Buying or Selling a Home With Multiple Layers of Shingles on The Roof

Services for Real Estate Pros with DFW Best Roofing

Usually when someone buys a property.  They do not pay enough attention to the quality of the roof.  One of the most neglected aspects is the layers of shingles of a property with a composition roofing system.  

Please see the following picture

Do you see how many layers of shingles there are in the picture above?  In a one layer roofing system you will see two layers on the perimeter.  This is because there is a layer of extra shingles on the perimeter of the roof.  This extra layer is called "starters", it's for added protection so rain does not go in into the roof and bring moisture into the roof.  So in the above picture you will see four layers, meaning the roof actually has three layers. 

Why is this important to know?  First, the home inspector will see this, and that is a sign that there are issues with the roof.  Maybe you can tell that is does not look right.

In many, cities it is against city code to have more than 3 or more layers.  

Also, consider the extra weight on the building.  Every square, which is a 10' x 10' area weighs about 165 pounds of one layer of shingles.  So in the above house instead of weighing 4000 pounds, the roof will weigh around 16000 pounds.  This also affects the ventilation -- meaning you need to spend more money to keep the house cooler.  The heat also creates problems on the roof.  Particularly on the decking.

It has happened so many times.  A contractor gives a price, opens up the roof, calls the real estate investor, saying the price of the job will have to increase.  Why?  Because the decking has gone bad.  So, always be prepared for bad decking if you buy a property with shingles on the roof with multiple layers.  

So, a roof with multiple layers is best to consider that you will be paying almost double to replace the roof if the decking is bad.  Do not let the contractor just tell you, ask for pictures or be there yourself.  Take pictures of the work done to show the home inspector. The good news is it's still cheaper getting the exterior done compared to interior work when flipping houses, and it is less of a headache also. 

There is an important exception to this.  If you will be buying a property to rent to tenants, and there are no leaks are no leaks the building, and there are less layers than allowed by code, and roof looks in decent condition.  If you are on a super tight budget, just doing a layover is an option.  This option should not be just jumped into.  Its main advantage is will be cheap in the short term, till you make your investment back, and then in later, you will have to change the whole roof, and maybe by that time the decking also.  I would only recommend this if there is only one layer already there, and there are no leaks.  It would look like this, and will last as long as any other roof.


Helping real estate agents professionally with roofing issues at a low price.  DFW Best Roofing also does Fence, siding, patio, gutters, and exterior paint.  



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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, -- Omar Baloch the look is not the best, but it's certainly easier on the pocketbook!!  I soooo dislike seeing multiple layers.... strip it all and do it right...change the damaged underlayment also if needed...

Nov 01, 2016 08:59 PM #1
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

and welcome to's a great place to learn, share, market and network....and I hope you enjoy and benefit from all of it....

Nov 01, 2016 08:59 PM #2
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Welcome to Active Rain.  I hope you enjoy your time here.

Nov 01, 2016 09:26 PM #3
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT

Good information; your roofs such a big part of your investment. It's wise to know the best way to keep it up to par & not cause damage to your decking. 

Nov 01, 2016 10:01 PM #4
31,002 -- Omar Baloch
DFW Best Roofing - Mid Cities, TX
We are an Exterior and Roofing company

Thank You All.....

If you have any roofing questions or consultation, just reach out to me.

Justin Stanfield


Nov 02, 2016 04:44 AM #5
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

Welcome to Active Rain and congrats on your first blog post.  This is a great place to meet awesome professionals while learning about other real estate markets.

Nov 02, 2016 10:19 AM #6
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

We do see plenty of roofing issues, but multiple layers are seldom a problem, they will likely come off with the next shingle replacement.

Welcome to Active Rain, looking forward to reading many more of your posts, let me know if there is anything that I can do to help as you get started here.
All the best of success to you.

Nov 02, 2016 02:22 PM #7
31,002 -- Omar Baloch
DFW Best Roofing - Mid Cities, TX
We are an Exterior and Roofing company

Wow in Texas it is a major issue..... because city codes allowed it up to four layers until recently.  

Nov 02, 2016 08:52 PM #8
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Omar, this type of post is great because it teaches us a bit more about the properties we sell.  And welcome to ActiveRain.  We could have you addicted in no time!

Nov 03, 2016 02:44 AM #9
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Welcome to ActiveRain and congratulations on posting your first blog on this site.

Nov 04, 2016 10:10 AM #10
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

It is a great point. Thanks for the information! 

Welcome to the Active Rain.

Congratulations on your first post! 

Nov 04, 2016 10:53 AM #11
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hi, Omar!  I included this post in today's Last Week's Favorites.  Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Nov 06, 2016 02:21 AM #12
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I would never buy a home with layers on shingles.  I just replaced my roof and they removed the old shingles and felt, checked all the decking and replaced the felt and shingles. 

Nov 06, 2016 10:06 AM #13
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I suspect these additional shingles are over those with hole. On wooden shake the asphalt paper goes first. Many put a plastic bag under and shove more over like your photo shows.

Nov 06, 2016 11:59 AM #14
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Welcome to Active Rain! Good topic..we have a question on our sellers disclosure that ask if you have a roof overlay. Shingles must be removed if new ones are going on and the decking checked for possible replacement. I've yet to see a roof with multiple layers in Austin.

Nov 06, 2016 08:28 PM #15
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Welcome to ActiveRain and thank for a great post on an important issue. I used to see multiple layers of shingles on homes back in New England, among other issues.

Here in SoCal the bigger issue is cracked concrete or clay tiles or tiles that have slid out of place. I always recommend having a roofing company evaluate during a transaction

Nov 07, 2016 12:27 AM #16
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Great post, just gone through this with a seller we are representing. Well explained.

Nov 07, 2016 12:52 AM #17
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Welcome to ActiveRain, and you're right - layers upon layers of shingles is a no-no.

Nov 09, 2016 08:11 PM #18

Hi thereI live in sunny southern califirnia.My roof has 2 layers of asphalt shingles.Can i add one more layer.Thank you.

Feb 08, 2018 06:23 PM #19

I might buy a house but it looks like it has 3 layers oh shingles. Is that a good or bad thing. The home is in Lake Elsinore California

May 17, 2019 03:00 AM #20
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