New Roof Costs in Boston: Best Roofing Materials & Roofers in Boston

Boston weather can be very harsh and unpredictable, so it is important to select an appropriate roofing system to provide adequate protection for your home. The best roof types for the greater Suffolk county MA area are those that can handle year-round precipitation, hot summers, and cold winters with frequent, heavy snowstorms.

Aluminum standing seam metal roof installed on a two-story residential house in Massachusetts

There are several good roofing options offering solid value for the money. Value is a combination of fair price relative to the durability, longevity, and overall performance of a roofing system. And, of course, a new roof should ideally be attractive, enhancing the curb appeal of your New England home.

Our guide covers popular roofing materials and their pros and cons, with focus on performance in harsh Massachusetts climate. To make our guide the most useful and practical, we also provide brief overviews of top roofing product brands and their costs installed.

Lastly, some of the top roofing companies are also mentioned for your convenience. Our goal is to help you identify the best Boston roofers with a track record of quality and expertise in installing a specific roofing system.

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Best Roofing Materials for the Greater Boston, Massachusetts:

Any of the following roofing choices can work well for homes in the Greater Boston area. The right choice will depend on your budget, your home’s type, and style – and what you believe looks the best.

  1. Fiberglass Composition (Asphalt) Shingles

Traditional asphalt roof in Boston, MA

Asphalt shingles are the most frequently used material for sloped roofs across the country, and it’s no different in Boston. Asphalt shingles versatility and relatively low cost to stand up to a wide variety of weather situations makes asphalt shingles still a good choice for Massachusetts and southern New England.

Did you know? Fiberglass composition shingles are also called laminate shingles because they are comprised of layers fused together.

Most asphalt shingles come in three grades. Standard, or entry level, 3-tab strip shingles are the least expensive type.

3-tab shingles are relatively thin and flat, and hence offer the least amount of protection for your home.

Midgrade shingles are typically called laminate aka dimensional or architectural shingles. More layers are fused together to produce better protection, greater shingle thickness and 3-dimensional shadowing that comes with it.

Premium shingles, sometimes called Designer shingles, are typically the most expensive kind of asphalt shingles. Premium Designer shingles are also the thickest due to the added material to best resemble cedar wood or slate roofing. All else being equal, thicker and heavier shingles will typically offer greater durability and protection.

Pros

Cheaper 3-tab and mid-grade architectural shingles are the most affordable option.
That said, mid-range architectural shingles from the likes of Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration, GAF Timberline HDZ, and CertainTeed Landmark PRO shingles can offer some of the best value when it comes to the overall roof performance for the money.

Popular residential products like OC Duration and GAF Timberline HDZ shingles can deliver the best value for the money, while also offering a wide array of styles, shades and colors, and availability of specialized lines like IR (impact resistant) shingles and cool or solar reflective shingles.

Warranty options

Warranties can be upgraded when you hire manufacturer certified installers. But be sure to read any warranty option carefully to determine whether it is worth the extra cost.

Even if you are not buying additional warranty protection outright, properly installing at least three main components of a roofing system from the same manufacturer – think major components like shingles, starter shingles, and ridge caps – can entitle you to extended warranty.

Check with the contractor beforehand to make sure the contractor uses at least three roofing components from the same manufacturer (and properly prepares the roof deck, which requires a complete tear-off – something that most manufactures will require for extended warranty coverage, and properly registers the newly installed roof so you can obtain the extended warranty from the manufacturer. Failure to register the new installation means no extended warranty, so have it included in your contract if extended warranty from the manufacturer is important.

Decent longevity

Depending on the shingle chosen, the quality of the installation, and roof condition, asphalt shingles can last 15 to 25 years in the greater Boston and southeastern MA area.

The DIY option

If you have experience installing shingles, then doing it yourself can be considered.

Cons

Reduced wind resistance Wind warranties start at 60-70 MPH for 3-tab shingles and 110-130 MPH for architectural or dimensional shingles. Enhanced installation methods can increase the warranty to as high as 130 MPH for some shingle lines. However, improperly installed asphalt shingles are susceptible to damage from winds well below what they are rated to withstand.

Weather Impact damage

Boston experiences high winds sometimes coupled with hail or wind-blown debris, downed tree branches, and similar events that can damage this roofing material. If this is a concern, look for impact-resistant asphalt shingles with an IR (Impact Resistance) in their name.

Staining In the humid climate of Boston, algae and mold can grow on an asphalt roof, thus causing staining and reducing the longevity of the roofing materials. If your current roof is stained or you see staining or moss growth on area homes, choose shingles treated to resist staining.

