So, you’ve made up your mind that it’s time to reroof your house—and you realize that it’s just the first of many important decisions you’ll make during this major home renovation. Faced with choosing the best roofing material for your home, you might just be tempted to go with exactly the same options you have now. But given that new advances and technological improvements are constantly being made in the roofing industry, you should probably take a closer look at your options before determining which roofing material is right for your home.
Common types of roof materials
Below, we review the major types of roofing materials and offer our recommendations:
- Asphalt: this type of roofing is the material of choice for the vast majority of single-family homes across the U.S. Why? It comes in many styles and shades, and there are options for all types of budgets. There are types of asphalt shingles that are designed to look like slate and clay, but are lighter and far more affordable than the real thing. There are traditional three-tab shingles that are perfect for the budget-minded consumer. There are also shingles that come in different shapes and shingles that look like wood shake. Each of these styles feature the best of what asphalt shingles have to offer: longevity (many come with lifetime warranties), a low level of maintenance, a high degree of affordability, and the dependability that millions of U.S. homes have counted on for years. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can get a whole new look just by choosing a different color asphalt shingle than the one you have now. Will it work for your home? Definitely! The asphalt shingle is one of the best roofing materials—a highly versatile option that looks great on all types of homes.
- Slate: Slate roofs offer a rustic yet opulent look that is well suited to rural settings such as country estates. Slate roofs are highly coveted for their distinctive look, but they do come at a price. Slate is difficult to work with and extremely heavy, so it is best for new construction, where the home’s roofing structure has been shored up in preparation for the increased load. If you choose to add a slate roof to an existing home, additional support beams may be needed to support the new roof. Slate roofs can last for several decades, so when you’re adding slate to your roof, you’ll want to also invest in the highest quality materials for the rest of your roofing system. Otherwise, your flashing and sheathing may wear out long before your slate roof does. Should you get a slate roof? While best for new construction, a slate roof makes a wonderful addition to many types of rustic and traditionally styled homes–if you’re willing to invest the time and money outlined above.
- Metal: metal roofing can be an excellent way to top off many types of projects, as it comes in many profiles, styles, and colors. Traditional standing-seam metal roofs look great on rustic and log-style homes, as well as on more modern abodes. While standing-seam may be the most traditional form a metal roof takes, metal shingles are also available that are made to look like slate or tile. Why would one choose metal over these other materials? Metal is extremely durable, and today’s options are specially designed to resist rust and discoloration. Because metal is a recyclable material AND reflects radiant heat, it’s environmentally friendly. Metal roofs are often used to provide an accent to a building or house – especially on entrance ways and porticos.
- Clay tile: when we hear the words “clay tile” many of us conjure up images of traditional European homes. Indeed, there are homes in Europe that have been topped with clay tile for centuries, as it is among the most durable and long-lasting of roofing materials. Working with clay tile is very challenging, and terra cotta itself is very expensive to produce. Also, clay tile looks best only on certain types of homes, and even then it can only go on roofs that have a pitch of at least 20 degrees. That said, it offers a highly desirable look for high-end homes, and it does come in a range of traditional shapes and—surprisingly—an array of colors. Will this work on your home? If your home is the right style, and if you can afford the cost of the tile and the cost of experienced roofers to install it, clay tile may be a good fit for your home.
While there are many choices, and it may seem difficult to decide which roofing material is right for your home, the good news is that we are here to help. We have access to highly sophisticated design tools to help you visualize what your desired choices will look like atop your house. In addition, our highly skilled roofing experts can guide you in making the right choices for your home, your family, and your budget. Give George J Keller & Sons a call today at 973-927-0963 and we’ll be happy to come out and give you a free estimate!