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How Much Does an Asphalt Shingle Roof Cost?

September 6th, 2023 | 14 min. read

How Much Does an Asphalt Shingle Roof Cost?

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Did you just get the news that your roof needs replacing? Whether it’s due to storm damage or normal wear and tear, you’ve been searching online for how much it's going to cost to replace your roof and you’ve probably hit a roadblock. It seems no one wants to talk about this.

For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been transparent with homeowners about everything cost related. That's why I want to help you determine how much your asphalt shingle roof costs. 

This article answers the following questions:

  • How much does an asphalt shingle roof cost? 
  • How much does a 3-tab asphalt shingle roof cost?
  • How much does an architectural asphalt shingle roof cost?
  • How much does a luxury asphalt shingle roof cost?
  • What impacts the cost of an asphalt shingle roof?

How much does an asphalt shingle roof cost?

The average cost for an asphalt shingle roof is around $12,000 to $15,000. This is based on an average middle-class home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a walkable roof pitch, a little roof complexity, and architectural asphalt shingles.

architectural asphalt shingle roof

However, there are 3 different types of asphalt shingles that all come in at different price points. Below is a rough estimate per square foot for each type of asphalt shingle, plus the lifespan, warranty options, and the pros and cons for each. 

Just know that each cost number is for a full roof replacement using that specific shingle, not just the shingles themselves. 

How much does a 3-tab asphalt shingle roof cost?

3-tab asphalt shingles get their name from the 3 tabs that lay flat on each shingle strip. They were the standard in residential roofing until improved technology led manufacturers to create architectural asphalt shingles. 

3 tab asphalt shingle roof

Cost: ≈$4.00 per square foot

Lifespan: ≈20 years at most

Material warranty: 25-year limited warranty from the manufacturer

3-tab asphalt shingle pros:

  • Cheapest roofing material on the market
  • Ease of repair and installation

3-tab asphalt shingle cons:

How much does an architectural asphalt shingle roof cost?

Architectural (also called dimensional) shingles offer a random pattern that gives a roof dimension or simulates the look of a wood-shake roof. They’re not only the most common asphalt shingle but also the most common roofing material in the United States in general.

architectural asphalt shingle roof

Cost: ≈$5.86 per square foot

Lifespan: 22-25 years 

Material warranty: 30-year warranty (prorated after 10 years) from the manufacturer. Upgrade to a 50-year non-prorated enhanced warranty with a full roof system.

Architectural asphalt shingle pros:

  • Affordability
  • Ease of repair and installation
  • Readily available materials and colors

Architectural asphalt shingle cons:

  • Low curb appeal compared to other materials
  • Needs yearly maintenance
  • Prone to hail damage

How much does a luxury asphalt shingle roof cost?

Luxury (also called designer or premium) shingles are designed to mimic the look of a natural slate tile roof. They are larger, more durable, offer the highest curb appeal, and are the most expensive of three types of asphalt shingles.

luxury asphalt shingle roof

Cost: ≈$8.00 per square foot

Lifespan: ≈30 years or longer in perfect conditions

Material warranty: 30-year warranty (prorated after 10 years) from the manufacturer. Upgrade to a 50-year non-prorated enhanced warranty with a full roof system.

Luxury asphalt shingle pros:

  • Durability
  • Longevity
  • High curb appeal
  • Stands up well to storm damage

Luxury asphalt shingle cons:

  • Expensive
  • Longer installation compared to the other asphalt shingles
  • Needs yearly maintenance

What impacts the cost of an asphalt shingle roof?

Now you know the average cost of an asphalt shingle roof and an idea of how much the different types of asphalt shingles cost. Remember, the prices above are for a full roof replacement, not the shingles themselves. 

While the shingle you choose has a huge impact on the final cost, much more goes into pricing a new asphalt shingle roof. Below are the main factors that impact the cost of not only an asphalt roof but a new roof in general. 

The labor costs to replace your asphalt shingle roof

Labor and time are the two main factors a roofing contractor considers when estimating an asphalt roof’s cost. From tearing off your old roof to cleaning up your property after the job, anything that requires manpower and time has a labor cost associated with it. 

There are also labor costs for each crew member that varies based on their skill level, experience, and how much they can get done in a day. Unfortunately, there’s not a uniform cost number because labor costs vary by contractor.

However, the more time spent on your roof and property, the higher the labor costs. Just know that the rest of the factors we cover are all impacted by this cost factor.

The rest of the asphalt shingle roof’s components

The type and brand of asphalt shingle determine most of the material costs associated with a new roof. But an asphalt roof is made up of much more than the shingles you see from the ground. 

underlayment, architectural asphalt shingles, OSB roof decking, and a turbine vent

Including asphalt shingles, the components you’ll pay for when getting a new roof are:

Every component listed here is a crucial piece of a roof system that every roof must have. I guarantee you’ll have costly problems down the road if even one of them is improperly installed or left off.

