Cost Comparision Between Metal and Shingled Roof

Answered by Jeffrey ~ April 27, 2010 ~ Comments

I am looking to replace my old roof. I would like to know what kind of roof is the least expensive? Metal or shingled? Is one better or more ideal for my climate?

Martha B. ~ Santa Rose Beach, Florida

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Martha, Roofing contractors usually figure prices based on the number of squares the roof is. A square in roofing terminology is 100 square feet. Other factors that go into price consideration are how cut up or open the roof is, what the slope or pitch of the roof is, and how high the roof is.

The least expensive residential roofing material that I am aware of is a basic three tab shingle. These shingles usually have a 20 or 25 year warranty, and most shingle manufacturers have them in their product line. There are a number of colors that you can choose from, although in Santa Rose Beach, Florida I would recommend a lighter color so that not as much heat is absorbed. As an example, if one level of your home is about 1000 square feet, your roof area might be about 1400 square feet, depending on how open it is and what the slope or pitch of the roof is. That means your roof is going to take about 14 squares of shingles.

Roofing costs are going to vary around the country, the materials a little, and the labor to install might vary quite a lot depending on how busy contractors are. You should be able to get a basic three tab shingle roof for about $130 per square or $1820 for a roof of about 1400 square feet. If the roof is steep, or high, or requires the existing shingles to be torn off, then that price may be higher.

Metal roofs are a little more expensive than basic shingle roofs. They are more comparable in price to higher end architectural shingles. For a lower end metal roof I would allow about $250 per square, or $3500 for that same sized roof.

Both roofs would be good for your climate in Florida, but I would stay away from darker colors. If you are willing to increase your roofing costs, you may be able to lower your energy costs. It is possible to get energy efficient rated roofing products in both shingles and metal.

Based on the construction slowdown in Florida, I would expect that you may be able to get lower prices than these I have mentioned. Make sure any roofing contractor you hire has the appropriate insurances and licences for your area. Also ask the contractors if their prices include all of the trim they may need to do the job, both a shingled roof and a metal roof require roofing trim for a complete job, and their price should include hauling off the old roof, if it is being removed.

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