Roofing and Construction Blogs

Costs and Lifespans of Different Types of Roofing


Costs and Lifespans of Different Types of Roofing – Installation of new roofing is one of the most expensive home improvement “repairs” that a homeowner may face. When homeowners find themselves in need of roofing replacement, they often struggle with the decision between quality and cost. Here, we will seek to help consumers understand the cost and quality comparisons of many common types of roofing to aid in the decision-making process – you may be surprised at some of the results!

Calculation of Costs

Before we begin, let’s note a small disclaimer. The costs we disclose for the purpose of comparison are based on national average costs. Roof configurations, materials, and regional locations all contribute to varying costs. All lifespan costs calculated are based on a 100-year period. Now, let’s get started!


Composite Asphalt Shingle Roof

Composite shingle roofing is the most popular of all roofing materials and found on more than 80 percent of all homes due to their low cost, easy installation, and decent life expectancy. Composite shingles are usually composed of either an organic or a fiberglass base intertwined with asphalt and minerals.

Average Lifespan

Composite asphalt shingles have an average expected lifespan of anywhere from 15 to 40 years, depending on the quality of the materials chosen. Some shingle roofs could even last as long as 50 years with proper and regular maintenance.

Installation Costs and Lifetime Value

On average, asphalt shingle roofs cost around $5 per square foot to install. However, costs can vary depending on the type of shingle chosen and the cost of labor.
A house with typical roof slopes and a roof square footage of about 2,200 square feet will average about $11,000 for professional installation. So, assuming an asphalt roof needs to be replaced three to four times within a 100-year span, it would cost, in today’s dollars, an average of $33,000 to $44,000.

Asphalt Roll Roof

Asphalt roll roofing is made from the same material used in asphalt shingles, but instead made in the format of large rolls and is installed by laying the strips lengthwise across the roof in an overlapping fashion. It is used for relatively flat pitches, such as angled shed roofs. This type of roofing is fairly easy to install, making it a popular option amongst DIYers. Roll roofing is best suited for sheds, garages, and perhaps porch roofs, therefore not making it an ideal option for most home roofs.
<3>Average Lifespan

Asphalt roll roofing has a relatively short lifespan, and can be expected to only last from 5 to 10 years. To make sure asphalt roll roofing lasts as long as possible, make sure to keep it clear of debris and quickly patch any damage that occurs.

Installation Costs and Lifetime Value

Because asphalt roll roofing is normally installed on roofs with a relatively flat peak, a 2,000 square foot structure will have very close to 2,000 square feet of roof area. The average cost for installation of this type of roof is about $2.25 per square foot, so approximately $4,500 for a 2,000 square foot structure.
Since this type of roofing needs to be replaced quite often – most likely around 12 times throughout a 100-year timeframe – it could cost as much as a total of $54,000 for replacement.

Wood Shingle Roof

Wood shingle roofs are made from thin, wedge-shaped pieces of natural wood, such as cedar or yellow pine. While they make a very attractive roof, they are more difficult to install than some other roofing types. Wood shingles, however, are restricted in some areas, particularly areas with high fire hazards.

Average Lifespan

Wood shingle roofs last about 25 to 30 years on average. However, well-maintained wood shingle roofing can last as long as 50 years. Make sure to replace any split or cracked shingles immediately and keep the shingles free of moss or other grasses.

Installation Costs and Lifetime Value

Wood shingles can run on the pricier side, costing anywhere between $6.50 and $11.00 per square foot, installed. Based on an average of about $9 per square foot for a 2,000 square foot house with 2,200 square foot of standard sloped roof, it would cost about $19,800 to install wood shingle roofing. Assuming this roofing will be replaced at least three or four times over 100 years, it could cost anywhere from $60,000 to $80,000.

Wood Shake Shingle Roof

Unlike wood shingle roofing, wood shake shingle roofing is made of a thicker material and can be expected to withstand weather and UV rays better than wood shingles. Like wood shingles, shake shingles may be restricted in regions where wildfires are a known hazard.

Average Lifespan

Wood shake roofs can be expected to last 35 to 40 years, though they have been known to last even longer with maintenance being very similar to wood shingle roofing.

Installation Costs and Lifetime Value

Both the materials and the installation are more expensive for shakes than for wood shingles. You can typically expect shakes being about 50 percent more expensive than their shingle counterparts. Going off of $13 per square foot, a 2,000 square foot house with 2,200 in sloped roof square footage will cost about $26,000 to install. If three replacements are required over its lifetime, average costs in today’s dollars would run about $78,000 over 100 years.

Standing Seam Metal Roof

An increasingly popular type of roofing, especially in high fire danger areas, are standing seam metal roofs. Standing seam metal roofs are made from large steel panels laid on the roof, with the seams overlapping in raised ridges that run vertically along the roof slope. Metals used are most commonly made of steel or aluminum, but copper and zinc are also used. These roofs are virtually maintenance free and incredibly durable.

