It’s been widely reported and discussed on various roofing forums that manufacturers are drastically raising the prices of their roofing shingles and accessories that go along. Some roofers report getting letters from their suppliers that shingles prices are going up as much as 30%. Keep in mind that in the spring of every year, mos manufacturers raise their prices by 3-8% on average, so this new increase in the cost of roofing materials is something out of the ordinary.
Current roofing materials’ prices (as of June 6, 2011)
We’ve done some digging on current asphalt shingles prices, and first checked out two major retailers’ websites: the Home Depot and Lowe’s. These two huge home improvement retailers do not take long to update their prices and usually get the best deals from roofing manufacturers. Here is what we found:
Home Depot has pulled ALL roofing materials (excluding flashing, underlayment, and other random roof-related products) off their website – I feel this means that new updated pricing is coming soon. We will check back with Home Depot in a couple of days to give you exact information.
Just as a side note, we used Home Depot’s prices for our Roofing Materials Calculator, and those prices date back to November 2010. The prices were based on GAF / ELK 30-year architectural shingles and the price per bundle of shingles was $27.95 + tax.
Lowe’s website does have roofing prices up online, and here is what they have:
Owen’s Corning (OC) 30-year architectural / dimensional / laminate shingles cost $30.95 per bundle. The 3-tab shingle is $27.95 per bundle. Some special color options in 30 year architectural shingles go for about $34.23.
Do note that Home Depot and Lowe’s carry different brands, and OC shingles are typically slightly less expensive than GAF / ELK shingles. Also, do understand that prices are on per-bundle basis, where as roofs are measured using roofing squares, so you actually need three bundles to install one sq. of roofing, before waste. Therefore, Lowe’s sells one square of 30 year arch. shingles for about $93.
We want to make a point that these prices may be out of date at the time we write this article, and I will be calling my suppliers to verify the current prices. You should know that most contractors go through roofing suppliers, and not national home improvement chains, when they buy materials. We, on the other hand, specialize in installing metal roofing materials (and metal roofing prices vary a lot, especially compared to asphalt shingles), as well as PVC flat roofing, and therefore are not always current on the asphalt shingles prices.
Why The Current Increase In Roofing Prices?
This is a very good question and I will give you my opinion on this, along with roofing manufacturers’ and suppliers’ reasoning.
The basic premise here is that oil prices went up to and above $100 / barrel levels once again, just like back in 2008, and since asphalt shingles are made with asphalt ( right – eh 🙂 ), which is an oil refining by-product, the cost to manufacture them also went up. Additionally, transportation costs are up due to higher gasoline / diesel prices.
On top of that, with multiple devastating tornados ravaging the south and midwest, there were many damaged roofs, and now the demand for roofing materials is also up. Here is what a supplier has to say:
…Due to the natural disasters around the country the demand for roofing materials has now increased 30% as of May 23rd, and will continue to rise throughout the rest of the year, as well as the increase in oil, fuel and to cover the delivery charge…
Is it really so? While these are somewhat valid reasons – the truth is, tornadoes ravage the south and midwest every year, as well as hail storms, etc. Therefore the reason for roofing prices spike due to “increased demand for roofing materials”, sounds fishy at best. Spike in oil prices? Well – read below.
Why Roofing Prices Skyrocket Every Time There Is a Spike In Oil Prices, But Never Come Back Down?
Back in 2008, when oil prices went up to $140 / barrel, and the US and world economy tanked soon after, roofing prices went up from about $65 per square to about $75-80 (based on 30 year architectural shingles). After the US economic crisis hit hard and homeowners were more concerned with paying mortgages and bills, roofing prices could have come down a bit, and yet they stayed at $72-75 levels, until spring price hikes. By November 2010 they were at $84 / square levels.
However at the same time, oil prices dropped into $40-50 / barrel territory, so leaving all things the same, asphalt shingles prices had to go back to $65 / square levels, but they never did. For us, our PVC roofing supplier also had a dramatic increase in their flat roofing prices – about 10% if I recall correctly. Well – the thing is, while asphalt shingles do use oil in the manufacturing process, PVC roofing uses no petroleum products at all! PVC is made of rock salt and natural gas, so the price increase from IB Roofs, was a bit of a shocker to me, especially as the economy was dropping like a rock.
So here is the thing – all manufacturers use special circumstances such as $140/barrel of oil, to jack up the prices, and their customers get accustomed to higher materials costs. Once the hype is over, no manufacturer will drop prices, unless they have to, such as was the case in the fall of 2008, when roofing sales went down 20-30%.
Basically we (both consumers / homeowners and contractors alike) are being fed this nerve ending and tear-letting story of how the “poor” manufacturers are struggling to keep prices down, but due to an unforeseen situation, they just have to raise them… oh well, as long as we keep buying, they will keep raising prices :(.
To me, it is all one big scam, and unless national media jumps on this story, things will never change.
P.S. – note to contractors who are using our roofing calculator app – don’t forget to update your materials prices, so that your estimates are in line with the current pricing situation.
P.P.S – we will be updating our roofing calculator software, to better reflect current materials prices, and will update this post once we gather all current shingles prices from the Home Depot, and local suppliers.
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