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Roofing Material Costs, Pros & Cons

Roofing Material Costs, Pros & Cons

October 15, 2018

Roofing Materials

If you’re working on re-roofing your existing property or installing a completely new roof, there are various materials to choose from. In the following post, we will help you to understand the pros and cons of some of the most common roofing materials and the related costs.

Asphalt Shingles

Around 70% of US single-family homes have asphalt shingle roofs. The number is slowly decreasing though, thanks to the more durable and energy-efficient option of metal roofing.

The reason they have remained popular for so long is that they come in a variety of attractive options, are reasonably good at protecting households against the weather and are affordable.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

There are two main types of asphalt shingles available:

  1. Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles, consisting of meshing made from fiberglass and then covered with shingles and granules. This type is resistant to tearing and lightweight.
  2. Organic Asphalt Shingles start life as pieces of paper saturated with asphalt and then coated with granules. These are heavier and less pliable than fiberglass, but better in strong winds.



– Effective protection against fire

– Suit most property styles

– Affordable

– Only need fairly standard roof sheathing as support


– Costs more because they need to be replaced more

– Low-cost asphalt shingles have a lifetime of only 10 to 12 years in areas with high temperatures

– Can crack with sharp temperature changes


Asphalt Shingles

Wood Shakes and Shingles

Wood is a great material to use because it adds that natural touch. Pressure-treated pine, cypress, redwood and cedar shakes, and shingles are readily available.

Difference Between Shakes and Shingles

Though they seem similar, there are some differences between shakes and shingles:

  1. Shakes are cut by hand from large wooden blocks and more rustic looking. They are thicker and cost more than shingles.
  2. Shingles are cut by machine and have smoother surfaces and cleaner edges.



– Natural beauty

– Natural oils in redwood and cedar provide moisture and insect resistance

– Treated wood shingles have a fire rating of Class A

– A lifetime of 5 to 10 years more than asphalt

– Double the insulation value of asphalt shingles


– Untreated woods have a fire rating of only Class C

– Wood is not allowed in some areas where wildfires are regular

– Untreated wooden shingles and shakes require a lot of maintenance

Metal Roofing

It may seem old-fashioned, but metal roofing has gained popularity again over the last few years. While most metal roofing is still made in rolls, it is generally in the form of a rigid sheet with press-formed modular panels and vertical seam panels that can then be covered with granules or painted.

The most commonly used metals in roofing are zinc, steel (lightweight variety) and aluminum. Although you can get copper roofing, this is highly expensive.


– Styles exist that mimic tiles, slate, shakes, and shingles

– A wide range of colors

– 50 to 100 years lifetime and 30 to 50 years warranties

– Effective solar radiant heat reflector, controlling energy costs by keeping property cool in hot weather

– Usually has a fire rating of Class A

– Quicker installation


– Higher cost than alternatives

– Without proper substrate sheathing in place or attic space, metal is noisier during rainfall

– It dents easily when hit with heavy objects and is more expensive to replace


Metal Roofing

Average Costs

Although there’s obviously more to the cost of roofing than just the initial price, as we’ve already hinted at. However, taking a roof that measures 1,620 square feet, it would cost $7,500 for Asphalt and $14,500 for metal.
The above serves as a guide only, speak to roofing contractors to discuss your roofing needs.