Stain-resistant shingle options include GAF StainGuard, Owens Corning StreakGuard, and CertainTeed Landmark StreakFighter shingles are good options.

Environmental concerns

Most often, asphalt shingles, a petroleum-based product, end up in a landfill when the old roof is replaced. While there are some recycling facilities that theoretically accept asphalt shingles, they are few and difficult to locate. Recycling asphalt shingles is expensive and energy intensive, so most asphalt roofs eventually do end up in a landfill.

Dark shingles can result in hotter attics/houses

Most asphalt shingle colors are primarily dark, and hence do not reflect the sun’s radiant heat too well. The result is a hot roof and attic, which can often lead to higher summertime cooling costs.

Cost

Midrange architectural asphalt shingles installed on homes in the greater Boston and nearby communities including Burlington, Lexington, Brookline, Newton, Brighton, Wellesley, will typically cost between $5.00 to about $8.50 per square foot. Premium options installed on roofs with more complex designs or homes with multiple levels, peaks, dormers, and valleys, multiple chimneys and skylights can push the installed cost closer to $10.00 per square foot (and sometimes higher). Roof accessibility and complexity are a major cost factor.

New Shingle Roof

$7,500
Average price
New Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
New Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

See costs in your area Enter Your Zip Code

Top Asphalt Shingle Brands

Some of the best-selling brands are:

CertainTeed is considered a premium brand, and Landmark is their most popular line of architectural laminate shingles. Landmark shingles are considered a high-quality, reliable choice for beautifying and protecting your home. With a dual layer, they are designed to replicate the look of cedar shake roofing.

Landmark and Landmark PRO shingles offer the heaviest weight and widest selection of colors in their class, all backed by a 100+ year legacy of manufacturing performance.

GAF is another very popular and proven brand offering a wide variety of asphalt shingle products for homes in all climates. Timberline HDZ shingles provide a dimensional wood shake appearance and are rated for up to 130 MPH winds, even with standard 4-nail installation method.

Owens Corning’s line, TruDefinition Duration Storm is treated with WeatherGuard for additional weather protection.

Local Asphalt Shingle Installers

How well your shingles are installed is the most significant factor in how long they’ll last. Hiring an experienced contractor is essential. Here are some the best asphalt shingle roofing installers in the Greater Boston area:

Flynn Roofing has specialized in asphalt shingle installation since 1997. They are designated a GAF Master Elite Roofer, but also install Owens Corning and CertainTeed shingles. Flynn claims they do not work with subcontractors and pledge that they will not be satisfied with the job until the homeowner is.

Platinum Exteriors is both a CertainTeed Select Shingle Master and a GAF Certified Weather Stopper Roofing Contractor meaning that the installers have completed extensive training on the installation of these products. Platinum Exteriors uses, “An integrated systems approach in every roof we install – that means all components are designed to work together for a superior long-lasting roof.”

Note: Contractors listed here are independent contractors and not affiliated with RoofingCalc.com or any of its affiliates. The decision to hire any contractor listed on this site is a decision made solely by the homeowner. Roofingcalc.com is not responsible for the accuracy of this information and does not guarantee the quality of work performed by any contractor.

  1. Cedar Wood Shingles and Shakes

Gambrel roof on a two-story house covered with cedar shingles on the lower gambrel as siding and asphalt shingles over the upper spans of the the gambrel roof

Some Colonial-era homes used to boast cedar shakes, and some still do. Cedar shingles and shakes are well suited to the Boston climate because they are resistant to humidity, moss, and fungus, especially with proper staining, and can stand up to tough weather conditions such as gusty storm wind on Cape Cod, snowstorms, and summer heat.

Cedar shingles have a more finished look because they feature a sawed edge. Shakes are split, so they can give any home a more rustic appearance. That’s a general distinction between the two styles, but cedar shingles and shakes are produced in a broader range of options.

Pros

Natural beauty

Cedar renders a beautiful and timeless appeal any home offering a smooth, tailored, traditional appearance.

Longevity

Cedar shingles are a 20 to 40-year roofing solution. Choose an experienced installer and keep them maintained to get the most from your investment.

Eco-friendly

Cedar is renewable material, and the energy needed to turn a log into shakes is less than required for making asphalt shingles, steel roofing (recycled steel is more eco-friendly and requires less energy), and most other options.

Better insulation

Wood is a natural insulator. Its R value is higher than asphalt or metal, so cedar can help keep energy costs down throughout the year.

Cons

Upfront costs

The installed cost of cedar shingles and shakes is higher than composition asphalt shingles, but it’s comparable to the cost of metal roofing.

