How To Avoid Using Cheap Roofing Materials

There needs to be a balance between getting a fair price for quality roofing work and getting roofing material cheaply. Because going the cheapest route isn’t the best idea.

The avatar of Rachel Polant

Rachel Polant

Dec 17

Save Money on Your Roof Without Installing Cheap Roofing Materials

People tend to care the most about the bottom line when it comes to a home improvement project. Saving money is a concern for many homeowners. But, there needs to be a balance between getting a fair price for quality roofing work and getting roofing material cheaply. Because going the cheapest route isn’t the best idea.

Cheap materials are cheap for a reason. Asphalt is always the least expensive roofing material, even when it is a quality product. Because it’s so popular a product, some makers cut corners in the manufacturing process by adding subpar materials.

If you’re only thinking of your bottom line and put the cheapest asphalt roof on your home, then you’re going to make two roofers very happy — the one who installed the cheap materials and the one who gets the job of replacing it in just a few years because it failed early. Installing a poor quality asphalt roof to save money will only cost you more money in the end.

Finding the Balance Between Cheap Roofing Materials and Getting a New Roof Cheaper With Quality Materials

Asphalt Roofing

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on premium roofing materials, then you can hire a roofing contractor to install a good quality, traditional 3-Tab asphalt roof. Architectural asphalt roofs add over another 1k to the roofing job but are still rather cost effective compared to other roofing materials on the market, especially if aesthetics are important to you.

Metal Roofing

If you want to install metal roofing but want to do it cheaply, it’s good to know that cheap roofing material for metal roofs will beat cheap asphalt roofing every time. However, that doesn’t mean you should go for the cheapest metal roof on the market.    

They tend to be thin and lose their protective coating, leaving the roofless energy efficient and looking shabby. Cheap metal roofs also have exposed screws, which can loosen and expose your roof to leaks over time.

If you want to save money, but want to install a metal roof for your home, look at less expensive materials. Steel or aluminum shingles cost about $265–$375 per square, and if you don’t mind veering away from the shingle look, standing seam corrugated steel panels run around $125–$150.

Flat Roofs

Metal and asphalt are the two cheapest options for sloped residential roofs. But there are homes that have flat or only slightly sloped roofs so asphalt and metal roofing material won’t work.

The cheapest flat roofing material is EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer), which is a rubber roofing membrane. The thickness of EDPM affects the price. Flat roofs are a cheaper roofing material than sloped roofing material, but only superficially. Flat roofs need to be re-roofed much more frequently than asphalt shingles, so the initial savings is canceled out with time.

It can cost between $2.50–$4.50 a square foot to have an EPDM rubber roof professionally installed. This comes out to around $2,250–$4,000 for a 30-by-30-foot flat roof on a single-family home, depending on a number of factors like roof size, the complexity of the job, and materials required. Labor costs can vary greatly, depending on the type of material being installed and installation method.

Flat roofs do come in a variety of materials and colors, are energy efficient, increase your outdoor living space, and have a great overall aesthetic. Other flat roofing materials are built-up roof (BTU), TPO, and modified bitumen. If you’re okay with the overall higher need for regular maintenance and more frequent replacement, a flat roof can be a good choice.

Don’t try to save money by hiring the cheapest flat roofing contractor. EDPM is manufactured in giant sheets and is glued to the roof. It’s also important that the seams are glued together properly to prevent leaking.

When to find the best value for roof installation without the use of cheap roofing materials

Other potential ways to save money when installing a new roof is to do it in the less busy off-season. Also, shop around for roofing companies who are running specials. You may find it helps to talk with your neighbors and see if any of them are in the market for a new roof.

The roofing contractor you are working with might cut a deal for roofing multiple homes within the same neighborhood, just as tree trimmers often do. Same goes for sharing a dumpster. Ask around and see if your neighbors want to chip in on the dumpster fees for their yard waste or garage cleanouts.

When you’re ready to install your roof

If you’re looking for a roofing contractor to install a new roof, don’t go with the one who will install cheap roofing material. It’s a bad sign of his or her professionalism. Superior roofing pros know that the roofs they install are advertisements of the work they do. If they install something that will look tatty and fall apart in half the time or less, than it should, it would be a bad reflection and an embarrassment to their business. It’s still possible to find a good deal without sacrificing quality.

If you’re in the market for a new roof at a fair price, contact today for your free roofing quote!


The avatar of Rachel Polant

Rachel Polant

Dec 17