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The Costs of Different Roof Types

Posted November 23, 2021 by Jerry Becker
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When choosing a roof type, you have several choices for shingles:

  • Asphalt
  • Cedar
  • Tile
  • Metal
  • Synthetic (Composite)

How Roof Types are Priced

Roof installations are priced per “square,” which is a 10-foot by 10-foot (100 sq. ft.) section of the roof.

We’ll go over the cost of the different roof types, but keep in mind that:

  • Better quality shingles last longer. You get what you pay for with roof shingles. Going with more affordable shingles will save you money upfront, but you could end up paying for a whole new roof 10–15 years sooner than you would with high-quality shingles.
  • Roofs last longer with regular cleanings. We recommend roof maintenance every 3–5 years (depending on your roof type) to ensure your roof and gutters are free of moss and debris. This helps the roof last as long as possible.

Asphalt

Asphalt shingles are made of a paper or fiberglass mat with at least one layer of asphalt. Some asphalt shingles have more layers, which increases the shingle roof cost, but also makes the roof look better and last longer.

You typically have 2 options for asphalt shingles: architectural shingles and presidential shingles.

Architectural Shingle

Architectural shingle roofs usually cost around $800 per square.

Also called dimensional shingles or laminate shingles, architectural shingles have multiple layers of asphalt.

Pros of architectural shingles:

  • Price: Architectural roofs are one of the most affordable roof types.
  • Maintenance: Architectural roofs are relatively easy to clean and maintain.

Cons of architectural shingles:

  • Appearance: Architectural roofs don’t have the high-quality look that comes with presidential shingles or other shingle types.
  • Longevity: Architectural roofs last roughly 25 years, which is almost half the life expectancy of other roof types.

Presidential Shingle

Presidential shingle roofs usually cost around $1,000 per square.

Presidential shingles are a premium shingle option designed to look like cedar shakes.

Pros of presidential shingles:

  • Appearance: Presidential roofs have more layers of asphalt, which makes them look better.
  • Price: Although presidential roofs cost more than architectural roofs, they’re still one of the more affordable roof types.

Cons of presidential shingles:

  • Maintenance: Presidential roofs have a lot of texture and depth that give them their high-quality look, but this also makes them harder to maintain and remove moss from.
  • Longevity: While presidential roofs last around 30 years, which is more than architectural roofs, they still don’t last as long as other roof types.

Cedar

A cedar roof costs around $2,500 per square.

Cedar roofs are one of the best materials you can use for your Oregon home.

Pros of cedar shingles:

  • Durability: Cedar has natural preservatives that make the shingles resistant to water, ultraviolet and insect damage.
  • Energy-efficiency: Cedar is a natural insulator, which will help keep your electric bills down throughout the year.
  • Appearance: Cedar shingles have a natural, timeless look that add a lot of curb appeal to your home.
  • Longevity (high quality): High-quality cedar roofs cost more because they can last up to 40 years with minimal maintenance.

Cons of cedar shingles:

  • Quality: There’s a significant difference between low- and high-quality cedar, and high-quality cedar is becoming increasingly harder to source.
  • Longevity (low quality): If you get low-quality shingles, they’ll only last around 20 years with a lot of regular maintenance.

Tile

Tile roofs cost roughly $1,500 per square.

Clay, concrete or slate are the most popular tile shingle materials.

Pros of tile shingles:

  • Appearance: Tile roofs have more depth than other roof types, which adds a quality appearance to your home.
  • Longevity: Tile roofs can last up to 50 years with minimal maintenance.

Cons of tile shingles:

  • Extra support: Tiles add a lot of weight to your roof, which means your house must be reinforced if it isn’t already built to support tile shingles.

Metal

Normally, metal shingles cost around $1,000 per square.

Aluminum, zinc, copper and steel are the most popular metal shingle materials.

Pros of metal shingles:

  • Installation: Metal shingles are lightweight and easy to install.
  • Maintenance: The sleek surface of metal shingles makes them great for areas with a lot of trees because they’re easy to clean if the roof isn’t too steep. Steep metal roofs are harder to maintain.

Cons of metal shingles:

  • Noise: Metal roofs tend to be much noisier than other roof types.
  • Repairs: Metal shingles dent easily, making them difficult to replace.
  • Energy-efficiency: Metal is a heat conductor, which means it doesn’t provide a lot of insulation and can make electricity bills more expensive in the summer months.

Synthetic (Composite)

On average, a composite roof costs around $2,000 per square.

A composite roof, also called a composition roof, has shingles similar to asphalt shingles except they can be made of a combination of fiberglass, asphalt, wood, paper and other minerals.

Pros of composite roofs:

  • Variety: You can choose composite roof shingles that look like just about any other roof type—including cedar shake, natural slate and tile.
  • Installation: Composition shingles are lightweight, which means they can be installed on most homes without reinforcing the roof.
  • Longevity: Composite roofs can last up to 50 years with minimal maintenance.

Learn more about the benefits of composite roofs in our blog “Why Composites Are the Best Roofing Alternative.”

Cons of composite roofs:

  • Cost: A composite roof cost is usually higher than other roof types, often on the higher end of roof installations.

Which Roof is Best for You?

When choosing a roof type, think about:

  • The look and style you want. Choosing a roof color and shingle shape are important factors in which roof type you go with.
  • Alternative roof types. If you love the look of slate tile or cedar shake shingles, you can also get that look (at a more affordable cost) with asphalt or composite shingles.
  • Durability in Portland weather. Some roof types will hold up to increment weather, tree debris and constant moisture better than others.
  • How long you plan to stay in your house. If you’re in your forever home, you’ll probably want to go with a high-quality material that will last as long as possible. If you’re thinking about selling soon, you may be better off with a more affordable roof type that will still make your home attractive to potential buyers.

Contact Us for a Roofing Quote in Portland, OR

Call us at (503) 925-0125 or fill out the form below to get a quote to a new roof on your home.

At Roof Life of Oregon, our professionals will go over the cost of different roof types and then help you choose the best roofing option for you. We genuinely care about your home, so we’ll make sure you get a new roof that makes your home look great for decades.

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