Your asphalt shingle roof’s accessibility

When getting your new asphalt shingle roof, your roofing contractor needs a clear access point for every part of the job. The amount of landscaping around your house, a fence, and how far away the materials and dump trailer are from the roof’s access point all go into accessibility.

architectural asphalt shingle roof that has no easy access point(Roof with no easy access point)

The harder your roof is to access, the more time it takes to complete the replacement. This time adds up and increases labor costs because the roofers have to work around obstacles, which slows down the job. 

So, if your home has rows of shrubbery, a fence, and a driveway that isn’t close to the access point, it’ll add to the labor costs of your asphalt shingle roof replacement. 

The size and complexity of your asphalt shingle roof

The most obvious factor that impacts the cost of an asphalt shingle roof is the size. A roof's square footage affects the amount of materials needed and, of course, the labor and time it takes to complete the job. 

While the size is a big factor, your roof’s complexity must also be considered. Roof complexity is how many facets, hips, valleys, and the roof’s pitch (steepness).

luxury asphalt shingle installation on complex roof(Luxury asphalt shingle installation on complex roof)

A complex roof means a more difficult installation, which also means it takes longer. The number of stories your home has also plays into complexity. 

If your home is two stories or more, the installers have to take precautions that make them move slower and more carefully for their own safety. 

The number of penetrations your asphalt shingle roof has

A roof penetration is anything that pokes out or comes through your roof. The most common roof penetrations are plumbing vents, gas vents, kitchen/bathroom vents, skylights, and chimneys.

The more penetrations your roof has, the more time and manpower it takes to work around them to install your new roof. While smaller pipes or vents won’t add much to the cost, bigger penetrations such as skylights and chimneys take longer to flash and work around. 

So, an asphalt shingle roof with skylights, a chimney, or another large penetration costs more than a roof with small penetrations. 

The amount of roof decking that needs replacing

Roof decking is the wooden boards that make up the framing of your roof that your shingles and other components are installed on. I already mentioned roof decking in the components section because there’s a chance a couple of boards will need replacing.

roof decking that was replaced before roof installation(Example of decking that was replaced before installation)

However, it’s hard to know how much replacement decking is actually needed until the old one has been torn off. If a lot needs replacing, it can have a big impact on the final price of your new asphalt shingle roof. 

Now, there will be a line-item included in your roof estimate if there are clear signs, like discoloration in the attic or sponginess when walking on the roof. But if they find bad roof decking while tearing off the old roof, the cost will be added to the final invoice.

Dump fees for getting rid of your old asphalt shingle roof and other debris

The tear-off process of your roof replacement has a lot of debris coming off your roof. Well, this debris has to go somewhere once it's torn off. 

dump trailer with torn off roof debris

A reputable roofing contractor will have a trailer or truck that’ll be loaded up with the debris to be taken to a dump of the contractor’s choice. Unfortunately, dumpsites charge hefty fees for this service. 

Because of this, the dump fees and labor costs of the employee(s) to dump your old roof will impact the cost of your new asphalt shingle roof. 

The operating costs of the roofing contractor

Every roofing contractor has operating expenses they have to pay to keep their business going. These operating costs are always factored into the price of any roof work you get done.

Below are some of the common operating costs a roofing contractor has:

  • Rent/mortgage and utilities 
  • Shop and truck yard
  • Advertising and promotions
  • Vehicles (fuel and insurance)
  • General liability insurance
  • Workers compensation insurance
  • Licenses and bonds
  • Training 
  • Payroll and payroll taxes
  • Taxes (Federal and local government)

Whether a roofing company does a simple repair or replaces 10 roofs, these operating costs have to be paid every day. Because of this, operating costs will always factor into the final price.

Make sure you find a great contractor to replace your asphalt roof

Like I said earlier, every roof is different. But now, you have an idea of how much you're going to have to invest in your new asphalt roof. 

After reading this, you're ready to hire a local roofing contractor to begin the process of replacing your roof. But how do you find a great roofing contractor? 

That comes down to asking potential contractors the right questions and knowing the right answers to get back. To help you even further, we're going to give you a checklist that will do just that. 

With the 16 question checklist, you'll be able to find a roofing contractor that does things the right way and gives you a stress free experience. 

If you're local to Nashville, don't hesitate to contact us to start the journey of giving you the beautiful roof you deserve. 

Here's your free Checklist of Questions to Ask a Roofing Contractor so you have the information you need when talking to potential roofing companies in your area. 

roofing contractor questions checklist

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