Currently, the average cost to install roofing shingles is $3.5 – 10.5 per square foot, depending on the material you choose.
In fact, while most homeowners associate shingles with asphalt products, there are numerous other options available. These include: metal, cedar wood, and synthetic slate.
It is important to know that shingles are not all created equal. They vary in quality, durability, energy efficiency and ability to protect your home against extreme weather. This is why there is such a broad range of material and installation costs.
Be aware that some contractors may insist that you buy a specific shingle brand. To avoid being scammed, or getting a low quality material, you need to figure out what roof will best match your needs.
Here we review the most popular types of shingles, their costs and features.
Cost of Asphalt Shingles
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These are the most commonly installed shingles on residential homes across the US. They offer a variety of style choices at a budget price. Average costs range from $3.5-5.5 per square foot installed. On a 1,500 sq.ft. simple ranch or cape style home you can install a new asphalt roof for $4,000-4,500.
It is the combination of looks and affordability that makes asphalt roofs the top choice for many homeowners, who are looking to either do a re-roof or install a brand new roof on a budget.
Asphalt products are made from a base material, which may either be a fiberglass mat (most common today) or an organic felt, covered with asphalt coating and a top layer of mineral granules for additional protection.
You can choose economical 3 Tab shingles, which are lightweight and create a flat look. These are a good choice for starter homes, or rental properties. Alternatively, you can install more expensive laminated (architectural) products, which are thicker and create depth and dimension.
There are literally hundreds of colors and dozens of styles to consider, from top manufacturers such as GAF, CertainTeed, Owens Corning, Atlas, IKO, and Malarkey.
All shingles are relatively lightweight and are easy to install and repair; handy homeowners can even do the work themselves, without hiring a professional contractor.
Typically, these roofs last about 12-16 years. One of the biggest downsides to using this material is that this it is not an environmentally friendly: it cannot be recycled at the end of its service life, and has to go into our landfills. Roof leaks are also very common, and require frequent repairs.
Metal roofing shingles are a major upgrade from asphalt. They are built to last a lifetime, require virtually no maintenance, and increase the value of your home. All these awesome benefits come at a cost of about $7.5-9 per square foot. This is equivalent to $11,250-13,500 for a metal shingle roof installed on a 1,500 sq.ft. house.
Top manufacturers include: Tamko, McElroy, EDCO, Decra, Interlock, Classic Metal, and Matterhorn.
Typically made either from aluminum or steel, these shingles come in many styles, colors, and profiles. Two of the most common types are interlocking shingles and overlapping tiles. If you don’t like the look of metal, there are numerous products that replicate the look of natural slate, clay tiles or cedar shingles at a fraction of the cost of the original material.
These roofs are made using a stamping manufacturing process on an industrial size press. They are extremely durable and are made to withstand severe weather, such as hurricanes, hail and snow storms. A metal roof is also insect, mold, rust, and fire resistant, providing greater protection and health benefits to the inhabitants of the home. Moreover, it is an eco-friendly roofing material, because 95 % of it can be recycled at the end of its service life.
One of the biggest factors that deters more homeowners from installing metal shingles on their roofs is the initial high price. However, a metal roof is a smart long-term financial investment. It does not need to be replaced and requires minimal repair over its lifetime. Moreover, it provides higher energy efficiency (20-30% savings compared to an asphalt roof), all of which translates into major savings over the long haul.
Cedar is one of the few natural, green roofing materials on the market. Wood shingles cost more than most other roofs. However, they offer homeowners a beautiful natural look, as well as longevity, durability and increased energy savings. Average cost is about $6.5-7 per square foot installed. This is equal to $9,750 – 10,500 for a cedar roof installed on a 1,500 sq.ft. ranch or cape home.
Cedar is an even-grained wood that ranges in color from light blond to deep chocolate brown, and weathers gracefully to shades of gray. Shingles are sawn on both sides for a tailored appearance. They are available in several sizes: 16 inches or Fivex; 18 inches or Perfection; and 24 inches or Royal nominal lengths.
They have exceptional insulation properties, which means that you can heat and cool your home for less. Moreover, cedar shingles are heavy, so they actually act as a second insulation layer for your home. These properties are particularly advantageous for homeowners who live in colder climates. Your house will lose a lot less heat through a cedar shingle roof, saving you money on heating bills.
Synthetic Slate Shingles
Faux slate shingles are made of highly durable plastic, polymers and fillers, such as wood dust. They are molded to look like slate or cedar shingle impression. Average cost is about $7-8.5 per square foot installed, which is over 50% cheaper than the price of a real slate roof. A simple 1,500 sq.ft. synthetic slate roof runs about $10,500 – 12,750.
Top manufacturers include: DaVinci, CertainTeed, Tamko, Ecostar and Slate Select.
Synthetic shingles are installed in the same manner as real slate roofs, but offer the benefits of being much lighter, easier to install and nail down, as well as being non-brittle.
Synthetic shingles come in a variety of sizes, colors and styles, offering a wide range of design possibilities. This material has many other benefits:
– excellent protection against water leaks
– freeze/thaw resistance
– Class A fire rating
– wind resistance up to 110 mph.
Also, many products are manufactured with recycled rubber and plastics. This makes them flexible during installation, sustainable and environmentally friendly.
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