6 Types of Shingles to Consider, and the Pros and Cons of Each (2022)

Replacing your roof? Before choosing a material based on aesthetics alone, read up on the differences between six popular types of shingles to make sure you've selected wisely.

6 Types of Shingles to Consider, and the Pros and Cons of Each (1)

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Looking at replacing your roof sometime soon? One of the firstdecisions you’ll need to reach is choice in design. In residential housing, you canchoose quickly between shingles and paneled roofing (whichis often limited to corrugated metal) based on the current style of your home and your vision for it. But the next question of material calls for more consideration.

Shingles are merely small segments of building material installed above the underlayment, sheathing, and trusses of a roof to beautify and protect your property from outdoor elements.You’ll find they come in a wide variety of materials, each with unique benefits and drawbacks. We’ll cover six types of shingles here and lay out thekey differences to help you find the ideal for your roof.

Do keep in mind that, in the end, a total roof shingle replacement or installation over old shingles (if your roof can withstand the weight) is best enlisted to a pro unless you’re comfortable walking on the roof. Individual shingle replacement as part of regular maintenance, however, canbea do-it-yourself task for certain types of shingles, in case that sways your final pick.

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6 Types of Shingles to Consider, and the Pros and Cons of Each (2)

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6 Types of Shingles to Consider, and the Pros and Cons of Each (3)

6 Types of Shingles to Consider, and the Pros and Cons of Each (4)

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TYPE OF SHINGLE: Asphalt

Best for: Houses in the Northwest and Northeast
Pros: Cheapest cost, light weight,wide rangeof thicknesses and colors
Cons: Shortest lifespan, vulnerability to temperature fluctuations

Asphalt shingles—made of asphalt reinforced by fiberglass or organic materials like wood or cellulose—are sold in multiple sizes and colors in a thicker, multi-layered “dimensional” variety (pictured above) and a flatter, thinner, single-layered “three-tab” variety. These types of shingles are the least expensive and most widely available,costingaround $90 per square (a roofing measurement equivalent to 100 square feet of material)—not including any additional insulation, underlayment, or labor—and lasting 15 to 30+ years. Of the two styles, dimensional shingles cost half as much and last twice as long as three-tab.

Those aren’t the only reasons they’re popular, though: Asphalt shingles are also waterproof, fireproof (fiberglass more so than organic), flexible enough to withstand the weight ofsnow, and resilient incan small to moderate hail stormsin the case of those with a Class 3 or higher impact-resistance rating (Class 4 being the highest). Youmight even qualify for a tax credit if you opt for ENERGY STAR-qualified asphalt shingles!

All of that said, they can buckle and come loose when exposed to high winds and sudden temperature fluctuations, making them most suitable for homes in the Northwest and Northeast. Fortunately, when small repairs are necessary, thelight weightof these shinglesmakes them easier for homeowners to lift up and replace individually, or simplyre-adhere blown-off shingles by adding roof cement above and below them.

6 Types of Shingles to Consider, and the Pros and Cons of Each (5)

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(Video) Architectural VS 3-Tab Shingle (What's The Difference?)

TYPE OF SHINGLE: Wood

Best for: Houses in the Great Plains
Pros: Rustic aesthetic, eco-consciousness
Cons: Vulnerability to fire, fire codes in certain regions prohibit their installation

Wood shingles are machine-cut from cedar, spruce, or pine to offer a trim yet natural-looking and environmentally-friendly option that lasts 20 to 25 years. Plus, this type of shingle comes at an economical price point: It costs more than asphalt and less than clay/concrete and composite tiles, at $350 to $450 per square according to HomeAdvisor.com. Following installation, it’s easy to power-wash mildew- or mold-ridden shingles, but damaged individual shingles often need to be replaced rather than repaired, and the plywood decking required below the shingles makes them more difficult to replace on your own than asphalt shingles.

But unless you choose wood shingles with a Class A fire rating, these shingles aren’t fit for extremely hot and dry or wet climates, as they’re vulnerable to fire, rot, hail, and termites—any of which can cause them to chip, crack, or split. Installing them in the Great Plains is your best bet so long as the fire code in your region doesn’t forbid their installation.

