Roof Framing Cost Per Square Foot Guide

roof framing cost per square foot

Roof Framing Cost Per Square Foot Guide

If you’re starting to learn about roofs – either with a view to replacing or repairing your own home’s or just to know a little bit more about how the construction process works, then you’re in the right place.

Before you can start thinking about tiling or waterproofing a finished roof, you’ve got to get there in the first place. And you’ll normally start with roof framing. In this article, we’re going to look at the roof framing cost per square foot framing, as well as drilling down on how much it really costs to frame a roof, and what can affect this cost.

So let’s have a look…

roof framing cost per square foot – What is roof framing?

Roof framing is building the first frame construction that the rest of your roof sits on. This is often a similar shape, and unless you’re having a flat roof installed, you’ll need a frame before you can move on to the next stage of building your roof.
Even if you’re hiring a roofing contractor to get the work done for you, as you should be – it’s still a good idea to know exactly what the framing process entails and what costs might be associated with it.

As we’ll soon get to, there isn’t one single cost that you can extrapolate to all different roofing situations. The square foot cost of a framing job can vary quite a lot, and there are a number of different things than can affect this cost.

Later on, we’ll look a bit more closely at that. But firstly, you probably want to know a bit more about the roof framing process itself…

While most roofs might look similar from a distance, they generally come in five different shapes these days. These are gable, hip, gambrel, mansard and shed. Each type of roof has it’s own construction issues and will normally require a skilled carpenter to design and carry out.

After all, if it wasn’t already obvious – these roof frames are basically always made out of wood. And it’s this sort of work that requires a highly-skilled and professional carpenter to carry out.

While the actual main roof might follow a similar pattern, lots of flourishes in the form of trusses and dormers are becoming increasingly popular to add a bit of flair and personality to your roof finish.

Not all of these need to be constructed on-site by a carpenter. You can order trusses to be built in a factory and delivered on site. They may need additional help to install once on-site.

Some of these roof types will require experienced carpentry and roofing work. However, a couple of the design types, specifically shed and common gable are slightly easier to install and could even be carried out on a DIY basis.

But only if you’ve got the right level of skills and experience. Even if you decide to hire out an external roofer or carpenter – these will obviously be the two cheapest types of roofs to have installed, as they are the most straightforward in design.

What are the benefits of roof framing?

Unless you want a flat roof, you’ll need a framing. The level of complexity is up to you, and will affect the roof framing cost per square foot. But flat roofs aren’t recommended for residential dwellings. Water buildup can lead to leaks and damp, a pitched roof might even be required by planners in your area.

Depending on what the building laws are like where you are, you might have the option to go for a cheaper or more complex roof. In certain locations, roofs might have to fit those in your neighborhood, which could prohibit your options.

How much does roof framing cost per square foot and in general?

As you’ve probably already gathered, the cost of framing a roof can vary quite a lot. We’ll have a look a bit more closely at exactly what affect the cost of framing a roof in a minute, but things like materials and shapre obviously play a factor.

General estimates for most roofs is around $9,000 to $13,500 for a 1,500 square foot roof. That comes out at about $6 to $9 per square foot. Lower estimates could be around $4 per square foot for the simplest and easiest-to-install roofing options.

A high estimate could run up to about $12 per square foot for the most complex of roofs in the most expensive areas, or $18,000 for a 1,500 square foot roof.

What can affect the cost of framing your roof?

As you can see, these estimates vary quite a lot. In fact, the most expensive roofing option comes out at 3 times the cheapest. So what affects this cost difference?

Firstly, regardless of your roof type or size – location will play a role. Some areas are simply cheaper, and some are more expensive – as you probably already know. While this might often correlate with more expensive real estate areas and places with much higher property costs and average earnings, it isn’t always that straightforward.

Some locations might simply have an oversupply of roofing companies or roofing options, all competing for your business. This can drive down costs considerably in comparison to areas where your options might be limited.

Other than location, another huge factor is the shape of roof you want. Gable and shed roofs are considered the easiest to build, and are therefore the cheapest. More complicated roof designs will take longer and also cost more. Adding things like trusses and other flourishes can also increase the cost considerably.
While all roofs will need to be framed with strong and durable wood, you can also choose to spend a bit more here if you want to.

How to reduce roof framing costs per square foot

If you can do it safely and properly, the absolute cheapest way to frame your roof is to do it yourself. This will be easier with a shed roof. If you decide to use a professional instead, you can also reduce costs by getting cheaper designs and using slightly cheaper materials. Obviously, the smaller your roof, the lower the overall cost will be – so this could be a factor as well.


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