Most homeowners looking to install a new roof typically consider asphalt shingles as the primary roof replacement option and the cost to install it plays an important role.
In this guide we focus on the cost to install three different types of asphalt shingles on a per sq. ft. basis. We also provide examples of the total project costs to expect.
Lastly, we cover top brands of asphalt shingles, their pros and cons, warranty details, and alternative roofing options such as metal, cedar shingles/shakes, slate, and tiles.
How Much Does a New Asphalt Shingle Roof Cost?
Asphalt shingles are made in 3 grades:
- Basic (three-tab shingles): $4.00 to $4.50 per square foot
- Better (mid-range 30-year 3D dimensional/architectural shingles): $4.50 to $7.00 per square foot
- Best (luxury dimensional/architectural): $5.75 to $8.50 per square foot
- Tear-off: If two or more old layers of shingles must be torn off, add $1.00 to $1.75 per square foot
Total Project Costs to Expect:
Single-story homes: The average single-story home with a garage has about 3,000 square feet of roof surface.
- Average cost: $15,000
- Low cost: $12,000
- High cost: $22,500
Two-story homes: The average two-story home with a garage has 2,200 square feet of roof surface.
- Average cost: $12,100
- Low cost: $9,900
- High cost: $18,700
Below is a quick reference card to print out:
As you can see in the comparative pricing table above, these are wide ranges, so it’s important to understand what factors affect replacement costs.
These factors will determine where your shingle replacement cost falls on the spectrum for single-story and two-story homes:
- Quality of the shingles: Basic, Better or Best
- Tear-off or Not: Most local building codes allow for two layers of asphalt shingles. When old shingles are torn off, new roofing paper, starter shingles, ridge vent and moisture barrier are installed.
- The complexity of the roof: The more peaks, valleys, skylights and other obstacles the roof has, the higher the installation cost will be. Ranch homes, for example, are much easier to roof than Tudor or Victorian styles.
- Who Does the Work: Unlicensed roofers charge less than licensed roofers. However, most shingle manufacturers don’t honor their warranties unless the roof is installed by a licensed installer.
- The Warranty Protection You Want: Owens Corning, CertainTeed, GAF and other manufacturers offer several warranty packages in Basic/Better/Best coverage. To get the best warranties, your roofing project must include the brand’s best accessory materials including premium roofing paper, moisture barrier and starter shingles.
- High Wind-zone Installation: Most dimensional shingles have a 110MPH wind warranty. It can be increased to 130MPH with enhanced shingle installation using more nails and roofing cement at a higher cost.
- Slope of the roof: The estimates above for how many square feet of roofing average single-story and two-story homes have are based on a roof with a 6/12 slope.
Roofs with less slope need fewer shingles, and roofs with more slope need more shingles. When you’re estimating your roof replacement cost based on the square footage estimates above, this chart will assist you in determining how much roofing material you will need:
Where you live will also affect your roof replacement cost. Local cost of living across the US varies significantly.
- Lowest costs: Rural areas and cities in the Midwest, South and Southwest.
- Average costs: Most metropolitan areas not on either coast
- Highest costs: Alaska and Hawaii plus large metropolitan areas on or near the East and West Coasts including New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
Pricing Breakdown – What You’re Paying For
Here is a typical roofing job breakdown based on “better” or mid-range shingles and supplies:
- Cost of the shingles: 40%
- Cost of additional roofing supplies: 14%
- Labor based on whether old roofing is removed, and cost factors listed above: 43%
- Misc. charges: 3%
Additional supplies include nails, roofing cement, roofing felt, ridge vent, flashing, starter shingles and moisture barrier.
Miscellaneous charges include material delivery fees, building permits, tarps, contractor trash bags, wooden boards, plywood, and disposal of old materials.
Asphalt Shingles vs. Other Non-Flat Roofing Options
More than 70% of homes are roofed with asphalt shingles, but you do have other options. Here’s how asphalt shingles compare to other roofing materials on the basis of pricing, durability, pros and cons:
Top Asphalt Shingle Brands and Their Product Lines
There are just a handful of asphalt shingle manufacturers that dominate the market. The table below provides a quick comparison:
Roof Warranty Options
Most asphalt shingle manufacturers offer three warranty levels on their product lines.
Did you know? To get the best material warranty coverage, you typically must tear off the old roof, use the brand’s top roofing underlayment, moisture barrier and starter shingles.
Some top warranties also require that you hire an installer that has been trained and certified by the manufacturer to install its products.
Here’s a look at GAF warranty options as a common example:
Base warranty: Defects and replacement labor are covered for 3 to 10 years depending on the shingle line; Installer workmanship is not covered. Tear-off costs for defective roofing are not included. Installer does not have to be GAF-certified.
System Plus: Defects and replacement labor are covered for 20 to 50 years depending on the shingle line; Workmanship is covered for 2 years. Tear-off costs are covered for material defects only. Premium accessory materials must be used. Installer must be GAF-certified.
Golden Pledge: Defects and replacement labor are covered for 20 to 50 years depending on the shingle line; Workmanship is covered for 20-25 years. Tear-off costs are covered for material defects and workmanship defects. Premium accessory materials must be used. Installer must be GAF-certified.
You can use the data in the table below for more details on Materials and Workmanship Warranty from GAF:
Here is another comparative table to give you a better sense of warranty for another top premium shingle brand, CertainTeed:
When you choose a better or best warranty, you’ll get longer, more comprehensive coverage. The total job will cost more due to two factors: Using premium materials and paying premium labor costs for a certified installer.
We recommend using premium materials and hiring a certified installer if you intend to be in your home for 10+ years. You’ll have a better roof, and the peace of mind better warranty coverage provides.