6 Types of Shingles to Consider, and the Pros and Cons of Each (6)

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TYPE OF SHINGLE: Metal

Best for: Houses in Northwest and Southeast
Pros: Longer lifespan than asphalt or wood, reflects sunlight, lightest of types
Cons:Higher cost than asphalt or wood, noise

Metal shingles—consisting of aluminum, steel, copper, or an alloy stamped into a variety of shapes—are among the most energy-efficient of all shingle types due to their ability to reflect sunlight rather than absorb it and thereby lower cooling costs.Plus, you can enjoy thesesavings for their long life of 50 to 75 years! Their resistance to rain, rot, wind, fire, and hail make them an apt choice for homes in the rain-battered Northwest or Southeast. It’s worth noting, though, that some of this precipitation can have other consequences for metal roofs: Hail can dent steel shingles, while rain sounds louder on a metal roof than the average roof (unless you’ve installedadditional layers solid sheathing or insulation beneaththese shingles for an additional cost).

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Overall, metal shingles cost more than either asphalt or wood shingles, on the order of $265 to $375 per square. However, you can potentially save money using metal shingles to re-roof by installing them directly over your old, in-good-condition shingles and avoiding the costs associated with thetearing down a roof to start fresh. In addition, both the repair andreplacement ofindividual shingles are DIY-friendlythanks to their light weight (half that of asphalt shingles) andability to be secured to the roof with just screws.

6 Types of Shingles to Consider, and the Pros and Cons of Each (7)

(Video) Metal Roofing Vs. Shingle Roofing

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TYPE OF SHINGLE: Slate

Best for: Houses in the Midwest
Pros: Longest lifespan, natural aesthetic, low risk of leaks
Cons:Highest cost, heavy weight (which means not all roof structures support its installation)

Slate shingles’ sleek yet rugged composition contributes to their elegant naturalism and durability. While the heat-, hail-, and moisture-resistant, noncombustible shingles with a low propensity for leaks last anywhere from 50 to 100 years in all climates, their capacity to withstand large volumes of snow makes them the best choice for homes in the Midwest. This type of roof can run $1,100 to $2,000 per square—not including additional expenses incurred due to their heavy weight, the need for additional framing during installation, and the relative scarcity of companies that install them.

RELATED: 4 Reasons Homeowners Choose Tile Roofs

Before you set your heart on this type of shingle, know that certain roof structures simply can’t withstand their weight. Consult with a structural engineer before installation. Afterward, leave repairing or replacing individual shingles to the pros to avoid injuring yourself under theirweight.

TYPE OF SHINGLE: Clay and Concrete

Best for: Houses in the Southwest
Pros: Variety of colors, noncombustibility, energy efficiency
Cons: Heavy weight(which means not all roof structures support its installation)

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Clay or concrete shingles—molded out into flat, barrel-shaped (pictured above), or scalloped tiles of different colors—are two popular choices in Spanish-style homes in the Southwest. Clay is noncombustible and non-fading,while concrete reflects sunlight and effectively insulates interiors from heat and cold.

Although concrete tiles are heftier than clay,roofs made with either type of shingle warrant consulting a structural engineer to make sure yourhome can support the installation.Typically, a roof will still need extra framing (underlying supports) during installation to support their weight. When all is said and done, though, you can expect a cost of anywhere from $300 to $1,000 per square (clay tiles are roughly 30 to 50 percent more expensive than concrete) and an investment that lasts anywhere from 40 to 50 years or better. You can repair these tiles on your own with roofing cement, but individually replacing them on your own is difficult due to the weight and limited impact resistance of individual tiles.

6 Types of Shingles to Consider, and the Pros and Cons of Each (9)

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(Video) Roofing Materials review: asphalt shingles , rubber, metal, clay and cedar / @Roofing Insights

TYPE OF SHINGLE: Composite

Best for: Houses in all regions
Pros: Authentic replicas of natural materials, colorfast, additives offer added defenses
Cons: Expensive, narrow pool of experienced roofers

Composite shingles—made of polymer, rubber, or plastic and sold in a variety of colors and styles starting at $300 per square—convincingly mimic the look and feel of shingles made of natural materials such as wood or slate.These shingles retain their color over their lifespan of 50-plus years, are heat- and impact-resistant to varying degrees (those with a Class-A fire rating and Class-4 impact-resistance rating offer the best resistance to fire and hail). The additives in some composite shingles lend them additional defenses such as moss and UV resistance.

