questionsshould i get 20, 30, or 50 year shingles?


I'd go for longer lasting shingles but that's just me. The rest depends on your negotiating skills and the seller's real intent/need to sell.


At only $750 difference we would go ahead and get the 50 year. BUT I don't feel like this is enough discount concidering the difference I've seen in other peoples estimates. If the difference were only $750 I feellike eveyone would buy 50 year shingles. Of course we'll be having other companies give estimates.


After the wind we had in the triangle last night, I'd go for the 50 year ones. It will probably also help your resale value.

Also, at that price, I would check with 1 or 2 other contractors, if you can.


Ditto on getting additional quotes. A greater portion of the cost is the labor, which would be the same whether they install 50 year shingles, 20 year shingles, or cardboard, so don't be surprised if the difference isn't that great like in this quote.


@okham: Any suggestions on roofing companies? This one came from CBS roofing Inc.


I would check the wind ratings on those shingles. When we replaced ours earlier this year, we found that generally, the higher year shingles, the better the wind rating. Ours are guaranteed up to hurricane force winds (we did get hit by one, a teeny bit a few years ago) - so that is what sealed our decision. Also, depending on your decking, installation and weather, your shingles may wear sooner.

Spending a little bit extra on the right material may save you money later. Really do get more estimates - and referrals.


My dad is a contractor, and while he doesn't work on the exterior of houses his advice for things that serve double duty as both heavy use materials and aesthetic improvements (like flooring or doors) is to not count on loving it forever. He tells me that more often than not, people replace what they can see before it needs to be replaced simply because they feel the need to change it aesthetically. I think that's something to consider, do you honestly think those shingles won't be changed before they hit the 50 year mark?


I'd suggest the vaccine. From what I've read, that can help you completely avoid getting shingles! Most pharmacies, and even grocery stores offer them at very reasonable rates.

Serious part - how good a negotiator are you, and do you have a contingency built into your contract? I'm assuming you do.

I'd want the current homeowner to ante up the cost of 20 year shingles, plus any repairs. That's what they would likely do if they had to fix it themselves. With a contingency, you can change your offer, and if they decline, you can walk away. (I am not a lawyer nor realtor.) How is the housing market? Other options? Is it a buyer or seller's market? That all dictates your options. There are other houses, but it can be emotional.

Depending on what else you find out about 50 year shingles, you may want to pay for the difference. Or pay for the difference for cedar shakes (up to 100 years), or metal roof. Something like that, with documentation, should be a selling point when you move on.


Shop it around.
After recent hail storms we had our entire roof replaced for about $3000. That was using 25 -year architectural shingles. It was two roofs (rooves?), simple up/down. One over the garage, one over the 2600sf 2-story house.

Regardless of what you get, the architectural shingles really add to the aesthetic, so I'd suggest that.

j5 j5

Random thought. Make sure that quote is for complete tear off & replacement, or if it isn't that you know the difference.

I know that in some jurisdictions it is acceptable (to code) to just re-roof over the old shingles. For example, where I live. That does definitely save labor cost since you're not stripping the roof, and saving on the hauling cost since there's nothing to dispose of. From VA northward, I think the concern would be snow rather than wind. Not sure how re-roofing does with strong winds.

Whether you choose to do so is up to you (assuming it is to code), but be sure you know what you are getting. I don't know enough to advocate for or against the practice.

BTW, I don't think you can re-roof over architectural shingles - just three tab. Wouldn't lay flat, plus added weight could be a problem.


Answer? None of the above! "That'll cost you thousands!"

edit: to emphasize sarcasm


@narfcake: Back when we redid our roof, the 50 year shingles had stricter nailing requirements due to the extra wind protection. That might increase the labor costs.


I thought you guys were talking about the MEDICAL shingles, not actual roofing shingles.

Med student problems, yo. :)


I sell shingles as part of my employment.

Get more quotes.

