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Composition Shingle Price Guide

Composite shingle roofing is the most common type of roof found on residential homes of today. Current market prices will depend on a variety of factors.

The Costs

  • Bargain Grade: $480 to $700
  • Builder Grade: $570 to $830
  • Value Grade: $770 to $1,150
  • Architect Grade: $1,100 to $1,600

Types of Composite Shingles

Composite shingles are a type of asphalt shingle that falls under two categories with three subtypes. Organic composite shingles are composed of a core of felt or paper, which is coated in asphalt then topped with a layer of ceramic granules. They last about 20 to 30 years and are more flexible than the second type, allowing them to better resist damages caused by temperature shifts.

Fiberglass composite shingles on the other hand are made with a base of fiberglass, which is reinforced with a synthetic resin and coated with asphalt. Due to the fiberglass, they are a little more brittle than organic composite shingles and thus less able to withstand sudden shifts in temperature, which expand and contract materials. Fiberglass composite shingles are more water resistant because of the resin coating.

The three subtypes of composite shingles are 3-tab, laminate/dimensional, and architectural, sometimes called premium. 3-Tab composite appears as a single layer of shingles on a roof and are available in a variety of colors, depending on manufacturer. They generally have a warranty between 20 and 30 years. Laminate/dimensional composite shingles are the most common and are double the thickness of 3-tab shingles. Laminate shingles have two shingles affixed together to create a look of depth as opposed to the flat, one-dimensional look of 3-tab. The warranty for this type is generally between 30 and 50 years. The architectural/premium composite shingles are considered a premium product often having quality appearances comparable to materials such as slate or shake.

Different manufacturers have their own “recipes” when it comes to producing composite shingles. Each company will offer different styles, colors and warranties to their specific products. Three of the most commonly featured composite shingle manufacturers are EcoStar, CertainTeed and Davinci. EcoStar offers a certified Green product and has shingles that have been approved for historic buildings in need of repair and preservation. CertainTeed, like EcoStar, offers composite shingles that are almost indistinguishable from beautiful slate or shake. Davinci’s products are polymer based and offer the top fire and impact ratings available as well as a long warranty. Each company’s products have their own strengths, and an individual homeowner should do their research on various products to find the best fit and best price.

Advantages of Composite Shingles

Composite shingles offer a wonderful balance between cost, aesthetics and overall value. Many of the top companies offer composites that look just like slate, wood or other much more expensive materials. Composite roofs are also impact resistant and fire resistant, obviously superior in some regards to much more costly wood. The warranties are a great value at over 20 years often offering guarantees as long as 50 years. Composites can be found to match any style and are suitable for any project, even when it comes to restoring protected, historic properties that impose strict rules about what materials can be used. They are significantly cheaper than slate, shake or clay while offering the same beautiful look. In some cases, they even resist cracking and warping better than the products they’re meant to resemble.

Disadvantages of Composite Shingles

Composite shingles do not have much of a downside as a balancing act between value and cost. Composite shingles are about four times more expensive than asphalt, but they remain much cheaper than slate or wood. Installing composites does require roofers, who have specific composite experience, as there are particular tools that must be used to install the roofing. Because a poor installation job can greatly decrease the life of the roof and void the warranty, it’s important the roofer has knowledge working with composite. Composite shingles are also somewhat vulnerable to wind damage, but they are easy to repair. Lastly, unless a little more money is put into finishes that resist moss and mildew in humid climates, they are prone to suffering decay and unsightly growth from these sources.

Alternative to Composite Shingles

Composite shingles are themselves a great alternative to other products. Since they are able to be designed in a variety of forms that resemble just about any other more expensive material and because they won’t warp or crack like wood or stone, they are a great choice both for economy and aesthetics. Still, if money is no object, slate, steel, wood or clay are all equally attractive roofing materials that also offer a variety of pros and cons for a home project.

Additional Costs

Installation costs of composite shingles depend on a number of factors, including the complexity of the home’s roof as well as the roof’s pitch. For composite shingles, a roof with a pitch of 4/12-- that is, the roof rises 4 inches for every 12 inches in length-- is considered average. Any roof with a steeper pitch will likely result in greater labor costs. Homeowners can expect to spend between $100 and $400 for supplies as well as between $1,200 and $1,900 in labor. Removal of old roofing will generally be an additional charge. As with any home improvement project, it’s best for homeowners to get a variety of estimates on both materials and installation.

Final Verdict

For the homeowner looking to make a wise compromise between cost and appearance, composite shingles are certainly something worth looking into. The enormous variety of styles, which are often indecipherable from much more costly materials, and the long warranties that come with the product are only a few of the advantages. Since warranties depend on individual companies’, homeowners need to keep this in mind when choosing their roofing shingles.

Last updated on May 23, 2016

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