However, they usually offer less insulation than the materials they mimic (upping your heating or cooling costs). And, while they’re suitable for installation in all climates, low-quality composite shingles—which can be prone to absorbing water—may soak, freeze, and warp more quickly in locations that frequently experience rain or regular cycles of freezing and thawing. One more point to consider before committing: A relative scarcity of roofers experienced with this fairly new type of shingle can also make it trickier to achieve a quality installation. (Lucky for DIY-inclined homeowners,the replacement of individual damaged shingles doesn’t require a pro the same way thatrepair on heavy genuine slate shingles would.)

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The decision of whether to use composite shingles ultimatelyboils down to your budget and expectations of durability. For example, composite shingles that look like slate offer a lower cost, lighter weight, but less long-lasting alternative to slate shingles. Similarly, composite shingles that look like wood are twice the cost of real wood shingles, yet doubly long-lasting and more resistant to fire.

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6 Types of Shingles to Consider, and the Pros and Cons of Each (10)

(Video) 5 Types Of Metal Roofing Materials: Aluminum, Copper, Metal, Tin, Zinc. Pros, Cons & Cost

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6 Types of Shingles to Consider, and the Pros and Cons of Each (11)

FAQs

What are the pros and cons of a shingle roof? ›

Here are some pros and cons to help you make the best decision.
  • Pros. Ease of Installation. Low cost. Long life span. Color and style selection.
  • Cons. Requires periodic maintenance. Low insulation value. Environmental effect. Shorter lifespan.
14 Sept 2014

What are the pros and cons of architectural shingles? ›

They are popular with builders and homeowner associations because of their broad appeal, variety, and relatively affordable cost. They are great for many roofs, but not all.
...
Problems with Architectural Shingles
  • Can't be installed during extreme weather.
  • Lesser grades, like 3-Tab, have a shorter life span.

What are the different types of GAF shingles? ›

Types of GAF Shingles. GAF offers three types of asphalt shingles: Timberline shingles, designer shingles, and traditional 3-tab shingles. The popular Timberline shingles are GAF's brand of textural architectural shingles at a reasonable price.

Which type of shingles is best? ›

Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Relatively lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to install, asphalt shingles are the best choice for most houses. They come in sheets that are layered on a roof to give the illusion of more expensive single shingles, such as cedar and slate, that are installed one shingle at a time.

What are the cons of asphalt shingles? ›

Drawbacks of Asphalt Shingle Roofing
  • It's not the most durable roofing option. ...
  • Shingles can be damaged by high winds. ...
  • Mildew is a common problem. ...
  • It isn't the most energy-efficient option.
23 Dec 2019

What are the disadvantages of a shingle roof? ›

In sub-zero weather frozen shingles can become brittle and are more susceptible to ice damage. Sudden temperature changes can also cause shingles to crack. Other disadvantages of shingle roofs include susceptibility to wind damage and mold and mildew growth.

What are the advantages of architectural shingles? ›

Because of their durability and high-quality composition, architectural shingles generally have a longer lifespan than the 3-tab variety. They stand up better to weather conditions such as heat, snow, ice, rain, and strong winds. Their average lifespan is about 18 to 20 years.

What is better asphalt or fiberglass shingles? ›

Fiberglass shingles can last anywhere from 25 to 50 years, while traditional asphalt shingles usually last a maximum of 15 years. If you install fiberglass roofing and go with a more expensive roofing brand you can expect a longer life expectancy, better durability, and longer warranties for your roof.

Are architectural shingles better than asphalt shingles? ›

Generally speaking, most asphalt shingles have a pretty impressive lifespan. However, due to their high-quality composition, architectural shingles have a longer lifespan, ranging anywhere between 15 and 25 years. And, under optimal conditions, they may even last up to 30 years.

What are the longest lasting roof shingles? ›

What's the Longest Lasting Roof Shingle? Tile and slate shingles last longer than asphalt, but at a much higher price. High quality asphalt shingles last up to 50 years. Tile and slate can last 100 with proper care, but also require a reinforced roof structure because of their added weight.

What is the highest quality GAF shingle? ›

GAF Advanced Protection Shingles

Timberline® Shingles have also earned the highest roof fire rating — UL Class A, Listed to ANSI/UL 790.

