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How to Choose the Best Roofing Shingles

Designing a new roof on your already existing home can seem daunting. Let’s choose the best roofing shingle. There are a lot of parts to the process, lots of decisions to be made, and lots of options you have at every turn. There’s wood, asphalt, and composite shingles. There’s cost, install requirements, and a slew of other choices to be made during the process. To help you make your decision, we’ll outline a few of them and how to best tackle questions of the best shingles.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Determine Your Cost
  2. Select Shingle Style
  3. Select Shingle Color
How to Choose the Best Roofing Shingles

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Choose the Best Shingles

Not all shingles are created equal and not all shingles are priced equal. Instead of scouring the internet looking at top-rated roofing shingles or the best roofing shingles reviews across multiple sites, we’ve put together an article that can help you determine for yourself the best shingles, the right cost, and the most efficient way to tackle your new roofing project.

Determine Your Cost

If roof replacement cost sound like it would cost you a bit of cash, you’re right. It’s not a quick undertaking. The average cost of a new roof was around $9,500. This isn’t a one size fits all cost estimate; however, in certain regions of the country where the weather is more severe, you might find yourself with a regional average much higher. In some places, it’ll be much lower. Generally speaking, the price will settle somewhere between $7,000 and $15,000 for the overall project.  

When getting an estimate, they’ll give you a price “per square” which, in roofing jargon generally means 100 square feet of roof space. The factors that play into that cost per square will be the supplies required, the cost of the shingles themselves, necessary protective elements for the longevity of the roof, and labor.

Shingle cost

The type of shingle you ultimately decide on is going to be a big factor in the cost. The cheapest is generally asphalt shingles at $2,500, the most expensive will be high-end slate at over $24,000 “per square”

Removal cost

If your roofer needs to remove the existing roof, that will factor into the cost as well. The total cost for removal is usually around $1,000 in total with $1-$5 per square foot of removal. However, you’ll want to find out if your contractor charges by the square foot of removal or charges per hour which can usually run anywhere between $40-$80 an hour. Something else to consider is unknown damage beneath the shingles, such as rot, that can make the job longer and more difficult for the contractor.

Labor cost

The fee for labor will also be applied to your overall cost. The type of product and the nature of the project factor here but generally it’ll be about $150 to $300 per square.

Select a Shingle Style

You’ve determined an estimate for the overall cost of labor and for the size of the house, which shingle is going to be the best for your new roof? It may seem like something inconsequential or even for purely aesthetic purposes, but if you’re considering new shingles, chances are you already know the importance of getting the right ones.

Asphalt

This is the most common type of shingle and is generally the default on many new homes, style depending. They’re also the cheapest for install cost. They’re lightweight, easy to install, and very DIY-friendly if you’re looking to cut labor costs.

Metal

These shingles have similar look asphalt but are much more durable. It can get more expensive with higher-end metal. This is a good long-term investment in your roof if you’re willing to shell out a couple thousand more over asphalt.

Slate

For the next step up from metal and asphalt with a good life expectancy, slate is a great option. This is a durable option that’s a bit cleaner than asphalt.

Tile

While less common and more expensive, tiles are still fairly cost-effective. They are highly durable, easy to repair and replace, and are fairly easy to have customized to your color and style desires.

Wood Shake

Less common and more expensive, this style of shingle offers a more and very specific aesthetic look. It can be wood or synthetic. They look nice, but they’ll need to be replaced faster, make your roof must more prone to fire damage, and they’re high maintenance but in return, you get an excellent and value-improving look to your home.

Select Shingle Color

It may seem like an arbitrary choice compared to the bigger and more cost-centered choices of type of shingle. But there’s actually quite a bit to consider before your move forward with the installation. Here are a few things to think about beyond “it looks good” when picking the color of your shingles:

Coordination with your House

The most obvious place to start is to look at the color of the rest of your house to make sure you’re not going completely off the mark. Is your house brick? Wood? Stucco? The best method is to make your shingles a variation of what your house already is (for example, brown or cream shingles for a tan-colored house). But there are also exceptions.

Style

Different architectural styles on houses will play a big factor in what works. For example, the mission-style homes of the southwest do best with a dusty/red color tile. Colonial-style homes in the northeast do better with dark shingles.

Homeowners Association

The HOA of your neighborhood might have strict guidelines on what color your roof can be, or they might not. Either way, you’ll need to check in with your HOA, if applicable, to make sure your new shingle color is in compliance with the desires of the neighborhood overall.

Climate

The overall climate of where you live does have a say in the color of your shingles if you want to make your home energy efficient. The right color of the roof can actually add or take away temperatures in the top story of your house by a factor of 20 to even 40 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll want to research what colors are best for your typical climate to make sure you’re not running up any bills after the roof is installed.

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