A "50 year" shingle is what used to be rated as a 30 year shingle just last year. All shingle manufactures that used to list their shingles as 30 year changed them at the end of last year/beginning of this year(Owens Corning, IKO/CRC, Atlas, et al). 50 years means that the warranty is a 50 year pro-rated warranty to the original home owner. At the same time they pretty much got rid of all their former lifetime/premium shingles or changed their line up. The current lines that they list as lifetime, in my opinion, are not as good as the old lines.

That said. There will not be a huge price difference between a 25 year 3-tab shingle and a Lifetime dimensional(architectural) shingle. This is mainly due to the fact that retailers do not want to sell you 3-tab shingles. They make less money on these shingles.

However; you do not want to put 3-tab shingles on your home.



From previous:

No 3-tab shingle(25 year) will ever give you the wind ratings(resistance) that you will have with a dimensional shingle. A 25 year 3-tab shingle will only be rated for winds up to 60 mph. Even your most basic dimensional will be rated up to 110 mph. A better dimensional will have a rating of 130.

Have your installer install the shingles with 6 nails. Most only use 4 nails per shingle but 6 has been proven in multiple studies to hold better. For instance Owens Corning has some lines of shingles that only have wind ratings of 110 mph with 4 nails but they warranty them at 130 mph if you install with 6 nails per shingle.

I'll stop with the wall of text but if you have any questions feel free to ask.

(Personally, my home has a steel roof. Don't buy the cheapest shingles available.)


@publiclurker: you guys sound like handy-men. what do I have to do to learn the art of roofing, cuz my home roof is leaking like a civ currently, and I want to fix it, but I'm scared of the heights involved.

Any advice? Thanks.


@bmw66x: While I'm fairly handy, I paid for a pro to do my roof. The previous roof was poorly installed and we had leaks. I wanted someone that could tell how badly things were and install a membrane instead of the usual tar paper, since a leak in our vaulted ceiling area would probably not be detected until a lot of damage had occurred.


You didn't say how big the house was, and I don't know what labor costs are like in your area, but the price you quoted sounds high. Do some shopping around.

2 years ago I had to replace my roof because a particularly destructive ice storm . Another layer of shingles over the two that were there would not be advisable, so I was looking at stripping the roof to the wood and redoing it outward. I checked the cost for new roofing - not bad. Then I looked at the cost of time/labor to rip off the old roof and redo all of it (house and garage - about 2200 sq. ft.) and reconsidered. Then I looked at steel roofing. Materials cost - about 400% of that for shingles, but they could install foam insulation and Energy Star rated steel over the old roof in 2 and a half days. Total cost was actually less than a tear-out/redo of the shingled roof. The new roof reflects heat. On a hot day last summer, the temp in the attic was 4 degrees below the outside temp. I love it.


3 years ago when I had to get my (mostly) hip roof replaced on a 1650 sq ft house, the difference in price between 25,30, and 40 year architectural shingles was not that much. The step up from 30 to 40 was only an additional $600. I would have went with lifetimes, except the house is currently sitting on a sinkhole. I wanted GOOD, but the jump in price from 30 to lifetime was around $2000.

Here in FL, you pretty much only get about 1/2 the rating. I suspect the 40 year roof I put on will only last 20-25 years at best. The heat here just COOKS a roof.

My estimate was for around 13,500 + wood. Remember though, this is FL where the insurance companies stick it to us every way they can. That means we have a bunch of code when it comes to roofs or re-roofing - ring shank nails for the deck, secondary water intrusion protection, higher qty of cap nails for underlayment, 6 nail shingles, and shingles with high wind ratings.


@ipegot: I was wondering about that. I've only heard of 30 year as the longest.


While I had no leak problems my roof was starting to look pretty bad, to the point that I was getting bugged by gypsy roofers on a weekly basis.
I subscribe to Angie's List so found a high rated bonded local roofer who came in, stripped to bare wood, laid a new waterproof membrane, then 50 year shingles all for $7200 for a 1750 sq ft house. That included a full length peak vent for better cooling.
As for who pays, it's all on the seller. Since the house failed its inspection they cannot sell until the problem is fixed as no mortgage company will agree to a loan. You may be able to cut a deal where they are willing to cut the loan with a written agreement that you will have the roof fixed within a set period of time. If that's the case the seller should discount the full cost from the selling price.


