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Cost guide: roofers

Our Which? Trusted traders take us through roofing repair costs and explain some of the signs that indicate your roof needs repairing.

In this article

While it’s easy to tell when an appliance is failing or a wall needs repainting, many people don’t look at their roof from one week to the next. ‘If people looked up a little more often, they’d spot problems sooner,’ says Fraser Corrigan of Which? Trusted trader Roofline Installations. ‘Most repair work is urgent but a little prevention could save money in the long run. Look out for holes in the gable ends, anything loose or wonky. ’

Consumers indicated that they found roofers the hardest trader to find in a December 2017 Which? survey. They also reported that it was tougher to find traders at short notice. Roofing repairs being both infrequent and urgent at the same time can mean double the difficulty. Remember, if you need a professional trader to make repairs to your roof, Which? Trusted Traders has endorsed roofers in your local area. All Which? Trusted Traders endorsed businesses have been through a thorough assessment process to check they operate fairly and with the customer's interests at heart.

Roof types

Most UK houses have pitched (raised) roofs covered in tiles or slate.

  • Tiles are commonly made out of cement or clay. Cement tiles should last 40-50 years and are about 90p each. Clay tiles last longer but are about £1.40 each. 
  • Slate is hard-wearing but used more rarely because it's expensive. More slates than tiles are needed due to how they overlap. Reclaimed slates are cheaper.

Many outbuildings and garages, and some extensions, have flat roofs. Felt has traditionally been the most common covering but newer materials such as fibreglass, rubber and PVC are becoming more common.

What you should look for

Spotting these early warning signs can prevent more expensive and extensive damage developing over time.

Slate and tiled roofs

  • Damp or leaks may signal a cracked or slipped tile.
  • If a tile has blown off, it should be replaced quickly to prevent water from penetrating the felt underneath. Also, more tiles can be dislodged in high winds if there is one missing.

Flat roofs

  • Cracks or splits round the edges.
  • Sagging – as water builds up boards can break under the weight.
  • Damp patches on the ceiling – the roof may have a tear.

Stand back and check your flat roof from the ground periodically. If you spot uneven lumps, repairs may be needed.

Roof repairs

An experienced DIYer may be able to fix small problems on one-storey buildings.

Cleaning out gutters at lower levels will allow water to flow away, but most jobs are best left to professionals. If you do go up a ladder, have someone with you and make sure the ladder is secure. 

It's a good idea to have your roof and gutters inspected each year. Some contractors do this free of charge – ask in advance whether there will be a charge.

How much you should pay


A property's height shouldn’t affect price much. Although, if scaffolding is needed, repairs will cost more. Find out more with our guide to the rules around using scaffolding.

Get advice from at least three roofing contractors on what needs doing and what it might cost. Be aware that prices will vary between regions, according to the precise materials you use and how easy or difficult your roof is to access. See more in our tips on how to hire a reputable roofer.

This is what you should expect to pay for some of the most common jobs:

Small roofing jobs

These guide prices include labour and materials but exclude VAT.


Typical cost

Clean gutters – front and back


Replace one to six broken or missing tiles


Replace a ridge tile (along top)


Replace about six ridge tiles


New roofs

Replacing a whole roof is only necessary when tiles have deteriorated beyond repair – if they’re crumbly or porous they won’t keep water out.

These guide prices include labour and materials but exclude VAT.


Typical cost

New tiled roof on an average three-bed house


New flat roof on a typical 6m x 3m single garage – felt roof without using boards – keeping the initial structure in place.


New flat roof on a typical 6m x 3m single garage – new boards and modern products PVC, rubber EPBM


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