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The most common residential roofing material used in the United States, asphalt shingles are popular because they are economical and easy to install. These shingles can be reinforced with fiberglass or organic materials (cellulose) without changing the appearance of the shingle.


  • ​Asphalt Shingles
    • ​​PRO'S AND CON'S:
      • ​​​Pros: Asphalt comes in a variety of colors, is widely available and is one of the least expensive materials.
      • Cons: Asphalt has a shorter life span than other roofing materials, doesn't provide the insulation other materials offer, and the quality varies.
    • ​Cost and Life Span: Prices range from $70 to $120 a square and, if maintained properly, shingles will last 20 to 25 years.
  • ​Clay and Concrete Tiles
    • ​​PRO'S AND CON'S:
      • ​​Pros: Clay and concrete tiles are long-lasting and non-combustible, and concrete tiles are energy efficient.
      • Cons: Clay and concrete tiles are expensive, heavy and usually require additional framing.
    • ​Cost and Life Span: Prices start around $300 to $500 a square and, if maintained properly, tiles will last around 40 to 50 years.
  • Metal Roofing
    • ​PRO'S AND CON'S:
      • ​​Pros: Metal roofing is durable, lasts longer than asphalt or wood, and offers high solar reflectance.
      • ​Cons: Metal roofing is relatively expensive.
    • Cost and Life Span: Prices usually start around $100 to $300 a square, but some styles can cost $600 to $800 a square. Metal roofing can last 40 to 75 years.
  • Slate
    • PRO'S AND CON'S:
      • Pros: Slate is very durable, fire-resistant and a sustainable roof that can be recycled.
      • Cons: Slate is expensive, heavy, and requires extra framing and professional installation. The quality can vary with imported slate.
    • Cost and Life Span: Prices start at about $600 a square and up. Slate can last more than 50 years and sometimes 100 years or more.
  • Wood Shingles and Shake
    • PRO'S AND CON'S:
      • Pros: Wood shingles offer a rustic look and are a natural product usually made from cedar, redwood and southern pine.
      • Cons: Fire codes in some areas prohibit use. Wood shingles can be a concern in wet climates, and can mold, split or rot.
    • Cost and Life Span: Prices start at around $100 to $150 a square and will last around 25 to 30 years.
  • Synthetic Roofing Products
    • PRO'S AND CON'S:
      • Pros: Synthetic roofing is often not as fragile, heavy or expensive as natural products.
      • Cons: Some of these products can absorb water and the quality varies. Newer products aren't as time-tested as traditional materials.
    • Cost and Life Span: Prices start at about $300 a square, and are warrantied for up to 50 years.