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Types of Roofing Materials With Costs

Updated: Jan 15

10 types of roofing materials with costs

When it comes to building or renovating a home, one of the most crucial decisions you'll make is selecting the right roofing material. The roof not only plays a vital role in protecting your home from the elements but also significantly contributes to its overall aesthetic and energy efficiency. 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, certain roofing materials can reflect more of the sun's rays, which can keep homes cooler during hot weather, leading to lower energy costs. Moreover, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emphasizes the importance of selecting roofing materials that are sustainable, without compromising on quality and affordability.

As we delve into the various types of roofing materials, we'll explore traditional options like asphalt shingles, which continue to be popular due to their cost-effectiveness and ease of installation. We'll also look at more durable materials for your Dallas Oregon home like metal roofing, which has gained popularity for its longevity and energy efficiency. 

What are the Different Types of Roofing Materials?

The roofing industry has advanced significantly, offering materials that combine style, durability, and function. Factors like roof slope, location, climate, and budget influence your choice. Modern materials can now mimic more expensive options, offering aesthetic appeal without compromising functionality or affordability.

1. Asphalt Shingles

asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles, also known as composite shingles, are the most common roofing material. Accounting for 80% of residential roofing, these shingles are composed of a fiberglass or cellulose mat, coated in asphalt and topped with mineral granules. They have diverse color options with a budget-friendly solution for roof replacement.

Asphalt shingles are known for their versatility, suiting various climates and lasting around 20 years. In regions with frequent hail or icy conditions, homeowners can opt for impact-resistant varieties, while algae-resistant shingles are ideal for subtropical areas.

Average Cost: Asphalt shingles range from $1.75 to $5.50 per square foot, depending on the type and quality.

Types of asphalt shingles:

There are two types of asphalt shingles:

a. Three-Tab Shingles: 

These shingles are an economical option, featuring a single layer of asphalt, adhesives, granules, and a fiberglass backing. Their flat appearance mimics traditional shingles. Quick to install, three-tab shingles typically last 7 to 15 years. However, they are limited to withstand winds up to 60 mph and are more damage-prone. 

Average Cost: $1 to $3 per square foot.

b. Architectural Shingles:

These are a sturdier choice, being thicker and offering a layered, textured look. With a lifespan of 18 to 20 years, they are more durable and can endure winds up to 120 mph. 

Average Cost: $4.50 to $7 per square foot.

2. Rolled Roofing

rolled roofing

Rolled roofing material is a prevalent choice for low-slope residential roofs and various utility structures, including shops, sheds, and more. This type of roofing is made from long rolls of material impregnated with asphalt and minerals, topped with a layer of mineral granules. Each roll typically covers about 100 square feet and is approximately 3 feet wide.

Known for being one of the most cost-effective roofing options, rolled roofing, however, lacks in aesthetic appeal. Its large, thin format allows for a quick and efficient installation on sloped roofs of buildings where looks are secondary, such as workshops. Installation methods for rolled roofing include the torch-down technique and fastening with roofing nails.

In terms of longevity, rolled roofing generally needs replacement within 5 to 8 years, making it a suitable short-term solution for roofing needs where budget and practicality are prioritized over appearance.

Average cost of rolled roofing: $1.50 to $2.00 per square foot

3. Built-Up Roofing 

Built-Up Roofing

Built-up roofing (BUR) stands as one of the most time-honored roofing materials, particularly suitable for flat or low-pitch roofs. This roofing system is crafted through the application of multiple layers of roofing felt, each saturated with hot asphalt, creating a highly durable structure.

The installation involves overlapping the asphalt-impregnated felt to create a thick barrier, usually ranging from two to four layers. To enhance its durability and impermeability, a final layer of finely crushed stone is then embedded into hot tar over the top of these felt layers.

When installed correctly, a BUR roof is known for its longevity, typically lasting between 20 to 30 years. This type of roofing is esteemed for its robustness and effectiveness in sealing flat and low-pitched roofs.

