Asphalt Shingle Roof Costs: Materials & Installation 2017-2018

The biggest bang for your buck. That’s what Asphalt Shingles on a roof can provide to you, the homeowner. It’s not the most durable material. Durability and longevity belong to metal roofing and natural slate.

For the value, though, Asphalt Shingles are hard to beat, especially when viewed through the prism of their low upfront cost and high near-term home improvement ROI.

Did you know? An asphalt shingle roof, such as 30-year architectural shingles, can often be installed for under $10,000 on a small or mid-sized single family house in the US.

For a relatively modest upfront cost, you can expect to get at least 10 to 15 years of roof protection or longer, depending on the type of shingle you choose.

Pro Tip: Generally speaking, you will get a much better ROI and longer service lifespan by installing architectural shingles as opposed to 3-tab.

That being said, on a per sq. ft. basis, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3.00 to $5.50 to install architectural shingles on a typical home in the US.

Coastal and metropolitan areas will cost more than roofs in rural areas. States like South Carolina, parts of Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Kansas will have lower costs than New England, Mid-Atlantic, and West Coast States.

As you can see roof pricing is highly regional, because labor costs are insurance costs vary a lot in different parts of the country.

Note: Larger remodeling companies and general contractors will charge up to 30% more to install a new roof than a smaller roofing company. Reason being is that larger companies have some serious overhead costs that get priced into their roofing services.

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PVC Roof Options and Costs – PVC vs. TPO 2017-2018

PVC, technically known as Polyvinyl Chloride is really vinyl roofing, though is routinely referenced as PVC roof. It directly competes with TPO and EPDM in the synthetic roof membrane arena, and indirectly with all other roofing materials including BUR, modified bitumen, and structural standing seam roofs designed for lower sloped roofs.

Membrane roofs are usually applied to flat or low-slope roofs, but using a single-ply membrane on a sloped roof is also possible and common on roofs with slopes between 1:12 and 3:12.

Why not just use traditional roofing materials (asphalt shingles or other tiles) on a low sloped roofs? Because they are very likely to leak unless a minimum specified slope for shingles or tiles has been met.

When used with a slope, the overlap of those materials are designed to shed water away from the roof deck. Whereas flat roofs have only a slight pitch, and any standing, or pooling water, could lead to immediate leaks and rotting soon thereafter.

PVC membrane is a kind of roofing material that can withstand pooling or standing water — puddles of water that accumulate on roofs with low slopes.

Cost and Values of a PVC Roof

Of the three primary membrane roof types, PVC is the most expensive. EPDM the least, and TPO in the middle. TPO allegedly offers the benefits of both the other types, yet that material keeps undergoing formula changes, and so compared to PVC and EPDM is considered less reliable, particularly when it comes to warranties.

Prices for residential installs can vary greatly. A roofer is likely to quote differently than a professional PVC installer, probably less, but also likely to not have the proper tools. A fair range, for 2017-2018, is between $6.00 and $8.50 per sq. ft. if installed by a PVC expert. On the lower end if going with less thick material.

In terms of value, durability and ROI, PVC is arguably the best, or longest lasting of the three. EPDM will go 7 to 15 years before needing replacing or re-coating. TPO is thought to go as long as PVC, but that information is either suspect or unknown for sure just yet.

PVC has been in the field for decades and unlike TPO isn’t constantly undergoing changes to the formula to address performance issues. Warranties are usually ‘lifetime’ and with proper installation, it ought to retain solid performance for 20 years or more.

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Fiberglass Roofing Shingles Costs, Options, and Pros & Cons

Asphalt shingles remain the most popular roofing material in America. While not the most durable option around, they are the most economical. They make for quick installation and continue to be improved upon.

Since the 1980’s, fiberglass shingles have effectively displaced the traditional organic asphalt shingle. The cost of materials and installation has stayed relative to the rate of inflation.

Cost Basics

As roofers discuss everything in terms of squares (100 sq.ft.), let’s use those rates. On average, a square of fiberglass roofing shingles will run $275 to $450 per square fully installed.

Note: In high cost of living areas such as DC, NYC, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, and LA, the cost can exceed $500 per square installed.

