You’ve decided it’s time for a new roof, or maybe you’re starting a home from scratch. Either way, congrats!
But as you know, your work has only begun. You have decisions to make about what kind of roof you want to install, and in particular what kind of material you’re going to use.
That’s why I put together this post on the best materials to use for roofing.
You’ll get a great sense of your available options, so you can move forward with your project with confidence.
Sound interesting? Keep reading to find out more.
Asphalt shingles are the very common type of roofing material, especially in places like the United States.
One reason they’re so popular is they work well with a wide variety of architectural styles. This is especially true for the house styles found in traditional suburban areas.
Asphalt shingles come in lots of colors, and they are readily available. Add in the fact that they are one of the least pricy roofing materials, and you can see why they are so popular.
ON the downside, asphalt shingles have lifespans that are shorter than other materials. They also don’t give the level of insulation that some other materials do.
And the quality of asphalt shingles tends to vary more than with other roofing materials as well.
You can expect them to last from 20-25 years, and they generally range in price from $70 to $120 per square.
If you live in an area with extreme weather, metal roofing might be a great decision.
They come in either panels or shingles, and the type of metal can be aluminum, copper, and stainless steel.
Metal is a very durable material. It lasts longer than wood or asphalt as well. It’s sleek looking and works well on contemporary hoes. It also works on bungalows, cottages, and cabins.
It also has these benefits when it comes to commercial roofing.
On the downside, metal roofing tends to be fairly expensive. You’re looking at $100-$300 per square for some styles, and there are others that can range up to $800 per square.
But it will usually last for 40-75 years, so that might make up for the extra expense.
Wood Shingles and Shakes
Traditional roofing was all about wood shingles and shakes. And many people continue to love its look.
Whether you go with redwood, southern pine, cedar, or some other wood, you’ll be getting the rustic look that so many houses through history have had.
Shakes are handmade, so they look a little messier than the machine cut precision of wood shales. Wood goes great with Cape Cod style houses as well as Tudor and Craftsman styles.
An obvious issue with wood is that it’s flammable. So anyone living in a fire-prone area should make sure any wood roofing is covered with a fire-resistant coating.
Another issue is that they can split, rot, or develop mold in wet climates. So it’s best to use wood roofing in drier areas.
They will usually last your around 25-30 years, and the average price should start around $100-150 per square.
Concrete and Clay Tiles
For a touch of elegance, consider using concrete or clay tiles. They immediately add an interesting texture to the roof of your home, which can help define the aesthetic.
They are both quite durable so they last a long times. They are also non-combustible, so they can be a good option for areas prone to fire. And concrete tiles are more energy efficient than some other types of roofing material.
They both work very well with Spanish-style and Southwestern-style homes. They also pair nicely with Mission and Mediterranean homes.
On the downside, both tile types are expensive. The prices will start around $300-500 per square. Though when comparing the two, concrete tile is slightly more affordable than clay tile.
They are also both quite heavy. This means that you should never try to install either type of tile without the help and expertise of a roofing professional.
They’ll generally last you in the 40-50 year range.
When you’re looking for a fun pop of color, slate is a great option. It has a distinct look that conveys elegance and class. Plus slate tiles come in a huge variety of colors.
You can slate tiles in black, gray, red, purple and more. And it looks great on French chateau homes, colonial homes, and European style homes.
It’s a very durable material so it’ll last a long time. Expect to have a slate roof for at least 50 years, and some slate can even last up to 100 years!
It’s fire-resistant as the tiles can be recycled.
On the downside, it’s pretty expensive. You should expect to pay $600 per square at a minimum. It’s also heavy and requires extra graming. That means you’ll need to hire a professional roofing service for the installation.
If you’re looking to move beyond natural roofing materials like wood, clay, and asphalt, there are also synthetic roofing materials to consider.
These synthetic materials are designed to look like the more traditional styles like wood and slate, but with characteristics that make them much more durable and easy to maintain.
As such, synthetic materials are usually less heavy and fragile as natural ones. They also tend to be less expensive. You’ll usually be looking at around $300 per square.
Because they are designed to mimic the look of natural roofs, they will go with pretty much any type of roof that the natural material would look good on.
On the downside, the quality will often vary from material to material. And some will tend to absorb water. Regardless, you should expect them to last around 50 years.
The Best Materials for Roofing
This post should give you a great sense of what your available options are when it comes to the best materials for roofing.
Obviously, the type you choose will depend on where you live, what style home you have, and what you’re looking to spend.