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4 Cheap Roofing Alternatives In 2024 (Roofing On A Budget)

Posted on December 18, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 7 Min.

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cheap roofing alternatives

Before starting a roofing project, it’s important to understand how much it will cost. Unfortunately, most roofing materials on the market aren’t cost-effective and come at a hefty price tag that not all homeowners can afford. 

In this blog post, we have listed the top cheap roofing alternatives that won’t break the bank and will provide you with the comfort you desire. So, let’s dive now into the best inexpensive roofing alternatives. Plus, at the end, we will provide you with a bonus roofing material to utilize on your home. 

1. Cheap Alternative To Luxury Asphalt Shingles

When exploring economical alternatives to traditional asphalt shingles, it’s crucial to consider options that balance cost-effectiveness with performance. Here is a viable alternative:

a) 3-Tab Asphalt Shingles

Cheap roofing alternatives

3-tab asphalt shingles stand out as a cost-effective alternative to their luxury counterparts. These roofing materials have gained popularity for several reasons, offering homeowners a reliable and budget-friendly option without compromising on quality. 


One of the primary advantages of 3-tab asphalt shingles is their affordability. These shingles are designed to provide a sleek and classic appearance at a fraction of the cost of luxury asphalt shingles.

Easy Installation and Maintenance:

Another notable benefit of 3-tab asphalt shingles is their straightforward installation process. These shingles are designed with simplicity in mind, making them an excellent choice for roofing projects with time and budget constraints.

2. Cheap Alternatives To Metal Roofing Systems

Metal roofs are known for their longevity and durability, but they can be expensive. Fortunately, there are budget-friendly alternatives worth considering:

a) Luxury Asphalt Shingles

Luxury asphalt shingles
Source : certainteed.com

Luxury asphalt shingles offer a compromise between the durability of metal and the affordability of traditional asphalt shingles. They come in various styles and colors, allowing homeowners to achieve a high end look without exceeding their budget.

Durable and Weather-Resistant: While not as robust as metal, luxury asphalt shingles provide decent durability and weather resistance. They are capable of withstanding harsh elements, protecting your home, and ensuring long-lasting performance.

Easy Installation: Compared to metal roofs, luxury asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install, making them suitable for both professional contractors and DIY enthusiasts. The straightforward installation process can contribute to cost savings on labor.

Versatility in Design: These shingles offer versatility in design, allowing homeowners to mimic the appearance of other materials with added texture and depth. The versatility in design choices ensures a customized and aesthetically pleasing roof.

b) Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles, also known as dimensional or laminated shingles, provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional metal roofing systems. These shingles have a layered construction, adding depth and visual appeal to your roof. Moreover, they are durable and resistant to harsh weather conditions.

Architectural Appeal: Being one of the variants of asphalt shingles, laminated shingles provide a more affordable solution with added architectural appeal. Their layered construction adds depth and dimension to your roof, creating a visually appealing and upscale look.

Enhanced Durability: Laminated shingles are designed for increased durability. The layered structure makes them more resistant to wind, impacts, and other weather-related challenges. Also, architectural shingles come with a longer lifespan compared to standard asphalt shingles.

3. Cheap Alternatives To Slate Roofs

Slate roofs exude elegance, but they come with a hefty price tag. Here are some wallet-friendly alternatives:

a) Composite Cedar Shake Roof

Cedar shake roof
Source : certainteed.com

Composite cedar shake roofs provide the charming appearance of traditional cedar shakes but with enhanced durability and a lower price point. This alternative is resistant to pests, rot, and weathering, making it a practical and cost-effective choice.

Natural Appearance: Composite cedar shakes replicate the natural and rustic appearance of natural cedar. This option provides the charm of wood without the associated maintenance or cost, making it an excellent alternative for those with a tighter budget.

Low Maintenance: Unlike natural cedar shakes or slate roofs, composite alternatives require minimal maintenance. They do not require regular staining or sealing, reducing the long-term costs associated with upkeep.

Environmentally Friendly: Many composite cedar shake materials are made from recycled or sustainable materials, making them an environmentally friendly choice. This eco-conscious option appeals to homeowners looking to minimize their environmental impact.

b) Metal Roofing Shingles

Metal roofing shingles are for homeowners who want the durability of metal roofs but the appearance of shingle or slate roofs. Metal roofing shingles offer similar aesthetics but at a fraction of the cost of slate roofs. They are lightweight, easy to install, and require minimal maintenance. Metal roofing shingles also have the added benefit of being resistant to fire and harsh weather conditions. They also offer: 

Aesthetic Appeal: Metal roofing shingles provide an elegant appearance that is no less than that of natural slate. They come in various styles and colors, offering homeowners the flexibility to achieve a customized and upscale look.

Longevity: Metal roofing shingles are built to last. They are resistant to weathering, fading, and other environmental factors, ensuring a roof that retains its aesthetic appeal and durability over the years.

Weather Resistance: Metal roofing shingles offer excellent protection against the weather, including resistance to wind, hail, and fire. This resilience enhances the overall protection of your home.

c) Synthetic Slate Roofing Shingles

Synthetic slate roofing shingles
Source : bravarooftile.com

Synthetic slate roofing shingles provide the luxurious appearance of natural slate without the exorbitant cost. Made from durable materials such as rubber or plastic, these shingles offer excellent longevity and can withstand challenging weather conditions.

Cost Effective Elegance: Synthetic slate roofing shingles provide an affordable way to achieve the luxurious appearance of natural slate. They mimic the texture and color variations, creating an authentic look without the high price tag.

Durability: Made from durable materials such as rubber or plastic, synthetic slate shingles offer excellent longevity. They are resistant to impact, weathering, and fading, ensuring a lasting and reliable roofing solution.

Ease of Installation: Synthetic slate shingles are designed for easy installation, contributing to cost savings on labor. Their lightweight nature simplifies the installation process, making them a practical choice for budget-conscious homeowners.

4. Cheap Alternatives To Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are renowned for their timeless and elegant appearance, but their cost can be out of reach for those on a budget. Fortunately, there are affordable alternatives that replicate the aesthetics of clay tiles without the associated high price.

a) Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles

Concrete tiles are a less expensive alternative to clay tiles, offering a similar aesthetic at a lower price. They are durable, fire-resistant, and come in various shapes and colors, allowing homeowners to achieve the desired look for a lower overall cost. Concrete brings to your home: 

Durability: Concrete tiles are known for their durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions. They can withstand wind, rain, and hail, offering a long-lasting roofing solution that requires minimal maintenance.

Variety of Styles: Concrete tiles come in a variety of styles, shapes, and colors, providing homeowners with the flexibility to customize their roof’s appearance. This versatility ensures that you can achieve the desired aesthetic for your home.

Fire Resistance: Concrete tiles are inherently fire-resistant, adding an extra layer of safety to your home. This feature can be particularly advantageous in areas prone to wildfires or for homeowners prioritizing fire safety.

b) Corrugated Metal Roof

You might have seen corrugated metal roofs on industrial or commercial buildings. However, they are becoming more popular for residential buildings as homeowners explore different styles of metal roofs.

Corrugated metal roofs are a durable and cost-effective alternative to natural clay tiles. They are lightweight, easy to install, and provide excellent protection against the elements. With a variety of color options available, corrugated metal roofs can emulate the sophisticated look of clay tiles at a fraction of the cost. Some of the advantages of corrugated metal roofs are: 

Durability: Like other types of metal roofs, corrugated metal roofs are known for their durability. In addition, they are resistant to rust, rot, and insect damage, ensuring a longer lifespan and reduced maintenance costs.

Lightweight Construction: Corrugated metal roofs are lightweight, reducing the structural load on your home. This characteristic can be beneficial for both new and existing structures.

Bonus Roofing Material For Homeowners

Though wood shingles are not as popular these days, their rustic and natural appeal is undeniable. Moreover, wood shingles offer natural insulation to homes and commercial buildings at an affordable price. 

Wood Shingles

Cheap roofing alternatives

Wood shingles are an affordable roofing option but are often buried under the popularity of asphalt shingles. Wood shingles offer a rustic charm while being an economical choice. They are lightweight, making them easy to install, and their natural aesthetics can enhance the overall look of your home. 

However, it’s essential to note that wood shingles may require more maintenance compared to other materials. Some more advantages of wood shingles are: 

Insulation Properties: Wood has inherent insulating properties, helping to regulate indoor temperatures. This can contribute to energy efficiency and potential cost savings on heating and cooling.

Lightweight and Easy to Install: Wood shingles are lightweight, making them easier to handle during installation. This can result in a quicker and more straightforward installation process.

Contact A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing In Tulsa For Your Roof Installation

If you want to install a roof at an affordable price, we can help. Our team at A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing in Tulsa, OK, specializes in installing all the cost-effective roofing alternatives that are mentioned above. 
The team of roofers at the company is experienced and can handle any project, including roof installation, complete roof replacement, repair, and home exterior upgrades. Contact us today at (918) 402-7167 and consult a professional roofer.

cheap roofing alternatives