A new commercial roof does not come cheap; whether it’s a new building or your roof has seen better days and needs replacing, it takes careful planning to begin such a cost-intensive investment. This explains why the cost is the most researched item regarding commercial roofing. Although commercial roof cost is a primary concern, you should spare no expense to get it right the first time to avoid frustrations with repair costs later on.

Types of Commercial Roofing Systems and Their Costs

Most commercial roof buyers want to know the different types of commercial roofing systems available, the most reasonably priced commercial roof, and which kind is better. Here is a rundown of the common types of roofing systems and their average costs.

Single-Ply Membrane Roofing

Single-ply membrane is composed of pieces of rubber and other synthetics that can be ballasted or chemically adhered to insulation, forming a protective layer on the commercial roof. The single-ply membrane is one of the most common roofing materials. It comes in several types and designs to fit your needs.

A 20,000 sq. ft of Single-ply Membrane costs between $3.5- $7.50 per square foot for EPDM. For TPO, costs range between $3.50- $6.50, material and labor included.

This commercial roofing option can serve you for up to 30 years and comes with benefits such as:

  • Proven track record: EPDM has been used for years, allowing tracking of the lab and field studies.
  • Customers choose their insulation: Single-ply membrane does not include the insulation factor, offering you the freedom to select your insulation choice.

Metal Roofing

Most metal roofing systems utilize corrugated and galvanized steel, but aluminum and tin are also options. Due to its lightweight nature, installation on top of the existing roof and a coating added to prevent rust and offer UV protection and waterproofing is easily accomplished.

The average cost is $5- $10 per square foot. The cost of tin roof, however, ranges depending on the type of metal panels you select.

If properly installed, metal roofing can last for up to 40 years. The benefits of a metal roofing system include:

  • Stability: Can withstand wind and snow.
  • Energy-efficient: Metal roofs are often composed of recycled materials.
  • Design: Comes in a variety of colors and materials.

Shingle Roofing

Shingle roofing is the roofing system of choice in most homes and residential buildings, with limited application in steep-slope commercial roofing. Materials that form shingles include metal, wood, slate, ceramic, plastic, and composite materials like asphalt.

On average, the cost of this type of commercial roof is between $2.50- $5 per sq. ft in materials and labor costs for installation. The type and style of shingle roofing you choose have a significant impact on the overall price of your roof.

Benefits of shingle roofing system include:

  • Durable: Select shingle types are class IV rated.
  • Design: Wide selection of colors and designs.
  • Easy repair: Easy to repair areas of damage.

Built-Up Roofing

The built-up roofs are also commonly known as ‘tar and gravel’ roofs. Installation involves alternating asphalt and recommended fabrics onto the roof, creating a layer. The stone and gravel make the final layer of a built-up roof.

Generally, the cost of a commercial built-up roof is between $5.50 and $8.50 per square foot in materials and labor. The price, again, depends on the material you choose.

A built-up roofing system can last 40 years if properly installed and maintained. Some of its benefits include:

  • Offers protection against the UV rays
  • The continuous solid surface requires no joints or seams, removing vulnerable leakage areas
  • Low maintenance after installation

What Affects the Cost of a Commercial Roof?

Several factors determine the cost of a commercial roof, as discussed below.

Size of The Roof

As per the contractor’s report, you only stand to save money per square foot when you buy more than 20,000 sq. of the commercial roofing material. Other size factors that influence the cost of a commercial roof include:

  • Cost of removing the old roof and debris.
  • Transportation costs of materials. This generally runs up to 2-3% of total project costs.
  • Logistics of moving the material to the roof.

Existing Roof Condition

This is another crucial factor that will contribute to the overall pricing of the roofing system. The options for dealing with the current roof are:

  • Clean and prepare: Costs $0.10 to $0.75 per square foot.
  • Fasten a recovery board on the existing roof: $0.60 to $0.80 per sq. ft.
  • Total removal of the existing roof: $1 -$2 per foot

Access to The Roof

If the building has limited access to the roof, you will incur additional costs. The roof’s distance and height add to the cost of a tin roof due to the repelling gear or man-lift needed for proper installation.

Type of Warranty

Installing a new roofing system presents you with a few warranty options, including:

  • Manufacturers product warranty: low cost and coverage
  • Manufacturers full system warranty: $0.18 to $0.15 per square foot.
  • Contractors warranty: No expense less than $1000


As you plan on a new roofing system, another thing to remember the roof’s possible long-term maintenance needs. You may opt to sign a roof maintenance contract or routinely restore the roof system. Take into account those costs as well. Eventually, this will save you money as it will increase the longevity of any roofing system you choose.

Silicone Restoration Coating

Silicone Restoration Coating is an eco-friendly roofing option that you can consider instead of re-roofing, at the cost of $2-$5 per sq. ft. The contractor cleans and dries the existing roofing then applies the silicone coating. It restores the roof’s top layer, repairing all the current issues of the roof.

Wrapping Up

As it is now clear, commercial roofing is quite an investment considering all the costs incurred in the process. You must create a budget beforehand and stick to it when shopping for a commercial roofing system. It is also vital to compare the cost of a commercial roof from different contractors and choose one that gives you value for money.

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