Average cost of built-up roofing: $2.50 to $5 per square foot

4. Membrane Roofing

Membrane Roofing

Membrane roofing is a specialized solution for flat roofs or those with a very low pitch. This category of roofing includes several types of membranes, each with unique characteristics:

1. Neoprene (Polychloroprene): A durable synthetic rubber.

2. EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer): A versatile synthetic rubber that is particularly effective.

3. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): A common plastic used for its durability and resistance to environmental factors.

4. TPO (Thermoplastic polyolefin): It combines polypropylene's elasticity and durability, making it ideal for repelling moisture like rain or snow on roofs.

5. Chlorinated Polyethylene and Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene Sheets: Known for their resistance to chemicals and temperature extremes.

6. Polymer-modified Bitumens: These are enhanced bitumen-based roofing materials with added polymer for increased flexibility and strength.

Among these, EPDM stands out as a top choice. Commonly known as "rubber roofing," EPDM is a synthetic material that offers several advantages. Its application in large sheets significantly reduces the number of seams, minimizing the potential for water leakage. This feature makes it similar to rolled asphalt roofing in terms of application.

With proper maintenance, the lifespan of a membrane roof, particularly one made of EPDM, can range from 20 to 35 years or even longer, making it a reliable and long-lasting option for flat or low-pitch roofs.

Average cost of membrane roofing: $4 to $8 per square foot

5. Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Standing seam metal roofs, characterized by their interlocking raised seams that effectively keep moisture out, are the most prevalent form of metal roofing. This design feature, where the aluminum or steel panels meet and form a sealed joint, is crucial for its waterproof quality. Metal roofs are gaining popularity, especially in areas prone to heavy snowfall or at risk of wildfires, thanks to their inherent fireproof nature.

Apart from being durable, metal roofs are environmentally friendly; they are recyclable at the end of their lifespan. This lifespan is notably lengthy, with metal roofs typically lasting between 30 to 50 years, and some even extending to 75 years.

However, the installation of metal roofs, particularly standing seam roofs, requires specialized skills. This necessity means that not every roofing contractor is equipped to handle their installation. The requirement for specific expertise underscores the importance of selecting the right roofing company for installing a metal roof.

Average cost of standing seam metal roofing: $10 to $16 per square foot

6. Wood Shingles/ Shakes

Wood Shingles Roofing

Wood roofs, known for their aesthetic appeal, are a premium choice often associated with luxury homes. Despite their beauty, they come with a higher price tag and certain drawbacks. Wood roofs don't last as long as some other materials and are not the best choice in regions with high moisture or wildfire risks.

There are two main types of wood roofing: shingles and shakes, both commonly made from cedar (a popular choice for Cape Cod-style homes) or redwood. Wood shingles are thin, wedge-shaped pieces crafted through precise sawing, offering a more uniform appearance. In contrast, wood shakes are thicker, split from the wood to create a more rustic, textured look.

The lifespan of wood roofing is highly dependent on environmental conditions and maintenance. In dry climates, wood shingles or shakes can last up to 60 years. However, in more humid settings, their lifespan may be reduced to 20-30 years. The longevity of these roofs highlights the importance of considering local climate and maintenance commitments when choosing roofing materials.

Average cost of wood shingles/shakes: $4.50 to $9 per square foot (shingles); $6.50 to $14 per square foot (shakes)

7. Clay Tiles

Clay Roof Tiles

Clay tile roofing is crafted from natural earthen clays that are shaped into rolled or interlocking forms and then fired to achieve hardness and durability. Often, these tiles are left in their natural state, showcasing a distinctive reddish-orange hue. Alternatively, they can be glazed and refired, resulting in ceramic roofing tiles with a variety of finishes and colors.

This type of roofing is particularly well-suited for hot climates or areas with salty air, making it a common sight in Southern coastal and desert regions. The material's resilience to such conditions contributes to its popularity in these areas.

