Roof Replacement vs. Repair

Roof Replacement vs. Repair: An Essential Guide For Homeowners

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Get Smarter On Architecture and Design

Get the 3-minute weekly newsletter keeping 5K+ designers in the loop.

Enter your Email to Sign up

Most homeowners often take the protection over their heads for granted. However, as your home’s first defense against the wrath of Mother Earth, your roofing system is also the most vulnerable part of your home.  

While roofs are designed to last for decades, normal wear and tear and unexpected disasters can inflict damage on your roof, shortening its lifespan. This may have you wondering if it’s time to get a roof replacement or just a simple repair service.  

Understanding Roof Repair

For moderate to minor damages, a roof repair should be enough to stop further damage and resolve common roofing issues. Roof repair and maintenance can help restore your roofing and extend its lifespan.  

Image source:

It’s a project that almost every homeowner should deal with regularly. Roof problems, when caught early, can help prevent further damage. It often involves working on small, isolated areas of your roof. Depending on the damage, roof repair may include patching up minor holes and cracks and replacing missing or damaged shingles and other roofing materials.  

Understanding Roof Replacement

Repairing a roof means fixing a small part of the structure. However, if a large area of your roof needs to be repaired, replacing your roof system may be a more viable option. The roof replacement process means you have to strip off your existing roof and install a new one. It may also involve repairing rafters, sheathing, and trusses.   

Image source:

Since it requires more work, a roof replacement is more expensive than simple repairs. That said, there are instances where getting a new roof may help you save money in the long run. For example, it can prevent costly water damage caused by extensive roof leaking.  

Roof Repair Vs. Roof Replacement: 3 Factors To Consider

Unlike re-finishing cabinets or re-painting your room, roof repairing and replacing are significant home improvement projects. You don’t want to do a quick repair on damaged spots only to find out the issue runs deeper or tear down your whole roof and spend thousands of dollars when minor repairs should be enough. If you’re wondering what to do with a damaged roof, here are essential factors to keep in mind.  

1. Age

As mentioned, roofs are designed to be durable and withstand harsh weather. However, nothing lasts forever. Every roofing material has its expiration or recommended lifespan, which you can use to determine which processes are necessary.  

Generally, if your roof is still years away from retiring but you see damages, it may still thrive with minor patch-ups. But if your roof’s lifespan is almost over and you’re seeing signs of deterioration due to aging, such as sagging, replacing your roof may be a better investment.

2. Condition

Your roof’s condition or extent of damage is another factor that can help you decide between repair and replacement.  

If you have minor to moderate damage covering 30% of your roof, you can still try to fix it. However, note that some damages may not be obvious, and for that, you’ll need to hire a professional roofing company.  

In contrast, if the damage to your roof is too much, whether from a fallen tree or widespread deterioration of sheathing or metal rusting, replacing your roof is a more suitable option.

3. Cost

Roof repair and replacement are both expensive.  

However, a roof replacement is obviously more expensive than simple roof repairs. In the US, roof replacement can cost you USD$5,500 to USD$11,000, with an average cost of USD$8,000. The good news is you’ll recoup some of the cost of tearing down and replacing your roof when you decide to sell your home. In fact, a roof replacement will return about 60% of its value when selling your home.  

However, if you don’t have the budget, roof repairs may be a better option to patch up issues with your roofing system. The typical cost of repairing minor roof issues such as broken shingles can cost you between USD$377 and USD$1,727. However, major roof repairs like fixing structural damage can go up to USD$7,500. You may be able to lower your repair if you decide to go the do-it-yourself (DIY) route.  

Take note, however, that while repairs may be cheaper than replacement, the cost may pile up if you’ll need to do constant repairs.  


As a barrier that helps protect you from rain, sun, snow, wind, and extreme weather conditions, roofs are a critical part of any residential building. Without this structure, your home’s interior will deteriorate in no time. That said, roof damages and regular wear and tear are inevitable. When it happens, it’s good to know whether you’ll need a repair or replacement.  

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.