Is A Composition Roof Right For Your Home? (With Expected Costs)

Kenneth Wilson

Deciding on the perfect material for the roof of your home needs careful planning and consideration. After all, there are lots of options to choose from. One particular surface that is becoming more and more popular is composition roofing, thanks to the various benefits of its installation.

But what exactly is a composition roof? How do you know if it’s right for your home? And how much does it cost to install?

We answer these questions below as we help you decide if a composition roof is a good fit for your property.

What is a Composition Roof?

Simply, a composition roof is one that is made from multiple materials instead of just one. Also referred to as a composite roof, it is typically made from shingles that come in three types:

  1. 1
    3-tab shingles contain fiberglass or cellulose, which is coated with a mineral filling between being topped with asphalt and ceramic materials.
  2. 2
    Laminate shingles are very similar to 3-tab shingles but benefit from an additional layer, making them slightly thicker.
  3. 3
    Architectural shingles are easily manipulated to mimic other roofing materials, including tile, slate, or stone. They’re comprised of multiple layers of polymer filling on a fiberglass mat.

3-tab and laminate shingles are the cheapest options when it comes to installing a composition roof, while architectural shingles are more expensive and more durable. Now you have a basic understanding of what a composite roof is, let’s take a look at some reasons why it might be a perfect fit for your home or property.

Five Reasons Why a Composition Roof Might be Perfect for Your Home

As you’re probably aware, there are various materials that you can use on your roof, but here are five reasons why a composition roof might work for you:

1. To Withstand the Elements

One of the most important roles of your roof is to protect your home and withstand the elements. A high-quality composition roof is manufactured to withstand winds of 100mph+, hailstorms, and other severe weather conditions.

What’s more, thanks to the fiberglass mat, the roof absorbs less moisture than other common materials, making it less susceptible to mold, algae, and moss growth.

2. For Increased Durability

Most 3-tab and laminate composition roofs come with warranties of 15-20 years as a minimum. But architectural shingles are likely to endure for more than 30 years, thanks to their enhanced composition.

The last thing you want is to replace or repair your roof every decade or so, which makes durable composition roofing a worthwhile consideration for your home.

3. To Mimic Other, More Expensive Materials

When you opt for quality architectural shingles to make up your composition roof, you can mimic the appearance of more expensive roofing materials without having to foot the bill.

This is because architectural shingles can be manipulated to look like slate or tile, for instance, giving the appearance of a more expensive roof without actually having to invest in the upfront costs.

4. To Improve the Sustainability of your Home

As the world is becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, more homeowners are looking for ways of making their properties more sustainable. With this in mind, most composition roofs are comprised predominantly of recycled materials.

They’re also recyclable at the end of their lifespan, meaning you don’t need to contribute to landfill when it’s time to replace your roof. In many instances, you can even apply for LEED Certification for your composition roof from the Green Building Society.

5. To Save Money

When compared to traditional roofing materials like slate, tile, or shake, a composition roof is likely to be cheaper to install (we introduce the costs associated with installation in detail below).

What’s more, the density of the composite shingles when installed on your roof serves to insulate your property, which can reduce your heating bills, particularly if you live in a colder climate.

Are There Any Drawbacks to a Composition Roof?

While a composition roof is a potentially great option for homeowners, it isn’t necessarily a good fit for everyone. Here are some drawbacks to this type of roofing that you need to consider before installing it:

  • If you opt for 3-tab or laminate shingles, your roof won’t be completely weather resistant. The small granules can become dislodged during inclement weather, and constant exposure to the sun can break your roof down prematurely.
  • Composition shingles are a relatively new addition to the building industry. As such, its long-term effects aren’t widely known yet, which may prove to be costly in the long run.

As you can see, there are definitely more potential pros than cons when it comes to installing a composition roof, but it’s important to be aware of the drawbacks all the same.

How Much Does a Composition Roof Cost?

Now that we’ve introduced the various aspects of a composition roof let’s take a look at the costs involved with its installation. According to Home Advisor, it costs anywhere between $10,100 and $41,850 to install a composition roof in the US.

The reason for the huge price range is because there is a broad range of composite materials that you can use, typically falling into the three categories introduced above. (Related: 6 Types of Roofing Materials: Pros, Cons and Price Comparisons) The table below indicates the costs associated with each type of composition roofing material:


Average Cost per square

3-tab (Bargain grade)

$110 - $700

Laminate (Builder/value grade)

$570 - $1,150

Architectural (Architecture grade)

$1,100 - $1,600

The costs associated with installation will be affected by the pitch and size of your roof, as these are the biggest determinants when it comes to budgeting for labor and materials.

You will also need to consider the costs associated with any additional work that needs to be undertaken before the new roof is installed. This might include removing the current roof or making repairs to the structure underneath the roof to be laid.

Regardless, you should budget for somewhere between $20,000 - $25,000 for a mid-range composition roof installation.

The Verdict: Is a Composition Roof Right for Your Home?

Installing a composition roof is an excellent option for many homeowners, and they are becoming increasingly popular throughout the US. Ultimately, if you’re hoping to install a roof that is durable, eco-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing without breaking the bank, then a composition roof could be ideal for your home.

Kenneth Wilson
November 22, 2021
Cost Guides, Roofing

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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