Asphalt Shingles Prices

In this article we will go over the material prices for asphalt 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 the 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 a 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 a “premium” package, for an unjustified up-charge. While I’m not judging the other roofer – it’s their business – I want to inform homeowners of the real price difference between the two, so when you are getting quotes for roof replacement, you know how much premium upgrades really cost.

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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!

roofing system components

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

Asphalt Shingles Material Prices:

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

A Roofing System consists of the 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!

Since we will provide prices for 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 a 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 these prices, because most homeowners do not have “contractor” friends, who can purchase roofing materials for them from Roofing Supply stores. Besides, these 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

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.

You can estimate your total roof replacement cost by a licensed / insured contractor here.
Roofing Shingles Warranty Myths:

In a future article, we will discuss in detail roofing shingles warranty issues, what’s covered, how long it is good for, all the exclusions, clauses and other ways for manufacturers not to uphold warranties. For now, watch this video above, to see how roofing warranties really work, and what’s “covered”.

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31 thoughts on “Asphalt 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.

    1. 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.

    2. I had hail damage in Illinois and the insurance said the roof would cost 6,400 with 3 tab 23 square and I had other damage to the fascia vents edge and gutters that came to 1,900 my deductible was a thousand. The roofing company took the extra money for gutters,fascia,downspouts, a small screen and painting three ceilings from water getting under the shingles. They will give me a new roof with tear off, replace edge,vents,boots,ice and water shield 2 feet past the drywall on inside wall, 15 lb felt on 4-twelve pitch and use OC Oak ridge architectural shingles at no cost to me. They will be done in one day

      1. Bill,

        What are you trying to say? That you got a free roof?

        If so, it’s not exactly correct.

        1) You are paying for it with your insurance premiums.
        2) Other insured homeowners are paying for your roof.
        3) Most insurance re-roofs are sub-par quality (but not always).

        Basically, I do not understand the point you are trying to make, but it seems that you are bragging about getting a “free roof” …

        Respectfully, Alex

  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.

    1. 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?


    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. @ 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?

    2. @ 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.

  13. I was wondering if the price sounds right and that he is using the money from other things AVC to pay for deductible. He also says that I can fix the other things that he isn’t and get some money from the insurance company

    1. Bill,

      I’m even more confused now :)

      What is AVC? What other things that can be fixed?

      0) Ice and water shield must extend 3 (three) feet beyond interior wall (not 2 or 3 feet from the roof edge). Because if your wall is 6″ and overhang is 12″, then ice dam coverage is ONLY 18″ (36″ wide ice shield) into living/heated space. So you need double ice and water shield.

      This is a very common misconception and MOST roofers and building inspectors do not understand / know this Building Code requirement.

      1) The money you are getting from insurance company are more or less ok … a bit on a low side, but that depends on where in Illinois you live. Use our calculator to compare prices between “market rates” and what your Ins. Co. is paying you.

      2) You might want to get a public adjuster (PA) for a “second opinion” and to maybe get some supplements. I am not very knowledgeable about insurance work (we alway work with customer directly, and never with insurance, so i don’t know many nuances on how to get the most money out of them).

      3) You may want to get a couple of extra estimates.

      4) I recommend you contract David Herring on Google+ – he is VERY knowledgeable about insurance work – I think he is a PA. Even if you just read his posts, you will know much more about insurance roof coverage, and supplements, etc.

      5) TECHNICALLY YOU SHOULD BE PAYING DEDUCTIBLE, otherwise it’s insurance fraud I think … but that varies from state to state.

      6) You should fix other thing, within the same claim, as otherwise, you will have to pay deductible again..

      My recommendation is to get 1 contractor to do the ROOF, GUTTERS, FASCIA, VENTILATION, and all other small things related to the roof. You don’t want to use different contractors for the above, as they are all related and interconnected, and should be done at once in a specific order. If there will be multiple contractors, you are asking for troubles.

      You can get another contractor for the inside work.

      Good luck.

  14. This insurance crap drives me crazy insurance says roof is worth say 23 square 3 tab 7,000 this is the RCV and depreciation is 4,000 the ACV is 3,000 what they would pay if I had basic coverage. But because I have replacement coverage they pay the whole thing. So by not repairing the gutters and downspouts which are only cosmetic damage they will know after inspection that unless fixed they will not be covered in another storm. So the roofing company is using this money to put toward the bill to make it more profitable for them. I was reading that I have up to two years to make these repairs after claim and I can do all myself. I would re roof it myself if it wasn’t insured, a little fascia and gutter work won’t take more than a day

  15. “You get what you pay for”


    The shingles don’t install themselves.

