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How Much Does It Cost To Raise a Roof?

Typical Cost Range: $15,000 – $125,000

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Default Author Icon Written by Angela Bunt + 1 other Reviewer Icon Reviewed by: Mark Howey Updated 04/19/2024

Older homes have a standard ceiling height of 8 feet. New homes typically have 9- or 10-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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What Is The Average Cost To Raise a Roof?

The total cost to raise the roof can vary drastically. Where your project costs fall 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.
Your roof type can significantly impact the labor required. Stick roofs often consist of battens over rafters supported on under-purlins 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 as much work.
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.

What Are Factors That Affect Roof-Raising Cost?

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

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.

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 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.

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.

You’ll need to acquire a building permit 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 general building contractor can also help you determine which permits you need.

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.

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 Roof-Raising

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 general building contractor and various specialists 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 how much your roof repair will cost.
  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. Once the architect designs the new roof, a structural engineer will approve or deny the model.
  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, workers 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 roofing contractors may be unable to complete. For emergency roof leak repair, you’ll want to find someone with specific experience raising roofs. The roofing company will likely send multiple professionals to work simultaneously, and they’ll know how to use the cranes and other machinery necessary to raise a roof. Do not attempt to perform the task on your own.


Benefits of Raising a Roof

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

  • A roof inspection by a professional can determine if a raised roof and ceilings can 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.
  • Regular roof maintenance allows you to 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 could raise your home’s value.

How To Save Money on Raising Your Roof

Although you’ll need to hire roofing professionals for this job, you can still save some money with careful planning.
Save on roof replacement costs by getting estimates from at least three experienced general building 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.
Look into tax credits for homeowners who install more sustainable or energy-efficient roofs.

Alternatives To Raising a 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 add vaulted 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 professionals 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.

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 general building contractors with experience raising roofs.

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FAQ About Costs To Raise a Roof

Is raising a roof worth the cost?

Raising a roof has a return on investment of 50%–54%, meaning you can expect to recoup about half of your remodeling costs when you sell your home. Although this is lower than some other home improvement projects, the benefit of higher ceilings may be worth it if you plan to stay in your home for a while.

How long does it take to raise a roof?

Raising a roof typically takes four to six weeks, depending on the roof’s size and complexity.

How much does it cost to raise the height of a flat roof?

Raising a flat roof costs less than raising a pitched roof, usually between $15,000 and $50,000.

What are some disadvantages of raising a roof?

There are several disadvantages to raising a roof. Not only is it expensive, but it also doesn’t have as high a return on investment as, for example, kitchen remodeling or siding replacement. You’ll also need to be out of your home for more than a month and carefully protect your possessions from damage from the construction process.

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