Maintenance

While cedar is naturally resistant to moisture, it does present a good environment for algae, moss, and fungus. Plan on costs for cleaning and treating the roof every 3-6 years to make it resistant to these problems.

Cost

In the greater Boston area, and nearby coastal areas in Massachusetts including Plymouth, Hyannis, Provincetown, and the greater Cape Cod area, cedar wood shingles cost an average of $10.50 to $15.50 per square foot installed. Cedar shakes will run closer to $11.50 and $16.50 per square foot installed.

Top Brands

While there are not many manufacturers producing wood shingles in the Greater Boston area, there are several local distributors of high-quality products in New England. Cedar shakes and shingles can also be ordered direct from out of state manufacturers. Here are a couple of sources:

Boston Cedar distributes for Watkins Sawmill which produces high grade cedar shake and shingles such as Premium Grade Tapersawn, Red Label Tapersawn, and Alaskan Yellow Cedar Tapersawn.

Direct Cedar and Roofing Supplies features cedar shingles in Western Red and Alaskan Yellow. Located in British Columbia, Canada, they will ship to anywhere in the U.S.

Local Installers

It takes an experienced crew of installers to give a cedar roof the good looks and durability you expect for your investment. Here are a few of Greater Boston’s most experienced installers:
Mastercraft Roofing in Hingham MA has over 20 years of experience installing cedar roofing.

Olympic Roofing located in Topsfield MA is one of the largest roofing companies in the Greater Boston area. Olympic has been roofing Boston homes since 1958. Olympic uses the finest cedar material, stating, “Today, Alaskan Yellow Cedar is favored because of its longevity and the fact that it turns silver within a year similar to the Eastern White Cedar.”

Note: Contractors listed here are independent contractors and not affiliated with RoofingCalc.com or any of its affiliates. The decision to hire any contractor listed on this site is a decision made solely by the homeowner. Roofingcalc.com is not responsible for the accuracy of this information and does not guarantee the quality of work performed by any contractor.

  1. Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are the fastest growing segment of the residential roofing industry. You probably notice more and more of them in and around the greater Boston, MA, and throughout the southern and northern New England areas.

The reason for a growing popularity of metal roofing is that steel and aluminum have what it takes to handle the nasty weather here. That includes blistering hot and humid summers, sub-freezing windy winters, and everything in between. High-end Kynar 500 coated steel and aluminum roofs can last up to 50 years (or longer).

Zinc is a less well-known and hence less common option, but one that should also be strongly considered. Hugely popular in Europe, zinc has the potential to look good and provide solid roofing protection for 100+ years.

Pros

Extreme durability

  • Metal roofing can last 40-60, or more years.
  • Competitive Lifecycle cost over 50+ years.
  • The durability of metal roofing is much better than asphalt, and the material should last longer than cedar shakes, with far less required maintenance.

Weather-proof material

Metal is not affected by algae and moss growth. Its wind rating is excellent, typically 120 MPH or higher. It laughs at rain and sheds snow quickly (though slide-offs of heavy snow and ice can be dangerous!)

More Styles and Options

New metal roofing choices come to market every year. Sheet metal panel roofs remain the choice of many homeowners, but additional styles include ribbed panels and metal shingles that mimic wood and slate.

Earth-friendly

Most metal roofing is made with a high percentage (95%) of recycled post-consumer material. And metal roofing is recyclable again and again.

Lower energy costs

Metal roofing reflects heat, so attics with metal above them can be 30 degrees cooler than when asphalt shingles are used. Less heat in your attic means lower utility bills in summer.

Solar-friendly

Standing Seam Roof integrated with PV Solar Panels

If you’re thinking about installing PV solar panels or solar thermal panels, whether now or in the future, a standing seam metal roof will accommodate them. Solar panels can be mounted to the standing seam roof panels without drilling holes in the metal. That’s not possible with asphalt or wood.

Ice Dam Mitigation

Metal roofs like steel and aluminum shingles and standing seam are fully interlocked, meaning that it would be highly unlikely for the ice dam driven water to rise underneath a metal roof and cause damage in case of an ice dam forming at the edge of the roof. Special coatings help shed snow away from the roof, thus minimizing the chances of ice dams forming in the first place.

Cons

High initial cost

You’ll pay more upfront. If you’re planning a move in a few years, the return on investment is poor, (If you’re planning to stay, it’s great!)

Plinks and plunks

Metal roofing can be slightly noisier than asphalt shingles, depending on how the roof is installed. That said, according to the field tests, the difference between a metal roof and asphalt shingles is rather negligible between 6 and 11 decibels, depending on the installation. All in all, this is not a factor when there is an attic space in between the roof and the living areas of the house.

