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Roofing Materials that Work for Your Home

There are a variety of quality roofing materials out there to choose from for your roof. Will you choose concrete or clay tiles, asphalt or cedar shingles, a metal roof or maybe even slate? Factors, such as price of materials, cost for installation, the finished look that you want, your home's own style and size, as well as how complicated the design of the roof is, all weigh into the decision making process.

To determine which material is right for your roof, consider:

  • 1) What is the cost for materials?
  • 2) How much will installation be for this roofing material?
  • 3) Is any maintenance required? Cedar roofs should be cleared of leaves that would interfere with drying.
  • 4) How long will the roof last? What is the longevity of the material?
  • 5) How long is the material warranted for? The best roofing warranties are transferable and are not prorated.
  • 6) Will the roof be easy to repair? Wood and asphalt shingles are the easiest to repair.
  • 7) Am I living in a wet climate? Will my roof be shaded? If so, wood shingles are probably not your best choice.
  • 8) Does my home have sufficient structural strength to support this roofing material? Extra framing support will be needed for clay or concrete roof tiles.
  • 9) What kind of roof would best suit the style of my house?
  • 10) In order to match the proportions of my home, which roofing shingle would be best?
  • 11) Does my roof have a complex design? If this is the case, clay tiles would not be suitable. Metal roofs are difficult to install on complex roofs. Wood, slate and asphalt shingles are all perfect for complicated roofs.
  • 12) Is my home in a high risk area for fire? If so, wood shingles are probably not your best choice.
  • 13) Do I live in an area that is prone to high winds and hurricanes?
  • 14) What colors are available? Note that light-colored roofs can lower the amount of air-conditioning that your home consumes.


Asphalt Shingles:

About 70% of residential building are shingled with asphalt shingles. The 20-year three-tab shingle is not the single shingle on the market today. There are 15-year, 30-year and 50-year warranted shingles to choose from.

  • Can be walked on for repairs
  • Repairs are easily made
  • Great variety in color & design
  • Maintenance Free
  • Good for complicated installations
  • Widely available
  • Reasonably priced


Cedar Shingles / Wood Shingles:

The look and beauty of a cedar shingled roof is unmistakable. However, if you are in a high-risk area for fires this is likely not the roofing material for your home. Cedar shingles can last a long time and are easy to install.

  • Installation and material is more costly than asphalt shingles
  • Can last 30 to 40 years when properly installed
  • Color will fade to gray
  • Repairs are easily made
  • Good for complicated installations





Metal Roofs:

Copper roofing, corrugated-aluminum and stainless steel are some of the metal roofing choices available for your home. Expect the completed cost to be two to three times that of an asphalt roof, materials being the higher portion of the cost.

  • Installation and material can be costly
  • Repairs are very challenging
  • Wind & Fire-resistant
  • Maintenance Free
  • Great variety in color and metals
  • Harder to install on complicated roofs


Slate Roofs:

Slate is a distinguished, traditional roofing material that can outlast most others. The installed cost can be between $1,000 and $1,500 per square (100 square feet). It is best to use copper flashing and copper nails. A state roof should not be walked on as this could cause damage to the tiles.

  • Extensive longevity
  • Installation and material is very costly
  • Repairs require staging
  • Maintenance Free
  • Fire resistant
  • Good for complicated installations

Tile Roofs:

Clay roof tiles come in a wide range of colors and styles. Concrete tiles are about half the price of clay tiles and come in a variety of textures and styles. Both tile option are heavy and extra framing will be required to support the weight.

  • Extensive longevity
  • Installation and material is very costly
  • Repairs and installation are quite difficult
  • Maintenance Free
  • Fire & wind-resistant
  • Not good for complicated roofs
  • Not for cold climate