Last Updated on February 17, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Roll roofing can be an affordable and easy-to-install roofing solution for homes and buildings. But like any home improvement project, you’ll want to understand the costs involved before starting.

This guide breaks down the typical pricing for roll roofing materials, installation, and more.

When properly installed, roll roofing can provide years of reliable weather protection. With a relatively low cost per square foot, it offers homeowners, contractors, and DIYers a budget-friendly option compared to other roofing materials.

Keep reading to learn what impacts roll roofing pricing and how to budget for your project.

How Much Does Roll Roofing Cost?

Roll roofing is sold in rolls of material that are applied using asphalt or other adhesives. The total cost of your project will depend on:

  • Type of material – The quality and durability affect the per-square-foot price. Options range from basic asphalt rolls to those with mineral or foil surfacing.
  • Labor – Hiring a professional roofer adds installation fees, typically $3-$6 per square foot. DIY can save significantly.
  • Roof size/layout – Total square footage, pitch, and accessibility impact time and materials needed.
  • Location – Prices vary regionally based on labor costs and local building codes.

Expect to spend $80-$250+ per square (100 sq ft) installed. The material itself can cost $50-$150 per roll. Let’s look at what impacts pricing in more detail.

Homewyse lists the following prices for roll roofing:

  • Material: $368.27 – $520.00
  • Labor: $368.27 – $520.00
  • Supplies, Tools: $368.27 – $520.00
  • Total: $368.27 – $520.00 for a roof surface area of 1200 square feet.

MyHomeQuote writes that the fiberglass & asphalt roll roofing price ranges from $3.50 to $7 per square foot. According to them, the average cost of roll roofing per square foot is $3 to $6 for materials and $1.75 to $4.50 for labor.

Today’s Homeowner features roughly similar costs:

  • Typical Cost Range: $1,500 to $3,000
  • Average Cost: $2,250
  • Materials Cost: $30 to $100 per square (100 square feet)
  • Labor: $1.50 to $3 per square foot.

According to EcoWatch, generally, you can apply rolled roofing to a typical 1,200-square-foot roof for around $1,500, on average, and most prices will fall between $1,200 and $1,750.

Roll Roofing Materials and Types

The base material for most roll roofing is asphalt-coated roofing felt or fiberglass. This is then topped with minerals like mica or talc for improved durability and reflectivity. Some also have an aluminum or copper foil backing. Common types include:

  • Mineral-surfaced – Embedded minerals provide fire resistance and shedding of dirt/debris. The cost per square is $100-$250.
  • Smooth-surfaced – No mineral topping. Lower cost at $80-$150 per square but less durable.
  • Self-adhering – Factory-applied adhesive eliminates the need for additional glues/nails. More expensive at $200-$400 per square.
  • Foil-backed – Added insulation value from metallic foil. $120-$180 per square.

The more durable mineral-surfaced roll is recommended for most homes. Compare prices locally between big box stores like Home Depot and roofing supply retailers. Purchase only enough to cover your measured roof area.

You might also like our articles about the cost of Tamko shingles, IKO roof shingles, or the price of a standing seam metal roof.

Installation Costs for DIY vs. Hiring a Roofer

Installing roll roofing takes some roofing know-how but is less labor-intensive than shingles or tiles. Expect professional installation to cost:

  • $250-$500 for simple, accessible roofs under 1000 sq ft.
  • $500-$1000 for larger or complex roofs.

Having an experienced roofer ensure proper waterproofing and flashing is worth the investment for some.

With the right tools, materials, and safety setup, DIY installation can reduce costs significantly, sometimes by 50% or more. Your main expenses will be the roofing materials, accessory supplies like fasteners and adhesives, and rental equipment like ladders or scaffolding. Factor 1-3 days depending on roof complexity.

Factors That Impact Roll Roofing Price

Beyond the base cost of materials and labor, several other factors influence the total project price:

  • Roof size – Measure square footage to determine how many rolls are needed. Allow 10-15% extra for seams and overlaps.
  • Low vs. steep slope – Low slope roofs often require more layers of underlayment for waterproofing, increasing cost.
  • Accessibility – Multi-story or hard-to-reach roofs require more safety equipment and time, boosting labor fees.
  • Roof prep work – Rotted decking or ventilation improvements add expenses before new roofing can be applied.
  • Flashing, edging, vents – Additional accessories to complete the roofing system.
  • Permits and disposal fees – Check local requirements that can affect the budget.

