What's the Cheapest Roofing Material for a Roof Replacement? Budget-friendly Roofing

John McEvoy
May 8, 2023

Choosing the ideal roofing material for a roof replacement can be daunting, especially when budget constraints come into play. If you're pondering the question, "What's the cheapest roofing material for a roof replacement?" you're in the right place.

This comprehensive guide will highlight the most cost-effective options, ensuring you don't compromise quality.

What Is the Cheapest Roofing Material?

Asphalt shingles hold the top spot as the cheapest roofing material on the market. These shingles are popular among homeowners worldwide thanks to their blend of affordability, durability, and aesthetic appeal.

Pros of Asphalt Shingles

  • Economical: Asphalt shingles provide a cost-effective roofing solution.
  • Versatile: They come in various colours and styles to suit home aesthetics.
  • Durable: Asphalt shingles can last between 15 to 30 years if well maintained.

Cons of Asphalt Shingles

  • Limited lifespan: Asphalt shingles have a relatively shorter lifespan than other roofing materials.
  • Weather sensitivity: They can deteriorate more quickly under extreme weather conditions.

Price of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles can range from €20 to €60 per square metre. Remember that the total cost will also depend on factors like the size of your roof and the specific type of asphalt shingle you choose.

Cheapest Replacement Roofing Materials

While asphalt shingles top the list, other cost-effective roofing materials include metal roofing, wood shingles, and rubber roofing.

Metal Roofing


  • Longevity: Metal roofs can last anywhere between 40 to 70 years, depending on the material used.
  • Environmentally friendly: They're often made from recycled materials and are fully recyclable at the end of their life.


  • Higher upfront cost: Metal roofs tend to have a higher initial cost than asphalt shingles.


Metal roofing costs range from €40 to €100 per square metre.

Wood Shingles


  • Aesthetics: Wood shingles offer a distinct, natural look that many homeowners appreciate.
  • Eco-friendly: They are biodegradable at the end of their life cycle.


  • High maintenance: Wood shingles require regular maintenance to prevent moss, mould, and rot.


Wood shingles typically cost between €60 to €80 per square metre.

Rubber Roofing


  • Durable: Rubber roofing can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance.
  • Weather-resistant: It's known for its exceptional resistance to harsh weather conditions.


  • Appearance: Some homeowners find the look of rubber roofing less appealing than other materials.


The cost of rubber roofing can range from €40 to €80 per square metre.

What to Consider When Choosing Cheaper Replacement Roofing Materials

When considering cheaper replacement roofing materials, several critical factors must be examined to ensure you're making the best decision for your home. While cost is a significant factor, it should not be the only consideration.


One of the main factors to consider is the lifespan of the material. Some affordable materials, such as asphalt shingles, may need to be replaced more often than pricier options like metal or tile. Therefore, while the initial cost may be lower, frequent replacements can make it less cost-effective in the long run.

Maintenance Requirements

Different roofing materials have varying maintenance needs. While metal roofing may require little to no upkeep, wood shingles will need regular maintenance to prevent rot and other issues. The cost and time required for this upkeep should be factored into your overall budget.

Climate Compatibility

Your region's climate is crucial in determining the right roofing material. For instance, metal roofs are ideal for areas with high winds or heavy snowfall, while clay tiles are great for warmer climates. 

Choosing a material that suits your local weather conditions can save you from future repair and replacement costs.

Energy Efficiency

Although it might be a bit pricier initially, energy-efficient roofing materials can save you significant money on your energy bills in the long run. For instance, metal roofs can reflect solar radiant heat, reducing cooling costs by 10-25%.

Aesthetic Appeal

The visual appeal of the roofing material is also an essential factor. Your roof should complement your home's overall architectural style and colour scheme. The vast array of styles and colours available in cheaper roofing materials, like asphalt shingles, can cater to various aesthetic preferences.

Installation Costs

The complexity of installing a specific roofing material can significantly impact the overall cost. For instance, materials like slate or tile may require skilled installation and, therefore, can be more expensive than asphalt shingles.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cheaper Roofing Materials

Choosing affordable roofing materials can have both advantages and disadvantages. Here's a closer look at what you can expect.



Cheaper roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles, are an excellent option for those on a tight budget. The initial cost for these materials is typically much lower than that of premium materials like slate or tile.

Variety of Styles and Colours

Budget-friendly materials like asphalt shingles are available in various styles, colours, and textures. This variety allows homeowners to choose a roof that complements their home's aesthetic without breaking the bank.

Easy Installation

Cheaper materials are often easier to install, resulting in lower labour costs. For instance, asphalt shingles are one of the simplest roofing materials to install, reducing the overall time and cost of the project.


Shorter Lifespan

Affordable roofing materials generally have a shorter lifespan compared to more expensive options. For instance, asphalt shingles might need to be replaced after 20 years, whereas metal roofing can last up to 70 years.

Higher Maintenance

Cheaper roofing materials may require more frequent maintenance to prolong their lifespan. For example, wood shingles might need regular treatment to prevent rot and decay.

Lower Resale Value

If you plan to sell your home, a roof made from cheaper materials might not add as much value as one made from more durable and visually appealing materials like tile or slate.

How to Make Roof Repairs and Replacements More Affordable?

There are several ways to make roof repairs and replacements more affordable:

  • Opt for a durable material that requires fewer frequent replacements.
  • Schedule regular roof inspections and maintenance to prevent major issues.
  • Consider financing options to spread out the cost.

DIY Roof Replacement vs. Hiring a Roofing Company

While DIY can save upfront costs, hiring a professional roofing company like HP Roofing ensures the job is done right the first time, avoiding potentially costly repairs down the line. Professional installers can also offer warranties that cover both materials and workmanship.

Invest Wisely: Make a Cost-Effective Decision

Choosing the cheapest material might not always be the most cost-effective decision regarding roof replacement. Make sure to weigh in factors like longevity, maintenance, and potential resale value.

Before deciding, it's advisable to consult with a professional roofing company, like HP Roofing, to guide you in choosing the most suitable and cost-effective material for your home.

Contact us today!

HP Roofing is a team of residential & commercial roofing contractors and solar panel installation experts in Dublin. We offer a wide range of services, from roof repairs and replacements to solar PV installations and maintenance, with quality beyond expectations.
Call HP Roofing 01 453 3366

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest roof replacement material?

The cheapest roof replacement material is generally asphalt shingles.

What is the cheapest type of roof to install?

Asphalt shingle roofs are typically the least expensive to install.

How much does it cost to replace a roof in Ireland?

The cost to replace a roof in Ireland can range from €5,000 to €12,000, depending on the size and material.

What type of roofing is more budget-friendly?

Asphalt shingles offer a budget-friendly roofing option due to their low upfront cost and easy installation.

What is the longest-lasting roof material?

Metal roofs are among the longest-lasting roofing materials, lasting 40 to 70 years.

What is the simplest type of roof?

A single-ridge or shed-style roof is typically the simplest type of roof.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.
Founder @ HPRoofing

The founder of HP Roofing, with years of industry experience, providing top-notch roofing and solar panel services for residential and commercial properties in Dublin, delivering high-quality and customised solutions that combine both aesthetic appeal and durable functionality.