In This Guide: Average Cost | Cost Factors | Professional vs. DIY | Signs You Need To Raise Your Roof | How To Save | Alternatives to Raising Your Roof | Conclusion | FAQs

Older homes have a standard ceiling height of 8 feet. New homes typically have 9-foot ceilings to make the interior feel more spacious. If you want to raise your home’s ceilings, you’ll often need to raise the entire roof. You can also do this to open up attic space or change your roof’s angle.

Raising a roof costs an average of $50,000 but ranges from $15,000–$125,000.* This guide breaks down the factors impacting cost and provides saving tips.

*Cost data is averaged from multiple sources.

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Typical Cost Range: $8,500 - $14,300

 


 

Average Roof-raising Cost

Roof-raising costs can vary drastically. Where your project falls within the $15,000–$125,000 range depends primarily on the following factors.

  • Frame type: Trussed roof frames are typically easier and less expensive to raise than stick frames.
  • Home size: The larger your house, the more it will cost to raise your roof.

Frame Type

Your roof’s frame type can significantly impact the labor required. Stick roofs consist of battens over rafters supported on underpurlins and struts. These frames are built on-site and customized to your home. They must often be completely disassembled to be raised, making them more expensive.

Trussed roofs are composed of prefabricated trusses. They typically cost less to raise because each truss can be raised or replaced without needing to take the whole roof apart.

Home Size

It’s hard to give an exact dollar amount per square foot because so many variables go into raising a roof. Larger homes generally cost more because more materials and labor are required to complete the job. However, a complex roof on a small house may cost more to raise than a simple roof on a larger house.

 


 

Factors Affecting Roof-raising Cost

Here are some other factors that determine roof-raising costs.

Chimney Adjustments

Raising the part of your roof adjacent to your home’s chimney can cost an additional $500–$6,000 due to the complexity of working around an obstruction. The chimney may also need to be removed and replaced to accommodate the new roof height.

Electrical, HVAC, and Plumbing Changes

Many homes have pipes, electrical wiring, or HVAC ductwork running above the ceiling but beneath the roof. These lines will need to be rerouted or removed and reinstalled once the new roof is in place. Licensed plumbers and electricians usually need to complete alterations to plumbing and electrical lines. These professionals charge $50–$150 per hour based on their experience level and the job’s complexity.

Exterior Refinishing

Exterior refinishing is the final step of a roof-raising project. The type of shingles, tiles, or panels you pick will determine your new roof’s appearance and longevity.

A new roof typically costs $8,500–$14,300, depending on the roofing materials used. Three-tab asphalt shingles are the most economical roofing material, but they won’t last as long as options such as metal shingles or natural stone tiles. Wooden shingles and shakes are relatively high-maintenance, but they provide a distinct appearance many homeowners like.

Labor

Professional roofing contractors charge $1.50–$3 per square foot in addition to material costs. Alternatively, they may charge by the hour. Anything that makes the job more difficult and time-consuming—such as three-story or higher roofs or complicated designs—will increase labor costs. Hiring a general contractor to supervise the project will add another 10%–20% to your total price.

Permits and Labor

You’ll need to acquire several building permits to change your home’s structure and potentially plumbing and wiring permits. Check with your local government to find out which permits you’ll need and plan to pay anywhere from $400–$2,000. A roofing contractor can also help you determine which permits you need.

Roof Removal

Your existing roof’s exterior—including shingles, underlayment, and flashing—will need to be removed and discarded. Removal and cleanup can cost $30–$50 per hour in labor. You may also need to pay to have the debris hauled away.

Roof Design

Homes with more complex roof designs will cost more. Ranch-style houses are some of the least expensive for this project because they have low, simple roofs. Likewise, houses with flat roofs and mid-century modern houses cost less. On the other hand, Victorian and Cape Cod-style homes have more complex designs that make them more expensive.

 


 

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Professional vs. DIY

You might be tempted to reduce labor costs by raising your roof yourself, but we don’t recommend it. We’ll explain why below.

Professional Roof Raising

Raising a roof requires specialized materials, heavy machinery, and expertise in several areas. It takes a whole team of contractors to complete this job. Here’s the typical process.

  1. You’ll want to start by consulting a structural engineer who can tell you whether your roof can be raised. This service usually costs $500 and will give you a better idea of how much reinforcement or repair your roof will need.
  2. Next, you’ll work with an architect to design your new roof. This often costs about $3,000, but the price may depend on the project’s final cost.
  3. You’ll need to hire a roofing company with experience raising roofs to complete the bulk of the work. They’ll demolish the old roof and construct the new one.
  4. You may need to hire an HVAC specialist, licensed electrician, or plumber to relocate ductwork, wiring, or pipes.
  5. Once the new roof is in place, contractors will complete refinishing jobs, such as installing new insulation, drywall, and siding.

DIY Roof Raising

Roof raising is not a do-it-yourself (DIY) job. It’s a complex, heavy-duty project that even regular roofing contractors may be unable to complete. You’ll want to find someone with specific experience raising roofs. The roofing company will likely send multiple contractors to work simultaneously, and they’ll know how to use the cranes and other machinery necessary to raise a roof.

 


 

Signs That You Need To Raise Your Roof

High ceilings aren’t necessary, but there are many ways to raise a roof to make your home more comfortable.

  • A raised roof and ceilings make your home appear larger without needing to expand it.
  • The extra overhead room can increase your storage space.
  • A higher roof can allow you to turn an attic into a full, finished room.
  • You can take this opportunity to add other features to your roof, such as dormer windows or skylights, for better lighting and ventilation.
  • Having a vaulted ceiling can raise your home’s market value.
  • A new roof can improve rainwater flow or help snow melt away from your home’s foundation, preventing water damage and improving drainage.

 


 

How To Save on Raising Your Roof

Although you’ll need to hire professional roofing contractors for this job, you can still save some money with careful planning.

  • Get cost estimates from at least three experienced roofing contractors before hiring one.
  • Stick with simple roof designs without features that will cost more to construct.
  • If you’re finishing your attic space, split the project into two stages and complete the roof-raising first.
  • Plan for budget overages of about 10%–15%, so you’ll be prepared for unexpected costs.
  • Look into local grants for homeowners who install more sustainable or energy-efficient roofs.
  • Talk with your roofing contractor about potentially reusing some of your old roofing materials.

 


 

Alternatives To Raising Your Roof

Raising a roof is a complex, expensive home improvement project, but it might not be your only option for higher ceilings. Here are some other roofing projects that are quicker and more affordable.

  • Depending on your home’s structure, you may be able to raise low ceilings in certain rooms without raising the entire roof. A tray ceiling, which is raised in the center of the room, gives more vertical height without altering the roof, interior, or exterior walls.
  • A coffered ceiling consists of a grid of beams with raised panels. These ceilings allow contractors to work around existing load-bearing ceiling joists to add the appearance of greater height.
  • You can lift the roof only on a portion of your home, such as the garage.

Note that changing your roof pitch is not an alternative to raising it. You’ll need to alter the roof’s structure and cut new studs to alter the roof line, making this project just as expensive as roof-raising.

 


 

Our Conclusion

Raising a roof is expensive and time-consuming, but it may be the only way to increase your home’s ceiling height. Higher ceilings can make smaller spaces feel larger, allowing you to open up your home without needing to increase the square footage. Professionals should complete this job, and you should seek roofing contractors with experience raising roofs.

Get Your Roofing Project Quote Today
Typical Cost Range: $8,500 - $14,300

 


 

FAQs About Raising Roof Costs

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