Are Timberline shingles good? ›

Their Timberline® shingle also became the best-selling shingle in North America. GAF is an award-winning brand. Not only have they won the Innovation Award for asphalt roofing shingles in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, but they also have been rated #1 in shingle quality by homebuilders in the last 9 out of 11 years.

Which shingle has the best warranty? ›

#1: Golden Pledge Limited Warranty

From lifetime shingle coverage and a 50-year Smart Choice Protection Period to coverage for any needed tear-off and/or disposal services, the Golden Pledge Limited Warranty is the most all-inclusive option to protect you and your home from any potential risks.

What roofing material lasts the longest? ›

Roofing material that lasts the longest are concrete, clay or slate tiles. These materials significantly outperform other natural products like wood shakes or any manufactured roofing materials including asphalt shingles and metal roofing. Although these materials have a good lifespan, they are not as durable.

Are algae resistant shingles worth it? ›

Algae-resistant roof shingles are among the most sturdy and durable shingles you can get due to their natural composition. They can handle high temperatures, powerful winds, heavy snowfall, and hail.

How long dies an asphalt shingle roof last? ›

The average lifespan of different types of roofs include: 15-30 years for asphalt shingles. 20-50 years for composite shingles.

Are asphalt shingles safe? ›

While asphalt shingles are considered safe in terms of groundwater and leachate contamination (they do not contain heavy metals or toxic chemicals based on groundwater leachate testing), all roofs, regardless of materials used, collect environmental contaminants that may render the water run-off unfit for human ...

Are asphalt shingles roofs good? ›

Quality Lifespan: Asphalt shingles last roughly thirty years, and their low initial cost (and Big Fish Contracting's fifty-year guaranteed warranty) makes them the “best bang for your buck.” Protective treatments are also available for an additional cost to make the shingles last even longer.

What's the difference between asphalt and shingle roof? ›

The main difference between Asphalt shingles and architectural shingles comes down to durability, versatility, and price. Asphalt shingles are made from fiberglass layered between asphalt and ceramic covered granules. The result is a water-resistant coating that also deflects UV light.

What is a asphalt shingle roof? ›

An asphalt shingle roof is the most common type of roof you see on homes today. It's a roof system made primarily out of asphalt shingles and other asphalt roofing components. There are three types of asphalt shingles to choose from: 3-tab, dimensional, and luxury.

How long do 30 year architectural shingles really last? ›

The truth is, a 30-year shingle will not really last 30 years. The expected service life of a 30-year product, if properly cared for, is approximately 25 years. If it's not cared for properly, that 30 year shingle will only last 12 to 15 years. That's one of the big misconceptions in the roofing marketplace.

Are architectural shingles worth extra cost? ›

We believe architectural shingles are worth the extra cost for a few different reasons, including the following: Added resale value: Having architectural shingles on your home can increase its resale value, since home buyers typically prefer these types of shingles.

What is the difference between architectural shingles and regular shingles? ›

Architectural shingles use a stronger and better quality material, so they typically last longer than 3-tab shingles. While a regular 3-tab shingle can last anywhere from 10 to 25 years, a properly maintained architectural shingle can last upwards of 50 years.

Will black shingles make house hotter? ›

In general, lighter-colored roofs reflect away heat rays from the sun, but dark-colored roofs absorb much of that heat and transfer it into the rooms below. So, yes, black roofs do attract more heat. Or course, color isn't the only aspect of your roof that affects home temperature.

Are thicker roof shingles better? ›

For example, in the roofing industry, it is universally agreed upon that the heavier the shingle, the more efficient said shingle is.

Can you walk on Fibreglass roof? ›

Yes, a Fibreglass Roof can be walked on. Depending on the volume of foot traffic expected for the roof to take, this will determine the weight of matting that should be used in the construction of the roof.

Can you walk on architectural shingles? ›

Yes, it can.

Shingles are hardy and are made to withstand an occasional walk. However, if it's hot outside, say 80 degrees, and there's direct sunlight on the roof, the asphalt base of the shingle will soften.

What are luxury shingles? ›

Luxury shingles are made from a blend of asphalt and other materials that make them three times heavier than their natural counterparts, meaning they can stand up stronger to high winds, hurricanes, snow storms and hail.