If choosing to go with professional installation, on average, you can expect to pay between $6,000 and $12,000 for a 20 square, or 2000 sq.ft. roof. — This includes all materials and labor, tear off of the old roof and disposal, permitting, and 5 year warranty.

Cost of Materials vs. Other Alternatives:

The material cost, per square foot, for all other roofing options is $3 and up, while fiberglass shingles are easily well under $2 per sq.ft. You’d have to go with architectural grade to have it rise to the economic grade of other materials.

Material Composition

Traditional asphalt shingles, often referenced as organic mat-base shingles, were heavier than the contemporary fiberglass version. This is a result of needing 40% more asphalt than the updated fiberglass version.

The fiberglass base mat along with the ceramic granules are truly the primary materials while the asphalt layer serves the important function of waterproofing the mat. The granules, both old and new, serve the purpose shielding the shingle/mat from harmful UV rays.

Less asphalt does make for less flexibility and initially less durability. Though organic mat-based are well known to absorb water which during changes from hot to freezing temps, lead to more cracking or warping of the shingle.

Being lighter weight, fiberglass shingles are easier to transport, thus more eco-friendly in terms of energy needed for transport. And less weight that will end up in landfills, which is overall a disadvantage of asphalt shingles compared to recyclable materials such as metal and ceramic tile.

Stylistic Considerations

Two different types of fiberglass shingles exist, with enormous amount of sub-variations. Three-tab shingles are the less expensive version that delivers an overall flat looking roof.

The ’tabs’ are actually the shingle that on a finished roof are not detectable as all shingles look like individual pieces, when really they are overlapping pieces of three-tabbed shingles.

Architectural grade is the second, more expensive version. Sometimes referenced as dimensional or laminate shingles.

This type of fiberglass shingle provides extra depth and shape to what is the resulting shingle appearance. The contoured look gives off more of an impression slate tile or even wood shake.

Both types of fiberglass shingles can vary the color on a single roof, but three tab is commonly a single color while the dimensional tiles have visible shade and hue difference among each piece.

All contemporary roofing materials have limitless color options and fiberglass shingles are no different. Green, red, brown, gray and black are all common for fiberglass shingles.

Additional Considerations and Features

A significant advantage architectural shingles have over three tab is the manufacturer’s warranty. Typically three tab will carry anywhere from 15 to 30 years depending on manufacturer, climate and regional environmental factors. Architectural grade starts with a minimum of 30 years.

The same roof mentioned in the Cost Basics section above, using laminate shingles, would be $8500 to $15,000 with labor, for 20 squares.

For low sloped roofs, three-tab is the better option as the contours of a dimensional roof could hold or trap water more than the flatness of the three-tab version.

Some manufacturers use colored granules designed to reflect sun rays, thus delivering cool roof type technology on an asphalt shingle application.

While metal roofing is superior when it comes to actual cool roof benefits, you’ll want to check for Energy Star rated fiberglass shingles to achieve these sort of benefits.

Similarly, contemporary fiberglass shingles have the option of being treated for algae resistance. If you go for these, plan to pay as much as 15 percent more for roofing material. For homeowners in high humidity or increased precipitation, this may be of interest to you.

Advantages of Fiberglass Shingles

  • ease of installation – almost all professional roofers will install this product, and many DIY’er types can handle this type of roofing project
  • very budget friendly or for sure one of the most economical choices available for adding a new roof to your home
  • great versatility with lots of styles and options to select from
  • widely available
  • unlike many other types of roof, fiberglass shingles can be walked on without need for special attention or fear of cracking/denting the material
  • decent to good return on your investment. 3-tab generally amounts to 70% ROI, while architectural grade can fetch as much as 78%

Disadvantages of Fiberglass Shingles

  • while more eco-friendly than organic version, they lag far behind other roofing materials
  • far less durable than most other roofing options that can last 50 to 100 years, by the time one needs to replace a slate tile roof, the homeowner who stuck with fiberglass will have paid for 3 roofs that are subject to escalating costs over time
  • due to shorter life span, the need for annual check ups is greater along with possibility of needed repairs from curled or cracked shingles. Especially a factor for three tab shingles in hotter climates.