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A guide on the cost of replacing roof tiles

by | Dec 16, 2022

Home $ Property Management for landlords $ What is planned preventative maintenance? $ A guide on the cost of replacing roof tiles

Besides having to replace the tiles of a roof in an emergency, replacing roof tiles can provide several benefits for property owners. It can improve the appearance and value of the property, and it can save money on costly repairs in the long run.

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The cost of replacing roof tiles can vary depending on several factors, such as the type and condition of the roof, the size of the property, and the availability of materials and labour. Read this article in detail to explore the cost of replacing roof tiles and provide information on the factors that affect the cost involved.

How much does it cost to replace roof tiles?

The cost of replacing roof tiles varies, but the average for a standard two to three-bedroom house in the UK is around £5,000.

However, this is the cost to completely replace a roof, and it may just be that you need repairs done, especially if only a few tiles are broken in a property and the rest of the tiles are relatively new.

A roof that costs to be replaced

Nonetheless, it may be a good idea to replace the whole roof if you find that some tiles are broken, as it is an indication that the entire roof is aged and has served its time.

Reasons for just needing a few tiles replaced include if one or two were damaged unexpectedly, perhaps in freak weather conditions or accidental damage to a property. 

How can you calculate the cost of roof tiles?

When it comes to replacing tiles on a roof, the amount you pay will depend on the ease of access of the roof, what type of bedding the tiles were built on, the type of tiles you have and how many tiles are going o be replaced.

Number of tiles to be replaced Ease of access Average cost
Up to 5 Tiles easily sourced, no access issues £170
Up to 5 Roof ladder and cement bedding required £225
Up to 5 Difficult access, hard-to-find tiles £500
Full replacement Complete tiled roof replacement £10,000

What are the reasons for roof tiles to need replacing?

Roof tiles, as expected, are built with the consideration that they’ll be exposed to wet and harsh weather and constant exposure to the sun. This is why a roof tile will develop cracks and faults.

Common reasons for this include the sun degrading the quality of the ceramic over time as well as the wind dislodging the ceramic to create crafts.

Biological weathering is also a big factor in the degradation of a roof,  bird faeces can get stuck in the cracks and contain seeds, as these seeds grow the roots may push into the structure of the roof, dislodging tiles. On top of this, faecal matter and mosses that grow as a result of an organic environment produce certain acids that break down the ceramic over time.

Even if you do not suspect large-scale damage,  through an inspection of a roof you may be able to tell that a roof needs replacing soon.

This would be a good idea to do before the roof completely fails as leaks through roofs can damage the interior of a property too such as electrical equipment, the plasterboard of a ceiling and depending on how quickly you notice the leak, potentially furniture too.

If you do not notice any of these changes to the condition of a roof tile, it may still be a good idea to replace the tile in a roof every 20 – 25 years as these bad roof conditions are likely on their way.

What are the exact costs of replacing roof tiles?

The exact costs of replacing roof tiles can only be determined by a roof expert.

For a more detailed understanding of how to calculate the cost of tiles, here is a breakdown of what the variables are so you can get a better idea for your property. You may need to hire an expert to check out your roof so you can tell exactly what needs replacing. If you do this process yourself, you may produce an incorrect figure.

More niche tile choices would result in you having to pay for more specialist tile experts and roofers. For example, someone hiring for a roofer that replaces solar tiles will have to pay significantly more than a traditional clay tile roof replacement.

Occasionally,  a landlord may find that tile damage is due to a tenant leaving a house in disrepair. In cases like this, they may not have to cover the cost of replacing roof tiles themself as they can take this money out of the tenant’s security deposit or charge them dilapidations for leaving the house in disrepair.

What are the factors involved in the cost of replacing roof tiles?

Aside from the cost of labour, they include the number of tiles that are damaged, how easy they are to access as well as the location and type of tiles involved.

check out the below factors to determine a price to replace roof tiles.