Are three tab shingles being phased out? ›

They are a higher quality roofing material and offer more benefits than 3-tab shingles. Because of this, architectural shingles are the preferred choice in the roofing industry, and 3-tab shingles are being phased out.

What color roof lasts the longest? ›

Both light-colored and dark-colored shingles can last longer if given the necessary maintenance. The only thing tested and proven about light-colored shingles is that they help us keep the indoor temperature cooler in the hot summer season.

Which is better light or dark roof shingles? ›

Light shingles fair better in warmer weather, as light colors tend to deflect sunlight and keep your house cooler. Dark shingles are the opposite; they absorb heat, which makes them excellent for colder climates. They also tend to make snow melt much more quickly. 50% off window, roofing & siding installation.

What type of roof is best? ›

The most durable types of roofing are slate and clay tiles but they're more expensive than materials like metal or wood. Functional roofing alternatives like green roofs and solar shingles are among the most expensive types. Replacing an old roof is one of the best and most profitable ways to invest in a home.

Is Timberline HDZ more expensive than HD? ›

The Timberline HDZ shingles are another one of GAF's most popular products, and when you see the advantages, you'll understand why. While they cost more than the standard HD line, they offer exceptional value through: More Durability: Compared to the HD line, the HDZ shingles offer much more durability.

Is Timberline HDZ a 30 year shingle? ›

A: While both Timberline NS and Timberline HDZ are Lifetime Shingles, GAF Timberline HDZ Shingles feature LayerLock Technology, the StrikeZone Nailing Area, and a 25-Year StainGuard Plus Algae Protection Limited Warranty.

Is it OK to put new shingles over old? ›

While a repair job can often be more convenient and somewhat more cost-efficient, placing new shingles over old ones is never a good idea. Whether repairing one section of roof, or a replacing a whole one, it's always best to pull up the old shingles before putting down the new ones.

How much does a bundle of GAF shingles cost? ›

The price per bundle is $27; $81 per square. Now, that is cheap! Popular architectural shingles, Timberline Natural Shadow, are $0.87 per square foot; $29 per bundle; $87 per square. Another top selling architectural shingle, Timberline HD, costs or $0.93 per square foot, $31 per bundle; $93 per square.

How long are Timberline HDZ shingles good for? ›

Timberline HDZ roof shingles are covered for a lifetime (50 years). GAF HDZ shingles also protect your home against algae for 10 years. Maximum wind protection for Timberline HDZ roof shingles alone are 130 mph if roof shingles are installed correctly.

What shingle has a 50 year warranty? ›

American Roofing and Remodeling is a preferred contractor certified with Owens corning who offers a 50 Year shingles warranty. This covers both labor and material if a full roof replacement would need to be done.

What is a lifetime warranty on roof shingles? ›

Most roofing shingles come with a basic limited lifetime warranty, which is the industry standard. In most cases, a lifetime warranty means you're covered as long as you own your home.

Who has the best roofing warranty? ›

Top 5 Best Home Warranty Companies for Roof Warranty:
  • Choice Home Warranty (Best Overall)
  • American Home Shield (Most Customizable)
  • Select Home Warranty (Most Affordable)
  • The Home Service Club (Best For Quick Coverage)
  • Liberty Home Guard (Best Customer Service)

What is the most energy efficient roof? ›

Metal roofing is by far one of the best choices you can make for your roof in general. They're the most energy-efficient roof for residential installations, can last more than 50 years, and require very little maintenance. Metal roofs are very reflective, which is why they get so hot to the touch.

How much does it cost to put new shingles on a roof? ›

On average, most homeowners pay between $8,000 and $9,000 to install new shingles, with low costs in the $5,000s and high costs pushing into the $12,000s and higher. These costs are for asphalt shingles, the most economical shingle you can buy.

What is the strongest roofing material? ›

Corrugated galvanized steel is one of the strongest, most durable roofing materials, since it lasts longer, is more resistant to wind, and absorbs less heat than asphalt shingles.

Are there mold resistant shingles? ›

Professional Roofing Solutions

Algae-resistant shingles are non-toxic shingles that use copper granules to reduce algae, mildew and mold growth. They're an affordable and low-maintenance solution in many cases.