Accurately measuring your roof and planning details will help estimate the true cost. Also, build in a 10-15% contingency for any surprise issues.

Pros and Cons of Roll Roofing

Before deciding on roll roofing, weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks:


  • Lower material cost than shingles, metal, etc. As low as $50 per roll.
  • Fast installation speeds up DIY or pro jobs to a day or two.
  • Weighs less than many roofing materials, putting less stress on roof deck.
  • Good for flat or low-sloped roofs.
  • Various surface options from smooth to mineral-embedded for durability.


  • Shorter lifespan than other materials – typically 12-20 years. Requires more frequent replacement.
  • Limited color/style options compared to shingles or tile.
  • Not ideal for steep roofs which require additional anchoring.
  • Lower fire rating – requires additional underlayment layers as a fire barrier.
  • Prone to bubbles/blisters if not installed correctly or on uneven surfaces.

The lower cost and installation time make it a smart choice for basic weather protection. But for longevity and aesthetics, other roofing types may be better if within your budget range.

Roll Roofing vs Shingles, Metal, and Other Options

Shed Roof FeltCompared to popular asphalt shingles, roll roofing costs 25-50% less per square installed. Roll roofing lasts 12-20 years vs. 20-30 years expected for shingles. Metal roofing lasts even longer but has a much higher upfront cost.

Here’s a quick cost comparison of common residential roofing types:

  • Roll roofing – $80-$250 per square installed
  • Asphalt shingles – $150-$350 per square installed
  • Metal roofing – $300-$1000 per square installed
  • Wood shakes/shingles – $400-$1000 per square installed
  • Concrete/clay tile – $600-$1500 per square installed

Roll roofing makes the most economic sense for basic waterproofing on flat or gently sloped roofs. For durability, aesthetics and weather resistance on sloped roofs, the added cost of shingles or metal may pay off long-term. Consult with roofing professionals to determine the best option for your specific home and climate.

Maintenance and Lifespan of Roll Roofing

With proper installation, roll roofing can last 12-20 years or more. To maximize lifespan:

  • Inspect for leaks, bubbles and other defects annually. Repair promptly.
  • Sweep roof regularly to remove debris that can hold moisture. Avoid walking on the roof.
  • Re-coat with reflective coating after 8-10 years to renew weather protection.
  • Plan for full replacement after 15-20 years, sooner if notable wear appears.

With ongoing maintenance, a new roll roof should provide reliable performance for at least 15 years or more before needing replacement.

Tips for Budgeting Your Roll Roofing Project

Use these tips to plan and manage costs for your upcoming roll roofing project:

  • Get multiple quotes – Prices can vary widely between contractors.
  • Consider DIY installation to reduce labor costs significantly.
  • Buy roofing bundles/kits that include all materials you’ll need.
  • Factor in other expenses like dump fees, equipment rentals.
  • Focus on regular slopes – Low or steep roofs add complexity and cost.
  • Check for any tax credits or manufacturer rebates that could save you money.
  • Apply sealants carefully to avoid redoing seams/overlaps.

With some smart planning, roll roofing can be an economical solution for residential, commercial, and agricultural buildings. Focus on regular maintenance and you can get years of reliable performance from this budget-friendly roofing material.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do rolled roofs last?

With proper installation and maintenance, the expected lifespan of roll roofing is 15-20 years. Smooth-surfaced rolls may start showing wear after 10 years. Mineral-surfaced rolls can last up to 20+ years in good condition. Re-coating after 8-10 years extends the lifespan.

Is roll roofing cheaper than shingles?

Yes, roll roofing costs 25-50% less than asphalt shingles per square foot installed. The material itself costs $50-$150 per roll vs. $150-$350 per square for shingles. Roll roofing also has faster installation than shingles, saving labor costs.

How do you calculate the roll roofing needed?

Measure the total square footage of your roof area, allowing about 10% extra for overlap and seams. For each 100 square feet of area, you will need one square of roll roofing material. Divide the total square footage by 100 to get the number of squares needed. Add 10% more for a buffer.

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