How easy the tiles are to access

How easily you can replace a tile is factored into the cost of replacement. Examples of where it may get expensive to replace a tile are on taller buildings with tiles perhaps multiple stories high. A roofer would have to take extra precaution when replacing these tiles and may have to install scaffolding to the roof, especially if the roof is slanted at a high angle.

To see how this compares in a real life example, the replacement of 5 tiles with a traditional roof ladder may only cost £200. On the other hand, a tile that will need scaffolding erected to replace may cost a landlord or property manager up to £500.

An old roof that needs replacing

The number of damaged tiles there are

A larger number of damaged tiles will require more materials and labour to replace, which can increase the overall cost of the project. In some cases where there is severe roof damage, it may be necessary to hire additional roofers and specialised equipment to get the job done.

Overall, the more tiles that need to be replaced, the higher the cost of the project is likely to be. It’s important to consult with a professional roofer to determine the cost of replacing your roof tiles if the project seems large scale.

What is the general condition of the roof otherwise?

If a roof is generally in bad condition anyway,  as a roofer tries to replace tiles that are already damaged,  other older tiles may break anyway or loosen. This means a project that was initially set to cost a certain price may inflate as the project progresses.

What are the types of tiles involved?

There are a few reasons why different types of roof tiles such as clay, concrete, and slate may have different costs for replacement. One of the main reasons is the materials and labour required to manufacture and install each type of tile is different. Clay and concrete tiles are typically mass-produced using moulds and machines.

These can make them less expensive than slate tiles, which are typically physically cut out of the earth from natural stone. Additionally, the weight and durability of each type of tile can affect the cost of installation.

Type of tile Cost of replacing tiles Average cost
clay tiles £150 to £190 £170
concrete tiles £180 to £220 £225
slate roof tiles £200 to £250 £500
replace entire tiled roof £10,000 to £20,000 £10,000

What are the costs involved when supplying a tile?

The costs involved when supplying a tile depend on the type of tile. Low pitch roof tiles are the most expensive and clay roof tiles tend to be the cheapest.

To put into perspective the cost of the tile in relation to the cost of replacing it. Here are the relative material costs of tiles with large format roof tiles being the most expensive.

Roof tile repairs Supply costs
Large format roof tiles £3 to £4 per tile
Clay roof tiles £0.40 to £20 per tile
Low pitch roof tiles £5 to £7 per tile
Concrete roof tiles £0.70 to £50 per tile
Interlocking roof tiles £0.80 to £7 per tile

What are the other types of roof tiles?

There are some more, uncommon choices of roof tiles including solar roof tiles. The cost to replace these are significantly more as the labour to replace them and the materials involved are harder to find.

These costs are usually factored into the reinstatement cost of a property in case it were to be structurally damaged.

Solar roof tiles

Solar roof tiles are PV panels and they are popular choices for new build properties in the United Kingdom, especially as new EPC regulations roll out.  By 2025 all properties in the United Kingdom will have to have an EPC rating of C or above. This means amongst other factors that regulate building efficiency like insulation,  adding in solar panels can bring a score up to the higher bands.

The advantage of these types of panels are of course that it saves energy but also, it is out of the way of everything else in the property as it is integrated in the roof. As a result, they are perceived to look better as there is no frame that needs to be fixed to the roof.

Having said this, think twice before going ahead as the cost of solar tiles are usually quite high but it is speculated that as the price of them fall as technology improves, they will become increasingly popular as they are in other places in the world like the United States. 

Replacing solar roof tiles cost anywhere from £5,000 upwards per tile but this widely depends on the size.

Thatched roof tiles

Thatched roofs are common in rural areas and farm houses such as cottages.  While they may appear unsafe or flimsy due to being made out of biodegradable material, they are in fact very well made. They keep out the natural elements and are made from densely compacted thatch which can be made from straw rushes or other dry vegetation.

Thatched roofs do not have tiles so you may need to replace individual parts of a thatched roof at a time.  On top of this, it may be troublesome if you find that there is a part of the thatch roof that is underneath a thicker part of the thatch that needs replacing. If the repair needed is deeper inside the thatch roof, then the entire roof may need replacing which would render your house unusable after a few weeks.

