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Selling a House With a Bad Roof?

It can be difficult to sell a house with a bad roof because today’s buyers are looking for ready-to-move-in homes.  With a busy work-life schedule, rising cost of materials and skilled roofers in short supply, buyers are keen to buy homes that do not need any work.

The good news is that you can sell your property that needs a new roof to a genuine cash house buyer such as Property Saviour.

If you are thinking about whether to replace your roof before selling your home, read our guide to see what you need to know.

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How much does it cost to reroof a house in the UK?

Having a waterproof property certainly appeals to any buyer, and it makes it mortgageable and far easier to sell.  It can take up to one week to replace a roof, depending on how much damage has been caused by your current problematic roof.  Costs will include:

·      Hiring and installation of scaffolding to the property, which could be from £1,000 or more for larger homes;

·      New roof tiles that match existing tiles;

·      New joists if existing joists are rotten;

·      New treated timber roof battens;

·      Breathable roof membrane sheets that act as a roofing underlay;

·      Labour cost in removing the old roof tiles;

·      A large skip for any rubbish up to £500, including a permit.


For a typical 3-bed semi-detached property, you’d be looking at around £10,000, including the cost of materials and labour.  Actual costs will vary depending on:

·      Roof materials required for your roof as timber prices are very high at the moment;

·      Condition of the roof and the extent of the damage;

·      Your location.

Watch out for a rogue roofer!

For a homeowner, replacing a roof can be a substantial cost and a very stressful experience.  Once you have requested quotes from a couple of roofers, it would be time to start obtaining references. 

Ask to take a look at their previous work, and we don’t mean showing you photos on their phones.  Speak to their actual customers, go and see their properties to find out what the issues were before, whether there were any issues after the re-roofing, and how they were dealt with.

Does the roofer provide you with an insurance-backed warranty?  This can cover a period of up to 10 years after the works have been carried out.  Are they a member of a trade body?  Do they have a complaint procedure if the work carried out is not satisfactory?

Rogue roofers can provide you with false references, such as friends or family pretending to be their customers.  If your gut says something isn’t right, then walk away.  It is worth checking what their roof looked like before the work started; this is when photos can help.

In quite a few cases, we’ve seen stories of roofers asking homeowners to pay upfront for scaffolding and materials, never to be seen again.  We recommend that anybody who asks you for upfront payment, you don’t deal with them.  The minute they have your money, they will be gone forever and apart from reporting them to ActionFraud there’s nothing else you can do.

Roofers will have trade accounts with building material suppliers with up to 30-day credit terms.  Therefore, you should never have to pay upfront for materials.

You can, of course, opt to instruct a scaffolder and pay for materials yourself, and if you are careful, you might be able to save a few quid by negotiating better prices.

When you start replacing the roof, you may realise that guttering could do with a replacement, too and before you know your costs can run away.

Example of a bad roof requiring immediate repairs
A leaky exposed roof can do irrepairable damage to roof joists, battens and floor boards.

How long should a new roof last?

The overall lifespan of a roof depends on weather conditions and the area for example if your house is at seafront, it is likely to have a much shorter lifespan.  On average the expected lifespan of a roof is around 20 years.

Is it worth replacing a roof?

It depends on whether you live at the property or is it an empty property. If the roof is about to cave in, it will be worth making it safe.

However, if it is an empty property, then chances are your property has a history of damp, rotten joists and roof battens that are soaked in water, moss, and rot.  Your roof may also have asbestos.  Asbestos was widely used in building materials right up to the year 2000 before it was banned.  It will require a specialist asbestos removal company.

A roof exposed to the elements can also invite pests such as pigeons, making it their home.

Even after replacing the roof, there is no guarantee that you will be able to recoup your initial investment back.

Hidden costs of replacing a roof

Aside from the upfront cost of replacing a roof, there are several hidden costs that you may not have considered when replacing a roof.  These include:


Working full-time means that you may not have enough hours in the day to:

  1. Research various roof materials
  2. Contact roofers and ask them to provide you with quotes and references
  3. Take a week off work to supervise their work as they strip off the old roof and install a new one.

If you have small children or have other commitments on the weekend, there is increased pressure on your availability.


British homeowners tend to repair or replace their roofs during the Spring or Summer.  In Spring, homeowners start to notice issues with their leaky roofs, and it is the ideal time to replace a roof.

If you have inherited a property or are a retiring landlord, then timing is of the essence, as you might not wish to wait for the ideal time to replace the roof.  Additional expenses such as maintenance costs, mortgage payments and insurance can easily run into thousands of pounds.

Repairing the damage caused by the roof leak:

If unattended for a couple of months, a leaky roof can destroy floorboards and floor joists.  Harsh British weather conditions mean walls will be full of damp requiring an expensive damp-proof course, re-plastering, and redecorating.  Before you know it, you could end up with a very large refurbishment project on your hands and costs can easily mount up quickly.

Can you sell a house with a bad roof?

It is unlikely that a buyer who needs a mortgage will be able to buy your house.  The primary reason is that banks consider a house with roof repair issues to be unmortgageable.  In this case, your buyer could insist you pay for a new roof.

Seller’s disclosure to any potential buyers

By law, a seller must describe their property honestly and truthfully, particularly if they are aware of a leaky roof or any other repairs that are required.  It is highly likely that any surveyor will have picked up on a leaky roof. Not disclosing this fact could result in prosecution and an expensive litigation battle.


It can be tempting to start improving a house, but as the scope of your work increases, from a simple roof replacement to damp proofing and redecorating, so do your costs.  Even if you have a huge savings pot, it will get spent, and you might not be able to achieve the price you’d hope for.


Trying to sell your home with roof damage can seem like a no-win situation with increased costs that you may not have cash for, or your situation necessitates a quick sale.  This is where Property Saviour can help.  We can make you a cash offer for your property and agree to complete the purchase within a couple of weeks.  You may not get your full asking price, but you won’t have to undertake a large, risky, expensive project.

Can cash buyers offer a sensible alternative to selling a house with bad roof?

Property Saviour are genuine cash buyers. We do not need a mortgage to buy your home.  We will buy any property regardless of its condition.  There are no estate agent’s fees to pay.  We will make you a cash offer with no deductions.  The price we agree on is the price you will get.  You can complete the sale within two weeks, saving you time, money, and stress.

Why not get in touch with us to see how much we can offer?

Sell with certainty & speed

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  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
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  • Complete in 10 days or at a timescale that works for you.  You are in control.
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