Roof Replacement: What You NEED To Know Before Replacing Your Roof in Australia

Due to the harsh climate within Australia it’s not uncommon for roofs to reach a point where they’re no longer able to withstand the weather elements and need to be replaced.

Apart from being able to protect the interior of your home, if a roof becomes damaged or unstable it can also become a danger to both your family and your neighbours.  When it reaches this point replacing your roof, or what is often known as “re-roofing” should definitely be considered!

To help, I thought I would write an article on everything you need to know about replacing your roof in Australia.

Does my roof need replacing or only repairing?

The first thing you need to establish is whether or not your roof needs repairing, or replacing.  If your roof is in relatively good condition and there is only a section that is having problems, then you may not need to replace your whole roof and it’s possible you just need a roof repair.

However, if you’re unsure then here are some signs to look out for to a whole roof replacement is required:

  • You’re experiencing continuous water leaks or damage from water at numerous spots within the interior of your home;
  • You have a large number of cracked tiles and ridges that need replacing, or if it’s a metal roof then a number of rusted or damaged metal roof sheets that need replacing;
  • Your roof is over considerable age (over 20+ years);
  • Your roof is showing structural issues such as “sagging”.

Benefits of replacing your roof

Below are a list of benefits that can be realised when property owners replace their roofs.

1. No more leaks or mould

mould from a leaking roof that needs replacing
No more mould coming from your leaking roof

Immediately addresses ongoing leaks or water damage within the interior of your property promoting a much safer and healthier home.

Unfortunately, a leaky roof can mean that you have moisture building up in your roof space which can cause mould or mildew to grow.   Unfortunately, the likes of mould can cause health problems for you or your family hence replacing your roof will allow your roof space to dry out, ensuring a much healthier home environment.

2. Improved look and feel

Ridge cap on top of a metal roof

It’s amazing how much a new roof can improve the cosmetics of your property.  If you pick the right colour, I’ve seen some roof replacements totally transform the look and feel of your property, especially those that upgrade from a tiled to tin roof.

3. Return on investment

Although roof replacement can be a costly exercise, the good news is that if you were to sell your home you’re highly likely to recoup your costs.  The reason for this is that a roof that has visible damage or structural issues will devalue your property’s value and discourage potential buyers.

Having a new roof will not instantly improve the look and feel of your property, though it will also increase the value compared to its value prior allowing you to recoup the costs once sold.

4. Increase the energy efficiency of your home

Anticon roof sarking being installed on a metal roof
Anticon insulation installed through the re-roofing process is great for cooling your roof space

Replacing your roof provides you a great opportunity to not only restore your roof to its former glory, though depending on what you opt for, you will also have the opportunity to make your property more energy efficient.

Over the years I’ve been involved in many re-roofs from tiled to metal roofs and during this process homeowners often opt to also install anticon installation in between the metal roof sheets and battens to not only reduce the noise of rain on your new metal roof though to more importantly dramatically reduce the temperature inside your home.  This is a great way to make your roof space much cooler in summer which in turn can reduce your air conditioning costs.

See also: Roof Sarking and Anticon Insulation

5. Safer for you and your family

Safe house in hands

Apart from keeping the interior of your property watertight, roofs also serve the purpose of protecting you from wind damage, falling trees, and debris.

Unfortunately, over time, as a roof ages it’s not always just the tiles or roof sheets that age.  Sometimes, the internal support structure of a roof can also weaken and deteriorate which if not addressed can expose you and your property to unnecessary danger.

Therefore, a roof replacement will ensure both the roof materials and internal structures are safe.

6. Peace of mind…no more worry!

no worries when replacing roof

By installing a new and structurally sound roof you no longer have to worry the next time it rains or there is a storm approaching.  You can finally sit back and relax knowing that both your property and its residents are protected by a new trustworthy roof.

Pre-checks to do prior to choosing a Roofing Contractor

As roof replacements are quite costly, it’s important that you ensure you have a qualified and experienced roof plumber to perform the job.  To help I’ve provided a list of questions to ask your roof plumber, however as they will need a building permit also ensure that they include the building permit application and approval in their quote.

See also: A list of questions to ask your Roofing Contractor

About the roof replacement process

When it comes to replacing your roof in Australia, below is the process that is usually followed (note, this may vary depending on the state you live in):

1. Onsite visit and roof inspection

Prior to the commencement of any work your roofing contractor will do an onsite inspection to validate what work is required in the re-roofing process.  This will usually include the following:

  1. Met the property owner to discuss the process and request plans for the property;
  2. Measure up to confirm what materials are required, including both roofing and structural materials (e.g. timber or metal battens);
  3. Identify what size tarps etc are required to cover up your roof during the roof replacement process;
  4. Identify the size skip bin required for the old roof materials;

2. Submit appropriate building permit paperwork

This may vary depending on what state you’re in, however, in Western Australia laws specify that any roof replacement work requires an approved building permit.  This is the same for both metropolitan areas of Perth and regional Western Australia.  Therefore, after your roofing contractor has performed a site inspection he/she will then work with you to request the appropriate permits and approvals.

