Roofing Shingles Prices

In this article we will go over the material prices for asphalt roofing shingles the most common roofing material for homes. The two most popular styles of asphalt shingles are 3-Tab and Architectural (laminated) shingles. Before we dive into actual prices, I want you to read why we are writing this article:

Introductory rant: I was doing a roof estimate the other day, and the client showed me a quote they got from another roofer. Besides ridiculously high price (about $700 / sq, on a 22 squares, 12 pitch roof, with 1 layer tear-off and 3 dormers), what struck me the most, was the difference in prices between 3-tab shingles and architectural “lifetime” shingles (formerly knows as 30-years shingles).

For 3-tabs (25 years), the price was $14790 ($673 / square), and for “lifetime” architecturals, it was $16500 ($750 / square). So what gives? Why is there a $1710 difference between the two quotes? Do architectural shingles cost $77 more per square? The truth is, the roofer was taking the homeowner for a “ride”, trying to sell “premium” package, for unjustified up-charge. While I’m not judging the other roofer – it’s their business – I wanted to inform homeowners of the real price difference between the two, so when you are getting quotes for roof replacement, you know how much it really costs for premium upgrades.

As you will see below, the $77 / square up-charge was completely unjustified, since the cost difference between 3-tab and architectural shingles is only $10 per square, while ALL other components of the system are the same and installation is also not any different. Thus the difference should be maybe $300-500 – not $1700!

For the purposes of this article, we will concentrate on MATERIAL prices. To see how much a complete roof installation would cost, you can check out our roof installation prices guide here.

Asphalt Shingles Material Prices:

When considering cost of roofing materials, many people take into account just the shingle prices. This is incorrect, as roof made just of shingles will not work. You also need to consider all the accessories that are included in complete roof systems.
Roofing System consists of following components:

  • Shingles
  • Underlayment: Felt, Synthetic, Ice & Water Shield
  • Hip / Ridge cap
  • Flashing
  • Drip edge metal
  • Ventilation (ridge vent)
  • Pipe boots
  • Lead & step flashing
  • Nails, caulking, and other small things

Without utilizing all of these accessories, your roof will likely leak, and your warranty (from ANY shingles manufacturer) will be null and void immediately after installation!

Roof Replacement Since we will provide prices for the most “available” roofing materials, we used GAF roofing system diagram below. By most available we mean shingles sold at the big orange box home-improvement store (Home Depot). These are GAF architectural and 3-tab shingles.

For real life example of how much shingles cost we went to the big orange box home improvement store, and compiled all the material prices. We used home improvement store prices, because most homeowners do not have “contractor” friends who can purchase roofing materials from Roofing Supply stores. Besides, roofing supply stores are often more expensive than Home Depot / Lowe’s and other big chains.

Here is what we have for you:

3-tab shingles: $29.50 per bundle or $88.50 / square.
Architectural / laminated shingles: $32.50 per bundle or $97.50 per square.
15 / 30 lb felt: $21.25 / roll. 400 / 200 sq. ft. coverage respectively.
Ice & Water shield: $98 per roll (200 sq. ft. coverage).
Hip / Ridge Cap: $46.93 / bundle. 20 ln. ft. coverage.
Ventilation (ridge vent): $50.25 for a 20 ft. roll of Cobra ridge vent
Synthetic Underlayment: $84 for 400 sq. ft. roll of GAF Deck Armor

roofing system components

All prices above are before any state sales tax is added. Also note that when you buy asphalt shingles in bulk (48 or more bundles OR 16+ squares) you get about $3/bundle discount.

The “spy” pictures below, show what and how much each type of shingle or roofing accessory costs.

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To estimate total roof replacement cost by a licensed / insured contractor, use our online roofing price estimator here.

Roofing Shingles Warranty Myths:

In the future article, we will go in details into roofing shingles warranty issues, what’s covered, how long it goes for, all the exclusions, clauses and other ways for manufacturers not to uphold warranties). For now, watch this video, to see how roofing warranties really work, and what’s “covered”:

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19 thoughts on “Roofing Shingles Prices

  1. Regarding the introductory rant. Maybe the roofer you say is overcharging the homeowner:
    Maintains an office with someone that answers the phone
    Maintains general liabity insurance.
    Maintains a fleet of vehicles with commercial insurance.
    Has every employee covered under workers compensation
    Doesn’t use subcontractors that are traditionally underinsured.
    Provides a descent wage and health insurance and retirement benefits.

    Maybe doing the right thing costs $$

  2. @ John,

    The roofer in the rant hires illegals who fight with cops, drive drunk and sometimes kill people. This was in the news recently, so I’m not making it up. They do have a fleet and office. I highly doubt “Provides a descent wage and health insurance and retirement benefits.” I didn’t inspect their books, and don’t want to – it is non of my business.

    But here is the thing:

    Lowe’s for the same job quoted $11500 with 30-year “lifetime” shingles.

