If you’re considering buying, building, or renovating a home, chances are you’ve wondered, “How long can a roof last?”

In this blog, we’ll cover the life expectancy of common roofing materials, their relative price points, and the warranties you can expect when purchasing these materials. Let’s get to building!

how long can a roof last

Asphalt Shingles

The most common roofing material used, asphalt shingles, can be found on about 80% of all new homes. Why? Affordability. Asphalt shingles (sometimes referred to as “3-tab”) cost anywhere between $70 and $150 per square. A “square” is a roofing term used to define area in square feet: one square equals 100 square feet.

Asphalt shingles typically last (depending on brand and material) between 15 and 30 years, and are usually warrantied up to 25 years. Weather conditions and sun exposure may speed up that timeline, so keep that in mind as you’re out shopping.

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are premium asphalt-based shingles that can last between 25 and 30 years.

When architectural shingles are measured up against asphalt shingles, there are key differences.They’re thicker. They’re denser. They’re more resilient. Architectural shingles are attractive to those who want the choice of using a shingle to mimic more expensive roofing like wood, slate, or tile. This boost in aesthetic does come with a boost in cost, though. Architectural shingles vary between $250 – $400 per square with variable warranties, based on brand, out to about 30 years.

Wood Shingles (Shakes)

Cedar is the typical wood used for wood shingles, as it is naturally rot- and insect-resistant. They look fantastic on almost any type of home, but they do come with a heftier price tag. These shingles also require annual upkeep and maintenance.

You can expect to find a warped or split wood shingle on occasion, so be sure you inspect your shake roof after major environmental events. At the very least this type of rook should be evaluated once a year, as these shingles will need to be replaced immediately.

Expect to spend anywhere between $250 and $600 per square for wood shingles and warranties last up to 30 years.

Clay Tile

The good news about clay tile roofs is that they can last up to and beyond 50 years, and manufacturers offer warranties from 30 years to a lifetime.

The bad news is that clay tile roofs cost between $600 and $800 per square. So, if you think about it, you’re paying up-front would-be costs for repairs, maintenance, and possible replacement of other, less robust materials.


Metal roofing is durable AND energy-efficient. The cost for metal roofing, however, is entirely dependent on multiple factors like gauge (thickness,) type (aluminum, copper, steel,) and manufacturer. Expect to pay anywhere between $115 per square up to $900.

That being said, they can last up to 70 years with warranties varying from 20 years to a lifetime.

Slate Tile

Arguably the toughest material to use for your roof, slate is the most expensive option in this list. Slate is gorgeous, durable, and can handle most of what nature can dish out. Slate tiles are also relatively easy to replace should one crack or break.

However — slate cannot be installed on just any roof. These tiles weigh exponentially more than clay or asphalt shingles. Due to their size, the weight of slate tile cannot be distributed as easily across rafters as metal sheets.

If you’re looking to put slate on your roof, you’ll have to shell out a few more dollars. The additional weight will need to be reinforced and supported, so much of your budget will go to beefing up the existing rafters and joists.

You can expect to pay up to $1,500 per square for slate tiles, but this roof will likely outlive us all. Warranties from manufacturers range between 50 years to a lifetime.

Peace of Mind with Buildpro

At Buildpro, the homeowner comes first. We want you to be 100% satisfied, now and in the future. We strongly believe in the products we sell and the work we perform. Our Ironclad Warranty is the best in the industry, hands down.

Any manufacturer’s warranty is in addition to, not in lieu of, our own installation warranty. When you choose Buildpro, you’ll get total peace of mind.

So, if you’re in the market for a new roof or need a certified contractor for repairs, contact Buildpro today for a free, no-obligation quote today.