One of the most important decisions a homeowner has to make with regard to a residential re-roofing project is the type of shingles to use. The other major decision is choosing a good roofing contractor. When choosing roofing shingles, cost is an important consideration, but not the only or even the most important consideration. No matter how low the price, if you use poor quality roofing shingles you will end up with a poor quality roof.
Re-roofing is expensive and a big chunk of the cost is labor. A properly installed roof using good quality three tab asphalt shingles can last 11 to 20 years. If you use cheap shingles, you will have to have the roof replaced at least once and possibly twice in that same time period. Why pay for labor two or three times to have several cheap roofs installed when you can pay for labor once and enjoy the security and protection afforded by a high quality roof?
Roofing shingles are priced by the “square” which is enough roofing material to cover 100 square feet of roof. Asphalt shingles range in price from as low as $250 per square to over $500 per square. At the low end you are typically getting the most basic three tab shingles with a 70 mph wind resistance rating and a 20 year manufacturer’s warranty. For around $250 per square you can find good quality three tab shingles with a 30 year warranty and a 70 mph wind resistance rating.
At the high end you will find top quality laminated shingles with lifetime warranties and wind resistance ratings of 120 mph and higher. A quality architectural laminate shingle can start in the $300 per square price range. Laminate shingles will last from 17-30 years if properly maintained.
The highest quality shingles on the market today are tri-laminate shingles. They are very thick and chunky in appearance. They have a very unique design and are much thicker than other shingles. They weigh over 300 pounds per square (100 square feet) and last a long time. These are commonly referred to as presidential style shingles such as the CertainTeed Presidential or the GAF Grand Canyon. Your roofing contractor can help you decide on the best shingles for your home that will meet your needs and fit your budget.
Remember, you get what you pay for, and when it comes to the protection of your home, you want to stay away from compromise.