How Much Does a Tar and Gravel Roof Cost?

Want to have a solid investment in your roofing? Yes, you can, literally, with tar and gravel roofing.

Tar and gravel roof is also known as built-up roof. It is a type of flat roof and is common in commercial buildings and now, in homes, as well.

Built-up roofing is less vulnerable to leaking because it doesn’t have seams. It also protects from ultra-violet rays and requires minimal maintenance.


Among the available materials for flat roofs, tar and gravel roofing is one of the most top choices because of its durability.

So, how much does a tar and gravel roof cost?

­­­Tar and Gravel Roof Average Cost

On the average, the price is from $2.50 to $8.50 per square foot. The following are the data from actual providers:



The all-in quotes includes the material and labor to install a tar and gravel roofing. Permits are also usually included in the bid price as the roofing contractors are the ones in-charge of facilitating its processing.

For actual costs, the prices will depend on the materials and roof specifications.

Other Costs to Consider

  • Roof Removal – The cost to remove the existing roofing depends on the type of materials, and the number of layers. The cost is between $1.00 and $4.00 per square foot.


  • Inspection Cost – Periodic inspection of flat roofs are important to ensure their safety and soundness. While there are roofing companies that offer a free inspection, ensure that a thorough one is done. For certification purposes, inspection has cost. RoofPRO in Severn, Maryland charges $250.00 for a comprehensive inspection.
  • Annual Roofing Maintenance – Proper maintenance is necessary for all types of roofing.

As maintenance is the responsibility of the building owner, how much will be spent for it will depend on how it is done periodically. According to the National Group of Commercial Roofing Contractors, the cost of annual roofing maintenance is between $0.14 and $0.25 per square foot depending on whether active or reactive maintenance is conducted.


Buying Tips

It is important that you hire the services of the best roofing contractor. No matter how good the quality of the materials is, the roof installed will cause you a big problem if the installation is done poorly. It is best that you research the following:

  • Reputation and credibility of the contractor.
  • License and permits of the contractor.
  • Insurance, warranties, and guarantees of the contractor.
  • Experience of the contractor in the industry.

Don’t know of any roofing contractors? Ask for referrals. You can also visit the site of the National Roofing Contractors Association to find a contractor in their member database.


Before you decide on a contractor, it is also best to know their past projects and read the testimonials from their past clients.

To have a longer lasting tar and gravel roof, make sure you get the best materials and the best roofing contractor.

tar roofing cost

Tar and Gravel Roof Cost Factors


The following are important drivers that determine the cost to replace tar and gravel roof:

  • Materials – Tar and gravel roofing is made up of 3 components, the waterproofing component, reinforcing component, and surfacing component. It is installed by alternating layers of asphalt or tar and supporting fabrics directly onto the roof with the final layer being stone or gravel. The different materials cost differently.
  • Layers – The number of layers will depend on the owner and the capacity of the building. The number of layers can be 3, 4, or 5 depending also on the budget. The thickness of the layers will also determine the number of materials needed.

The more layers, the higher would be the costs. The thicker the layers, the higher would be the costs, too.

  • Size of the Roof – The size of the roof will determine how many materials are needed. In a tar and gravel roof project where layering is done, the size of the roof plays a big factor in the total project cost. Obviously, a bigger-sized roof is expected to cost more.


  • Roof Access – Access to the roof to install the layers of the tar and gravel roof is a factor in labor cost. When it is difficult to access the roof, expect that the labor will be more expensive.
  • Code Requirements – State codes and other regulations are a factor in the permit rates and other requirements to install the tar and gravel roof.
  • Location – Different localities may mean different prices for the materials as well as labor necessary for this project.
  • Contractor – Well-known, reputable roofing contractors are expected to cost more than other contractors with less experience.
  • Warranties – The length of the workmanship warranty that the roofing contractor will provide will cause the difference in the costs of installing the tar and gravel roof. The longer the warranty period, the higher the roofing contractor will charge for the project.


What Else You Need to Know

Unfortunately, the tar and gravel roof installation is not DIY-friendly. It is best left to professionals.

Tar and gravel roofing is fire-resistant and can withstand harsh weather conditions. It is known for its longevity. Properly maintained built-up roofs could last even up to 40 years.

Tar and gravel roofing is a cost-efficient and low-maintenance roofing option for commercial building owners and homeowners. With tar and gravel roofing, you’re getting good solid value for your money.


A renowned home improvement expert with almost 20 years of experience in building and repairing beautiful homes in the USA. He's a civil engineer by profession.

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