How to Buy Cheap Shingles for Roofing the House

Shingled roof with several planes

Replacing a home's shingled roof is a major project, requiring planning and considerable cost. According to recognized home improvement expert Bob Vila, several shingle materials are available. These materials include asphalt, wood, metal, tile, concrete and slate. Asphalt shingles are the most affordable choice, with a price range of $50 to $150 per square (a 10 foot by 10 foot section, or 100 square feet). In comparison, metal and concrete tiles start at $100 per square, with ceramic tile and slate considerably more expensive.

Step 1

Determine how many shingles you need. According to roofing materials manufacturer Owens Corning, the first step is to estimate the total square footage of the roof. Measure the length and width of each roof plane or flat surface (including any dormers). Next, multiply the length times the width; this gives you the square footage of each plane. Finally, get the total square footage by adding the square footage of all the planes together.

Once you have the total square footage of the roof, note that shingles are measured in squares, or 100-square-foot sections. To figure out how many squares of shingles you will need, divide the total square footage by 100. Add 10 percent more shingles for a trim allowance. Finally, if you are laying a new roof, you will need the same amount of underlayment.

Step 2

Contact local contractors for their overruns. A roofing contractor might have leftover shingles from a recently completed job. A contractor might also have shingles in storage from a canceled job or from one in which the customer upgraded to a more expensive brand of shingles. View a roofing contractor website to find roofing contractors in your state: roofhelp.com/Contractors/contractordb.htm.

Step 3

Call a roofing manufacturer. According to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, there are two types of asphalt roofing shingles: steep slope for residential applications and low slope for commercial applications. Use the nationwide directory of steep slope roofing manufacturers to find a company in your state. Ask about overruns, cosmetic seconds or past-season shingles that might be specially priced: http://www.asphaltroofing.org/about_members_steep.html.

Step 4

Look for home improvement store clearance sales. Look for end-of-season closeout shingles, discontinued models and unpopular colors that are now clearance priced. If you don't find anything immediately, ask the department manager to contact you when large quantities of shingles go on sale.

Step 5

Shop for shingles on eBay. Although this is a hit-or-miss option, you might find a complete lot of shingles from a roofing job that fell through. Check this auction site often, because new listings appear frequently: http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m38.l1313&_nkw=roofing+shingles&_sacat=See-All-Categories.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal tape measure

  • Calculator

  • Total square footage of the roof

  • Number of shingle squares you will need

  • Names of local roofing contractors

  • Names of shingle manufacturers

  • Names of local home improvement stores

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