Average Roof Lifespan – How Long Does a Roof Last?

When estimating the average roof lifespan, don’t go by the warranty!

Roofing material warranty lengths have little to do with how long the roof will last. That’s reality.

An asphalt shingle with a 25-year warranty will look terrible in 20 years. Some shingles come with a “lifetime” warranty, “lol”.

A better way to ask the question is, “how long will that roof look good?” And yes, “how long will it keep out rain?” is obviously worth considering. The answers will be about the same number of years.

This no-nonsense guide gives you the real-life answers to the question – How long do shingles vs metal vs slate vs wood shakes, etc., last? Keep reading for the answers.

Most Common Roof Types and their Lifespans

Here’s the overview followed by a deep dive on the longevity of all roofing materials and options within them, such as 3-tab vs architectural vs premium asphalt shingles.

  • Asphalt Shingles – 12 to 30 years
  • Steel – 30 to 60 years
  • Aluminum – 40 to 70 years
  • Zinc – 70 to 100+ years
  • Copper – 100+ years
  • Cedar Shakes and Shingles – 25 to 40 years
  • Slate – 50 to “Forever”
  • Clay Tiles – 50 to 100 years
  • Concrete Tiles – 40 to 80 years
  • Synthetic Composite and Rubber Shingles – 20 to 50 years
  • Green or Vegetative Roofs – Up to 40 years
  • Flat Roofs – 10 to 40 years

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The Cost of a Standing Seam Metal Roof, Plus Pros & Cons 2021

Standing seam is the premier choice in residential metal roofing. It is also the most expensive; around two or three times the cost of corrugated metal panels and asphalt shingles, and about 10% to 20% more than metal shingles like interlocking steel and aluminum tiles and shakes.

Standing seam offers unbeatable value (through durability, longevity, energy-efficiency, and style) that is hard for any other roofing material to match. Let’s explore this in further detail:

Cost

The current national average cost to install a standing seam metal roof on a typical single-family house can range between $10.50 and $16.50 per square foot or $1,050 and $1,650 per square. This assumes a professional and warrantied installation of G-90 galvanized steel or Galvalume 26-gauge or 24-gauge (better) steel panels finished with the factory applied Kynar 500 paint finish. Aluminum panels finished with Kynar 500 paint are also an option and may cost slightly more than steel.

Asphalt Shingles

$8,500
Average Cost
Metal Roof

$15,500
Average Cost
Flat Roof Membrane

$11,500
Average Cost

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Fiberglass Roofing Shingles Costs, Options, and Pros & Cons in 2021

Asphalt shingles remain the most popular residential roofing material in America. While not the most durable option around, composition shingles aka fiberglass mat asphalt shingles are often the most economical option. Composition shingles typically make for a quick installation and continue to be improved upon.

Since the 1980s, fiberglass shingles have effectively displaced the traditional organic asphalt shingles that weren’t as durable. 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 architectural roofing shingles will run between $4.00 and $7.50 per square foot or $400 to $750 per square installed.

Note: In high cost of living areas such as Northern Virginia, Miami, Washington DC, NYC, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles, the cost can easily exceed $6.00-$8.00 per square foot or $600-$800 per square installed.

If choosing to go with a warrantied professional installation, on average, you can expect to pay between $8,000 and $15,000 for a typical 20-squares or 2,000 square foot roof. — This includes the cost of all the necessary materials and supplies, professional warrantied labor, tear off and disposal of the old roof, building permits and fees, and a minimum of 5-year workmanship warranty from the installer.

Asphalt Shingles

$8,500
Average Cost
Metal Roof

$15,500
Average Cost
Flat Roof Membrane

$11,500
Average Cost

See what local pros charge Enter your zip code

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