Wooden shingles with roots grown in between them

There are plenty of reasons to wonder how long your roof will last. Your home’s roof is one of the most expensive things that will need replacement at some point. This is why the age and condition of a roof will inevitably arise in home sale negotiations. If it is a newer roof, the seller will bring it up. If it is older, the buyer will often attempt to get the home’s sales price reduced.

Insurance and the Age of Your Roof

Insurance companies are also using the age of a home’s roof to cut their losses. This is particularly true in areas battered by hailstorms, such as here in Minnesota. Along with hail damage deductibles, many insurers are now refusing coverage to roofs after a certain age. Some insurers are also requiring that a roof inspection be done to determine your roof’s age and condition before they issue a new policy.[1]

Whether you are planning a move, purchasing insurance, or are starting to notice signs of wear and tear on your roof, you will undoubtedly wonder how long your roof can hold out before it needs to be replaced. The answer to that depends on several factors:

  •         The type and quality of the roofing materials
  •         The skill of the roofers
  •         The weather in your home’s location

Materials and the Life of Your Roof

Please note that a “square” is a 10’x10′ (or 100′ square) sheet of material.

Asphalt Shingles

These are the shingle you will usually see in Minnesota. They come in a variety of colors and levels of quality. They are the most economical shingle to initially install, ranging from $70 to $120 a square. If maintained properly, asphalt shingles will last 15 to 25 years.

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are a premium grade asphalt shingle. They are beautiful and more durable because they are up to three times thicker than traditional three-tab asphalt shingles. For $250-$400 per square, they will last up to 30 years, and sometimes even longer.

Wood Shakes or Shingles

This beautiful roofing material is often made of cedar, redwood, and southern pine. Unfortunately, some areas prohibit their use in the local fire codes. In wetter parts of the country, there is the risk of mold, splitting, and rotting. You can get shingles that have been treated with a fire-resistant coating. Prices start at an economical $100-$150 per square, and they will last from 25-30 years when properly maintained. This will mean annual inspections for wood shingles to find and fix any shingles that may have split.

Terra Cotta Tiles

Clay and concrete tiles are seen in the southern United States more often than in the north. They are beautiful on Spanish or Mediterranean style homes. They are also quite heavy, so these energy-efficient tiles must be used on the house with additional framing and should always be installed by a professional roofer. Clay tiles are significantly more expensive than asphalt shingles, with prices ranging from $300-$500 per square. But they last a lot longer, too. Properly maintained, these have a lifetime of 40-50 years.


Metal roofing comes in sheets or panels of aluminum, stainless steel, copper, or zinc. They are popular with people who harvest rainwater and work great in northern winters because the snow easily slides off the roof. Unfortunately, they are quite expensive at $100-$800 per square. In return, though, they last 40-70 years!


Like terra cotta or concrete, slate is fire-resistant and heavy. So, it will require extra framing and professional installation. Slate comes with a hefty price tag starting at $600+. It’s very durable. When they do eventually wear out after 50-100 years, they can be recycled.

Professional Installation is essential.

With an investment as significant as your roof, you will want to make sure that the installation is done right. Call All Craftsmen Exteriors for a free estimate on your roof today!


[1] Dezube, Dona. “Homeowner Insurance Companies Want to Limit Your Roof Coverage.” HouseLogic, 19 Dec. 2018, www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/homeowner-insurance-companies-want-limit-your-roof-coverage/.