Four Common Roofing Materials and Their Cost

Commercial roofing company

America is made of millions of houses, apartments, and commercial buildings of all shapes and sizes. One thing every one of them has in common is that each and every structure has a roof. When your home is in need of roof repairs, or a new roof altogether, it can be a big investment. The price tag that your roofing repairs or replacement will have primarily depends on the material your roof is made of. While cheaper roofing materials cost less to install and repair, they also are prone to greater issues, and can sometimes lead to damage to the structure of you home, so finding that happy medium between cost and quality is key.


If you are building a home or replacing your old roof and want to get it right, here is a quick guide to common residential roofing materials, in order of less to most expensive:

  • Asphalt Shingles
    Approximate cost: $82-85 per square (a “square” is a roofing measurement of 10 square feet)
    Lifespan: 15-25 years
    Pros:

    • Asphalt shingles are the least expensive option, for an average, 2,500 square foot home, the roofing material costs about $2,500-$3,300.
    • Shingles are fairly easy and inexpensive to install, and can be laid over an existing roof.
    • Shingles come in a versatile array of colors that can compliment any home design.

    Cons:

    • Shingles don’t hold up as well as other roofing types in high winds.
    • Shingles can be prone to mold and mildew and pests.
    • You might find that shingles crack and fade in hot environments.
  • Metal Roofs
    Approximate cost: $110-250 per square
    Lifespan: A metal roof probably won’t need to be replaced, but recoating will be required every 10 years or so.
    Pros:

    • Metal is extremely light weight and can be installed on any type of home.
    • Metal holds up well to fire, rot, and pests that can destroy other roofing types.
    • You can achieve the look of other roofing types with metal material.

    Cons:

    • Metal tends to dent easily if something damages it, such as a heavy hail storm.
    • If the sound of rain hitting the roof bothers you, you probably won’t like having a metal roof.
  • Clay tiles
    Approximate cost: $100-500 per square
    Lifespan: If installed well, tile can last lifetime
    Pros:

    • Clay tiles create great insulation for a home.
    • Tile will not catch on fire or attract pests.
    • Tile contributes a beautiful look to a home

    Cons:

    • Clay tiles are extremely heavy, and can only be installed on roofs that can sustain the weight.
    • If there is any need for someone to walk on the roof, the tiles can crack underfoot.
    • The expensive cost of a potential tile roof replacement may lead to high home insurance premiums.
      Slate roofs

    • Approximate cost: $450-750 per square
      Lifespan: A good slate roof will last a lifetime
      Pros:

      • Slate will hold up very well if anything were to fall on it.
      • Like tile, slate is fire and pest proof.
      • Slate is easier to repair than tile and requires little maintenance

      Cons:

      • Slate is so heavy that the home must be designed and built with reinforcements to support the weight of a slate roof.
      • Slate must be installed by a specially trained roofing contractor and can be fairly expensive. The entire slate roof can cost more than $100,000 for materials and labor.
      • Like tile, a slate roof also can lead to high insurance premiums.

    What type of roof do you have on your house? If cost was no factor, what type of roof would you choose? Please leave us a comment below.

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