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Roofing Material Cost: From the Cheapest to the Most Expensive

cheapest roofing material types and costs financing your roof

Replacing a roof is not an inexpensive, simple task. It can take several days to complete and use more of your budget than you planned, especially if you don’t know about the many material types available in the industry. 

To ensure you stick with your budget, there are ways to get the job done with the cheapest roofing material possible. However, less expensive roof materials typically don’t last as long as more costly ones, resulting in another future replacement sooner than later. 

It’s important to consider this if you need a roof replacement.

This guide explores the many roofing material costs you will find in the market. Then, you can make the best decision on which products will suit your needs and budget. 

Costs of Roofing Materials By Type 

cheapest roofing material types and costs

If you are in a hurry to finish a roof replacement or need a functional roof for the least amount of money, your best option is to use asphalt shingles. However, other products are comparable and might be only slightly more expensive but last longer. 

Here is a list of the cheapest roofing material costs to the highest for comparison. 

  • Rolled roofing products
  • Asphalt shingles 
  • Rubber
  • Metal 
  • Wood 
  • Slate
  • Concrete 
  • Clay 

Of course, your roof’s size can impact how much the whole roof replacement costs will be. Some homeowners may choose the cheapest roofing material because they plan on selling quickly, while others want an affordable new roof system that will last them until they decide to move. 

The Cheapest Roofing Material Available

Searching for the cheapest roofing material in your area should be relatively easy. Many cost-effective roofing material choices are accessible across the globe in numerous regions. In addition, some of the most popular roofing materials are often the least expensive, so manufacturers produce these products in abundance.

Explore these inexpensive roofing products if you need to save money on your roof replacement or installation.

Rolled Roofs (Around $50 Per Roofing Square)

Roll roofing consists of asphalt products that are oil-based with a mineral surface. This type of asphalt roof is typically available in 100 square feet rolls for easy transportation and installation.

As the cheapest roofing material, it is less durable than other options in the market. However, even DIYers can install rolled roofing across the entire roof faster than other roofing materials. In addition, this product uses heat, self-adhesive strips, glue, and nails for installation.

Some disadvantages of roll roofing include:

  • Less attractive
  • Requires replacement sooner
  • Not for flat roofs
  • Limited color and style options

Asphalt Shingles (Between $275 – $575 Per Roofing Square)

cheapest roofing material asphalt shingle type and cost

Asphalt roofing is one of the more cost-effective roofing material choices, popular in homes around the country. An asphalt shingle roof is relatively simple to install, affordable, and somewhat durable, depending on your chosen style.

An asphalt roof is ideal for homeowners with sloped roofs needing an inexpensive new roof. Alternatively, you can select between 3-tab, dimensional, and luxury options when searching for a roof replacement option with asphalt shingles.

Rubber Roofing Materials (Between $424 – $925 Per Roofing Square)

Rubber roofing products are also known as Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM). It comes in a long roll of water-resistant membrane material, making it perfect for a flat roof or one with a low slope.

The cost will vary significantly, depending on the quality of the rubber products you choose. Some will be thin and less expensive, while more costly choices come thicker and include UV protection for a more durable option.

Wood Shingles and Shakes (Costs $350 – $950 Per Roofing Square)

Wood roofing products are popular with many homeowners for their classic look and durability. The less expensive wood roofing choices include cypress, redwood, spruce, or pine. However, cedar shakes are more expensive and will give a homeowner a higher installation cost.

Chemically-treated wood and cedar roofing options can last for years while still looking great. Although, homeowners will need to maintain a strict maintenance schedule to keep their wood roof protected to help extend this material to its full life expectancy.

Metal Shingles and Panels (From $315 – $1,000 Per Roofing Square)

Metal roofing is becoming more popular with residential homes and commercial buildings around the country because of its durability and affordability. In addition, the choices for steel metal roofs vary from aluminum shingles to corrugated metal and standing seam panels.

Naturally, steel roofing materials will cost more as the product quality increases.

The Most Expensive Roofing Material in the Market  

Alternatively, some options exist in the market as the most expensive materials to use on your new roof. One advantage of expensive roofing products is their longevity and resale value for the home.

Clay Tiles (Costs $780 – $1,405 Per Roof Square)

cheapest roofing material clay tiles type and cost

Clay tiles are one of the oldest roofing materials in the market. However, a clay roof replacement is more expensive than the other choices for a few reasons. You can expect to pay between $7.80 to $14.05 per square foot for this roofing choice.

Clay materials are extremely heavy. Therefore, the home’s support structure must adequately support the weight of clay tiles. In addition, some homes may need upgrading to allow for clay roofing, increasing the total cost.

Slate Options (Pricing Between $1,000 – $3000 Per Roof Square)

A slate roof consists of stone slabs naturally resistant to harmful UV rays and water. However, they do come with a higher roof cost. Although slate has been used worldwide for centuries, it isn’t a feasible or affordable roofing material for any home.

Slate roof tiles are heavy, like clay materials, making it necessary for a structure to have the appropriate support for proper installation.

The Takeaway on Roof Replacement Costs

The average roof replacement cost differs on what materials you choose, making it a critical decision for your next roofing project. If you have a flat roof to protect, a rolled asphalt product will give you the least expensive option in the market. However, if you have a sloped roof, your best choice is to use asphalt shingles for a durable and affordable roof replacement option. 

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