Average Lifespan

Standing-seam metal roofs have a lifespan of anywhere from 30 to 50 years, but in good circumstances, metal roofs may well last up to 75 years. Check the roof regularly to make sure no fasteners or sealants have failed, and look for distressed, bent, or slipped panels.

Installation Costs and Lifetime Value

Costs for steel or aluminum standing-seam metal roofs average about $10 per square, about $13 per square foot for zinc, and about $18 per square foot for copper. For a 2,000 square foot home with 2,200 square feet of roof area, average national costs for a steel panel roof would be about $22,000. With strong evidence showing that many metal roofs are regularly lasting 50 years, a 2,200 square foot standing seam metal roof could only cost $44,000 over 100 years.

Clay or Cement Tile Roofs

Clay tile roofs are incredibly strong and durable and are very often found on homes located in the Southwest, but they truly can be found anywhere in the country. Traditional tiles are made from terracotta clay, but there are also ceramic and concrete tile roofs. Tile roofing is individually installed in overlapping layers on the roof surface.

Average Lifespan

Clay tile roofs regularly last 100 years or more, assuming they’ve been properly maintained. The main issue that tile roofs face is cracking. Efflorescence (or a crystalline deposit of salts on the surface) can also develop, but can been buffed out with a clean, dry towel. Replacing broken tiles and priming the tiles with a clear alkyd will help ensure a long life for tile roofing.

Installation Costs and Lifetime Value

Costs will vary considerably depending on whether the tiles are traditional clay, ceramic, or concrete. Concrete tiles can cost around $10 per square foot installed, terra cotta can range from $15 to $20 per square foot installed, and ceramic tile can range anywhere from $20 to $30 per square foot installed.
If you’re installing a ceramic tile roof at $25 per square foot, the cost for a 2,000 square foot house with 2,200 of sloped roof area would be $55,000. Considering this type of roofing will last well up to 100 years, the cost in today’s dollars would remain at $55,000.
If you are in the market for a new home and find a house with a tile roof less than 50 years old, you’ll more than likely never need to replace the roof.

Slate Roof

Slate is another version of a stone roof. Rather than being made from clays or concrete, these are roofs covered with actual stone cut from rock that has been mined from quarries. Slate has a natural tendency to split into flat slabs, making it the ideal natural stone to cover roofs. It is the most expensive of common roofing materials, but also the most durable.

Average Lifespan

Slate roofing is a type of roof that can easily last hundreds of years and more. To ensure a long life for your slate roof, immediately replace any broken slate tiles you see and make sure all flashings are correctly installed and in good working order. If you see a copper flashing has turned black, it is time to replace it.

Installation Costs and Lifetime Value

There is a vastly wide variation in costs for slate roofing. Prices can range anywhere from around $10 per square foot to as high as $75 per square foot, installed. So, meeting somewhere in the middle, we’ll assume the average installation is somewhere around $30 per square foot. For a 2,000 square foot home with 2,200 in sloped roof area, it would cost roughly $66,000 to roof with slate tile. But the good news is that that will be the only installation cost you’ll ever incur.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

A built-up roof (BUR) is a layered roof that is created by alternating layers of bitumen (hot tar) and reinforcing fabrics made up of glass-fiber mats or organic mats. BUR is most often used on flat roofs or roofs with very slight pitch. This type of roofing is both inexpensive and fire-resistant.

Average Lifespan

Built-up roofing typically lasts from 20 to 30 years. This type of roofing tends to do better in warmer climates than colder ones.

Installation Costs and Lifetime Value

Built-up roofing averages about $4 per square foot installed. So a 2,000 square foot house would cost around $8,000 on average. Assuming this roof needs replaced once every 25 years, it would cost around $32,000 in today’s dollars over a 100-year period.

How to Choose

What’s going to be the best value for you and your family? How long do you plan on staying in your current home? What kind of weather conditions does your home face? What’s your budget? Answering these questions will help you to choose which type of roofing is the best choice for your budget and which would be the best in protecting the structure of your home.

When replacing your roof, try not to look at the short-term. By looking into the long-term instead, you have the opportunity to improve the lifetime value of your home and impress potential buyers when the time comes that you want to sell.

If you’re a homeowner and have found it’s time to replace your roof, make sure you hire experienced and trusted professionals to handle the job. Above and Beyond Roofing and Construction is a highly trusted and successful company based out of Wichita, Kansas, with many years of roofing and construction experience under their belts.
Give Above and Beyond a try! Estimates are always free!

Visit our website here, fill out our online contact form here, or give us a call at (316) 719-2819!