Although asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material, they are not your only option. Each type of material has its advantages and disadvantages, and they all provide a distinctive design element to your home.
Asphalt Composition Shingles
The most common material used in the United States is asphalt shingles. They are the most economical and easy to install. They can also be reinforced with fiberglass or cellulose without changing the appearance of the shingles. They come in a wide variety of colors, but they have a shorter lifespan than other roofing materials.
Clay and Concrete Tiles
These materials offer a very distinctive look and feel to a home. They are suited for Mediterranean, Southwestern, Mission and Spanish-style homes. They add a lot of texture and elegance. They are extremely durable but heavy. Concrete tiles are heavier than clay and more economical, but they are also heavier. They are long-lasting and non-combustible. If you decide to go with this style, you will need to hire a professional.
Metal roofs are available in two types: panels and shingles. They are gaining in popularity and are resistant to extreme weather conditions. The metal used is aluminum, stainless steel, copper or zinc. These roofs are wonderfully sleek, lightweight and long-lasting. Unfortunately, they are relatively expensive.
The go-to material for hundreds of years, they offer a rustic look many homeowners enjoy. A similar product, wood shakes, are handmade and tend to be rougher looking than their shingle counterparts. Because they are more flammable than other materials, wood shingles are prohibited by fire codes in some areas. If they are not prohibited but you live in a fire-prone area, make sure you purchase Class-A fire-rated wood roofing.
Deciding on a material for your roof is not always easy. Take the time to consider the pros and cons of each product as well as the aesthetic appeal.