from the many less conventional new and old roof materials, such as green roofs and solar shingles.

  • Composite asphalt shingles:

    The most common and popular roofing material. You will find them on over 80% of homes in the U.S.

    • Pros: Relatively inexpensive and easy to install and replace
    • Cons: They come in varying qualities, but generally do not last as long as some of the other options and provide poor insulation
    • Lifespan: 10 - 30 years
    • Price: $5 per square foot

  • Find out if you are eligible for PACE roof financing

    5,428 have already checked and 78% were eligible

  • Clay and concrete tiles:

    Traditionally made from terracotta clay, today they are also available in fired ceramics and concrete. They are very popular in the southern states but can be found throughout the U.S.

    • Pros: Looks great, fire resistant and a long lifespan
    • Cons: Requires additional framing because of its heavy weight, and liable to break when walked on
    • Lifespan: 40 - 50 Years
    • Price: $15 - $20 per square foot
  • Metal roofing:

    These are sheets of metal that come in aluminum, zinc, stainless steel and copper. They are found on many homes throughout the U.S.

    • Pros: Fireproof, durable, low maintenance, can be used to collect rainwater
    • Cons: Can be dented by heavy hail
    • Lifespan: 30 - 50 years
    • Price: $10 - $20
  • Slate:

    Made from actual flat slabs of slate stone, they are usually found on higher end homes because of the cost.

    • Pros: Durable, fireproof and mold resistant
    • Cons: Heavy, can break when walked on
    • Lifespan: Over 100 years
    • Price: $10 - $70 per square foot
  • Wood shingles and shakes:

    Made from natural woods such as cedar and pine. Shingles are a thinner version of shakes.

    • Pros: Lightweight, rustic
    • Cons: Susceptible to fires and mold
    • Lifespan: 20 -30 years
    • Price: $7- $12 per square foot
Roof constructors building a roof with orange shinglesfamily time in a living room tent Roofing constructor building a roof with red shingles

Financing options Californians are using to replace their roofs

Home improvement loans from banks or credit unions

Although this option has been around for a while, competition among banks has recently led to better terms and lower interest rates. This has become one of the best ways to finance your project if you are looking for a way that's quick, easy and secure.

Personal Loans

These are new unsecured loans that you can get approved fairly quickly. Once approved, you will receive the money almost immediately. The interest rates are mostly fixed, but some offer variable rates. Personal loans usually span between 1 and 7 years.

Home Equity

These are home improvement loans that allow you to borrow up to a certain percentage of your home's value minus what you owe on your mortgage. This option is easy to qualify for and requires no money down.

Contractor Packages

Many contractors offer financing packages to customers who may be unable to pay the full cost of a project upfront. Many contractors will also offer an interest-free option.

PACE government supported program

The Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE as it is known, is a government supported loan program for financing energy efficiency and improvements on private property.

PACE offers the following advantages

  • Prequalified in under 30 minutes
  • 100% financing
  • 0 money down
  • No payments for up to 1 year
  • Up to 25 years to pay back
  • Loan based on your home’s equity
  • Repay with your property taxes
  • No minimum FICO required

Great ROI across the board

Regardless of what type of roof or financing you choose, it will automatically increase your home's value. The estimated return on investment for a new roof is 85% or more, which is one of the highest ROIs that home improvement has to offer.

return on investment

Master Suite Addition

40%

New Roof

85%

Sunroom Addition

48%

Backyard Patio

47%

Window Replacement

77%

Bathroom Addition

59%

Making the smart choice

As you can see, there are many viable options to choose from when deciding on a roof material for your home. Ultimately, you will need to consider and weigh up criteria such as price, durability, look, budget, type of home, the environment you live in and other parameters. Now that you have the right information, you are equipped to choose the best roof for your home.