In general, the cost of replacing a thatched roof can range from £10,000 to £30,000 or more. It is important to consult with a professional roofer who specialises in thatched roofs to determine the cost of replacing your roof and to ensure that you receive high-quality materials.

It could be a roof that is made out of straw rush and needs to be replaced with the same type of thatch in order to look aesthetically pleasing and integrate well. A professional roofer will be able to assess the condition of your roof and provide a trustworthy method for repairing a thatched roof for a reasonable price.

Does it take long to replace the tiles on a roof?

Most of the time, it doesn’t take long to replace the tiles on a roof.

Replacing the tiles on your roof can be a time consuming process or a quick fix depending on the extent of the damage to tiles. Also, the type of tile remains a factor in how long it takes to replace the tiles on a roof.

A roof that is damaged due to weather

Clay roof

Clay roof tiles are amongst the most popular types of tiles and they slot into each other easily. As a result, if you knew what you were doing, you could finish the replacement of a few tiles within half an hour to an hour. Having said this, clay tiles can sometimes be handmade or made uniquely by manufacturer, if this is the case they may need additional time to be slotted in correctly.

Concrete tiles

Concrete tiles are usually quite easy to assemble, they slot underneath each other and fit together piece by piece. It is important not to rush though as concrete tiles are known to crack if they are treated too aggressively or dropped.

Slate tiles

In order to install slate roof tiles you can use a pre-installed underlay or you can stick the tiles to the structure of the roof with glue or adhesive and fasten them together with nails. If you choose the latter method of glueing, this will take a bit longer and a few tiles may take a few hours to replace.

Can I replace my roof tiles myself?

You can replace roof tiles yourself. However, in general, homeowners should avoid attempting to replace roof tiles on their own, especially if they lack experience.

Roof repair work can be physically taxing and dangerous, and it needs specialised equipment and knowledge to make sure the roof is repaired correctly and is watertight.

Without the right knowledge and tools, replacing roof tiles can lead to roof damage and even personal injury. To handle any roof repairs or replacements, it is generally best to contact a professional roofer. 

A qualified roofer will be able to replace your roof tiles safely, effectively, and with the right equipment, ensuring that your roof is properly repaired and preserved for the long term so you don’t have to replace a roof again anytime soon.

What are the benefits of replacing the tiles on a roof yourself?

There are benefits to replacing roof tiles yourself even if they don’t seem to be broken. You can save money on labour costs and gain the confidence to change tiles.

Replacing roof tiles might have a number of advantages.

Save money on labour costs

First of all, you will save money on costs because you aren’t hiring anyone for their time and skill set. It will be up to you to conduct repairs. You may have to do some research before you go about replacing the tiles on a roof. Nonetheless, once you are informed it can be a nice project to do and you will learn a lot about tiling at the same time.

You’ll be able to change your tiles more often

If you change your title once, you will likely gain the confidence to do it again. This means you will not have to wait long periods of time putting off repairs because you know that there are additional costs involved. You can simply hop on your ladder and get to repairing any broken tiles yourself.

You’ll get a good idea of what needs replacing.

Finally, self-managing the integrity of the tiles on your roof will give you a holistic view of the general health of the roof and if any tiles will need replacing. The event that an unexpected leak occurs or tiles suddenly degrade without you noticing is therefore quite small which reduces the need for PPM.

A roof that is exposed to the sun that doesn’t need replacing

In conclusion

All in all, replacing roof tiles can provide several benefits, including preventing leaks and other damage to your roof and property and if you stay on top of repairs, it may not cost that much either. It will also bring additional benefits like improving the appearance and value of your property too. 

If a property owner is interested, they should begin by determining if they need their roof tiles replaced and then figuring out how much replacing roof tiles will cost.

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andreas gerazis

Andreas Gerazis

Experienced landlord

Andreas is a certified landlord with extensive knowledge about the UK property market as he has been actively investing for half a decade. Founder of the first three-in-one property management software, Lofti Proptech, Andreas has a brilliant understanding of the details surrounding what it takes to grow and run a thriving property portfolio.