Roof Replacement Options When Repairs Won’t Cut It

You’re seeing missing asphalt shingles on an aging roof or, worse, leaks inside your house. When you’re considering replacing your old roof, you’ll wonder what common roofing materials are best to use. Which ones are extremely durable, and what are the different price points?

Several choices in popular roofing materials are available for roof replacement, and each has its advantages.

When Is It Time for a Roof Replacement?

Generally, an asphalt shingle roof will last about 30 years, but the weather takes a toll on the roofing material. Storms, rain, snow, and sunshine can make a 30-year roof last half that time. If you see any of these signs on a roof that’s more than 15 years old and you live in places with unforgiving weather, then you might need a roof replacement:

Missing Shingles

If you’re missing shingles, your roof is more vulnerable to whatever the environment throws its way.

Rusty Flashing

Chimney flashing is the lining at the bottom of your chimney where the roof begins. Cracked cement or rusty flashing means your roof has leaks.

Stained Attic Ceiling

Water stains or light showing through on the ceiling of your attic mean that your roof is leaking and may need replacement.

Damaged or Missing Step Flashing

Problems with step flashing let water collect where the roof deck of your house meets exterior walls.

Roofing Material Choices

roof replacement options different materials

Getting a new roof will protect the structural integrity of your most important investment, your home. Roofing material options for a new roof surface include these popular roofing types:

Asphalt Shingle Roof

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material because an asphalt shingle roof is affordable, available, and easy to install. Made from a woven fiberglass base coated with waterproof asphalt and ceramic granules to deflect water, asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors.

Architectural shingles and eco-friendly composite asphalt shingles from Owens Corning are also among the asphalt choices. Some composite shingles are ready for DIY installation. An asphalt roof system with asphalt roll roofing can also be an option for those with flat roofs.

Their price per square foot is $1.50 to $5.50. Asphalt shingles should last at least 20 to 25 years but may need frequent replacement in areas with severe weather.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are growing in popularity because of their price per square foot and durability. Standing seam metal roofing offers a stylish look, and metal shingles are also an option for a metal roof. A metal roof with standing seam panels is a long-lasting choice that’s also eco-friendly.

A standing seam metal roof made from metal panels is $9 to $14 per square foot. Metal roofing will last 40 to 70 years.

Slate Roofs

The most durable roofing material, slate roofs have an average lifespan of 100 to 200 years. A slate roof has a beautiful look, and outstanding durability since slate tiles are made from natural stone. Not only is a slate roof waterproof, but it’s also fire-proof, hail-resistant, and wind-resistant.

Slate tiles cost $10 to $20 per square foot for soft slate and $20 to $30 per square foot for hard slate.

Wood Roofing

Wood shingles aren’t one of the most popular roofing choices, but those who live in homes with historic architectural styles love them. Hand-split wood shingles from cedar trees have a rustic look but will need more maintenance than asphalt shingles.

Wet climates can cause natural wood roofing materials to deteriorate, but don’t choose wood shakes in a dry area that’s prone to wildfires. Average costs for a wood shake roof are $5 to $10 per square foot. In dry weather, wood roofs will last 30 to 50 years.

Solar Shingles

roof replacement options solar roofing

Solar panels are rising in popularity as a roofing material, especially in Florida, California, and Arizona. Solar shingles that look similar to asphalt shingles and solar panels are an investment, but the average costs are offset by lower energy costs, increases in home value, and federal tax incentives.

The total average cost per square foot for solar roofing is $21 to $25, and solar shingles should have a 30-year life, according to their manufacturer warranty.


Clay tiles and concrete tiles are great roofing materials for those who live in areas with excessive heat. A tile roof system for hot climates costs $8 to $25 per square foot. Tiles and clay roofing are often priced per square installed, which equals 100 square feet. A tile roof may be an investment, but this type of roofing should last for 50 years with proper maintenance.

Repairs can involve a DIY install of replacing individual tiles as needed.


On flat roofs or ones with low slopes, roofing made from PVC or plastic is an option. Rubber roofing isn’t as attractive as other types, but it is economical at just $2.50 to $4.50 per square foot. It may cost less, but it will need to be replaced more often and isn’t eco-friendly.

This choice will last about 20 to 25 years with regular maintenance.

Factors of Roofing Prices

The cost of roof types isn’t the only factor in the price of a roof. You’ll also need to consider these roofing costs.

Labor Costs

You’ll need an experienced roofing contractor and trained roofers for professional installation.

Square Footage

A larger roof will cost more to replace than one for a smaller home or a repair to an existing one.


You may save money in the short term with a cheaper option, but you will likely have to replace the roof sooner.

Key Takeaways

When it’s time to replace your roof, you don’t have to stick with the same roof type. You can always consider the look, durability, price, and maintenance and choose a different material.

Also figure into the costs the price of labor, the size of the roof, and how long it will last.

Talk with a roofing contractor to learn more about the best options for your home.

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