Our roof is definitely due for replacement this year. Even though we didn’t move into the house until 2007, I know that the roof was installed sometime in 1998. Some of the building inspection stickers are still on the electrical box in the basement, and it indicates that the final inspection of the house was done in March of 1999. Since it takes a few months to build a house, I can safely surmise that the roof was installed sometime likely in the summer or fall of 1998. That would make the current age of the roof just under 15 years. Since over half of the houses in the subdivision have had their roof replaced, it’s reasonable to think that ours is not out of the ordinary considering the grade of shingles likely used
I’ve been starting to get some pricing and I am not liking at all what I’m finding. Just this year alone, the price of shingles have gone up roughly 9%. Looking at some chatter on Google in previous years, this has been pretty much the standard increase over the last two to three years.
This sucks because I had started saving for our roof when we moved into house in 2007. Based on prices I’d heard at the time, I figured saving $1,000 per year was a safe bet with the hope that the roof would last until 2013 or 2014. Considering the costs associated with moving, we didn’t set our first $1,000 aside until 2008, but have been saving roughly at that pace since then. That leaves us with around $6,000, which according to everything I heard, would have been plenty even two or three years ago.
Now, not so much.
With the increase in shingles over the past three years alone totaling roughly 30% over those years, I now look at it and figure it might have actually ‘saved’ us money to get the roof done prior to that.
If I make the assumption that the labor charges are a mark up of the materials cost, then what it tells me is that over the last three years, the price has gone up by 30%, where the useful life of my roof has diminished by its last 20% (three years divided by the fifteen year life that it got).
So, had I gotten a new roof when there was still 20% roof life, I would have saved 30% in total costs.
Again, these are rough numbers. It’s not like I got any quotes, but talking to family members and neighbors who got their roof done in 2010 or right before, it’s clear that the prices for what I’m getting today would have been drastically cheaper then.
Hindsight is 20-20 so there’s no way I could have anticipated the cost of the roof. Most of it is attributed to the rising cost of, what else, gas prices. Apparently many of the same materials and chemicals that go into roofing are tied into gasoline and oil, so the average increase of annual gas prices is directly tied to the increase in roofing.
This sucks because now the $6,000 that we’ve saved looks like it won’t be enough to cover the cost of a new roof, at least from what I’m seeing. We have cash set aside for other things, but I really was hoping to continue our savings goals elsewhere, where now we’ll likely have to shift things around that will impact things in a negative way.
It’s also worth pointing out that even had I had some crystal ball and would have seen that getting a new roof three years sooner might have saved money, in the end it probably wouldn’t have. First, we would have only had $3,000 put aside at that point, so we most definitely would have had to find money from somewhere else, and probably more money than we’ll have to look for today.
Second, we plan on staying in the house for a while, to the point that we would likely replace the roof we’re about to replace, and the early replacement would have taken three years off the life at the end, so it would have gotten us someday.
Rising fuel prices are one of my pet peeves, and to hear that the increase in the expected cost of our roof is tied to this makes me just as angry, probably more so given the extra costs runs in the thousands versus the $0.20 cents per gallon that gas prices often represent.
In that three year time frame since prices started jumping dramatically, guess how much my salary has gone up? Exactly zero. While I’m working to change that, it stinks because even saving that $1,000 becomes more and more difficult when prices elsewhere rise and your income doesn’t.
I’m sure most people out there haven’t been so lucky as to get a 30% increase in rates, and while I don’t think the people associated with the roofing industry are rolling in cash because of this, you can bet that someone somewhere is making good money off this increase. Someone who already has more than enough money, if I had to guess.
Readers, have any of you had to get a new roof over the last couple of years? Have you gotten sticker shock due to the rising shingle prices seen over the past few years?Copyright 2014 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.