How Can I Decide Between the Different Roof Types?

How Can I Decide Between the Different Roof Types?

The following contribution is from another author.

When the time comes for your home to get a new roof, you want to make sure to get one that will not only complement the design and style of the home and maybe even improve upon it, but also one that will last a long time. And all this has to happen within your budget. How can you select the best roof?

Look for a Roof that Works for You

Looking at all the different roofing materials that are available nowadays, you may feel overwhelmed by the options. After all, there are slate and wood roofs, man-made roofs such as asphalt and sheet metal, tiles, and plastic polymers. No doubt about it, your choices are many more than ever before.

In order to select the right material that will cover your roof for many years to come, you should also ask yourself these questions:

  • Which one of the roofing options available will last the longest?
  • Which one will hold up best in extreme weather conditions such as high winds or hurricanes? Does it have a high fire rating or good wind resistance?
  • Is the material you are thinking about too heavy for the structure of your home?
  • Does the material require that your home have a slope? Does your roof have enough slope?
  • Will the look that this material brings to the home complement the architectural features that are already there?
  • Is the material that you like permitted in your area according to current building codes?
  • How much will this roof cost?

Pros and Cons of Each Roofing Material

Asphalt Shingles

They are the most popular type of roof used today. They are made of either an organic paper fiber mat or fiberglass impregnated with asphalt and mineral granules. Can be installed in low to steeper-sloped roofs but are not very durable. They range in price from inexpensive to moderate.

Metal Roofs

These roofs last longer and are more wind resistant. They may be made of copper, aluminum, steel, or zinc alloy. Available in sheets or shingles and can be installed with fasteners. They are lightweight and very durable and work both in low or steep sloped roofs. They range in price from moderate to expensive, depending on the metal used.

Clay Tiles

Very fire resistant, these tiles can also be brittle and heavy. They are made from clay fired in a kiln. They last a long time but require maintenance in case they break. They have a fair to low wind resistance and tend to be expensive.

Slate Tiles

Made from natural slate rock, they are usually dark grey. They last long but require reinforced roofing structures for support. They are very expensive and require an expert roofer to install.

Wood Shingles or Shakes

Usually made of cedar but some are made of redwood. They weather to a silvery grey and require periodic maintenance. They have good wind resistance and their cost is moderate.

Plastic Polymer

These synthetic shingles can be made to resemble wood, shakes, or slate. They are both long-lasting and require little maintenance. They are light to moderate in weight and have good wind resistance. They are moderately priced.

When the time comes for you to make the final decision, your roofing contractor is the professional that can help you make the right choice.


Eric is the creator of At Home in the Future and has been a passionate fan of the future since he was seven. He's a web developer by trade, and serves as the Director of Communication and Technology for a large church in Nashville, TN (where he and his family are building a high tech home in the woods).

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