Let’s face it, our roofs take a beating from the sun, rain, and whatever crazy weather rolls through. So, if your roof is showing its age or a storm did a number on it, you might be wondering what to do next. Here’s the thing: you’ve basically got two options – re-roofing or a complete roof replacement. But before you jump to any decisions, let’s break down the pros and cons of each to help you pick the right path for your house.

Workers doing re-roofing and roof replacement

Re-Roofing vs Roof Replacement 

So, your roof is showing some signs of wear and tear. Maybe a shingle came loose, or a leak sprung up after a heavy storm. Don’t panic! There are a couple ways to tackle this, depending on the state of your roof. Let’s break down the two main options: re-roofing and roof replacement.

Re-Roofing: A Shingle Stack 

Imagine putting on a new jacket over your old one. That’s kind of like re-roofing. It involves adding a fresh layer of shingles on top of your existing roof. This is a faster and cheaper option, perfect if your current roof is in good shape underneath. Think of it as a quick fix!

But here’s the catch: Re-roofing isn’t always an option. If your existing roof has major damage, leaks, or too many layers already, adding another one could cause problems down the road.

Roof Replacement: Starting from Scratch

This is a more extensive job, like getting a whole new outfit. Roof replacement involves stripping off all the old shingles and materials down to the underlying structure, then installing a brand new roof. It’s a bigger investment, but it ensures a clean slate and a longer lifespan for your roof.

Here’s when a replacement might be best:

  • Your roof is old and worn out, with lots of missing or damaged shingles.

  • There’s evidence of leaks or water damage.

  • You want to switch to a different roofing material.

  • You suspect damage to the underlying roof deck.

Roofers installing shingles on a house roof

What is Re-Roofing?

Keeping your home safe and secure starts with a solid roof overhead. But what happens when your roof starts showing signs of age?  Should you completely replace it, or is there another option?

Here’s where re-roofing comes in

Think of it as giving your roof a fresh coat of armor. Re-roofing involves installing a new layer of shingles directly on top of your existing ones. It’s a faster and more affordable way to extend the life of your roof, especially if the current shingles are still in decent shape.

Here’s what makes re-roofing a great option:

  • Save money: It takes less time and effort than a full tear-off, making it a budget-friendly choice.

  • Faster fix: Since you’re not removing the old roof, the project gets completed quicker, minimizing disruption to your home.

  • Double the protection: Adding a new layer strengthens your roof’s defense against the elements, like rain, wind, and sun.

But it’s not always a one-size-fits-all solution.  Here’s the catch: re-roofing might not be suitable if your existing shingles are badly damaged, curled, or already have multiple layers. In those cases, a full roof replacement might be necessary.

Thinking about re-roofing?  Consult a professional roofer to inspect your current roof and see if it’s a good candidate for this process. They can advise you on the best course of action to keep your home watertight and protected for years to come.

Workers replacing roof shingles on a suburban home

What is a Roof Replacement? 

Keeping your home safe and secure starts with a good roof overhead. But what happens when your old roof starts showing its age?  This is where roof replacement comes in!

Basically, a roof replacement is a whole new roof for your house. It’s different from a roof repair, which is just fixing small problems.  A replacement involves taking off all the old roofing materials, down to the bare bones, and installing brand new everything.

So, when would you need a whole new roof? There are a couple of reasons:

  • Your roof is getting on in years: Most roofs, like those made with asphalt shingles, last around 20 years. After that, they can start to crack, buckle, or even leak. Replacing the whole roof before it fails can save you a lot of hassle (and money) down the road.

  • Big-time damage: Sometimes, storms or other events can really mess up your roof. If there’s a lot of missing shingles, holes, or other major problems, a full replacement might be the best option to ensure your home is protected.

Here’s the good news about replacing your roof:

  • Peace of mind: A brand new roof means you won’t have to worry about leaks or damage for years to come.

  • More energy savings: Newer roofing materials are often more energy-efficient, which can help lower your cooling and heating bills.