How long do fiberglass shingles last? ›

While fiberglass shingles may cost more per square foot than your average asphalt shingles, their quality and longevity can add significant value to your home and save you money on costly roof repairs. With proper maintenance, you can expect fiberglass shingles to last for 30-50 years.

Do GAF shingles have copper in them? ›

Time-Release Algae-Fighting Technology is proprietary to GAF. Specially engineered capsules are infused throughout with thousands of copper microsites.

What are the advantages of a shingle roof? ›

Asphalt shingles are by far the most affordable roofing material on the market. They're quick and easy to install and when installed correctly and properly maintained they can last for about 25-30 years. The shingles are also really easy to tear down, repair or replace if need be.

How long does a shingle roof generally last? ›

Homeowners with wood shake roofs should expect them to last about 30 years, while fiber cement shingles last about 25 years and asphalt shingle/composition roofs last about 20 years, the NAHB found.

How long do asphalt shingles last on a roof? ›

General life expectations of roofing materials:

Asphalt Shingles (3 tab Shingles): 15 to 20 years. Asphalt Architectural Shingles: 20 to 30 years. Built-Up Roof: (tar and gravel) 10 to 20 years.

What is better asphalt or fiberglass shingles? ›

Fiberglass shingles can last anywhere from 25 to 50 years, while traditional asphalt shingles usually last a maximum of 15 years. If you install fiberglass roofing and go with a more expensive roofing brand you can expect a longer life expectancy, better durability, and longer warranties for your roof.

Are asphalt shingles roofs good? ›

Quality Lifespan: Asphalt shingles last roughly thirty years, and their low initial cost (and Big Fish Contracting's fifty-year guaranteed warranty) makes them the “best bang for your buck.” Protective treatments are also available for an additional cost to make the shingles last even longer.

Are asphalt shingles good? ›

Asphalt shingles are easy to install, last 10 to 50 years, depending on the type, and are less expensive than other roofing materials, such as slate, tile, and metal.

Are asphalt shingles safe? ›

While asphalt shingles are considered safe in terms of groundwater and leachate contamination (they do not contain heavy metals or toxic chemicals based on groundwater leachate testing), all roofs, regardless of materials used, collect environmental contaminants that may render the water run-off unfit for human ...

What color roof lasts the longest? ›

Both light-colored and dark-colored shingles can last longer if given the necessary maintenance. The only thing tested and proven about light-colored shingles is that they help us keep the indoor temperature cooler in the hot summer season.

How much does it cost to shingle a roof? ›

On average, most homeowners pay between $8,000 and $9,000 to install new shingles, with low costs in the $5,000s and high costs pushing into the $12,000s and higher. These costs are for asphalt shingles, the most economical shingle you can buy.

Should I stay home during roof replacement? ›

Should I stay home during a roof replacement? Speak to your chosen roofer about this before they start work, but there is no reason you absolutely must leave the house. As long as you stay inside, away from the gardens where there may be regular falling debris, you will be safe.

What is the most energy efficient roof color? ›

White is the best color for energy efficiency because of the albedo effect. With a white roof, or a roof with a color that has similarly lighter hues, the sun's rays are reflected instead of absorbed.

Is it OK to put new shingles over old? ›

While a repair job can often be more convenient and somewhat more cost-efficient, placing new shingles over old ones is never a good idea. Whether repairing one section of roof, or a replacing a whole one, it's always best to pull up the old shingles before putting down the new ones.

How much does it cost to replace a roof on a 2200 square foot house? ›

A 2200 square-foot roof will cost the average homeowner between $5700 -$9100. Your home needs a new roof and there are many factors working into that.

Will black shingles make house hotter? ›

In general, lighter-colored roofs reflect away heat rays from the sun, but dark-colored roofs absorb much of that heat and transfer it into the rooms below. So, yes, black roofs do attract more heat. Or course, color isn't the only aspect of your roof that affects home temperature.

Are thicker roof shingles better? ›

For example, in the roofing industry, it is universally agreed upon that the heavier the shingle, the more efficient said shingle is.

Can you walk on Fibreglass roof? ›

Yes, a Fibreglass Roof can be walked on. Depending on the volume of foot traffic expected for the roof to take, this will determine the weight of matting that should be used in the construction of the roof.

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