Asphalt shingles are by far the most popular roofing material, with around 80% of homeowners choosing the material. A good roof does a lot to protect a home from the elements and enhance curb appeal. It can be one of the largest purchases that you have to make with regard to home maintenance and upkeep.

Overlay vs Tear Off

Overlay – Adding a second layer of shingles. The majority of building codes allow for two layers of asphalt shingles so you might not have to strip everything down to the plywood sheathing depending on your area. Adding a second layer of shingles is faster and less expensive, but it doesn’t allow you to inspect the sheathing for signs of damage. If your roof is in overall good condition and underlying damage isn’t suspected, an overlay installation may be a good option for you.

Tear Off – Stripping away everything. This is the more expensive and time-intensive route. If you have the budget available then this is usually the preferred option because it allows for a full inspection of the sheathing, and allows for the installation of new flashing and the shingles can lie flatter.

Cost Breakdown

Materials 55% – In a tear off there is more material to purchase with underlayments and starter strips. With an overlay the shingles make up the bulk of the material and it ends up being around 65% of your total cost.

Labor 35% – Roofing is a labor intensive and complicated job, especially when doing a full tear off. An overlay reduces labor costs to around 25%.

Waste Disposal 5% – The cost for renting a dumpster and hauling all of the old materials away.

Various 5% – This can be anything from the cost of renting a crane to lift materials up to a high roof to scaffolding or other things.