As many veteran homeowners know, it’s important to keep the roof of your home in good condition. A leaking or damaged roof can lead to costly and potentially devastating problems—from structural damage to pervasive mold—but a carefully selected roof can also be an essential part of your house’s curb appeal, since it is one of the most visible external features. Choosing the right roofing material is very important.The material should be matched to your overall house design as well as the state of weather at your residence.
In this article, we’ll go over different types of roofing material and you can decide which one works best with your roof.
The most common types of roofing material are:
- Asphalt shingles
- Wood shingles and shakes
- Clay tile
- Slate tile
Now we’ll go over each type and see what the pros and cons are as well as give you a rough cost estimate.
Asphalt shingles – These are probably the most popular with about ¾ of the homes in the US using them. Why? They’re low cost, easy to install and resilient. Standard asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors, longevity options and price points. They can be used on just about any architectural style. However, there are cons to this type of roofing too. They provide low insulation and have a shorter life span than most other roofing products – about 15 to 30 years. They are also made from petroleum products and are not recyclable. They have the worst environmental record of any other type of roofing.
Cost – $50 – $150 per square. (100 square feet = 1 square).
Wood shingles and shakes – Used most commonly in the Northeast, wooden shakes and shingles are among the best for the climate in that area. They are natural products that help the home blend into the environment and are very simple to replace if damaged. Cons are that they are not very fire-resistant; they are high maintenance and tend to rot, split and get mold. The roof will last 30 to 50 years with some maintenance, however and the material is best for ranches, cottage houses, bungalows, historic and contemporary houses.
Cost – $100 – $150 per square.
Clay tiles – They are non-combustible and very durable. They can come in lighter colors and stick to the cool roof standards, saving you energy. It is said that they can reflect 50% of the sun’s solar energy. They are elegant and enduring. They are very versatile and come in so many colors and shapes that they don’t even look like tiles at all. Unfortunately, they’re very heavy and require additional roof framing, which can add to your project costs. Clay tiles are among the most environmentally friendly whereas concrete can be made from a sustainable mixture. They look great on Mediterranean, European, and Mission and contemporary and ranch homes.
Cost – $300 – $600 per square.
Slate tiles – These tiles have a beautiful and distinctive appearance. A slate roof will last for about a hundred years, maybe more. It is easy to repair and recycle. It’s an excellent sustainable roofing choice. Unfortunately slate is very heavy. It’s also usually a dark color so it’s not recommended for high-heat locations like Central Texas. Slate roofs look best on Colonial and French style homes.
Cost: $550 – $1,000 per square.
Metal – Metal roofing is becoming more popular around the country. It’s pretty inexpensive, durable and easy to install. Metal roofing is usually made of aluminum or tin but can be made of steel or copper. The type of metal determines the cost. You can get your metal roofing pre-engineered to the size of your house so it will fit in one piece or you can use metal shingles. Properly maintained, metal roofs last at least 50 years. They are very green because they are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. They often have a high percentage of recycled content. Metal roofing looks great on bungalows, ranches and contemporary or cottage homes.
Cost – $100 – $600 per square depending upon the material.
There you have it, some of the more common roofing types and their pros and cons as well as their basic cost. Now that you know more about these roofing materials, perhaps you’ll be able to make an educated decision when it comes time to upgrade your roof.