Commercial Roofing Costs and Budgeting

Pressure wash scrub
June 28, 2024

The biggest misconception about commercial roofing is that functionality is the alpha and the omega of the process. Rather, when calculating commercial roofing costs and budgeting always consider maintenance, energy costs, and property value.

Roofing maintenance for a business can pile up. Over time, the amortization cost of badly done roof repairs might start eating up a budget that could’ve been spent in other ways. Energy costs, especially in high summer and high winter in Indiana are also something to consider.

Ideally, you will want your commercial roof repair services to be done by the same people who installed the roof in the first place. This way you can avoid additional expenses because something wasn’t installed properly. At least, that can’t be an argument by the service.

Finally, consider that your roofing system, regardless of the type of business, is integral to the rest of the facility. Even when doing it separately, always employ experts who will look at the issue holistically and make your roof fit the needs of your business exactly.

Focusing on Commercial Roofing Costs

It is completely okay to focus entirely on the bottom line. But, remember that upfront costs alone are not the only thing affecting the bottom line. If you have any type of outward-facing business from the facility where you are building the roof, making it ugly will affect your business.

In general, there are six aspects of commercial roofing costs:

  • Material costs
  • Labor costs
  • Maintenance costs
  • Permit costs
  • Energy costs
  • Time costs
A restored barn roof

Depending on the size of the project, the time of the year, and where exactly you are building, each of these aspects might cost the most. But, most often, the first two points will make the biggest chunk of the cost.

This can be avoided by giving yourself enough time to negotiate for the best possible time to build something so that your labor and material costs are as low as possible. But, if you don’t have the time, you will always want to budget a bit more than the current asking price just to be on the safe side.

Energy costs are also one of the things that used to be neglected in the past but have become very important in the last few years. In industries where goods are perishable, energy concerns are non-negotiable. But even in industries like retail or storage, you want to spend as little as possible on air conditioning throughout the year.

Roofing Material Costs

The material of choice will always depend on what is available and what is functional. If you are using experts to design the roof, each material will look nice, but you must always consider the overall price and not just what is currently the cheapest.

Currently, metal roofing might be most common in small to mid-size commercial buildings. This is because it looks fairly nice, it is extremely durable, and there is very little maintenance for multiple years.

But, compared to build-up roofs (BUR), it is very hard to work on once maintenance is necessary. It will also get much hotter in the summer, so if you have cooling costs to consider, it might be better to go with a different system.

Finally, there is a growing popularity of so-called “garden roofing”. This is probably the most expensive system, but it is the most green and most sustainable. For many companies in temperate climates, the garden roof became a stand-in for the employee rest area.

Taking the extra space into consideration can make a huge difference, especially if you are in a high-density area.

Commercial Roofing Costs of Labor

In practice, paying off for experience pays off. A badly done roof can cause other damages to the property, your merchandise, and your business image. Not to mention the increased amortization costs.

Labor costs have risen in recent years as they follow the cost-of-life adjustments. But, if you are ready to wait and build your roof slightly out of season but still in good weather conditions, you will get a better deal.

commercial roofing system

Maintenance Costs

Connecting to the last point; if done correctly, maintenance should not be the biggest issue when calculating commercial roofing costs. Especially with metal roofs or professionally made green roofs, maintenance should not be a major concern in your budget.

An expertly done commercial roof should last up to 30 years. Maintenance in the first 5 years should not exceed a couple of hundred annually, depending on the size, while it might rise to several dollars per square foot after that, depending on the material.


This is one more reason to use a professional from the area you are operating in. While permits are usually quite sensible, knowing all of them would require experience. And, you want that education to be paid for by someone else rather than your business.

Try to always contract a professional who will guarantee that all of the work done will be provided according to the code. And you want that guarantee to be in writing.

Business Addition and Expenses

As a business, missing any value that could be made for your business is a missed opportunity. Spending less or making more money are obvious choices, but that is not all of the value that there is concerning your roofing situation.

If you have financially equal options that can improve the aesthetics of your location and your property value, improve workflow, or increase employee safety and satisfaction, you will see those dividends pile up over time.

Property Value

While most businesses don’t control real estate, preferring to rent, it is a mistake to think that owning is a way to hold up your capital. Rather, real estate ownership and managing the property value under your company might be the biggest advantage to your liquidity.

Namely, it is much easier to secure inexpensive revolving loans if your company’s property is well-maintained. The bank might not believe in your business plan, but they do believe in the property costs.

This is why if you own the property from which you do business, it is very important to do anything you can to increase that property value for as few dollars as possible.

Having a good roof will give a good first impression both at a glance and upon inspection. And once you increase that value that note is as good as cash in hand once you need it.