Would you like to cut the cost of your roof replacement? There are plenty of variables you can play with. Replacement costs range greatly, depending on the contractor you pick, the materials you use, and the region you live in.

You can also lower – and sometimes eliminate – your roof repair bill by thinking carefully about how you’re going to fund your project (ask about a cash-out refinance or a home renovation loan to cover costs).

6 Affordable Ways to Raise the Roof – and Reduce the Cost of Replacement

The good news: Roof replacement costs are down from a decade ago, while their cost-versus-value has risen. In 2010, Remodeling Magazine reported the average cost of roof replacement at over $21,488 with a cost-versus-value return of 59.5%. Today’s full roof replacement may run you up to $20,939 (with $6,600 estimated as the national average), carrying a cost-versus-value return of a solid 68.4%.

The better news: You can offset your upfront cost by looking into your options.

There are at least six ways to pay for a roof replacement that don’t involve draining your savings:


1. File a Claim

If your roof damage has been caused by acts of nature versus wear and tear, you could be sitting pretty; your homeowner’s insurance might cover it. The first step is to check your policy. The odds are that damage, leaks, and often a full replacements related to windstorm or hail damage will be covered.

Unfortunately, most insurance policies don’t cover roof replacement and repairs related to the passage of time. But new homeowners may be covered for wear-and-tear type replacements under the terms of their home warranty.


2. Refinance your Mortgage

When insurance and home warranty don’t cover it, get in touch with your lender. You could free up funds by making changes to your mortgage. Refinancing – where you exchange your existing mortgage for a second mortgage, often at different terms and with the possibility of a lower interest rate – could lower your monthly payment and make extra cash available.*

Depending on how much your home has appreciated, you could also ask your loan officer about a cash-out refinance that allows you tap into up to 80 percent of your home’s value.


3. Get a Home Reno Loan

Homebuyers in need of a roof replacement, as well as other repairs on a fixer-upper, can check out several mortgage programs made especially for renovators. Home improvement loans like FNMA Homestyle and FHA 203(K) programs let new buyers borrow an extra sum of money to fund home repairs on top of their purchase price. These funds are lumped together into one mortgage.

Keep in mind that each reno loan has different terms and conditions, timelines, and max repair amounts, and your loan officer can help you narrow down the right choice for your project.


4. Bundle it Into a Bigger Renovation

If you’re not a new buyer trying to get your house in order, a leaky roof could be the nudge you need to give your home an upgrade. A construction loan, normally granted on a short-term basis, is often used by homeowners that are ready to take on larger-scale projects. Construction loan funds are released in stages.

Not all homeowners will qualify for a construction loan because of their stringent requirements and deadlines. But those who do, can take on major renovations (that include a new roof) with a steady stream of cash.


5. Take Out a Home Equity Loan or HELOC

A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, works like a credit card and uses the home equity you build up as collateral. Compared to other loans, HELOC interest is normally lower and tax-deductible.

Like a HELOC, a home equity loan is another way to free up funds without a full refinance. Unlike a HELOC, a home equity loan is not a line of credit – it’s a second mortgage on your house. Many homeowners in need of cash may opt not to refinance if their existing mortgage already has a good rate. Instead, they might take out a second mortgage, or a home equity loan, to access their equity and pay for a roof replacement.


6. Use Tax Credits

Roof replacement tax credits are real, if you’re making energy-efficient upgrades and know where to find them. Homeowners who’ve installed metal and asphalt roofs meeting Energy Star standards within the past taxable year can file for a deduction of up to 10% of the material cost.

New energy-efficient doors, windows, and skylights may also qualify. The total combined credit limit for all Energy Star deductions currently maxes out at $500 in improvements made since 2005.

When life hands you lemons, i.e., a leaky or worn-down roof, there’s always the opportunity to turn a profit. Using your roof replacement as an excuse to knock out a larger home improvement project can help you grow your investment by increasing your home’s value.

Bethany Ramos is the Creative Writer for Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc. Her work has also been featured on SheKnows.com, Time.com, Yahoo.com, Mamamia.com.au, Babble.com, and HuffingtonPost.com.

*While refinancing could make a significant difference in the amount you pay each month, there are other costs you should consider. Plus, your finance charges may be higher over the life of the loan.

For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.

Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.