  • Insurance perks: Some insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners who keep their roofs up-to-date.

Plus, when you replace your entire roof, you get some extra benefits:

  • Choose any type of roofing material you want: Since you’re starting fresh, you can explore different options like metal, tile, or even fancy new shingles.

  • Spot hidden problems: Removing the old roof lets you take a peek at the underlying structure and fix any issues before they become bigger problems.

Two houses showing re-roofing and roof replacement

Pros and Cons: Re-Roofing vs. Roof Replacement

Keeping your roof in tip-top shape is crucial for protecting your home from the elements. But when it comes time for repairs, you might be wondering: should I just patch things up, or get a whole new roof?  This guide will break down the two main options – re-roofing (also called an overlay) and roof replacement – to help you decide what’s best for your situation.

Here’s the deal:

  • Re-roofing (overlay): This is like putting on a new jacket over your old one. It involves adding a fresh layer of shingles directly on top of your existing roof. This is a faster and cheaper option, but there are some catches.

  • Roof replacement: This is a complete overhaul. The old roof shingles and underlayment are ripped off, and everything is replaced with brand new materials. It’s a bigger investment upfront, but it ensures a longer-lasting fix.

So, which one is right for you?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of each approach:

Re-Roofing (overlay): 


  • Budget-friendly: Costs less than a full replacement.

  • Faster: Takes less time to complete the job.

  • Less disruptive: Doesn’t involve tearing off the old roof, which can be messy and noisy.


  • Not always an option: If your existing roof has two or more layers, or is already damaged, adding another layer could create problems.

  • Shorter lifespan: A re-roof might not last as long as a complete replacement.

  • Hidden problems: You might miss underlying issues with the roof deck if you don’t remove the old shingles.

Roof Replacement:


  • Longer lifespan: Provides a brand new roof with a longer warranty and better protection for your home.

  • Fixes underlying problems: Allows for inspection and repair of any issues with the roof deck or underlayment.

  • Increased value: A new roof can boost the curb appeal and value of your home.


  • More expensive: Costs more upfront than a re-roof.

  • More time-consuming: Takes longer to complete the job.

  • More disruptive: Involves tearing off the old roof, which can be messy and noisy.

The Bottom Line: 

Consider these factors when making your decision:

  • Condition of your existing roof: If your roof is in good shape with just one layer of shingles, a re-roof might be a good option.

  • Your budget: Re-roofing is generally cheaper, but a full replacement might be a better long-term investment.

  • Your plans for your home: If you plan on staying in your home for many years, a full replacement might be wise.


Thinking about fixing your roof? You’ve probably come across terms like “re-roof” and “roof replacement.”  While both options address roof problems, they’re quite different, especially when it comes to your wallet! Let’s break it down in plain English.

Re-roofing sounds cheaper, right?  You bet!  It involves adding a new layer of shingles right on top of your existing ones. No ripping off old shingles means less work, less cost upfront. But here’s the catch: most building codes won’t allow a third layer of shingles.  So, fast forward 20 years from now, that cheap re-roof might become a pricey headache.

Why?  Because when it’s time to fix your roof again, removing two layers of shingles is a much bigger job.  That means more labor costs, more mess to clean up, and even fees to dispose of all those old shingles!  Suddenly, that re-roof you did years ago doesn’t seem so cheap anymore.

Roof replacement, on the other hand, might seem expensive at first.  They rip off all the old shingles, check the underlying roof deck for any damage, and then install a brand new roof.  It’s a bigger project, sure, but here’s the upside:

  • Peace of mind: You know everything is done right, from the base layer up.

  • Longer lifespan: New roof materials can last for decades, meaning you might not have to worry about your roof again for another 50 years!

  • No future surprises: You won’t be stuck down the road with a roof that can’t be re-roofed because of too many layers.

Think of it like this: Re-roofing might be like putting a bandage on a wound.  It fixes the problem temporarily, but it doesn’t address the root cause.  Roof replacement is more like getting stitches – it takes care of the issue completely and ensures a longer-lasting fix.

