The Cost of Asphalt Shingle Roofs: Materials & Installation Costs 2017

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 belongs to metal roofing and natural slate. For the value, though, Asphalt Shingles are hard to beat, especially when viewed through the prism of its low upfront cost and near-term home improvement ROI. An asphalt shingle roof can often be installed for under $10,000 on a small or mid-sized single family house. For a relatively modest upfront cost, you can expect to get at least 10 to 15 years of roof protection for your home.

A Wee Bit Of History

For a long time, slate tiles were the cream of the crop when it came to roofing a house or building. In the early 20th century, that changed. America went from using slate and cedar (wood) shakes and shingles as predominant materials for covering their homes, to what was at the time the newly unveiled asphalt shingles. The reason for this was two-fold; The new asphalt shingle was made to look very similar to the slate tile, but at a much more affordable cost. Like all things mass production, it allowed millions of homeowners to enjoy decent roof quality without the need to spend a whole lot of money on a roof. Yet, like many things associated with mass production and usage, it lead to a significant, and ongoing issue with the disposal of old asphalt shingles.

Understanding Asphalt Shingles Roofing Options

Back in the day, it used to be that asphalt roofing was rolled onto roofs. Cloth-like paper, with layer of asphalt, coated with stone granules. In the early 1900’s, the rolls were sliced into individual pieces. Add in the political pressure from the National Board of Fire Underwriters, who thought this material was much better for a home covering than the popular wood shakes alternative, and a monumental industry was born! 😉

3-Tab Shingles

Strip shingles, or what we call 3-tab today, used to be the standard for nearly half a century. They offer a single layer, uniform look for the roof. They are light-weight even in today’s market. But, they are considered cheap and less durable than the next step up, or what we call architectural shingles.

Architectural Shingles are thicker, heavier and offer far more variety than their predecessor. With 50% more weight than a 3-tab shingle, architectural shingles come at a higher cost. Though, the cost is easily justifiable with more durability, service lifespan and the idea that shapes of shingles can be different. Architectural shingles are also known as laminated or dimensional shingles, because there is an appearance of more depth to the roof than what 3-tab/strip shingles provide.

Many routinely refer to architectural as the premium product, but they are really middle of the road product.

Premium shingles can offer even more depth and variation. These are luxury shingles are known for their totally different look. Truly premium shingles are designed to be as durable and long lasting as possible. Here, multi-colored options exist, along with cool-roof asphalt shingles, and other cutting edge technological advancements.

To be clear, the architectural shingles are the predominant product in the asphalt shingle market today. The other two options are also being sold, and are quite popular in their own right. 3-tab makes for a great starter row on any type of asphalt shingle roof. Plus 3-tab is sufficient wherever economical considerations may outweigh quality, such as on some low-priority commercial buildings and value residential roofs. Premium shingles are deemed by many as too luxurious, but there are people willing to pay nearly twice the cost for a better designed, longer lasting roof, which the luxury shingles provide.

Another consideration which each of the three options has to do with how the product can perform during storm weather and strong wind uplift. Essentially, the cheaper the product the less wind it can withstand before the 3-tab tiles curl or are even blown off. This pertains directly to product warranty. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • 3-tab shingles are rated for 60 to 70 mph wind uplift, usually holding to a 20 to 30 year product warranty
  • Architectural shingles are rated for 110 to 130 mph winds, with 30 to 50 year warranties
  • Premium shingles are rated for up to 110 mph uplift, and usually come with limited lifetime warranty

For more visuals and info on the three variations of Asphalt Shingles, see this page from the IKO Roofing Manufacturer’s website.

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Synthetic Shake and Shingle Pricing Guide 2017 – Exterior Home Improvements

Synthetic shake and shingles are polymer-based material, or a combination of plastic and rubber. They are used on roofs where homeowners desire the classic look of wood or natural slate, with the added benefits from the synthetic blends. They are relatively new to the roofing market, first arriving in the early 1990’s. Their durability, environment friendly and affordability have all contributed to their rising success.

