How to Choose Roofing – 6 Types to Consider

Whether you’re replacing an existing roof or researching options for a new home, deciding between roofing styles, materials and costs can be complicated. To help you determine the correct roofing materials for your home, here are the pros and cons of the six most popular roofing types.

#1 Asphalt Shingle
The most common roofing material, asphalt shingles, are affordable and simple to install. Asphalt shingles are produced when a fiberglass shingle is mixed with asphalt and finished with a textured surface. Asphalt shingles come in two basic configurations: single-thickness and laminate.
Pros: Asphalt shingles are available in an assortment of colors and are the most economical material available.
Cons: Asphalt shingles have a shorter life span and don’t offer the same level of insulation as other roofing alternatives.

#2 Wood Shake
For centuries wood was a common material used in residential roofing. But, due to its flammability, modern day use is less common.
Pros: Wood offers a natural, rustic look.
Cons: Wood shingles are flammable and can potentially suffer from mold or rot. The life span of wood roofing is also limited (similar to asphalt shingles).

#3 Metal (various types)
Aluminum, steel, copper, copper-asphalt and lead are the most popular metal roofing alternatives. Metal roofs are extremely durable but costly to install in both material and installation time.
Pros: Metal is strong and offers high solar reflectance, allowing for efficient cooling and heating of homes.
Cons: Metal is typically the most expensive roofing alternative.

#4 Ceramic and Cement Tile
Rounded tile roofing products are common with Spanish Colonial and Mission-style homes. Homeowners considering tile for their roof should be aware of the cost — anywhere between $400 and $800 on average per tile.
Pros: Tiles are durable and energy efficient.
Cons: The weight of tile roofing is heavy and may require additional framing for support.

#5 Slate Roofing
Slate is extremely durable and known for its many variations in origin, thickness and color.
Pros: Slate is dependable and considered to be a sustainable, recyclable roofing material.
Cons: Slate is expensive and requires additional roofing support to supplement its weight.

#6 Synthetic Roofing
Synthetic roofing products (rubber, plastic and polymer roofing) have been developed to provide the color, look and texture of other roofing materials (without the high cost).
Pros: Synthetic roofing is durable and affordable.
Cons: Due to their recent development, some synthetic materials have been known to absorb moisture.

When considering a roofing material for your home, consult with a local roofing specialist to ensure that you choose the appropriate material for your home’s aesthetic (and budget).

7 Responses to “How to Choose Roofing – 6 Types to Consider”

  1. I had always wondered how businesses fixed their roofs, especially with how unique their buildings could be. You wrote that metal is extremely durable and very efficient in cooling and heating of the building. Especially with how important it is for a business to have a strong roof for them to rely on day after day, metal would seem to be a good option. Thank you for the great blog.

  2. You mentioned that the most common roofing material used is asphalt shingle since they are affordable and easy to install. That is a great product for me to keep in mind since I am trying to find what kind of roof products I want. I will have to talk to my husband about the pros and cons.

  3. Good read! I appreciate that you included pros and cons about each roofing type in your post. For my future house, I think I’d prefer an Asphalt Shingle. I like how it’s available in an assortment of colors and that it’s the most economical material available. Consulting a professional would also be the best way to go when deciding.

  4. Thanks for being honest about how metal roofs can be costly to install. I’d imagine that it takes a long time for roofing contractors to do it. I want to have copper put on my Craftsman home, and I’ve saved up quite a lot of it. I’m sure I have enough, but I’ll have to make sure I find a contractor who’s experienced with the material.

  5. I like how you talked about how metal roofing is durable and has various types of metals to choose from. I want to install a brand new metal roof on my home this summer. Thanks for the tips on how to choose a material for roofing.

  6. We really need a new roof because our shingles are peeling. I’ll be sure to look more into metal roofing because I love the sound of the durability. I’m willing to pay more if it will last longer than these shingles did!

  7. Gerty Gift says:

    I appreciate how you broke down each of the materials. I have been thinking about either a metal or tile roof. I didn’t realize that they could both be expensive in their own ways, but I think that it will be worth the cost. I am leaning more towards the metal roof, but I’ll be sure to discuss it with my husband, just to be sure.

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