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In Texas, we often get asked about upgrading a roof to an impact-resistant shingle due to the frequency of large hail. In this post, we will briefly weigh the pros/cons to help you make an educated decision on the upgrade. 

What is an Impact Resistant (IR) shingle? 

Typically when someone mentions an IR shingle, they are referring to a Class 4 rating given by Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL).  

UL is a nonprofit, independent testing organization that delivers information to help consumers make informed decisions. Their requirement for a shingle to achieve a Class 4 rating is to withstand a 2” ball bearing dropped on the shingle from 20 ft above. 

The shingle must take multiple ball-bearing impacts and show no signs of fracturing, splitting, tearing, or any other evidence of compromise. Most shingle manufacturers have a Class 4 IR product, and installing one can lower your insurance premiums depending on your insurance company. More on this later. 

This post was written in November 2021 amid an inflationary market with significant supply chain issues, so use this context when evaluating the numbers. Hopefully, the price of shingles will stabilize and decrease in the coming months, but we never know.

Now for some simple math: 

A basic, limited lifetime architectural shingle will cost roughly $90.00/sq (a sq is 100 sq ft, or about the area of an apartment bedroom, of roofing).  

Basic architectural shingle cost = $2,700 

Assuming a home is 30sq in size, cost for replacement would be around $2,700. Keep in mind this cost is for shingles only and does not include expenses like labor, accessories, overhead, permits, profit, etc. 

Currently, a Class 4 IR shingle is around 30% higher at roughly $120.00/sq. Meaning that same 30sq roof will have a shingle cost of $3,600. 

IR shingle cost = $3,600 

This represents a difference of $900. It is important to note that special IR hip/ridge shingles will drive the accessory price up, so for this example we will assume a $1,000 difference in price between the IR shingle and basic shingle.  

The real question is for your insurance company: How much of a premium reduction will they give you to install an IR shingle on your home? Every insurance company is different, so you will need to check this discount with your agent. (For this example, we’re using a 10% discount.)

Now more simple math:  

Let us assume your annual homeowner’s premium is $1,200/year ($100/month). A 10% discount would save you $120/year if you installed an IR shingle. Therefore, according to this example, it would take over 8 years to recoup the extra $1,000 spent on an IR shingle.  

How much longer will you live in your home? What is the typical life expectancy for a roof in your geographic location? These are all personal and market-specific questions but are worth considering before spending extra money on an IR shingle upgrade.  

As always, choose a reputable and trustworthy roofing contractor to install your roof. HUF Construction is a Waxahachie, TX-based construction company that serves Ellis County, the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex, central Texas, and has a second location in the Permian Basin. We have handled thousands of insurance claims across multiple states and understand the claims process inside and out. If you have an insurance claim or any other roofing need, contact us today.