Cost

Popular G-90 galvanized steel shingles and standing seam prices range from $10.00 to $15.50 per square foot installed. Galvalume, steel coated with a layer of zinc and aluminum, costs a bit more but lasts longer. Aluminum also costs a tiny bit more, but it also offers excellent longevity. Installed cost ranges from $10.50 to $16.50 per square foot based on the materials and installation factors.

Copper, zinc, and stainless steel will cost significantly more but the lifespan is also longer.

Estimated Roof Costs (1,700 sq.ft.)
Asphalt Shingles
Metal Roofing
Flat Roof
$7,500
$14,500
$8,225
See Roof Costs in Your Area

Top Brands

Contractors typically buy materials from large building material suppliers. For example, ABC Supply and Beacon Sales are large building materials wholesalers in the greater Boston area. These warehouses carry metal roofing systems from top brands including Petersen Aluminum, Atas, ABC Metal Roofing, Tamko Metal Works.

Atas International makes a wide variety of metal roofing systems and profiles including standing seam, batten seam, shingles, tiles, and tapered and curved shapes. Many of their products are available at ABC Supply.

Beacon Supply carries many brands and profiles of metal roofing including Decra stone coated steel shingles, shakes, and tiles. Beacon also carries Revere Copper products, and Kynar 500 coated Galvalume standing seam panels.

Classic Metal Roofing Systems makes some of the finest aluminum shingles and shakes available. They are produced in appealing styles. Classic also makes steel standing seam panels. Their products are sold nationwide and top many homes in the greater Boston area.

Installers

A metal roofing system must be installed properly to avoid leaks down the road. Here are several top metal roofing installers in the Greater Boston area:

G.F. Sprague Roofing has been installing metal roofing since 1969. The company’s reputation for workmanship is quite high, as their customer ratings show.

Sprague offers this advice, “If you want a metal roof installed on your home, make sure to go with a roofing contractor with experience in this type of roofing. A reputable contractor should provide you with a free estimate for roofing work, as well as references based on past metal roofing installations.”

New England Metal Roof installs both standing seam and metal shingle roofing systems.

Mastercraft Roofing in Hingham MA, with over 20 years’ experience, installs standing seam and metal shingle roofing. You’ve likely heard ads or for this Boston area roofing contractor or know someone who has used the company for their metal roof.

Note: Contractors listed here are independent contractors and not affiliated with RoofingCalc.com or any of its affiliates. The decision to hire any contractor listed on this site is a decision made solely by the homeowner. Roofingcalc.com is not responsible for the accuracy of this information and does not guarantee the quality of work performed by any contractor.

  1. Rubberized, Rubber, and Plasticized Synthetic Shingles, Shakes, and Simulated Slate Tiles

Rubber roofing or a combination of rubber and synthetic materials is a newer form of roofing. As you can imagine, this type of material is ideal for precipitation and humidity.

Pros

Weather resistant It stands up well to rain, snow, and hail (and wind-driven debris)

Various profiles Completely moldable, it is made to look like wood and slate shingles.

Durable

A rubber roof can last 50 to 75 years.

Recycled Materials

Recycled car tires are the main component in this material. The average roof using a brand like Euroshield Roofing contains about 550 tires saved from being dumped in a landfill.

Cons

Upfront cost

The initial cost is higher than low-cost and midgrade asphalt shingles. It is competitive with premium composite shingles, wood, and steel roofing. But, because it is durable and needs little maintenance, the lifetime cost of this type roofing is lower than most types for the Boston area.

Selection

As a newer roofing material, it offers you fewer styles and colors than what is available in asphalt shingles.

Cost

The cost of rubber shingles ranges from $9.00 to $15.00 per square foot installed for most homes.

Top Brands

Euroshield Rubber Roofing manufactures products that mimic slate (Euroslate) and wood shakes (Euroshake).

EcoStar is made with recycled rubber strengthened with PVC. The combination is formed into slate and shake shingle styles with impressive rigidity and toughness.

EcoStar Majestic Niagara Slate

Davinci Roofscapes produces synthetic roofing products. Davinci contains a higher percentage of PVC to provide durability and strength. You won’t damage a Davinci roof by walking on it.

Davinci multi-width slate

Installers

Kenwood Builders in Boston is a certified Euroshield Installer.

Storm Works Roofing and Restoration has been providing quality roofing services for over 30 years in the Greater Boston area. They install both Ecostar and Davinci Roofscape products.

Note: Contractors listed here are independent contractors and not affiliated with RoofingCalc.com or any of its affiliates. The decision to hire any contractor listed on this site is a decision made solely by the homeowner. Roofingcalc.com is not responsible for the accuracy of this information and does not guarantee the quality of work performed by any contractor.