    And Lowe’s is EXPENSIVE! The Corp. needs to make money, and salesman makes 5-10% commission and they need to pay the sub, and ALL subs working for Lowe’s (Home Depots, Sears, and other similar joints) have Liability and Worker’s Comp.

    Besides, most shingle jobs go for $300-400 / sq. Maybe $450 on cut-up roofs. But $700 / sq is insane. That’s almost as much as a metal roof. I’m not saying a roofing company is not entitled to anything more than $450 / square, no. But you have to take the environment into account. When everyone is at $300-400, getting $700 becomes problematic.

    But I’ve seen this first had, how the go to elderly women, tell them fairy-tales about lifetime warranty, and charge $1000 / sq. for vinyl siding (Sears), or $1000 / vinyl window. This is not illegal because people sign contracts voluntarily. But they have aggressive sales force that is trained to CLOSE the deal.

    I’m not judging the roofer in the rant. It’s their business – if they can find people who are out of touch with reality to pay the $700+ for asphalt roof, good for them.

    My rant was about the spread between 3-tabs and architects. Seriously – there is about 22-23 squares on that roof before waste. Even if they buy 25 squares of material, that is $80 / sq difference between 3-tab and laminates.

    I’m not saying they cannot do it. once again, if they can get that, by all means. This article is intended to inform homeowners of the “premium” upgrades and their true cost. That is all.

    • I believe this guy he knows that a lot of roofers just like machanics and repairmen take advantage of people in this economy thousands of people lost their homes and the the people who still have their homes and need repairs done can’t afford to do the work because of these companies taking advantage of the consumer. Be honest be reasonable give a the best estimate and you will all be in business for a long time be a con artist and you will go under eventually I have had these roofers give me estimates anywhere from $5,800 to $14,000 for the same job and materials tell me this isn’t a joke.

  3. It’s hard to give out accurate estimates for any project. There are so many variables that need to be factored in. As the rant suggests, there is too wide a spread. No way can you justify such a difference – unless you accept that there is an intention to take advantage of the gullible home owner. My 2 cents.

  4. Talk about a rip-off. It wasn’t long ago you could get a square (100 sq ft.) for $21.00 plus tax for three tab. Maybe you are barking up the wrong tree.

    • It was way long ago Ron. 30 years ago we used to stockpile if shingles went under 7 bucks. Back then there weren’t starters and we could use leftovers from jobs as starters. $7.10 per bundle was price in Ontario Canada. I am a GC in Ohio now with a really sharp pencil and some good deals from supply houses. On a simple gabled roof with no valleys materials cost on my truck is 100/square. That’s not delivered, not installed, just bought. Normally materials only run 107-116 per square pre-tax for me.

  5. Question about the materials list above. You need both the felt and the underlayment? What function does one do that the other does not?


    • Hi Jet,

      Felt is a type of underlayment. It is basically tar-saturated paper. Felt is the most common (read CHEAPEST) type of underlayment used typically with asphalt shingles.

      Underlayments can be organic (felt) or synthetic. Synthetic is more expensive, but also is much better. We always use synthetic underlay – more specifically GAF Deck Armor – it is breathable underlay that lets the moisture from inside the attic escape, while keeping all exterior moisture out. Deck Armor costs $23 / square, while felt is like $7 per square.

      Hope this helps.

  6. that is a rip off…no way should anyone pay $700/sq.. most companies in western NY are about 350/sq for a tearoff. here bundles are $33.we also require 6′ of ice shield. the price of shingle drastically rose since hurricane KATRINA because of supply and demand and the cost of oil. Every natural disaster raise the price of all building material. Everyone knows that once a price has increased and people are paying it (due to neccesity) the company will not lower thier prices they will pad their pockets with the profits.

  7. woa, woa, woa, woa , the only real questions here should be. is this quote for resheathing … and how high…facia? 4 story , with 75 sheets plywood,and 250′ of plastic trim. still i dunno, 15 large. 1 guy – setup …..staging , ladders, tarps ,safety,dumpster,delivery, property prep– 1day
    1 guy- tear down…… siding removal, roof removal, clean up, cover 1.5days
    1 guy- install……..facia, drip edge,flashing, lead, ice&water, felt, 1.5days
    1 guy- install……… patterns, starters, shingles, ridge vent, cap, 2days
    1 guy- finish……. siding, painting, pickup, 1day
    1guy- payday……….check, bank, , 30 min.
    work the weekend . and i just made 1,500 profit per day. 7 calendar days
    10,000 profit. 10 large.
    2500 -shingles
    1000-vent, caps, drip edge, ice and water, felt
    1000materials, nails, tools, flashing, lead ,permit,dumpster
    screw it and call it 6,000 ,( no way ,,,, nono way it would be 6000
    roofing is a skill trade, . there is money to be made. it is hard work. and to run a business with employees and apprentices ,with trucks and trailers, takes alot of money in insurance and comp, and health care. and gas and repairs and so on and so on. that estimate you see up there , reflects alot more on operating that roofing business , surcharges, and dividing operating costs into each job. thats fair. thats what you gotta do to make profit and be succesfull. find a local guy who can install a roof . whos got 1 helper , probably his son making 15 $ an hour , 1 truck, and homeowners insurance. with references. 8,000 max , like i said didnt do estimate , could be a nightmare 3 – 4 story , city house surrounded by uneven rock and cliffs, with a millionpiecesof siding to remove , sheathing gone , who knows but c’monguys alot of money

