The most affordable roofing material that you can use for your home are 3-tab asphalt shingles and basic dimensional shingles. They provide some of the durability and strength that you need at an affordable cost. However, if you are looking for the cheapest roofing material, then you should go with rolled asphalt roofing.

Updating a roof on your home is a big investment. You want to choose a sturdy material that will last a long time and can stay strong against all the elements out there. But when you start to take a look at all the roofing materials out there, you will be amazed at how expensive they can be. That is why many homeowners want to look for the roofing material that is the cheapest.

What Is the Cheapest Roofing Material?

According to Montclair Roofing, a roofing company in Montclair, New Jersey, the cheapest roofing material is asphalt roll roofing, costing $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot. However, it offers minimal durability. 3-tab asphalt shingles ($5.00-$8.50/sq.ft.) and basic dimensional shingles ($6.00-$10.00/sq.ft.) provide better value for affordable prices. Corrugated steel ($7.50-$12.50/sq.ft.) is more expensive upfront but lasts longer, making it cost-effective in the long run.

Affordable Roofing Material Cost Comparison

Roofing Material Cost per Sq. Ft. Estimated Cost for 2000 Sq. Ft. Roof
Asphalt Roll Roofing $2.50 – $3.50 $5,000 – $7,000
3-Tab Asphalt Shingles $5.00 – $8.50 $10,000 – $17,000
Dimensional Shingles $6.00 – $10.00 $12,000 – $20,000
Corrugated Steel $7.50 – $12.50 $15,000 – $25,000


There are many types of roofing that you can go with depending on where you live, the size of your home, and what will fit within your budget. Let’s take a closer look at some of the less expensive roofing materials that you can choose to help you protect your biggest investment of the home.

What Roofing Material is Most Affordable?

There are a lot of different types of roofing materials that you are able to go with. But a quick look at the overall cost of the roofing material is going to make you want to run away. Some homeowners will be able to get insurance to pay for it, such as when their home is older or there was a big storm that just passed through. But other times you may be on the hook to pay for the roofing material on your own and this can get expensive.

When you need to stay on a budget with how much you spend on your roofing material, there are a few options that you can go with. Keep in mind that the most affordable roofing options are often going to be less durable than others and may need to be replaced faster than other roofing materials. Some options you can choose include:

Asphalt Roll Roofing

This is considered the most affordable roofing type, but it does not have a lot of strength or padding under it to help you out. It will typically cost between $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot, not including the amount for the contractor labor. This means that if you are replacing the roof on a 2000 square foot roof would cost somewhere between $5000 to $7000 for the materials.

3-Tab Asphalt Shingles

This is often a better option because it provides more durability and protection compared to the other one, but still brings in some of the affordability. This is likely the one that your contractor will recommend for your home. It will cost a bit more, coming in at between $5.00 and $8.50 per square foot. When you put this material on a 2000 square foot roof, it can cost between $10,000 and $17,000 to get it done.

Dimensional Shingles

Next on the list is Dimensional shingles. Remember that we are going up here and providing good value for an affordable cost. You may not be as familiar with these, but they are going to look good on your home if you choose to go with them. The cost per square foot for this is between $6 to $10. This means that if you are getting enough for a 2000 square foot roof, you will need to spend between $12,000 and $20,000.

Corrugated Steel Roofing

One option that you may want to consider when you are looking for affordability but you still want a roof that is going to last a long time and has a ton of durability is the corrugated steel roof. This one is going to be more expensive at $7.50 to $12.50 a square foot, but it can last longer than some of the other roofing materials and that will save you money in the long run. If you choose this on for a 2000 square foot roof, you will spend between $15,000 and $25,000.

Durability and Lifespan of Affordable Roofing Materials

Roofing Material Typical Lifespan Key Durability Factors
Asphalt Roll Roofing 10-20 years Susceptible to weathering, minimal protection
3-Tab Asphalt Shingles 15-30 years More durable than roll roofing, moderate protection
Dimensional Shingles 20-40 years Increased durability and protection
Corrugated Steel 40-70 years Highly durable, resistant to weather and elements

Choosing the Right Roofing Material for Your Home

You should work with a licensed contractor to discuss the roofing materials that you can place on your own home. It may depend more on your budget or what tends to work well for your area. The professional will be able to provide you with quotes on a few different types of material and can discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each one so you can make the right decision. They can help tell you what will work for your roof and can even work with your insurance company to get it done right.

Regional Considerations for Affordable Roofing

Roofing Material Suitable Climates Potential Drawbacks
Asphalt Roll Roofing Mild, dry climates Limited protection in harsh weather
3-Tab Asphalt Shingles Wide range of climates Potential for faster deterioration in extreme weather
Dimensional Shingles Wide range of climates Higher initial cost compared to 3-tab
Corrugated Steel Various climates Higher upfront cost, potential for noise in heavy rain

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