Residential Roofing Material
Back in the day, people didn’t have many choices in roofing material. Unless your HOA has restrictions, you now have MANY options including interesting colors and materials.
When we work with our customers, we review options based on your home and your budget. We discuss things like:
- Will the material you like require special framing or reinforcement?
- Which options offer a variety of colors and styles that complement your home?
- Does the roofing material meet the fire codes in your area?
- Does the material offer good performance given the weather conditions that are common in your area?
- Is the life span and warranty for this product acceptable based on the investment you are making?
Answers to these questions will help you determine the best residential roofing material for your home.
Some of our most popular materials are:
The most common residential roofing material used in the United States are asphalt shingles which are popular because they are economical and easy to install and maintain. These shingles can be reinforced with fiberglass or organic materials (cellulose) without changing the appearance of the shingle.
Pros: Asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors and is one of the least expensive materials.
Cons: Asphalt shingles have a shorter life span than other roofing materials, don’t provide the insulation other materials offer, and the quality may vary.
House Styles: Asphalt shingles work with many architectural styles, especially traditional suburban styles.
Life Span: If maintained properly, shingles will last 20 to 25 years.
Clay and Concrete Tile
Clay or concrete tile adds texture and elegance to your roof. Genuine flat, ribbed or scalloped clay tiles are extremely durable but also very heavy, and must be installed by a professional. Concrete tiles are versatile and are less expensive than genuine clay, but are also heavy on your roof.
Pros: Clay or concrete tile is long-lasting and non-combustible, and concrete tiles are energy efficient.
Cons: Clay or concrete tile is expensive, heavy and usually require additional framing for reinforcement.
House Styles: Clay or concrete tile work well with Mediterranean style, Mission style, and Spanish style homes.
Life Span: If maintained properly, the tiles will last around 40 to 50 years.
Metal roofs are resistant to extreme weather conditions. They are available in two types, panels and shingles. Metal roofs come in copper, stainless steel, aluminum and zinc.
Pros: Metal roofing is durable, lasts longer than asphalt or wood, and offers high solar reflectance.
Cons: Metal roofing is relatively expensive.
House Styles: Metal looks great on bungalows, cabins, contemporary and cottage-style homes.
Life Span: Metal roofing can last 40 to 75 years.
Slate roofs are beautiful and have a distinctive elegant appearance. Slate colors include shades of black, green, grey, red and purple.
Pros: Slate is very durable, fire-resistant and is a sustainable roof that can be recycled.
Cons: Slate is expensive, heavy, and requires extra framing and professional installation. The quality of imported slate can vary.
House Styles: Slate works well with Colonial style, European style and French chateau homes.
Life Span: Slate can last more than 50-100 years or more.
Wood Shingles and Wood Shakes
Wood shingles and shake shingles have been the roofing choice for hundreds of years. Many homeowners love the look of wood and they weather to an attractive shade of gray. Wood shakes are handmade and rougher-looking than wood shingles, which are usually cut by machine.
If you live in a fire-prone area, look for Class A fire-rated wood roofing products that include shingles treated with a fire-resistant coating.
Pros: Wood shingles offer a rustic look and are a natural product usually made from cedar, redwood and southern pine.
Cons: Fire codes in some areas prohibit their use. Wood shingles can be a concern in wet climates, and can mold, split or rot.
House Styles: Shake’s rustic look works well with bungalow style, Cape Cod, cottages, and Tudor style homes.
Life Span: If maintained properly this material will last around 10-15 years.
Synthetic Roofing Products
There are now synthetic roofing products, including rubber, plastic and polymer roofing developed to give you the color, look and texture of natural materials like slate and wood. These products are designed to be strong and easy to maintain. Some of these materials are fire-resistant.
Make sure to check with the manufacturer and inquire about warranty information. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) suggests you look at full-size samples of the synthetic product and the manufacturers’ brochures.
Pros: Synthetic roofing is often not as fragile, heavy or expensive as natural products.
Cons: Some of these products can absorb water and the quality varies. Newer products aren’t as time-tested as traditional materials.
House Styles: Synthetic roofing products work with different architectural styles.
Life Span: Materials are generally warrantied for up to 50 years.