  1. Natural Stone Slate

Slate Roof on a house in Newton, MA

Because slate is locally mined in Vermont, it has been one of the most traditional forms of roofing in New England. In fact, many slate roofs dating from the late 1800’s still survive today. Slate is often used on more traditional style homes and in some neighborhoods like Brookline, Newton, Wellesley, and other neighborhoods in the Greater Boston area.

Pros

Traditional appearance

The natural beauty of slate fits well with the historic and traditional neighborhoods in Boston.

Long-lasting and durable

Natural slate lasts more than 100 years and stands up to very harsh weather. It is also waterproof. Slate is not affected by mold or fungus and requires little to no maintenance. It won’t burn!

Resale value

Because of its durability and longevity, slate will increase a home’s resale value.

Cons

Upfront cost

A slate roof can be expensive to install but because it will last so long, with minimum maintenance, the lifetime cost is reasonable.

Breakable

A slate tile can sometimes break if a heavy object, such as a tree limb, falls on it. Replacing slate shingles can be difficult and expensive. Of course, if you choose slate, price isn’t your highest priority.

Weight

A slate roof is heavy, and before installing one, a homeowner might need to hire a structural engineer to determine whether the structure of their home can support the roof. If not, additional bracing will be required.

Costs

Depending on the grade, thickness and quality, slate costs between $14.00 and $27.00 per square foot installed.

Top Brands

Vermont Slate Company manufactures and distributes the highest quality slate available. They feature a wide variety of grades, textures, and colors including a Historic Vermont blend.

FireRock offers natural slate roofing in a variety of colors and grades and can be purchased direct.

Installers

There are many considerations when installing a natural slate roof, and choosing an experienced installer is crucial.

Art Slate Roofing in Malden MA is a fully licensed and insured contractor.

G. F. Sprague – This contractor was mentioned above as a metal roofing installer. Slate is also this company’s specialty.

John Hubert Roofing – This company is experienced, licensed, insured and bonded. It has an experienced slate roofing crew and sales reps that can answer your questions.

Note: Contractors listed here are independent contractors and not affiliated with RoofingCalc.com or any of its affiliates. The decision to hire any contractor listed on this site is a decision made solely by the homeowner. Roofingcalc.com is not responsible for the accuracy of this information and does not guarantee the quality of work performed by any contractor.

  1. PVC (and sometimes TPO) Membranes for Low-Sloped and Flat Roofs

Energy Efficient, Solar-Reflective PVC membrane on a flat roof

Within the greater Boston area, there are many low–sloped roofs. PVC is a premium single-ply membrane offering superior durability and performance for low-slope roof applications. Plant roots, fungus, mold, and algae don’t affect it. As a result, it is a very good roofing choice for Boston’s humid summer climate.

Pros

Durable and long lasting

PVC roofs can last anywhere from 25 to 30, or more years, depending on the thickness of the membrane.

Weather protection

PVC will hold up to ponding and pooling water that accumulates on a flat roof from rain or melting snow.

Easily repaired

PVC roofing will remain weldable and pliable, meaning you can always replace a damaged section of the roof.

Low lifetime cost

PVC roofs are more durable and last longer than EPDM rubber. They also require very little maintenance.

Energy efficient

PVC membranes reflect solar UV and resist the transfer of heat. This helps keep your home cool during the summer.

Cons

Initial cost

PVC membranes are more expensive compared to EPDM rubber and other single-ply alternatives like TPO.

Cost

On average, a PVC membrane roofing price is $8.50 to $14.50 per square foot installed.

Average Roof Replacement Cost:

Low End

$8,500

Mid-Range

$10,500

High End

$14,500

See costs in your area Enter Your Zip Code

Top Brands

GAF offers a PVC series Everguard (commercial product) available in various thicknesses.
Duro-Last Roofing also makes a commercial PVC product – Duro-Tuff.
IB Roof manufactures highly flexible and durable PVC roofing membranes for residential and commercial applications.

Installers

New England Metal Roof services all of Massachusetts and is a trained and certified installer of the industry’s best PVC roofing products including products from IB Roof.

Titan Roofing installs many popular flat roof/low-slope roofing systems for commercial projects in Massachusetts.

Note: Contractors listed here are independent contractors and not affiliated with RoofingCalc.com or any of its affiliates. The decision to hire any contractor listed on this site is a decision made solely by the homeowner. Roofingcalc.com is not responsible for the accuracy of this information and does not guarantee the quality of work performed by any contractor.

Need a Roofer? Get 4 Free Quotes From Local Pros:

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