I got shingles a few years ago as did my neighbors. I had a construction company do mine. We talked about what I wanted. I told him to make his best offer because I had to shop around. I told him I wanted 6 nails in each shingle, he told me they do 7, I said even better.

Storms come and go and all my singles are on my roof, my neighbor can not say the same.
Did you ever think about color. Light color is better to help keep you temperature down but looks runny after a few years. Check out ridge vents too. (Maybe you do not care about ridge vents since you are selling in 5 years.)

We got the Architectural (also known as dimensional, laminated or composite shingles).


Most important thing to do is to use weatherguard or equivalent underlayment. The self stick and self healing attributes are amazing. Felt paper is a waste of time.


We reroofed a couple of years back and talked to a lot of roofers. These days, around here anyway (Northern California) people don't generally reroof because the roof leaks -- they reroof because the shingles look like crap....and in an average of 17 years. And the little color flecks that slowly shed out of 20, 25, 30, 50, and lifetime shingles? Same color flecks, shedding the same way -- and not covered by the warranty.

That said, if it's YOUR roof, I heartily second the motion about underlayment, at least on ridges and valleys and around any penetrations. And if you were ever thinking of roof penetrations (skylights, adding vents, moving plumbing, etc.), the time is BEFORE you reroof -- a patch will never be as good as the whole system. It's also a good time to rethink crickets above chimneys and such.


@ipegot: Thanks for the info! It's good to get some real info from someone who knows the materials but isn't the one making money by selling them to me :-) We don't plan on putting on the chaepest shingles by any means, we just didn't think we could afford 50 year shingles. We'll only be in this house about 3-5 years so I'm not sure how much we'll add other than the basic (but still quality) new roof. We don't need a higher wind rating. Though it's happened recently, wind speeds that high are few and far between. It's just not worth the rather large cost difference.

The house is about 2300sqft + a 2.5 car garage. I don't know the square footage of the roof. More info is in the question.

After asking around and getting some other qoutes over the weekend, it looks like this roof should cost about $8K-9K to completely replace with 50 year architectural shingles. I've asked for 6 nails instead of 4



$8-9k sounds about right. Without having all the dimensions of your roof and garage it's hard to guess on material cost. I ran some guess numbers based on your house square footage and my best guess would be around $3.3k just in materials for the house, not including garage. Maybe $600-$1k for the garage. Rest in tear off and labor.

If you haven't yet bought the home and the seller claimed the roof was in good shape, I would definitely expect them to be paying for part or all of the roof replacement. Especially since being told the roof was fine you agreed to pay closer to 'market' value. Often when buying a home you can get allowances for expenses to fix items in the home but you still pay for those allowances. At the very least the asking price should come down.


@jstrong196: you are replying to VERY OLD posts. Please stop spamming the forum. Tattles.


@mmarceau37: thanks for the info but you are a few months late. the link will be removed.


@jstrong196: tattled as spam...again at least find a new old question to spam. I got my roof i DIDN'T CLICK YOUR LINK, IT'S OVER.


@frannyjames91: I already have my roof, this post is very old please stop spamming us. I have tattled on you post and it will be removed shortly.


If you are going to replace the shingles no matter if you are staying in your home for the rest of your life or not always go with the better materials. It will make for a more powerful selling point in your home and also it can give you a peace of mind knowing that your home is well protected. Architect shingles are more of a cosmetic appeasement, yet when selling your home you want top dollar and if the insurance company is paying why not? If there is only one roof I usually do a overlay which not only makes the roof thicker it actually helps insulate the home even more, (check with local zoning to make sure a roof can be overlaid), and saves the homeowners additional cost of demo and haul away. Also make sure the roofer tars and seal all seams on the roof as rain can seep behind shingles and cause additional damage. I hope this helps you or someone else.


@allaround4me: This post is from June 13th, 2013


@ipegot: Is peel and seal roofing under shingles as good as or better than 30 pound felt?