Square Footage Cost and Total Installation Charges

Composite shingles and fake slate cost virtually the same. Formation is done via a molding process to ensure it resembles wood or stone, as the case may be. The material is fairly light at about 1.25 pounds per tile, so essentially all roof types can handle such installation. The tiles can easily be cut on-site with a utility knife and are attached as simply as using a nail gun. An asphalt shingle roofer ought to have the skills to properly install synthetic shake and shingle roofing.

For installation on an average (2,300 sq.ft.), non-complex roof, it costs between $4.50 and $7.00 per sq.ft. With the averaged sized home, this totals to $10,350 to $16,100. If the existing roof needs to be torn off first, this can cost $2,250 to $3,500 more.

A complex roof with multiple roof angles, dormers, or greater pitch would add to labor charges. How much this adds depends on the contractor, the unique roof layout and other factors we’ll cover below.

Breaking Down Costs Into Specifics

With any home improvement project being handled by qualified professionals, it is in your best interest to get more than one quote, or preferably between three and seven. The quoted figures they give you will either be total installation charges (one price for everything) or they’ll ideally itemize each cost so you can better compare their rates to the competition. For the example below, we ballpark certain figures as particular items, like building permits and disposal fees vary by region.

Composite Shingle Roofing: 2,490 sq.ft. (23 roofing squares) = $13,100 (includes labor+material)
Tear Off Existing Roof: $2,500
Disposal fees: $900
Additional Materials: Flashing, fasteners, underlayment, etc. = $2,250
Building Permit: $350
Total Project Cost = $19,100

Factors That Contribute To Overall Cost

While material costs are roughly the same between composite shingles and fake slate, the material costs will be based on manufacturer and distributor pricing. Usually, roofing contractors purchase product at wholesale through established distributors. There are a number of manufacturers in the marketplace, and the popular ones are:

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Metal Shingle Roofing Costs and Value in 2017

Installing a metal shingle roof on a residential home will cost, on average, between $8.00 and $10.00 per sq. ft. There are a number of factors that determine that cost, and we’ll explore them in this article. It’s perhaps most important to realize that of the three primary options for metal roofing (the others being Standing Seam and Corrugated Panels), Metal Shingle is in the middle of pack in terms of cost.

Understanding the Enormous Options of a Metal Shingle Roof

At first mention, metal shingles sound bland, or perhaps too risky of an option in an area where they would clearly be outside the norm (i.e. all your neighbors have asphalt shingle roofing). Yet, when researching metal shingles styles and options for residential homes, you might be surprised to pull up some images that look a lot like asphalt shingles. 😉 Why would that be? Because the reality of metal shingles in 2017, or in the last few years, is that these are really metal tiles that are intended to mimic just about all other possible roofing styles designed for sloped roofs.

Slate tiles, ceramic tiles, asphalt shingles, cedar shake and say redwood shingle are all materials that metal shingles can mimic. From the curbside view, it would be hard to tell the difference between the metal material and its usual counterpart. That’s how diverse the metal roofing industry has gotten. Add to this the idea that metal itself can have a pleasing appearance, as is the case with copper, zinc and painted aluminum and steel tiles. Gone are the days when metal shingles only have a silver/gray, metallic appearance.

Key Fact: There are really two basic types of metal shingles, or tiles: metal coated with metallic finish, often second coated with factory finished paint, and the second type which is often referred to as stone-coated metal tiles.

It’s the stone-coated variation that opens the door to having metal shingles that look nearly identical to asphalt shingles, because like asphalt shingles, they are coated with granules. So, it’s not just color, but texture that allows metal shingles to obtain a great diversity in product options. With texture as an additional option, slate, wood and ceramic are all possible appearances for metal roofing.

Then there is shape, which varies a bit by manufacturer, but for the most part are rectangular, or diamond shaped. Usually, installation relies on an interlocking system that makes for quicker installation and ability to hide fasteners. Some manufacturers still go the route of having panels of say 4 tiles (per panel) that are adhered to the roof deck. Panels are usually 4 feet long and are often installed over existing roofing (i.e. metal shingles can be installed on top of asphalt shingles).

Did you know? Interlocking tiles are now the 2nd most popular type of metal roofing for residential homes after standing seam.

The other consideration for shingle options is the material, or type of metal itself, but we’ll cover that in the next section.

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