How Much Does New Roof Framing Cost?
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New Roof Framing Cost Guide
Updated: January 4, 2024
The average price of new roof framing
Once the walls and ceiling of your new home are framed, it’s time to frame the final portion: the roof. Most homeowners in the U.S. spend around $13,650 to get new roof frames built. But the size of your roof, the roof’s pitch, how it’s constructed, and the type of roof materials you plan to install on top of it can all impact the material and labor costs for this project.
Realistically, you could spend anywhere between $9,828 and $17,882 for a roof frame of average size—about 1,700 square feet. If your roof is significantly larger than most others, or you plan to build your roofing system with steel instead of wood framing, you could spend over $40,000.
Since the price range is so wide and there are so many different cost factors to account for, it’s virtually impossible to predict precisely what you’ll pay to frame your roof until you meet with your roofers. However, you can get a pretty good idea of how much to budget ahead of time by familiarizing yourself with all the cost factors.
We’re here to help with that. Keep reading, and we’ll explain how your roof's shape, construction, and size affect your project costs. Along the way, we’ll also provide some money-saving tips and point out a few ways to finance this project if funds are especially tight.
Factors that affect roof frame costs
The size of your roof
The cost to install any roofing material depends on the square footage of the roof, so size is one of the most important cost factors to consider when framing. As we mentioned, the average roof size in the US is 1,700 square feet, but roofs come in all sizes. Here’s a breakdown of how much it costs to frame roofs of different square footage.
Roof frame costs by roof size
Average price range
700 sq. ft.
1,000 sq. ft.
1,500 sq. ft.
1,700 sq. ft.
2,000 sq. ft.
3,000 sq. ft.
On average, framing a roof costs between $$5.78 and $10.52 per square foot. If you don’t see the size of your roof in the table above, you can calculate your own price range using these averages. Simply multiply the square footage of your roof by $5.78 to find the low end, then separately multiply your square footage by $10.52 to find the high end. For example, if your roof measures 1,800 square feet, your price range would be $10,406 to $18,934.
If your home is a new construction, you should already know the size your roof will need to be. But if you’re reframing an existing roof, you may not know its exact size. If this is the case, use our guide to measuring your roof to find its square footage.
If you’re demolishing an old roof
Roof replacement costs are much higher than the costs of roof installation. This is because roofers have to demolish and dispose of old roofing materials before installing a new roof frame. This results in additional equipment and labor costs. Determining what it will cost to demolish your old roofing is hard. It depends on how much you’re demolishing and if you can reuse any existing materials.
For example, if the old roofing has significant water damage, you may have to destroy it all and start from scratch. Alternatively, if you just want to add a dormer to one side or increase the pitch of a few sections, most of your existing roofing can probably be reused or left alone entirely.
On average, the demolition and removal of roof framing costs between $0.66 and $1.20 per square foot. So, if you’re completely demolishing and replacing the frame of a 2,000-square-foot roof, you should budget between $1,323 and $2,408 for these additional costs. However, this excludes removing other roofing materials like shingles, underlayment, or flashing.
Unfortunately, as with the other elements of this project, you’ll only know exactly how expensive the demolition of your old roof will be after discussing it with your roofing company.
The shape and pitch of your roof
Roofs come in various unique shapes, but many residential roofs fall into these five categories.
In addition to its size, the type of roof you have affects how much it will cost to frame. Generally, a more complex roof design—such as a mansard roof—will be more expensive to frame than a simpler one—like a flat roof or gable roof—even if they all have the same square footage. And if your roof’s design features custom elements like dormers, skylights, or lengthy eaves, it will cost even more to frame.
Similarly, the pitch of your roof will also affect the labor and material costs for installing it. This is partially because a roof with a steep pitch needs more lumber to cover the same distance as a roof with a gradual pitch. For example, if two roofs measure 2,000 square feet, but one has a pitch of 4/12 and the other has a pitch of 9/12, the cost to frame the 9/12 roof is likely higher.
A-frame roofs feature incredibly steep pitches, so they often have higher framing costs than roof styles with more gradual slopes.
On the plus side, though, roofs with steeper pitches tend to offer more attic space for storage. Additionally, it’s harder for heavy snow to build up on steep roof pitches and cause sagging. These benefits, as well as the dramatic flair of a steeply pitched roof, are why many homeowners opt for them despite their high costs.
How you frame the roof
Roof trusses come in various shapes, and the price you pay per truss will depend on the design of the trusses you get.
There are two standard ways to frame a residential roof. The first is installing roof rafters—long pieces of lumber often individually cut on-site—diagonally on top of the building’s ceiling joists. The rafters meet at a perpendicular ridge board which serves as the roof’s peak. This framing method gives you much more room to customize your roof’s design but is more expensive than the second method.
In the second method, roofers install multiple roof trusses that are prefabricated before they reach the job site. When combined along a home’s ceiling joists, trusses give a roof its shape. This method is much simpler than rafter framing, allowing the roofers to complete the roof quicker. Don’t worry, though – once its decking and covering are installed, a roof framed with trusses is indistinguishable from a roof framed with rafters.
As a bonus, trussed roofs are stronger and have longer lifespans than roofs framed with rafters. The only real downside of framing with trusses is that it leaves less room for unique design work since trusses are mass-produced ahead of time. When you frame with trusses, your roof takes on their shape, and you can’t easily modify them.
As previously mentioned, framing a roof with trusses can be $1,00 to $10,000 cheaper than framing a roof of the same size with rafters. Here’s a breakdown of how much it costs to frame roofs of different sizes using trusses:
Average cost of roof truss framing by roof size
Average price range for truss frame
The material you frame with
Wood is the most common framing material for residential homes, though it isn’t your only option. You can also get metal roof trusses if you want the frame to last longer and provide more strength for heavy roof coverings.
