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What is the Most Affordable Type of Roof?

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When it comes time for a roof replacement, the number one thing most homeowners are concerned about is price. The shingles you choose for your new roof play a big part in determining the overall price of your replacement.

If you’re on a tight budget, you’re probably going to be looking for the most affordable type of roofing material available. However, just because you’re on the hunt for a low-priced roof doesn’t mean it also has to be low-quality. The material we’ll be talking about today is affordable and can help you get the long-lasting, high-quality roof you’ve been looking for. 

Every year, we repair, replace, and inspect over 900 roofs in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. We always strive to help our homeowners like you through the roofing process, including helping them choose the right shingles for their roofs.

By the end of this article, you will learn what the most affordable type of roof is, plus three important things to consider when choosing your shingles. If you’re ready, let’s dive in.

THE MOST Affordable ROOFing Material

Out of all the different types of roofing materials, asphalt shingles are going to be the most cost-effective option for a roof replacement. There are three different types of asphalt shingles: 3-tab, architectural, and luxury. Each type varies in price and will affect the overall cost of your replacement:

  • 3-Tab (or Strip Shingles) - These shingles get their name from the three tabs on each shingle strip. You can identify 3-tab shingles by their relatively simple, consistent appearance. All of the individual shingles are the same shape, perfectly rectangular, and lay flat next to each other. While they’re the cheapest of the three types of asphalt shingles, they’re slowly starting to be phased out of the roofing industry.

    three tab shinglesbrown three-tab shingles on a white house with red shutters

  • Dimensional (or Architectural Shingles) - Dimensional shingles feature two layers of asphalt that are bonded together. These shingles are much more durable than 3-tab and boast a multi-dimensional texture and appearance. They cost about 15% more than 3-tab shingles, but give you a longer life and better warranty options. 

    architectural shinglesbrown architectural asphalt shingles on a beige brick house

  • Luxury (or Premium Shingles) - Luxury shingles are the highest-quality asphalt shingle available. They offer the most realistic representation of old-world shake and quarried slate shingles. However, they are the most expensive out of the three types of asphalt shingles.

    brown luxury asphalt shinglesbrown luxury asphalt shingles on a beige house surrounded by greenery

While price definitely plays a factor in choosing your asphalt shingles, there are other things you need to consider to find the right shingles for your home. Let’s take a further look down below.

3 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Asphalt Shingles

1. The Lifespan of Each Type

The average lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is 15-40 years. As long as your roof has been properly installed and your attic is well ventilated, you should get pretty close to those 15-40 years.

However, it’s important to know the difference between the lifespan of each type of asphalt shingle to choose the best one for your home. 3-tab shingles have a lifespan of 20 years and have the shortest lifespan of the three types of asphalt shingles. Dimensional shingles have a lifespan of around 30 years, but the luxury style could last anywhere between 30-50 years if properly maintained.

We usually recommend that you invest in a replacement somewhere around the 80-85% mark of the projected lifespan for your roof. For example, if your roof is supposed to last 25 years, it's probably a good idea to look into getting it replaced at the 20-year mark.

Replacing your roof before the end of its life is the best way to avoid potential problems that could pop up as your roof ages. However, there are plenty of ways to extend the life of a new roof. Read this article to learn five ways to get the most life out of your asphalt roof.

2. The Warranty Options for Each Type

Each of the three types of asphalt shingles come with warranties from their manufacturer. Warranties are a crucial part of protecting your roof investment if there’s ever a problem with your shingles. 

You need to know your warranty options to decide which asphalt shingle is right for your roof replacement. Most 3-tab shingles come with a 20 to 30-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects.

Both dimensional and luxury shingles typically come with a 30-year prorated manufacturer’s warranty. However, you could potentially get a 50-year enhanced warranty for both. 

To qualify for an enhanced warranty, all of your asphalt roofing components have to come from one manufacturer to form a complete roof system. Your roof also has to be installed by a certified contractor with a proven track record of installing a roofing system according to the manufacturer’s installation requirements.

3. The Aesthetics of Each Type

Asphalt shingles come in a wide array of colors and textures, so you’ll never have trouble finding a shingle to complement the style of your home. 

When working with your local roofing contractor, you’ll have to discuss how you want your new roof to look. If you aren’t particular about the color and texture of your shingles, 3-tab shingles may be a good choice for you. 

While you can get a good-looking roof with 3-tab shingles, dimensional and luxury shingles are designed to replicate the look of more expensive roofing materials. If you want your roof to look like a cedar shake roof without the expensive price tag, dimensional asphalt shingles may be right for you. If you want a beautiful slate roof, luxury shingles can give you the look but for a premium price.

Do You Want Asphalt Shingles for Your Roof Replacement?

Now that you’ve learned an asphalt roof is the most affordable option for your replacement, you may be wondering how to choose the right asphalt shingles for your new roof. Well, you could always ask a professional roofing contractor!

Roofing contractors aren't just there to replace your roof and leave. They should be there to answer any questions you have about your project and help you make the best choices for your roof. Read this article to learn five questions you can ask your contractor to make sure they’re the best fit for your replacement

If you live in Raleigh and want an asphalt roof replacement, fill out the form below for an inspection, a free estimate, or to ask us more questions about asphalt roofs. We work on over 900 roofs each year, so we know how to provide the high-quality roofing service that homeowners like you are looking for.

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