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6 Cheap Roof Materials: Which Are Worth It & Which Aren’t

January 28, 2024

We get it; roofing projects can be costly. But before you rush to choose the cheapest roofing material you can find, let’s take a closer look at the options — and which cheap roof materials are really, truly worth it.

In this guide, we’ll explore six budget-friendly roofing materials, discussing which ones are worth considering and which may end up costing you more in the long run. It’s time to balance affordability with durability!

Inside this blog:

  • The 6 popular & cheap roof materials for homeowners to consider
  • Benefits & features for each roof material
  • A brief overview of the roofing materials that are and aren’t worth it for homeowners

Ready to get a new roof?

But not sure how to make it work within your budget?

Keep reading to learn more about the 6 cheap roofing materials and which one will give you the biggest bang for your buck!

1. Asphalt Shingles 🏠


Affordable, but are they worth it?

Asphalt shingles are perhaps the most common and budget-friendly roofing material. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Affordability: Asphalt shingles are undeniably wallet-friendly, making them a popular choice among homeowners.
  • Durability: While they may not last as long as some other options, they can still provide 15-30 years of service.
  • Variety: Asphalt shingles come in various colors and styles, allowing you to choose a look that suits your home.

2. Rolled Roofing 🛢️

An economical choice, but is it the right one?

Rolled roofing is often used on low-slope or flat roofs. Here’s the scoop:

  • Low Cost: Rolled roofing is among the most budget-friendly options, both in terms of materials and installation.
  • Short Lifespan: It typically has a relatively short lifespan compared to other materials, ranging from 5 to 15 years.
  • Limited Aesthetics: While it gets the job done, it doesn’t offer much in terms of design or curb appeal.

3. Metal Roofing 🌟

Closeup view of metal roofing material - corrugated metal panels

Surprisingly affordable, with a few caveats.

Metal roofing has gained popularity, and it’s not as pricey as you might think:

  • Cost-Effective: While the initial investment may be higher, metal roofs tend to last 40-70 years, making them cost-effective over time.
  • Energy Efficiency: They reflect heat, potentially lowering your energy bills.
  • Installation Matters: Proper installation is crucial; poor installation can lead to leaks and higher maintenance costs.

4. Composite Roofing Shingles 🏡

An affordable alternative to traditional shingles.

Composite roofing shingles are a mix of materials, often including recycled plastics and wood fibers:

  • Budget-Friendly: They’re cheaper than premium roofing materials like wood or slate.
  • Durability: Composite shingles can last around 30-50 years, offering a decent lifespan.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: They can mimic the look of more expensive roofing materials.

5. Wood Shingles 🌲


Natural and charming, but what about the cost?

Wood shingles exude natural beauty, but they come at a price:

  • Aesthetic Value: Wood shingles have a unique, rustic charm that adds character to your home.
  • Moderate Cost: They are more affordable than some high-end materials but more expensive than asphalt shingles.
  • Maintenance Required: Regular maintenance, such as staining and sealing, is necessary to prolong their lifespan and prevent decay.

6. Clay Tiles 🏺

Exquisite but expensive; are they worth the investment?

Clay tiles are renowned for their timeless elegance, but they come with a hefty price tag:

  • Longevity: They can last 50-100 years or more, making them a long-term investment.
  • High Cost: Clay tiles are among the most expensive roofing materials, with installation costs to match.
  • Architectural Value: They add a touch of Mediterranean or Spanish-style charm to your home.

Which Cheap Roof Materials Are Worth It?

Now that we’ve examined these budget-friendly roofing materials, let’s break down which ones are worth considering:

  • Asphalt Shingles: They are affordable and offer a reasonable lifespan, making them a practical choice for many homeowners. Keep in mind that architectural shingles, a premium type of asphalt shingle, provide enhanced durability and can be a worthwhile upgrade if within your budget.
  • Metal Roofing: While the initial cost may be higher, its durability and energy efficiency make it a cost-effective option in the long run. Additionally, metal roofs often come with longer warranties, providing peace of mind for many years to come.
  • Composite Roofing Shingles: A budget-friendly alternative to premium materials, they offer both affordability and aesthetic appeal. These shingles can be a particularly good choice if you want the look of wood or slate without the associated costs and maintenance.

Which Ones Aren’t Worth It?

Closeup of roll roofing - cheaper roof materials

On the flip side, here are some roofing materials to approach with caution:

  • Rolled Roofing: It’s economical but has a relatively short lifespan and limited aesthetic options, making it a practical choice for temporary structures or sheds but less suitable for long-term roofing needs.
  • Wood Shingles: While beautiful, they require ongoing maintenance and can be susceptible to decay. Homeowners who appreciate their natural charm should be prepared to invest time, effort, and a higher budget into regular upkeep. So if cost is your main concern, maybe go with a different roof material type.
  • Clay Tiles: They offer longevity and style but come with a high upfront cost that may not be justifiable for all homeowners. If you’re considering clay tiles, be sure to factor in the initial investment against the long-term benefits and architectural value they bring to your home.

The Importance of Quality Installation 🛠️

Regardless of the roofing material you choose, the quality of installation plays a critical role in its longevity and performance. Poor installation can lead to leaks, premature wear, and higher maintenance costs. So, when hiring a roofing contractor, be sure to choose one with a proven track record of quality workmanship.

Balance Budget and Durability with the Right Roofing Materials

Finding the right roofing material involves striking a balance between your budget and your long-term goals. While budget-friendly options like asphalt shingles, composite roofing shingles, and even metal roofing can provide durability and cost-effectiveness, it’s essential to weigh your specific needs and aesthetic preferences. Remember, investing a bit more upfront may save you considerable money and hassle down the line.

Get in Touch with our team of X’perts at Roof X today and we’ll ensure your next roofing project goes off without a hitch! We can’t wait to get started and give you a roof that’s built to stand against the elements and protect your home.

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