The Condition of the Roof 

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. But how do you know if it’s time to call in the pros for a replacement? Here’s a quick guide to help you spot the signs of a roof that needs some TLC:

Major Damage Means Major Fixes 

Think of your roof like a superhero cape. If there are big rips, tears, or missing chunks, it’s not going to keep you safe from the rain. The same goes for your roof. If you see any of these warning signs, it’s time to consider a replacement:

  • Water Damage: This is a big no-no. Water stains, leaks, or mushy spots on your roof deck mean there’s a problem that needs fixing ASAP.

  • Missing or Damaged Underlayment: This layer acts like a hidden shield under your shingles, protecting your home from water. If it’s missing or ripped up, your roof is vulnerable.

  • Shingle Shortage: Shingles are like roof tiles, and if a big chunk of them are missing, your roof is exposed and weak.

Don’t Band-Aid a Big Problem 

Sometimes, a quick fix might seem tempting. But patching up a damaged roof is like putting a Band-Aid on a broken bone – it won’t solve the underlying issue. In fact, it can actually make things worse! Here’s why:

  • Hiding the Problem: Patching can cover up the real damage, making it harder to diagnose and fix later.

  • Future Headaches: Putting another layer of shingles on a damaged roof just adds weight and makes it harder to get to the real problem if it leaks again.

  • Saving Money Now Costs More Later: Dealing with a small problem today is much cheaper than dealing with a major roof collapse later.

Materials Used 

Thinking about giving your roof a brand new look? When it comes to re-roofing, the material you choose plays a big role. Here’s why:

  • Flat is Faster: In most re-roofing jobs, flat shingles, like architectural or composite asphalt shingles, are the way to go. Why? Because laying new flat shingles right on top of your existing ones is a much simpler process than other materials.

  • Metal Mayhem: Metal roofs are great, but they require more prep work to install over your existing roof. So, if you’re looking for a quick re-roofing solution, stick with flat shingles.

  • Nail it or Break it: Imagine trying to hammer nails into fancy clay tiles or slate? Not a good idea! These beautiful roofing materials are delicate and shouldn’t be covered up. Nailing new shingles on top would likely damage them.


Thinking about giving your roof some TLC?  You’re not alone!  Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the weather, so it’s important to keep it in tip-top shape.  But when it comes time for repairs, you might be wondering: should I just patch things up, or get a whole new roof?

Weighing the Options: Re-Roofing vs. Replacement

Here’s the thing: the answer depends on your roof’s condition.  Let’s look at two options:

  • Re-roofing: This is like putting on a new jacket over your old one. It’s a more affordable option, and works well if your roof structure is sound and the damage isn’t too bad.

But there’s a catch weight:  Adding another layer of shingles can add a surprising amount of weight.  So, if your roof wasn’t built for it, re-roofing might not be an option.  Also, if your existing roof is really old and beat up, a new layer might not be enough to fix the problems.

  • Full Roof Replacement: This is a more extensive job, where the old roof is completely removed and replaced with a brand new one. While it’s more expensive upfront, it can be the best choice in the long run, especially if your roof has serious damage or is nearing the end of its lifespan.

Not Sure What to Do? Call in the Experts!

Let’s face it, your roof is a big deal.  If you’re unsure whether you need a re-roof or a full replacement, it’s always best to play it safe.  A professional roofer can inspect your roof and give you the best advice for your specific situation.  They can also make sure your roof is up to code and can handle the weight of new materials.


When it comes down to it, re-roofing and roof replacement each have their pros and cons. Re-roofing is a cost-effective, speedy fix, but it’s not always suitable for roofs with existing damage or multiple layers. On the flip side, roof replacement offers a fresh start and long-term reliability, albeit at a higher upfront cost.

So, before you take the plunge, consider the condition of your current roof, your budget constraints, and your long-term plans for your home. When in doubt, it never hurts to consult with a professional roofer to steer you in the right direction. After all, your roof is your home’s first line of defense—keep it sturdy, keep it safe!