When we meet with future clients, we usually get some questions about which type of roofing system will be right for them. We get asked questions like:

  • “What are the most popular types of commercial roofs?”
  • “What is the best type of commercial roof?”
  • “What is the most reasonably priced commercial roof?”

This article goes over the advantages and disadvantages of different types of commercial and industrial roofs, as well as their costs. At Tim Leeper Roofing, we have been helping clients choose the best roofing solution for their budget and needs. We aim to empower all our customers with clear, reliable information and competitive quotes. If you are in Nashville and looking for the best commercial roofing team around, reach out to Tim Leeper Roofing and get a Speedy Fast Quote today!


You have likely seen all of these types of roofing somewhere before, even if you didn’t realize it at the time. Most people simply aren’t used to paying attention to things like the type of roof they have at their office, school, or other commercial property. Sure, we are all used to the typical asphalt roofs of residential buildings, but you may not know what it is that makes up most commercial buildings. Here are five common types of commercial roofing:

  1. Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing
  2. Single-Ply Membrane Roofing
  3. Shingle Roofing
  4. Metal Roofing
  5. Built-Up Roofing

Let’s look at each of these in detail, weighing their advantages, costs, and other factors.


Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is a material that can be sprayed down as an expanding foam which then hardens into a single, consistent layer atop an already existing roof. This is an eco-friendly commercial roofing option that was originally developed in the early 1960s. An SPF roof is suitable to any climate and can be expected to last for about 50 years. Per square foot, SPF roofing costs between $4.00 and $7.00 in materials and labor. This price varies according to the type of building that the roof is being sprayed on and how thick of a foam layer is used.

Spray Polyurethane Roofing is a durable, energy-efficient, waterproof solution for your commercial roofing. It has high R-value and works as a thermal, air, and moisture barrier. It is also very durable, as the foam material is designed to expand and contract with the building, reducing the chances of splitting and cracks. As SPR provides a seamless roofing surface, it also is not vulnerable to leaking. Contact Tim Leeper Roofing in Nashville to inquire more about SPR.


Single-ply membranes are sheets of rubber or other synthetic materials that are adhered to insulation to create a layer of protection on top of your commercial facility. This is probably the most well-known type of commercial roofing material, and it remains a very cost-effective method of protecting your commercial building. The average cost of single-ply membrane roofing is $3.50 to $7.50 per square foot, inclusive of labor and materials.

Single-ply membrane roofs that have been installed properly can be expected to last over 30 years. If you have a flat-roofed commercial building, you probably know about this reliable roofing solution. It has been around for a long time and is very common. Single-ply membrane roofing provides your building an added layer of fire-proofing and can help regulate temperature, depending if you get black or white versions.


Shingle roofing isn’t only for residential roofs, but is also commonly used for steep-sloped commercial roofs. Shingle roofs come in a wide variety of materials — plastic, asphalt, ceramic, wood, etc. The two most common types of shingles, however, are asphalt and architectural.

  • Asphalt Shingles — These are the most common types of shingles on the market, being a composite material that can be expected to last for around 20 years.

    Architectural Shingles — These are generally more durable and weatherproofing than asphalt shingles. However, they are generally more expensive than the former.

Shingle roofing will cost you between $2.50 and $5.00 per square foot for labor and materials. This price range varies, however, based on the type of material you decide to use. Choosing a shingle roof for your commercial building makes sense if you want a roof with a unique design, that is durable against the elements, and easy to repair. Want to get a shingle roof installed on your commercial facility? Contact Tim Leeper Roofing and get started with a Speedy Fast Quote today!


One of the most traditional types of commercial roofing systems is the metal roof. Metal roofs are available in a number of types of metal:

  • Corrugated & galvanized steel
  • Tin
  • Aluminum
  • And more

Metal roofing is a convenient, light-weight roofing material that can be installed on top of your existing roof, helping save on labor costs. The average price of labor and materials for a metal roof ranges between $5.00 and $10.00 per square foot. A metal roof can be expected to last for around 40 years. Benefits of a metal roof include:

  • It’s extremely strong
  • It’s available in a variety of materials and color choices
  • It can be made from recycled materials
  • It’s resistant to fire


Built-up roofing systems have been popular in the US for the majority of the 20th century. Another name for these roofs are “tar and gravel” roofs — which is exactly what they are; build-up roofs are essentially alternating layers of tar and gravel atop fabrics to protect your roof. The final layer of this roofing solution tends to be larger stones or gravel. In terms of labor and material costs, built-up roofing will probably run you between $5.50 and $8.50 per square foot.

If installed properly, a commercial built-up roof can be expected to last for about 40 years. This type of roof is a good choice for people looking for a low-maintenance, reasonably-priced, waterproof roofing solution.


You have many choices when it comes to what type of commercial roof you want. Each of these types of roofs have their benefits and drawbacks. If you want to learn more about these different types of commercial roofing solutions, contact Tim Leeper Roofing. When it comes to installing commercial roofs, we are Nashville’s most reliable roof installers. Our team has been around for over 15 years due to our uncompromised commitment to excellence and refusal to ever cut corners when it comes to delivering you the roofing longevity you deserve. For the most dependable commercial roofing services in Nashville, contact Tim Leeper Roofing today!