No matter how you look at it, a new roof isn’t cheap. It’s a considerable investment, and the choice you make in roofing materials matters. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find high-quality roofing materials within your budget.
With “cheap” being the operative word here, we’re going to discuss the five best and cheapest roofing materials below in order of least expensive to most expensive so you can gauge your budget for your future roof.
5 Roofing Materials Ranked by Price
Before we jump into the top cheapest roofing materials, it should be noted that roofing materials only make up one portion of the total costs for a new roofing system. For starters, roofs come in a variety of different styles, which contributes to the complexity of replacing the roof — which also contributes to the overall cost.
Other parts of a roofing system that make up the total cost include:
- Ventilation components
- Flashing and drip edge
- Roof underlayment
- Roof deck
- Roof covering
The other general factors that go into the total costs of a new roof include:
- Roof complexity
- Roof accessibility
- Building permits and fees
- Disposal of the existing roof
- Clean up
With that in mind, the following are the cheapest roofing materials (starting with the most affordable option):
1. Asphalt Shingles 💲
Asphalt shingles are well known for being the cheapest roofing material you can get, averaging between $5,000 and $18,000. They’re also the most common, with 70% of all homes having asphalt roofing.
Generally speaking, an asphalt shingle roof is made from a mix of asphalt and fiberglass, which creates a protective barrier against the elements. However, there are three types of asphalt shingles you can choose from, all of which vary in price:
- 3-tab shingles: 3-tab shingles are the most affordable roofing material of the three types and are installed as a single layer with no overlap. 3-tab shingles come in a wide range of colors that can match any aesthetic, and they have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years.
- Architectural shingles: Architectural shingles are a type of designer shingle, also referred to as dimensional shingles, because they’re installed with an overlap to give them a more three-dimensional appearance. Architectural shingles typically last between 20 and 30 years, and they also come in a wide variety of colors.
- Luxury shingles: Luxury shingles are the most expensive type of asphalt shingle but are still considerably more affordable than the other roofing materials on this list. Luxury shingles can last up to 50 years, making them a worthwhile investment.
2. Metal Roofing 💲💲
Metal roofing is becoming more and more popular among homeowners as it boosts both curb appeal and home value more than asphalt shingles — while still remaining relatively affordable. The average metal roof only costs between $11,000 and $19,000, and they typically last between 40 to 70 years, depending on the type of metal used.
Metal roofing is also incredibly versatile as you can opt for:
- Corrugated metal panels
- Standing seam metal
- Flat metal panels
- Metal shakes
- Metal tiles
- Metal shingles
You can also choose among several types of metal, including:
- Stainless steel
- Metal amalgam
Lastly, the metal can be coated in a variety of UV-safe paints to match your home’s color scheme.
3. Wood Shingles 💲💲
Wood shingles offer up a beautiful and timeless aesthetic to virtually any home. It’s also naturally insulating and resistant to water damage, insect activity, moss, and mold growth.
There’s a variety of wood that can be used for shingles, including:
Cedar shingles and shakes are the cheapest of all the wood shingle options. Cedar is also the most popular as it’s lightweight and rot-resistant, making it much easier to maintain — and wooden roofing requires a considerable amount of maintenance!
The cost of cedar roofing ranges between $18,000 and $25,000, and its lifespan ranges between 30 and 50 years with the right conditions and maintenance. However, it should be noted that wood roof shingles of all kinds tend to crack during extreme weather events, such as hailstorms.
4. Natural Clay Tiles 💲💲💲
Natural clay tiles are optimal for tropical climates as they’re durable and naturally provide an incredible amount of insulation and ventilation. What’s more, clay tiles are typically made by hand from materials found in local soils, which makes them both sustainable and highly recyclable.
The average clay tile roof will cost between $20,000 and $55,000, and you choose between different styles, including:
- Spanish tiles
- Ridge clay tiles
- French clay tiles
- Terracotta tiles
- Interlocking clay shingle tiles
You can also opt for glazed tiles or unglazed tiles, as well as a variety of colors. With the proper care and maintenance, clay tile roofing will last upwards of 100 years. Since it’s such a durable material, you won’t have to worry about frequent damages that require tile replacements within your lifetime.
5. Slate Shingles 💲💲💲
Slate is one of the oldest roofing materials, and it’s well known for its durability and longevity. While slate shingle (or tile) roofing is considered an expensive roofing material, it will last between 150 and 200 years — which makes up for the initial investment
Slate is also considered a sustainable resource that comes with the following benefits:
- It’s energy efficiency and eco-friendly
- It’s 100% fire resistant
- It’s weather resistant
- It’s low maintenance
Slate tile roofing is also beautiful and will add much more value to your home compared to the other types of roofing materials on this list. However, it’ll cost you between $30,000 and $60,000, depending on a variety of factors.
Which Roofing Material Will You Choose?
A high-quality roof with proper installation will go a long way, regardless of the material you choose. If you’re unsure of where to start when deciding which roofing material is right for you, don’t start with the cheapest roofing materials — start with what you can realistically afford and what your needs are.
The expert roofing contractors at Roof Troopers can walk you through all of your options and provide you with an accurate and no-obligation estimate for the roof you want. Get in touch with us today to learn more about the types of roofing materials we can offer you and our special financing plans!