Cheap Roofing Buying & Installation Guide

By HomeAdvisor

Updated February 24, 2021

close-up of a metal roof

How & Where to Get the Best Prices on Roofing

Roofing materials are available in various styles and prices, and they cost between $1 to $14 per square footwith an average cost of $5 per square foot, not including installation. When buying on a budget, it can be helpful to consider durability, material price, installation price and average lifespan to find the best value.

On This Page:

  1. Cheap Roofing
    1. What Is the Best Buy?
    2. Disadvantages
  2. What Are Some Cheap Roofing Options?
    1. Asphalt 3 Tab Shingles
    2. Corrugated Steel
    3. Architectural Asphalt Shingles
    4. Aluminum
    5. Steel
  3. Discount Roofing Pricing
  4. The Best Place to Buy Roofing
    1. Where to Buy Cheap Roofing
    2. Cheap Roofing Installation
  5. Best Time to Buy Roofing
  6. Hiring Affordable Roofing Installers
    1. Where to Find Companies
    2. Questions to Ask
  7. Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles

Cheap Roofing

Finding the best value in roofing materials will promote a longer lasting roof for the best price. The best roofing shingles have the best mix of style, lifespan, and durability, so consider those factors when purchasing your roofing materials.

Best Buy

Asphalt shingle roofing remains the roofing champion with unbeatable costs and unmatched value for its cost. Asphalt shingles are easy to install. This brings installation costs down to about $3.50 to $5.50 per square foot. Plus, these shingles are available in various color options.


  • Issues with mildew
  • Can be damaged by intense wind/storms
  • Shorter lifespan compared to more expensive options
  • Not energy efficient
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What Are Some Cheap Roofing Options?

These cheap roofing options offer the most affordable prices, best durability and most impressive energy efficiency.

Asphalt 3 Tab Shingles

close-up of asphalt shingles

Asphalt 3 tab shingles are one of three asphalt shingle options. This type of shingle is available in multiple colors, is easy to install, long-lasting and budget-friendly. It is the most affordable asphalt shingle option, costing about $1 per square foot.

Corrugated Steel

close-up of a corrugated steel roof

Corrugated steel roofing is the most affordable metal roofing option. This type of roofing is durable, energy-efficient and creates a unique appearance on top of the home. It costs about $1.80 per square foot.

Architectural Asphalt Shingles

close-up of architectural asphalt

Architectural asphalt shingles are a more durable and sturdier version of the asphalt 3 tab shingles. They offer an extra layer of protection, higher quality appearance and multiple color options and cost $1.50 per square foot.


close-up of aluminum roof

Aluminum roofing is a highly durable metal roofing option. It is resistant to saltwater corrosion, intense storms, and wind. Plus, aluminum offers a high-quality finish that will elevate the home’s curb appeal. Aluminum roofing costs about $3.25 per square foot.


close-up of steel roof

Steel roofing is the most durable and longest-lasting metal roofing material. It creates a modern appearance and has a lifespan of about 40 to 70 years. Steel roofing costs about $3.35 per square foot.

Cheap Roofing Options Per Square Foot*
Asphalt 3 Tab Shingles $1.00
Corrugated Steel $1.80
Architectural Asphalt Shingles $1.50
Aluminum $3.25
Steel $3.35

*Does not include labor of $3.50 to $14 per square foot

Discount Roofing Pricing

The cheapest roofing options cost between $1 and $3.35 per square foot, not including installation. Various resources can help you determine the best roofing services near you. These resources will help you determine the cost of roofing on your home and where you can find the most affordable prices.

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The Best Place to Buy Roofing

It can be helpful to compare the pros and cons of each roofing company. This will help determine the most affordable prices, the best customer service and other factors you are considering.

Roofing Company Pros and Cons
Seller Pros Cons
Big Box Stores Tons of options Hidden fees
Large Franchises Easy to navigate No negotiating
Small Chains Good customer service Fewer options
Online Retailers Instant quotes/prices Poorer customer service
Installers Professional/reliable experience Higher prices

Where to Buy Cheap Roofing

The best place to buy cheap roofing is through online retailers and the websites of large franchises. Through online resources, you can compare prices instantly, receive helpful customer service, and shop easily to find exactly what you need. You can expect to find prices as low as $0.90 per square foot for asphalt shingles on these online resources.

Cheap Roofing Installation

Roofing installation costs between $3.50 and $14 per square foot. The final price depends on the type of material and the cost to install each type of material. Metal roofing typically costs more to install than asphalt shingle roofing

When Is the Best Time to Buy Roofing?

Late December or early January are the best times to buy roofing. Roofing installation and purchasing is the most popular in spring and summer, so prices tend to dip in the fall and winter months of the year. The colder winter months mean less business for installation companies, creating more flexible scheduling, as well.

Hiring Affordable Roofing Installers

Finding an affordable and reliable roofing installer can be helpful when it comes to staying within a budget.

Where to Find Companies

If you purchase your hardwood materials locally, you can ask local retailers for recommendations on installers nearby. Another great way to find installers is through online review websites. These websites offer honest customer reviews and ratings, allowing you to find the best installer in the area.

Questions to Ask

Having a list of questions ready will help you stay aware of the installation process.

  1. Will you install roofing material that I purchase from another company?
  2. Does your company offer any discounts?
  3. Do you offer free estimates?

Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles

Metal roofing is energy-efficient, durable, wind-resistant, fire-resistant and can be installed over existing asphalt shingles but can be more expensive than asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingle roofing is the cheapest roofing material available but can peel from intense storms and wind. Make sure you know all the differences between metal roofing and asphalt shingles before buying one over the other.

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