Time for a New Roof? Roofing Options for Rental Properties

One of the most important aspects of maintaining a rental property, especially in Oklahoma, is keeping the property water-tight. And the element of the structure that is arguably the most important in achieving that goal is the roof. High winds and damaging hail are the biggest threat to rental properties in Tulsa. Understanding some basics and choosing the correct roof for your rental property is an important decision that a rental property owner will eventually face.

Types of Roofing Used in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, by far the most common type of roofing material used is asphalt shingles. Within that group there are two common grades of shingles used:

3 Tab Shingles

3 Tab

– Easily identifiable by the roof’s “flat” look
– Have 3 tabs per shingle, hence the name
– Typically have a manufacturer’s rating of 25 years
– Are more susceptible to damage from strong winds
– Typically last 10-15 years in the Tulsa area
– Are around 20% cheaper to install

Architectural (Dimensional) Shingles

Dimensional Shingles

– Are referred to either as “architectural” or “dimensional” shingles
– Can be identified by the varying shapes of the individual shingles
– Most manufacturers are now rating as “lifetime” shingles
– Have better wind resistance than 3-tab shingles
– Typically last 15-20 years in the Tulsa area
– Are around 20% more expensive to install

Which Roof Should You Install?

If you plan on holding the property for the long-term (10 or more years), it is advisable to install an architectural roof. If you planning on holding the property for a shorter period of time, it is largely personal preference but you may still benefit from installing the more expensive shingles. We have seen even properly installed 3-tab roofs that have had multiple shingles blow off shortly after installation in the high-wind conditions here. The cost to repair a few missing shingles can quickly add up to the cost differential to install the higher quality roof. If you do end up owning the property long-term, you will almost certainly delay the major cost of replacement for several years by choosing the architectural shingles.

Choosing a Roofing Contractor

Even the highest quality shingles will fail if not installed properly. That is why it is critical to have a reputable, skilled roofing contractor perform the installation. In 2011, Oklahoma began requiring roofing contractors in the state to register with the Oklahoma Construction Industry Board. Contractors are required to provide evidence of liability insurance as well as worker’s compensation before receiving their license. You can verify an Oklahoma roofing contractor’s license at http://www.ok.gov/cib/documents/Roofing%20Registration%20Applicants%20By%20Business%20Name.pdf


The roof of your rental property is critical to generating investment returns. By understanding the different types and qualities of roofing materials and how to choose the right contractor, you can prolong the useful life of your investment property. At Home Finders, we maintain relationships with quality, licensed roofers that can provide quotes for repairing and/or replacing the roof of your investment property. Our vendors give us discount pricing because of the volume of work we send them. If you are considering property management in Tulsa, OK, call us today and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about how we can make your investment “worry free”: 918-665-0212.