    Company A – 10,000
    8 days to finish
    Very messy,
    Rusty equipment, etc.
    Everyone in the neighborhood thought they did a horrible job.

    Company B – 7,800
    1 day to finish
    Super clean
    Great people
    Beautiful equipment.
    1/2 the people in the neighborhood hired them to do theirs also.

    Skp Ahead 5 years……………..

    Company A – Not much has changed.

    Company B – Out of business.
    Why?….They gave a lower price by hiring unskilled workers. (installed fast, but wrong)
    Shingles are blowing off of all of the houses they did in the neighborhood because the nails
    were installed too high. The final thing that put them out of business is they didn’t carry the proper
    roofing insurance….just contractors insurance…….a accident occurred and they closed the doors.

    So who was the best deal????
    The 10,000 company that seemed to have done a horrible job….but they didn’t.

    Homeowners are ripped off everyday when hiring a contractor to do their roof. When I say ripped off….I’m saying
    the lower price contractor because more times then not…the roof ends up needing replaced under 10 years due to
    poor installation technique’s.

    So in the end……

    Company A

    Company B –
    17,800 + inflation because they had to redo the roof ,and the price went up 5 years later.

    If your a homeowner looking for a roof….be careful about online advice. In the end….you’ll have to go with your gut. If it sounds to good to be true…then probably is.

    Who am I? I inspect over 600 roofs each year………I’ve seen it all…

  16. Lots of misunderstanding and naive people with no clue about roofing.

    What irritates me is people use the word “lifetime” regarding 30 year laminated shingles-there is no such thing or even warranty. Also the pricing difference between 25 yr 3-tab shingles and 30 year dimensional, laminated shingles can vary by as much as 100-200 a square. Also most of you people don’t have s clur that the labor for higher end shingles is dramatically increased due to shingle thickness and other factors, but no, you people have no clue as indicated in most of the previous comments. BtW, there are presidential shingles which carry 40 and 50 year warranties against manufacturer defects only, don’t fool yourself with the word “lifetime” which doesn’t exist for most products available go you all-there is no such thing.
    I can go on and on about how uninformed and what a lack of understanding most of you have regarding cost for roofing that I am going to another site.

    1. Materials for a 30 year roof, standard installation, about $110.00 per square. Labor about $110.00. Squares for 2,600 square feet under roof, about 40. Equates to about $9,000.00 for a 2,200 square foot home with an attached 2 car garage. This for a top notch turn key job with new ridge vents and top notch materials. Anything more is a ripoff. Your $350 to $400 is way or of line.

  17. There is so much ridiculous chatter on here I don’t know where to start.
    So because a company gives a quote that may be high they are scammers????? Has anyone looked at the costs to run a legitimate roofing business lately? 43% surcharge on any wages paid goes for insurance, taxes and office ($20/hr x .43= $28.60).
    Its ok for the automaker to put the truck you just bought for $45,000 on sale for $39,500 after thousands of people paid the higher price…. the grocery store has a high price on beer but on Friday it’s on sale…. the doctor who just put in your grandpas pacemaker is expensive but does a good job right??????????? This is all such BS. Whenever there is a ‘contractor’ complaining that there is someone in their market charging too much he is a whiner who has ZERO sales skills and is unable to see the value in his own work let alone anyone elses. when he hits 50 years old and his body, truck and bank account are all shot because he worked for sub par wages 7 days a week for 30 years he will think twice.
    Roofing and construction period is hard, labor intensive work and anyone doing it at cut rate prices is crazy. Having their kids, family and friends work for cash to keep the cost down and save the homeowner some money.
    When the homeowner sells their home will they cut a check to the construction guy for doing such a great job and getting them an extra $10,000 on their sale price???? I HIGHLY doubt it.
    Pull up your bug boy boots and get with the real world. We live in the USA… free market, free economy, capitalism. If you dont think you should get paid well for wearing out your body, tools, trucks and barely seeing your family then maybe you should go to china and see how that works out for you.

    Cost of materials + cost of labor + market demand + markup = Sales price

    In a free market economy thats how it works for any of you idiots that think it should be cheaper.

    Oh and that guy that thinks home Depot and Lowes are expensive…. they are! but it doesn’t go to the contractor. The contractor gets a set rate no matter what and it is low. I have had many friends in the trades try and work with them and fail. Ask any of the subs working for them currently how long they have been there… very short term.

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