Concrete is a fireproof, durable, and attractive material that, when used for roofs, lasts longer than traditional asphalt shingle roofs. Even better, concrete roofs cost much less than similar materials like slate or clay.
For a typical home, you can expect to pay between $20,400 and $31,450 for a full concrete roof replacement.
This article will help you learn if concrete is the best material for your next roof replacement. We’ll go over everything you need to know about concrete roofing, from materials to labor, overhead costs, and major pros and cons. In researching this article, we obtained prices from industrial suppliers and real contractors, then compared them to current industry benchmarks.
- Concrete roofs tend to be much more durable than traditional asphalt shingles – but they also cost more.
- However, concrete tends to be cheaper than other long-lasting roof types, like clay tiles or slate.
- Replacing a concrete roof is a job best left to the pros.
What Is the Cost of a Concrete Roof?
The national average cost for concrete roofs is between $12 and $18.50 per square foot. For a 1,700-foot roof (the current national average roof size), that means your total costs will likely range between $20,400 to $31,450 to replace an old concrete roof with a new one.
Like most roofing materials, concrete comes in a range of styles, designs, and brands at various quality and price levels. Concrete tile roof installations cost as low as $8.20 per square foot, while luxury options can land higher than $20.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of the national average rate for concrete roof installations. The following table accounts for overhead, material, and labor costs, providing the expected price per square foot and project total.
|Cost Level||Price (Per Square Foot)||Project Total (1,700 Square Feet)||Project Average|
|Low-end Cost Range||$8.20–$9.50||$13,940–$16,150||$15,045|
|National Average Cost Range||$12–$18.50||$20,400–$31,450||$25,925|
|High-end Cost Range||$19.20–$20+||$32,640–$34,000+||$33,320|
We retrieved cost data from RSMeans, a project estimator for contractors and home improvement experts. The average costs listed in this article include materials and labor fees.
What Is the Cost of a Concrete Roof by Type?
Concrete roof tiles come in many styles, allowing you to customize the look of your roof replacement. Let’s look at the most prevalent types of tiles for concrete roofs, their key benefits, and their associated costs.
Flat-styled tiles are the most common and affordable on the market. While they have a simple shape, they can be painted or carved to look like other types of roofing, like slate, clay, or even wood shake. These tiles are some of the least expensive on the market, costing between $4 and $10 per square foot.
Mission Style Tiles
Also called “Spanish Style,” this design has a distinct curved shape. The tiles have an interlocking back, which makes for fast installation. They’re slightly pricier than their flat counterparts, costing $8 to $10 per square foot.
Barrel Style Tiles
Also called “S” tiles, barrel tiles resemble Spanish tiles but have a more distinct, deeper curve. The back of the tile is smooth and shaped like the front, creating its distinct “S-like” appearance. This design creates a path for better airflow, allowing the roof to withstand extreme heat and to provide better mold and mildew resistance. Barrel tiles are one of the more expensive options for concrete roofs, costing between $12 to more than $20 per square foot.
French Style Tiles
French style tiles are less common but can be an excellent choice if you want a unique, old-world look. French tiles have an interlocking back that creates a wave-like pattern once placed onto the roof deck. These tiles are thicker than others, making them particularly resistant to impacts. They have a middle-of-the-road price, ranging from $9 to $14 per square foot.
What Is a Concrete Roof’s Cost by Roof Size?
Size is the second-biggest factor in the cost of any roof replacement. The larger the square footage of your roof, the more materials you’ll need — and the more labor hours required to finish the job. This table looks at the national average cost of a concrete roof installation based on total square footage.
|Roof Size (In Square Feet)||Price Range||Average Cost|
How Much Does a Concrete Roof Cost In Materials?
While roof installation is a job for professionals, there may be certain instances where you need to purchase concrete tiles directly from an industrial supplier. In these situations, it helps to know the exact cost of materials associated with the project.
Roof tiles from a home improvement store or tile manufacturer come one of two ways: squares or bundles. A square contains enough materials to cover a 100-square-foot section of a roof. A bundle is roughly one-third that amount. The national average material cost of concrete roof tiles is between $3.80 and $7.50 per square foot, although certain styles can be much more expensive.
This table details concrete tile roof costs in materials only.
|Number of Roofing Squares||Total Material Cost Range||Total Cost Average|
Which Factors Impact How Much a Concrete Roof Costs?
For any roofing project, size and material type are the two biggest factors that can impact its price. But other factors like roof pitch, structural reframing, and add-ons can increase a project’s cost. Let’s look at other major price determiners and explain how much they can add to your final bill.
One of the most important things to consider when calculating your roof’s replacement cost is its size. A roof’s true size will be larger than your home’s base square footage because of its pitch and because of the number of slopes it possesses.
To find your roof’s true size, you’ll need to know the steepness of its pitch, which is determined by its rise-over-run ratio. You can calculate this ratio by measuring how much a sloped section rises (in inches) for every foot it extends horizontally (runs). For example, a roof that rises 2 inches per horizontal foot has a ratio of 2:12. With this number, you can use a roof size calculator, plug in your information, and get your roof’s true square footage.