However, metal framing usually costs much, much more than wood. In some cases, steel trusses can be more than twice as expensive as wood trusses. Additionally, most residential roofs don’t actually need all the strength metal provides, even if they have to support heavy roofing materials like slate tiles.
In short, the strength of metal framing is usually better for commercial roofs than residential ones. The high cost of metal means you should only spring for a metal frame if your contractor recommends it for the type of roof you have in mind.
Roof framing pricing tiers
The budget option
If you want an affordable frame and are willing to settle for a simple design, we recommend framing your roof with no-frills roof trusses. During your initial consultation with your roofing contractors, ask them about local prices for queen post, fink, and hip trusses. Depending on regional market conditions, these options might be the cheapest in your area.
If you need to make your whole roofing system as affordable as possible, we recommend installing asphalt shingles or PVC roofing on top of your roof decking once the frame is finished. These roofing materials aren’t particularly stylish or long-lasting, but they are very cheap.
While framing your roof yourself is possible if you want to save money, especially if you get trusses, we don’t recommend DIY roof framing. Correctly constructing a frame requires technical skill, proficiency in geometry, and intimate knowledge of local building codes. If your capabilities are lacking in any of these departments, your roof can come crashing down long before its time.
All things considered, professional roofers are worth the labor costs.
The mid-range option
If you have some extra room in your home construction budget and want a stylish roof, then constructing your frame with more complex trusses like scissor, attic, or cathedral options might be more your speed.
This won’t allow you to customize the design of your roof dramatically, but on the plus side, going with trusses will allow you to install heavier roofing materials like clay tiles, slate, and metal roofing on top of your roof. The best part is that you can invest the money you save on your frame in these spendy roof coverings.
If you plan to roof with any of these heavy materials, talk to your roofers about getting trusses with enough reinforcement to support them.
The high-end option
If you want a wholly unique roof and have the money to make it happen, work with your contractor to design a rafter roof that meets your vision. Just be warned that this roof will be significantly pricier than one made with trusses. If your home is especially large, a custom rafter roof frame can cost well over $30,000.
A rafter roof also requires additional structural support to match the strength of a trussed roof, which is something to keep in mind if you plan to install heavy, high-end roof coverings.
How to pay your new roof costs
Even if you have a small home and you opt for budget-friendly wooden trusses, you should still expect to spend several thousand dollars to frame your new roof. Luckily, there are ways to cover these costs, even if you don’t have all the money you need on hand.
If you’re building a new house from the ground up, the best way to pay for your roof is to lump the amount it will cost with the construction loan you’re using to fund the rest of the project. It makes more sense to finance your roof’s frame this way than to pay a separate lender for it.
Be aware, though, that construction loans tend to have higher interest rates than mortgages, so you should refinance your construction loan into a mortgage once your home is complete.
If you’re reframing an existing roof instead of installing one as part of a new construction, there are a few other financing options.
The first option is to finance through your installer. Many roofing companies allow you to make a payment plan wherein you pay your installation costs over time with interest. The terms of this financing will largely depend on the company you hire. While installer financing is often more favorable than other methods, you should carefully read the fine print before agreeing.
Your second option is to take out a personal loan. This will give you access to a lump sum of money to cover the framing costs. You have to pay back the loan with interest, and depending on your credit score, the interest rate for a personal loan can be pretty steep.
Alternatively, you can take out a home equity loan. This will work similarly to a personal loan, but it might be more advantageous if you have a lot of equity in your home since these types of loans often base your interest rate on your equity. Just make sure you prioritize paying the loan back on time. Home equity loans are usually secured by your house, so your lender can take your house from you if you fail to pay off your debt.
Your last option is to open a home equity line of credit (HELOC). With this method, you’ll open a credit line similar to one you’d open with a credit card. You can repeatedly pull funds from a HELOC as long as you stay on top of the payment plan. If you fail to pay back what you owe through your HELOC, you can lose your home like with a home equity loan.
Other factors to consider
Whether you’re building a new roof frame or replacing an old one, you need to pull construction permits for the work. Luckily, when you hire a contractor, they’ll jump through this logistical hoop for you (another great reason to hire professionals instead of framing your roof yourself). However, you’ll need to cover the application costs. In some areas, these can amount to $500.
Framing in winter
While it’s always better to schedule large construction projects for warmer months, you can still construct your roof’s frame in winter, so you don’t need to wait until spring to complete your home. However, inclement weather conditions make exterior work much more dangerous, so roofers need to take extra safety precautions when they work in the winter.
The result is that roof framing takes longer in winter than in summer and costs a bit more. So you should account for additional time and expenses if you tackle this job in December or January.
Reframing your roof with an HOA
When you do any serious work to the exterior of your home—such as rebuilding your roof’s frame—you need to get your HOA’s approval first. Otherwise, the association can force you to redo the work to their taste.
Similarly, if you’re building a new home in a developing neighborhood with an HOA, you may need their approval for the frame. Some HOAs have strict requirements for how homes in their communities must look. If you’re unsure what your HOA requires, you should ask beforehand. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Other roofing projects
Even after your roof’s frame is finished, the work is far from done. The frame is just the skeleton, so there are a lot of additional components to install before your roof is complete. Here’s a list of other jobs you’ll need to do before your roof—and your home—are ready:
- Install roof decking
- Install flashing
- Install underlayment
- Install roof coverings like shingles or tiles
- Install gutters
Once you’ve installed all these necessary elements, your roofing system will finally be finished!
The cost to frame a new roof
As the foundation of your roofing system, your roof’s frame is one of the most important components of your home’s defense against the elements. If your roof caves or sags, it can cause significant problems for the rest of your home’s structure and even make the place unlivable. For this reason, it’s good to invest in a high-end roof frame, even if it isn’t cheap.