One of the most significant advantages of clay tile roofing is its longevity. It's recognized as one of the most durable roofing materials available, often lasting over a century. This remarkable lifespan makes clay tile an excellent long-term investment for roofing, combining both aesthetic appeal and functionality.

Average cost of clay tile: $10 to $18 per square foot (More uncommon ceramic tiles can go high as $30 per square foot)

8. Concrete Tile

Concrete Tile Roofing

Concrete tile roofing serves as a cost-effective alternative to clay tile. They share similar installation methods and benefits, but typically at a lower price point.

These tiles are made from standard sand-mix concrete, which can be tinted in a range of colors to suit different aesthetic preferences. Concrete tiles come in various profiles, with some mimicking the appearance of traditional rolled clay tiles, while others have a low-profile design that resembles wood shakes. Sometimes, these tiles are enhanced with decorative coatings for added visual appeal.

Notably heavy and robust, concrete tile roofing is an excellent option for areas prone to high winds. Its substantial weight contributes to its durability, making it a reliable roofing choice. Homeowners can expect a concrete tile roof to last 50 years or more, offering a long-term roofing solution with both functional and aesthetic merits.

Average cost of concrete tile: $10 to $20 or more per square foot

9. Slate Shingles

Slate Shingles

Slate roofing, renowned for its attractiveness, is a premium material commonly found on luxury homes. It stands out not only for its elegance but also for its exceptional longevity. Some slate roofs, centuries old, are still in excellent working condition.

Authentic slate roofing is made from genuine, thin sheets of stone. Slate's natural propensity to split into thin layers makes it an ideal material for roofing, as it is relatively easy to quarry and shape. However, the installation of slate roofing is a highly specialized skill, and finding qualified installers can be a challenge due to the expertise required.

Choosing a slate roof often means it's the only roof replacement you'll ever need. With a typical lifespan ranging from 75 to 150 years or even more, slate tile roofs offer an enduring roofing solution, combining timeless beauty with remarkable durability.

Average cost of slate shingles: $10 to $30 per square foot (Depends on hard or soft slate)

10. Synthetic (Rubber) Slate Tile

Synthetic Rubber Slate Tile Roofing

Synthetic slate shingles offer an impressively realistic alternative to natural slate, while providing the benefit of being much lighter. These shingles are crafted from engineered polymers, along with recycled plastic and rubber, creating a more lightweight roofing option.

To the observer from ground level, it's often nearly impossible to tell the difference between this engineered material and its natural counterpart. This similarity makes synthetic slate an attractive option for homes that cannot bear the substantial weight of natural slate roofs.

While synthetic slate may not match the enduring robustness of real stone, it typically compensates with a substantial warranty, often up to 50 years. This makes it a reliable and aesthetically pleasing choice for those seeking the look of slate without the associated weight and longevity constraints.

Average cost of synthetic (rubber) slate tile: $9 to $12 or so per square foot

How Much Does Roof Replacement Cost?

The roof replacement cost can differ significantly based on several key factors. These include the chosen roofing material, labor costs, and the specific dimensions and configuration of your roof. 

On average, across the United States, roof repair and replacement costs stand at approximately $8,314. However, prices typically fluctuate between about $5,500 and $11,000, reflecting the wide range of materials, labor rates, and roof complexities encountered in different projects.

Which Type of Roofing Material is Best for my Home?

Choosing the best roofing material for your home depends on various factors, including climate, budget, aesthetic preferences, and the structure of your home. In regions with heavy rain or snow, durable materials like metal or slate are advisable for their longevity and resistance to harsh weather. 

For areas prone to heat or sun exposure, clay or concrete tiles are ideal due to their heat resistance. If budget is a primary concern, asphalt shingles are a cost-effective option and offer versatility in style and color.

The architectural style of your home also plays a role; for instance, traditional homes may benefit aesthetically from classic materials like wood shingles or slate. Ultimately, the best roofing material balances durability, cost, environmental conditions, and the architectural style of your home.


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