The following table will outline how much pitch can add to your roof’s total square footage and how much more your bill will be because of it.
|Base Square Footage of Home||Roof Pitch||Roof’s True Area in Square Feet||Slate Shingle Installation Cost|
Structural Reinforcement or Roof Framing
One of the few downsides to concrete roofs is their weight. Concrete roof tiles weigh up to 1,200 pounds per 100 square feet — several times heavier than other roofing materials. Unfortunately, many roof structures won’t support concrete tiles without reinforcement or reframing.
The cost of reframing varies greatly and depends on your home’s size, design, and condition. But on average you can expect to pay between $15,000 and $30,000 when working with a structural engineer to reframe a roof.
Add-ons and Roof Repair
When replacing an old roof, contractors often discover damaged sections they must fix. When this happens, they talk to the homeowner, generate an updated cost estimate, and proceed with the repair. Things like damaged decking, vents, flashing, or old insulation sections are common issues.
Alternatively, a homeowner may ask for additional work or improvements before the job even starts. Examples are adding skylights, replacing gutters, and repairing chimneys. Let’s look at the costs of standard repairs and improvements that may come up during a roof replacement.
- Repairing or replacing flashing: $10–$27 per linear foot
- Roof sealing: $1–$4 per square foot
- Gutter repair or replacement: $1,000–$7,000
- Adding a skylight: $900–$2,500
- Repairing a chimney: $150–$1,000
- Vent repair or ductwork: $150–$900
- Replacing insulation: Between $2.14 and $4.30 per square foot, totaling between $1,500 to over $2,000
- Roof underlayment (decking): Between $2 and $3 per square foot
What Are the Benefits of Investing in a Concrete Roof?
While concrete has a higher upfront cost than traditional asphalt shingles or even some metal roofs, its benefits compensate for it. Concrete roofs have some of the longest life spans on the market, lasting an average of 50 years and up to 100 years with the right conditions and care.
Concrete withstands high winds and impacts far better than clay tiles. It also stands up remarkably well to both heat and cold, with concrete roofs typically having a class A or B fire rating (assuming they’re installed and maintained correctly).
Additional major benefits of concrete roofs include:
- Energy efficiency: Concrete roof tiles reflect light and absorb less heat than traditional asphalt shingles. Because some roof designs have improved airflow, they can better resist heat.
- Eco-friendly: Concrete roofs are made of sustainable materials that usually get recycled once their lifespan ends.
- Versatility: Concrete tiles come in numerous designs, colors, and styles, which allows you to customize your roof to fit the overall look of your home.
Professional Vs. DIY Concrete Roof Cost
Installing a concrete roof is a difficult, dangerous job that requires a certain level of expertise and experience. If a roof is installed incorrectly, it can lead to water leaks, structural faults, or other serious and expensive problems. We recommend hiring a professional instead of taking a DIY approach, especially for a concrete roof.
Hiring a Professional for a Concrete Roof Installation
Choosing the right contractor to install your new roof is important. Without a quality roofer, you run the risk of improper installation, overcharged services, and wasted time and money. You can find a qualified professional by following these simple steps:
- Find local experts near you: Search for local roofing contractors that offer concrete tiles as an installation option.
- Get multiple quotes: Select several of the most promising companies from your search, and schedule an appointment for a free quote from each.
- Consult them about their recommendations: During the initial walkthrough and quote consultation, ask questions about the project. This lets you gauge the roofer’s customer service while getting information on the job.
- Check work history and customer reviews: Before hiring any contractor, always read their customer reviews from multiple sources. We recommend checking their Google My Business Account, their Better Business Bureau page, and their Yelp reviews.
So, Is a Concrete Roof Worth the Cost?
Concrete is a strong, long-lasting roofing material that, while more expensive than other options, is worth the additional cost. Concrete has an elegant, industrial appearance that comes in multiple styles and designs, making it adaptable to your home’s special look. But concrete isn’t perfect. It’s heavy, and may require you to reframe the roof before installation, adding thousands of dollars to your cost. Concrete roofs also need upkeep — regular inspections and cleaning.
Ultimately, we recommend scheduling an appointment with a roofing company to explore the finer details of a concrete roof replacement in person. Since concrete has some special weight requirements, it’s best to get a first-hand assessment from a trained professional before making a final decision.
FAQs About Concrete Roofs
How Long Do Concrete Roofs Last?
Concrete roofs have a shelf life of around 50 years but can last much longer under ideal conditions and with the right care.
Is Concrete Waterproof?
Yes and no. Yes, concrete roof systems resist water well and do a superior job of keeping it out of your home. But it is a porous substance that water can damage over time, especially in colder climates.
Are Concrete and Clay Roof Tiles the Same Thing?
No, concrete and terracotta tiles may look similar and have many similar qualities, but they’re different roofing materials.
What Are the Disadvantages of Concrete Roofs?
A concrete tile roof’s major disadvantage is its weight. Concrete weighs several times more than other roofing materials, and your house may need reinforcement to support it. Concrete roofs are also not as low maintenance as other materials, and they typically need an underlayment and batten replacement every 20 years.