Choices of Roofing Materials for Your Home

How to make the right choice of roofing material for your home

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Rachel Polant

Dec 17

Making the Right Choice of Roofing Material for Your Home

Choosing the right roofing materials for your home depends on different factors, including its location, size, style, etc. Roofing materials are surprisingly varied. Of course, certain types of materials are going to be more popular, cheaper, or a better fit for a roof’s slope and structure; but, ultimately, at the end of the day, much of the decision is made by personal preference and allocated budget.

Here are some different roofing materials that many homes and businesses use. Not every roofing material is appropriate for every roof type. Talk to a qualified roofing contractor about which roofing material options are best for your situation.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles typically come in either architectural shingles or 3-Tab shingles. Architectural shingles are more expensive than 3-Tab, but look nicer and add more curb appeal. They are slightly more durable than their 3-Tab counterpart and more expensive. Asphalt shingles are the most popular residential roofing material. Pricing ranges from $4,500 to a little more than $6,000, depending on where in the country you live.

Metal Roofing Shingles

Metal roofing is highly durable and can even offer the look of traditional shingles. Metal shingles can be purchased in a wide range of colors and can be used on almost any type of home. Because metal roofing is exceptionally environmentally friendly because it is often made from recycled material that can be recycled again once it has reached the end of its life cycle.

Metal roofing material comes in a wide variety of finishes, giving the roof the ability to reflect a great degree of solar radiation that’s normally absorbed by a traditional asphalt roof or a home’s attic. In fact, pre-painted metal shingle roofs or granular coated metal shingles can re-emit up to 90 percent of solar radiation.

Metal shingles and standing seam metal roofing offer premium protection for your home. Many are rated for high impact resistance and are guaranteed to withstand winds of up to 120 miles per hour. This makes metal roofs especially appealing if you live in an area prone to storms that produce strong winds. Metal roofing is also non-combustible in cases of fire, giving you an extra edge in safety and peace of mind. This is a great benefit for homes in states most affected by wildfires, like Idaho, Oregon, California, and Washington.

Wood Shake and Wood Shingle Roofing Materials

Wood shake and wood shingles have the look of old-town New England Cape Cod or stately Tudor homes. Wood shingle and shake roofing is a premium product and will cost the homeowner more to purchase and install than your common asphalt shingle. It also takes a qualified wood shake roofer to install this roofing material.

Along with its beauty, wood shingle and shake roofing can provide superior performance in areas of the country that experience high winds or hail damage. They do carry certain limitations such as susceptibility to rotting, warping, and splitting. Good maintenance can minimize these potential issues. Wood roofing may also be against code in certain areas. Be sure to check with your city and county.

Slate Roofing

Slate is a premium roofing material. For all intents and purposes, it can be considered a lifetime roofing system. It provides superior durability, beauty, and longevity of your home. However, a slate roof is a major financial investment.

A deterring factor for many homeowners is the high cost of materials and labor associated with the installation of a slate roof. Depending on the overall quality of slate tiles, a homeowner can expect to pay between $5.00 and $8.00 per square foot for materials alone, and with installation, your total cost will be between around $10 to $20 per square foot installed. It is also extremely heavy and requires an especially sound, reinforced underlying structure to support its weight. 

Clay and Concrete Tile Roofing Materials

Clay roofing tile is often associated with Spanish Mission, Italian, American-Southwestern, and Mediterranean-inspired homes, but it also looks lovely and provides an appealing option for a modern home.

Clay tiles make great workhorses in the roofing material world. It’s highly durable and resistant to moisture, extreme weather, insects, and fire. And, both the NAHB and NACHI give it a hundred year life-expectancy.

It’s critical to note–be sure you don’t hire a contractor who has only worked in the asphalt roofing market. Even if the contractor says he or she can install a metal roof for you, chances are they won’t do as good a job as someone who specializes in it. Same goes for wood, tile, and slate. These materials require a specialized technique for proper installation. Hiring the wrong company for your roofing job can end up costing you more money in the long run.  Incorrect installation can cause subsequent damage to your home from the elements and can lead to repairs that otherwise wouldn’t have been necessary if it had been done right the first time. 

Hire only qualified roofing contractors for your home

If you want the perfect roof for your home and would like to explore options, connect with today for your free roofing quote!