3. Insert tie-downs for new roof

If you’re replacing your tiled roof with a metal roof then additional tie downs must be inserted in your wall cavities to meet the requirements of your building permit.  This is due to the fact that a tiled roof is much heavier than a metal roof, hence fewer tie-downs are required for tiled roofs.

4. Removal of old roofing materials

From here your roofing contractor will now begin to strip your old roof tiles or metal sheets off.  Usually, there will be a skip bin positioned near the property where the old tiles or metal roof sheets will be disposed of.

5. Roof structure improvements

Once the old roof materials have been removed, your roof plumber will now start to replace or add additional structural supports and roof battens to support your new roof.  If switching from a tiled to a metal or colorbond roof this is where your roof plumber will also connect to the additional tie-downs inserted within your wall cavities.

6. Installation of new roof

Once structural improvements have been made and new battens installed, your roof plumber will then begin to install your new roof.  Depending on the work required this may include the installation of the following:

7. Site tidy up

During the roof replacement process, it’s pretty common for unwanted roofing materials (such as nails, broken tiles, insulation etc) to either get accidentally dropped into your roof space or scattered around the outside of your property. 

Therefore, at the end of the job ensure that you ask your roof plumber to perform a thorough inspection and clean up as the last thing you want is for you or one of your family members to stand on a rusty nail!

Estimated cost for roof replacement in Australia

The estimated cost of a roof replacement in Australia varies depending on a number of different factors.  Such factors include:

  • The size of your property;
  • The type of roofing materials you wish to use;
  • The pitch of your roof (Companies generally charge more for roofs with a higher pitch);
  • Whether it’s a single or two-story property;
  • The company’s labour costs;
  • Whether you also require your gutters and downpipes to be replaced;
  • Whether you need new roof sarking or Anticon insulation added;

However, to give you an idea, at the time of writing this article, you would be looking at the below as a high-level estimate for an average single-story house in Australia.  Note, this includes both the removal of the old roof and install of the new one.

  • $8,000 to $12,000 to replace an existing metal roof with new colorbond;
  • $25,000 – $30,00 to replace a tiled roof with new colorbond;

To get a better idea of the exact costs I’d recommended doing some more research online or reaching out to local roof replacement companies in your area for a more accurate estimate.

Can I stay in my house while my roof is getting replaced?

Due to safety concerns, it’s always best to ensure your house is empty when your roof is getting replaced.  This is due to the fact that due to the roof replacement process, roofing materials or roofing timbers could accidentally fall from the roof, through the ceiling space, and into the interior of your home.

Of course, this is unlikely, though I have seen it happen a number of times so it’s recommended to stay out of your housing whilst your roof is getting replaced.

Roof replacement and Solar Panels

When it comes to replacing your roof everything that is installed on top of your roof needs to be removed.  Unfortunately, this includes your solar panels. 

However, as solar panels are popular amongst property owners these days, an experienced roofing company will be able to facilitate this process with most reputable companies having connections with solar panel installers to be able to safely remove and re-install your solar panels.

Note, if you have just recently had your solar panels installed, it’s best to try and use the same company just in case such works invalidate your warranty of workmanship guarantees.

In Australia, can you claim roof replacement through insurance?

The short answer to this is that it depends.  Insurance companies won’t just cover the cost of replacing your roof from old age, though if there is a storm that causes widespread damage to your roof then this is something that should be covered.  Note, I say should as insurance policies vary from one company to another hence to answer this question it’s always best to discuss directly with your property’s insurance provider.

See also: Roofing Insurance in Australia: All Your Insurance Questions Answered (create this page)

Roof replacement businesses across Australia

If you’re looking for a company to provide a quote on replacing your roof then your best bet is to jump on trusty old goggle, or alternatively, I’ve put together the below list of companies in popular areas:

Perth roof replacement businesses

Below are a collection of Perth based roofing contractors that offer a roof replacement service:

Sydney roof replacement businesses

Below is a list of Sydney based roofing contractors that offer a roof replacement service:

Sunshine Coast roof replacement businesses

Below is a list of roofing companies that offer a roof replacement service in and around the Sunshine Coast in Queensland:

Melbourne roof replacement businesses

Below is a list of roofing businesses that offer a roof replacement service in and around Melbourne in Victoria:

Canberra roof replacement contractors

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