What are the most cost-effective roofing materials?

Edmonton homeowners frequently ask roofers: “how much will this cost me?”. Edmonton Roofers use several quality roofing materials, which all have some benefits and drawbacks. We will weigh the installation cost, material cost, roof repairs, and lifespan.

If you want to save a few dollars on your roof, this is the guide for you!

How Long do Roof Shingles Last in Alberta?

The three most used roofing materials in Edmonton are:

  • Cedar Shakes
  • Concrete Roofing Tiles
  • Architectural Shingles
Clay Tile Roofing
Cost Effective Shingles
Cedar Shakes

Cedar shakes or shingles make an eye-catching statement on your home.  Roofers install Cedar shakes with overlapping sections to create a rot and insect resistant barrier. You will find cedar roofs in some of the more affluent neighborhoods in Edmonton.

1) Installation Cost

Of all materials commonly used by Edmonton Roofers, Cedar shakes are the costliest material to install. They require skilled roofers who specialize in cedar shakes to install them correctly.  Cedar shakes take significantly more time to install when compared to asphalt shingles.

2) Material Cost

The material cost of cedar shingles is also higher than the other material types. Cedar is a natural material that is a premium product. Expect to pay extra for cedar.

3) Roof Repairs

Frequent inspections and repairs are common with Cedar roofing systems. They are irregular in shape and can swell due to moisture which necessitates regular maintenance. The cost of repairs is also higher than other roofing systems as the material cost is higher.

4) Longevity of your Roof.

The longevity of a cedar roofing system is typically around 30 years. Thirty years is in line with the other roofing systems.

People choose cedar shingles for their roofs for their incredible aesthetic appeal, striking colour, and premium feel.

When it comes to cost-effective roofing materials, cedar is not the top choice.  Cedar is typically chosen for aesthetics reasons.

Concrete Roofing Tiles

Concrete roofing tiles are not the most common roofing type in Edmonton. The distinctive look and feel of overlapping concrete tiles can be impressive. They have become less popular with the emergence of lightweight synthetic alternatives.

1) Installation Cost

The installation cost of concrete tiles is relatively high due to the weight of the material. Extra reinforcement of the roof is typically required. The cost of truss reinforcement and stapping makes this one of the more costly options.

2) Material Cost

Due to the relative rarity of concrete tile roofing systems in Edmonton, there is a lower supply. The low inventory makes what is here more costly. With so many alternatives to this roofing system, the cost of the materials is high.

3) Roof Repairs

Concrete tiles are incredibly durable and will last long in moderate climates. The Romans used this type of roofing system 4000 years ago!  The main issue in Alberta is the harsh freeze-thaw cycle that is brutal on rigid materials. Expect maintenance bills due to cracked tiles.

4) Longevity of your Roof

Clay or concrete roofing tiles are incredibly durable under moderate conditions. They outperform all other roofing systems in longevity.  They can even last up to 100 years!

Concrete roofing tiles have some significant advantages, but cost savings is not one of them.  Considering the cost of over 100 years, they are efficient, but most homeowners do not own the same house that long!

In the very long term, concrete roofing tiles are a cost-efficient roofing system but expect to pay extra upfront.

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are the most commonly used shingle in Edmonton by a wide margin. They have refined asphalt, laminated together with granules, making a robust and thin barrier. They come in a variety of colours and can have different textures.

1) Installation Cost

The installation cost of architectural shingles is among the lowest among roofing systems due to the nature of the material. It is fast and easy to install for most quality roofers. They do hundreds of these roofs annually and can do it extremely efficiently.

2) Material Cost

Because of the popularity of architectural shingles in Edmonton, they are readily available and are one of the less expensive material costs of any roofing system. Due to their lightweight nature, they are easy to ship and move.

3) Roof Repairs

Repairing an architectural shingle roof is usually as simple as removing and replacing an old damaged shingle. Expert roofers complete repairs quickly and efficiently. They require inspection every 2-4 years to ensure the moisture barrier is intact. Architectural shingles can get damaged by hail or high winds.

Architectural Shingles Cost

4) Longevity of your Roof

Architectural shingles commonly last between 30 and 50 years on average. They have fantastic durability and longevity for such a lightweight product.

Architectural shingles are one of the most cost-efficient roofing systems from installation through longevity. They excel in every aspect.


If your main concern is getting a cost-efficient roofing solution, one good choice is architectural shingles. Other roofing systems will last longer or be more aesthetic, but they are our number 1 choice for cost efficiency.

Contact Dwights Roofing for a free estimate: 780 461 8995

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