  8. As a roofing contractor, I will be the first to say that giving an accurate price is one of the hardest things to do. A lot of planning must be performed to attain a “good” price, where both the contractor is happy and the homeowner is happy. What’s worse, all the names of the materials must be known in order to compare apples with apples. There are definitely architectural shingles that can cost $2000.00 more than a regular 3-tab for the specified roof size. The cost is affected by things like shingle weight, lamination, color variance, depth, and manufactured quality. I personally believe its up to the contractor to explain these differences and to provide good customer service to find out what the owner is really interested in, but not all contractors work this way.

    Joe makes a good point as well. It’s hard to say what’s included in the price. We must first determine that ALL variables in both estimates are the same, and the only different one being the price of BASIC architectural shingles.

    • John C, thanks for your input.

      Basically, the both proposals were identical with the exception of “30 years lifetime” architectural shingles vs 3-tab shingles.

      I agree that it is difficult to find that golden middle, where you and the homeowner are happy with the price, and your company is chosen over your competitors, based on merit and not price. However this is fully the responsibility of the contractor to build the rapport and trust with the homeowner.

      In my rant, the contractor was trying to take advantage of the “woman” factor … same often happens when women go to auto repair shop – they will most likely get higher price than a man would for the same work.

      This means that the contractor (or salesman) in this case is a dishonest bastard trying to prey on customer’s perceived lack of “knowledge”.

      In any case, we installed a metal roof for her :)


  9. Cindy,

    I agree 100% with you. This is a pure money grabbing scheme from ALL the manufacturers. There isn’t a “good” guy out there. They are all greedy, and we are stuck paying what they demand, because there really is not other option. GAF or Owens Corning or IKO or Tamko … all make pretty much the same shingle, and cost about the same, and raise prices together. This is a “monopoly”.

    The options of slate / wood / metal / tile roofing are available, but often not so affordable, and most people choose the “inexpensive” asphalt shingle.

    And the result – the house built in 1900 has had an average of 5-8 asphalt roofs put on it and removed over the years. If the original builder / owner chose a more expensive alternative, than following owners would not waste thousands of dollars on roofing … Now multiply that by 130 millions of single family homes in US alone, with a new roof being put on it every 15-20 years on average.

    This is a huge business, and roofing manufacturers will not let it go away. That’s why Tamko bought Metal Works – so they can also control the “alternative” roofing materials. Most other big names also have a synthetic or natural slate line. In fact I’m working on a long article about the US roofing manufacturers … will be out soon. Stay tuned.

  10. Disappointed that your website implies you’ve got a calculator but obviously you’ve removed the code behind the 2 pretend calculators here. Must be you’re making more money by getting a cut of the leads you generate from Home Advisor. Knowing how these sites work, I don’t want to make any roofers waste money paying for leads that are mostly a wild goose chase, but also means I won’t refer anyone to your site.

    • @ Tina,

      1) Our roofing calculator WORKS! There must me something with your browser if you can’t see results.
      2) We don’t work with home advisor, but yes, we do make a small amount for each roofing lead – it’s called affiliate program.
      3) I don’t see how our website is involved in in “wild goose chase” as you call it. We are not involved in leads processing and do not generate / control leads.

      What ere the “these sites” that you refer to and know how they work? Please elaborate.

      Also, why is this comment posted on the “Roofing Shingles Prices” page, and not on the calculator page where it belongs?

    • @ Tina,

      Also, on your website, in the article “Tips on picking a new roof” you recommend Harvey Building Products. Harvey BP is the most overpriced supplier there is. On average they are 10-30% more expensive than other roofing / siding distributors of SAME products.

      So why would you recommend them?

  11. Im a roofer and I hate when people take advantage of people i believe n good work and far prices them people give a bad rep on other roofers and it makes it hard for them to trust honest working contractors,,,in other words it really pisses me off and alot of them get awy with it all the time..

  12. The kind of underlay needed varies by climate region, we don’t have any problems with ice dams down here in Texas! Home Depot don’t even carry Deck Armor here or in many other parts of the country.

    Prices also will vary tremendously by region. For example I just checked Home Depot prices in a few cities:
    25 year 3 tab versus Lifetime (GAF Royal Sovereign and Timberline) $24.25 vs $30.50 in Austin, TX, $24.33 vs $26.25 in Portland, OR, $21.66 vs $28.55 in Chicago and $29.90 vs $35.95 in Brooklyn, NY.
    So I found that the difference between 25 year and Lifetime shingles ranges from just $5.76 a square in Portland to $20.52 a square in NY. Regional price variations of 25 year shingles varied from $21.66 square in Chicago to $35.95 a square in Brooklyn.

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