How Much Does a Cool Roof Cost?

Average range: $7,500 - $30,000
Low
$6,000
Average Cost
$10,000
High
$40,000
(1,500 sq.ft. roof of white solar-reflective architectural shingles, installed)

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Reviewed by Isabel Maria Perez. Written by Fixr.com.

Energy costs have been on the rise for the past several years. This has led many homeowners to take steps to reduce their energy usage while keeping their homes comfortable. For those in hot climates, replacing your existing roof with a cool roof can keep costs down. They reflect solar rays and heat rather than absorb heat like traditional ones. By reflecting the sun’s rays and heat, they prevent attic spaces from becoming superheated, meaning your cooling system does not need to work as hard, lowering your energy bills.

Many materials can create a cool roof, from asphalt shingles to special membranes for flat roofs. The type and style dictate the cool roofing material.

The national average cost to install a cool roof is $7,500 to $30,000, with most people spending around $10,000 on white solar-reflective architectural shingles installed on a 1,500 sq.ft. roof. This project’s low cost is $6,000 for 1,500 sq.ft. of single-layer PSF roof installed on a low-pitch home. The high cost is $40,000 for an installed 1,500 sq.ft. intensive green roof on a reinforced low-pitch roof.

What Is a Cool Roof?

A cool roof is any roof designed to reflect more of the sun’s rays and absorb less than a standard one. This can be done in many ways. You can use a white or light-colored paint, a roof covered or made with reflective surface particles to reflect light and heat, a roofing material like polyester spray foam that insulates and reflects heat, or build a living or green roof on your home. Common materials used to create a cool roof include asphalt and architectural shingles that are light in color or coated in reflective granules, a white PSF, tile roofs coated in reflective surface materials, metal roofs that have a light color and finish made to reflect heat and light, and acrylic coatings for various flat roofs. These materials can be installed on an existing roof in a replacement to lower the energy costs of cooling your home.

Cool Roof Cost Calculator

Cool roofs are often made of lighter colors of roofing material you can install on any home. Others may be made of standard roofing materials given a special coating to reflect more heat and light. There can be a wide cost range for the installation and labor of creating a cool roof, depending on the type and material. Below are the average costs for a 1,500 sq.ft. cool roof made of varying qualities.


Cool Roof Costs
Zip Code Sq.Ft.
Basic Standard Best Quality
Cool Roof Cost (Material Only) $3,750 - $4,500 $4,500 - $10,250 $15,125 - $20,000
Cool Roof Installation Cost (Labor Only) $1,500 - $3,000 $3,000 - $10,000 $10,000 - $20,000
Total Costs $5,250 - $7,500 $7,500 - $20,250 $25,125 - $40,000
Cool Roof Cost per Sq.Ft. $3.50 - $5.00 $5.00 - $13.50 $16.75 - $26.67


Cool roofs can use different versions of normal roofing materials. The key is to look for versions designed for solar and heat reflectiveness. The lowest cost options for this are single-layer PSF roofs for flat roofs and standard white asphalt shingles. Moderate standard options include metal roofs, architectural shingles 1 in white or with materials that reflect light and heat, and some types of extensive green and tile roofs. The highest quality include tile roofs with solar-reflective glazes and intensive green roofs with significant soil depth for insulation.

Pros and Cons of Cool Roofs

Cool roofs can reduce your energy bills by preventing your attic and roof from becoming superheated. A cool roof can stay up to 50º cooler than a normal one, taking some of the stress off your home’s cooling system. This can have many benefits, including a more comfortable home, lower energy bills, less UV degradation, and a longer lifespan for your AC unit. Cool roofs come in many styles and colors to maintain your home’s appearance.

They can be more expensive than standard roofs, however. Some may require you to reinforce the roof deck to hold the weight, while others may have a premium cost for the color. Depending on the roof type, you may have limited options for creating your cool roof, and your color choices can be limited for some lower-cost options.


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Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Lifespan. The lifespan of a cool roof is dictated by the material. They may last anywhere from 20 to 100 years, depending on the material.
  • Maintenance. The maintenance of your cool roof is dictated by the material. Some materials require regular cleaning and inspections, while others are virtually maintenance-free.
  • Options. You can find cool options in most traditional roofing materials.
  • Tax credits. You may be eligible for tax credits if you install certain types of cool roofing, including cool asphalt roofs.
  • Pitch. The pitch of your roof may influence the material you can install and your costs. Flat roofs can support much less expensive options and thicker and heavier green roofs.
  • Climate. A cool roof may not offer any benefits in a cooler climate and may raise your heating costs in the winter by not providing additional warmth from the sun.

FAQs

  • Which roof is best for a hot climate?

Many cool roofing options are a good choice for hot climates. These include solar reflective asphalt and architectural shingles, metal roofs with a reflective coating, and some green roofs.

  • What is the advantage of a cool roof?

Cool roofs can lower the temperature of your roof and attic by about 50º on the hottest days of the year. This can help you lower your energy bills while keeping your home more comfortable and stressing your cooling system less.

  • Is a cool roof a green roof?

Green roofs are one type, but not all cool roofs are green roofs. Green roofs are living roofs made of plants, while cool roofs can be made of other materials, including asphalt, metal, and tile.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Shingle 1 Shingles: A smooth, uniform, flat piece of construction material, available in a wide variety of materials and laid in a series of overlapping rows, used to cover the outside of roofs or walls to protect against weather damage and leaks.

Cost to install a cool roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources