When you bought your last car- did you

A) Drive in, flag down the eager salesman, and ask for the cheapest car on the lot


B) Do your research first: Think about what you need, create a budget, and find what has good reviews before you narrowed it down to a couple of vehicles to test drive?

I’m guessing you did a little research first, right? 

You looked at options online, compared Fords and Chevys and everything in between, and approached the purchase thoughtfully.  

Why? Because spending five figures isn’t an impulse purchase…especially if it’s on something you need to last for a long time!

Plus, you want to look around. Comparing year make, mileage, and models can mean saving thousands when it comes to buying a car. There’s no shame in wanting to save money, but there is a strategy to it. 

The same is true about a new roof. 

No one ever comes in and asks outright for the cheapest roof that fits their needs…but somehow that question is always there in the background. 

And we understand why! A roof replacement is a huge project- and a big commitment. Depending on how long you stay in your home or how often you move, you might only choose a replacement roof two or three times in your entire life.  

And roofs? Let’s face it- they’re far less glamorous than a new car. With the out of pocket cost, it can be tempting to accept the lowest bid on your installation.

But that’s a risk.  

We talked about it in our article Why Are Roofs Expensive.” 

So what do you do when you need a new roof…but just don’t want to spend a lot of money on it?

Too Good to Be True? 

Last week, we talked about the dangers of layering shingles. Unfortunately, that’s just one of many ways some contractors cut corners to ‘save money on the bid’. 

When it comes to roofs, the old adage is true. “If something seems too good to be true…it probably is!” 

When you get a bid in a line-up that is thousands of dollars under what other contractors are charging, you can expect things like:

    • low quality materials that aren’t designed to last
    • hasty installation that bulldozes past the details that keep a roof’s warranty good
    • And hidden costs tacked on later after you’ve already committed

That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to save money on your new roof. A good contractor will work with you and your budget without cutting corners. 

Here are three budget friendly roof options that save you money, without compromising quality: 

Best for Your Budget: 3-Tab Shingle Roof

3-tab shingle roof

Did you know that 80% of homes in America use asphalt shingles? 

Look outside at the houses on your street. You’ll notice that most, if not all, are designed with an asphalt shingle roof. 


A few reasons! These shingles are: 

    • Low maintenance 
    • Easy to install
    • And most importantly, budget friendly. 

In our Ultimate Roofing Guide, we named asphalt shingles as the budget winner. These shingles typically run between $5-$8 per square foot! 

There are two different styles of asphalt shingles: 3-tab and Architectural shingles. 

3-tab shingles are the most common of the two styles. The shingles are flat in appearance and are the most popularly used shingles in most neighborhoods. 

Grey shingle roof

In recent years, architectural shingles have grown in popularity. But believe us, we still install dozens of 3-tab shingle roofs every season. 

We’re often asked which shingle style is the better choice. Here’s the answer: BOTH styles are a great option as long as your contractor is committed to using quality materials. 

What do I mean by that? 

Affordability often means compromising quality. 

Here at Martin, we work only with top quality products from GAF

Why? GAF manufactures materials made to last. Their 3-tab shingles are high performance and can stand up to winds as high as 110 mph. They also offer a 25 year transferable warranty. All of this matters to us because, as a family-owned company, we plan on being around for a few more generations. We want to make sure that- even if you choose the most budget option for your home- you love and trust it so much you come back to us when it’s time to replace it!

Architectural Shingles- Worth the Upgrade? 

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are made in the same basic way as 3-tab shingles. Both are designed by layering asphalt on a fiberglass mat. The main difference is that architectural shingles have two laminated layers of fiberglass instead of just one. 

Here’s a great example of what architectural shingles look like compared to 3-tab shingles: 

Architectural vs 3-tab shingles

The added thickness means extra durability. If it’s in the budget for an upgrade, architectural shingles are well worth the extra expense. 

This style of shingles is: 

    • Designed to withstand winds as high as 150 mph
    • Adds extra insulation to keep your top cool
    • Comes with a 50 year warranty when manufactured by GAF

50 years! That means you’re getting double the roof life for only a fraction more for an upgrade. 

If you’re curious about architectural shingles, Vern talks in depth about this roofing style here. 

Asphalt is America’s favorite roofing material for a reason: regardless of which style is in your budget, you know this type of roof will last the way it says it will. 

Metal Roof: Best for Long Term Homeowners

Metal roof

At $6-$13 per square foot, metal roofing is the most expensive roofing material we’ll be looking at today. 

Your home is a great candidate for metal roofing if you: 

    • Plan to live in your current home for 10+ years
    • Live in a rainy climate

Although that cost can seem steep, it’s a small expense compared to other roofing materials. 

We named 2021 the Year of the Metal Roof. Here are our three main reasons why: 

    1. Little Maintenance: The best thing you can do for any roof, metal included, is to regularly clean your gutters. Other than that…there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to metal. Aside from a catastrophic collision from a tree, you don’t need to worry about impact damage or blow-off like you would with shingle.
    2. Energy Efficient: Metal roofs are the best at conserving energy. In summer, the metal reflects heat and blocks UV radiation. In winter, the metal helps to insulate your home against the cold.

      That means you’re saving money on energy bills year round. In fact, a metal roof can save as much as 40% on your energy bills.
    3. Increased Durability: Metal roofs can last as long as 70 years! They have the highest fire resistance rating, are dent resistant, and can stand up to winds as high as 180 mph. Insurance companies like them, too. Oftentimes you can get a discount on your homeowner’s policy when you install a metal roof.  

Honest Bids for Honest Installations

Here at Martin, we won’t offer you the cheapest roof. If you’re looking for the lowest bid, we’re not the right contractors for you. 


Because we want all of our work to last.

Our team installs roofs we know will last beyond product warranty. We refuse to cut corners and undercut your installation, and always go the extra mile to make sure your home is protected. 

We only use quality roofing materials. Just like you, we want the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing our roofs will stand up to any storm- whether it’s a 3-tab shingle, architectural shingle, or metal roof.

Ready for a roofing bid? Give us a call at 570-345-0406 and get started today.

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