The decision to replace your roof for reasons of aesthetics, financial timing or necessary repairs is one filled with a number of important decisions that will have a lasting effect for you and your home. When choosing from roofing material options, there are a number of factors that you need to consider before moving forward with replacing your roof. The market includes numerous different roofing options, but you need to make the best decision based on your region of the country, budget, style and durability.
Roofing Material Option 1: Asphalt Shingles
Also called composition shingles, they are the most popular and cost effective roofing material option for most homeowners. Made from a base of asphalt (similar to what is used on roads) that is applied to either an organic or fiberglass mat, they are a roofing option that is suitable in all climates. Composition shingles come in a wide range of colors and styles to suit the design and color of your home, as well as the general aesthetics of your neighborhood and region. Asphalt roofing materials can cost anywhere from $50 to over $150 per square (Square = 10 × 10 foot section) depending on the quality, thickness, style and special upgrades like Reflective Cool Shingles
. The average lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof depends on your area, but manufacturer warranties range from 20-year to Lifetime.
Roofing Material Option 2: Wood Shakes
A popular type of roofing material for homeowners who desire a natural look is wood shingles or shakes. Often times however wood roofing materials do not last as long and can be susceptible to fire in hot and dry climates. In addition, due largely to their labor-intensive installation can cost over twice as much as asphalt roofing materials. They are most often made from cedar and come in two distinct varieties: shakes and shingles. Shakes are thicker and have a rougher appearance, while shingles are much thinner (an average of one inch) and have a smooth appearance. Wood roofing materials require the most maintenance to stop the buildup of lichen, moss and it is necessary to check for sun damage periodically. They can be expected to last from 25 to 30 years on average.
Roofing Material Option 3: Clay Tile
Tile roofs are popular mostly in the hot southern climates. They are one of the most expensive options of roofing materials, but also have an average lifespan (with periodic maintenance) of more than 50 years. They are the heaviest roof form and so you may need to have a structural check on your house before choosing this option. The biggest advantage of tiles is their durability. Tiles (usually made from clay) are invulnerable to insects, decay and fire, though they still require regular maintenance. They are almost double the cost of standard asphalt shingles. But for many homeowners who prefer tile roofs, their aesthetic value is unprecedented and they look beautiful.
Roofing Material Option 4: Metal
The most expensive sloped-roof option, metal roofs are also the most durable and easy to maintain. Metal roofing is used around the country and has become increasingly popular over the last few years. They are highly durable (lasting over 50 years), fire resistant and when installed with proper insulation beneath them, is highly energy efficient. The newest metal roofs are made with upwards of 60 percent recycled materials and they absorb much less heat than asphalt shingles and tiles. Material costs typically run from $150 per square to over $600 depending on options used (i.e. steel, aluminum or copper) and come in a wide range of colors and styles to suit the design of most any home.