Choosing the right roofing material for your home is a big decision. There’s no single right answer. Every type of roofing material has its own advantages and disadvantages.
You have to make the decision based on your preferences and which qualities you prioritize.
Clay tiles will give your home that classic, old-world aesthetic.
They can be expensive as the process of making them is lengthy, especially if you want handmade clay tiles, but they’re also incredibly durable. They can last up to and over a century.
There is also a wide range of clay tiles to choose from. Unlike other roofing materials, the color of clay roof tiles only deepens and becomes more vivid with age.
This is because they’re naturally pigmented.
On the other side, clay tiles can be heavy. Transportation and installation become a tricky process. They also aren’t the cheapest, so they may not be for you if you’re on a tight budget.
Concrete roof tiles are another alternative to clay tiles. They’re available in a variety of shapes and colors, fitting any aesthetic you’d like to go for.
Concrete tiles are cheaper than clay tiles. They’re also resistant to fire and heat and can be quite durable if well-maintained.
Concrete tiles are infinitely customizable; you have a ton of artistic freedom when choosing the exact style and colors of your roof. They’re also environmentally friendly.
The main drawback of concrete tiles is that they’re not very resistant to weathering. They can lose their color and become cracked rather easily.
They’re also one of the heaviest types of roofing material, so you’ll have to make sure your roof is reinforced in order to handle the weight.
This also means they might break during transportation, as they’re susceptible to break when dropped.
A slate roof is a very sought-after, premium roof system. It’s praised for its attractive appearance and the fact that it’s naturally made.
Slate tiles are incredibly durable, lasting up to 100 years. They don’t absorb much water and aren’t susceptible to ants or termites.
They’re also environmentally friendly and can be recycled.
Its main disadvantages are its cost and weight. Slate tiles are some of the most expensive and heaviest roofing materials.
Your home must be framed to carry its weight so that your roof doesn’t cave in on you. If your home isn’t framed correctly, you might have to retrofit it.
It can also take a long time to install a slate roof. Slate tiles are installed one by one, which makes it a lengthy process.
There are two main types of metal roofs; panels and shingles. Metal roofs are available in zinc, copper, aluminum, and stainless steel.
Metal roofs may be a smart investment, as they’re very durable and can last up to 70 years. Some other metal roofing benefits include energy efficiency and safety.
They reflect sunlight away from your house, lowering your AC and cooling costs. They also won’t catch fire in case a spark lands on your roof, whether it be from a lightning strike, a wildfire, or something else.
The main drawback of metal roofing is the cost. It’s relatively expensive when compared to other roofing materials, so only choose this type of roofing material if you’re going to live long enough in your current home to enjoy it.
Something to keep in mind is that metal roofs are noisier than other types of roofs when it rains. To decrease the noisiness, you can add attic insulation.
Whether this is a dealbreaker or not is up to you.
There are two types of wood roofs; wood shingles and wood shakes. Wood shingles are sawn on both sides to give a clean, rectangular look.
Wood shakes are only sawn on one side and hand-split on the other, giving them a thicker, rougher shape and appearance.
Wood roofs have been used for hundreds of years. They give a rustic look to your house and are obviously a 100% natural product.
The best choices of wood for this type of roof are cedar and redwood, as they’re the most rot resistant. Most other types of wood need special treatments before they can be turned into the roofing material.
Wood roofing will keep you warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer since wood doesn’t conduct heat very well.
Wood shingles and shakes also don’t lift easily in windy weather. Modern wood roofing material is also treated to be fire-resistant, though it’s still not completely fireproof.
The main concerns when it comes to wood roofing are mold and rot, as well as maintenance.
Wood is susceptible to mold growth and rot, so it has to be periodically cleaned with a power washer or scraper.
Even pre-treated wood can grow mold after some time, so treatments are not a long-term solution.
You should also think twice before installing wood shakes and shingles if you live in a hot, dry climate.
Some areas might not even let you install them, so look up rules and regulations for your region.
Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in the US. Its popularity is due to how easy they are to install, as well as the low cost.
Asphalt shingles also come in a variety of colors, and can be made to mimic both wood shakes and slate.
The biggest disadvantages of asphalt shingles are their low durability and inability to provide insulation.
The cheapest type of asphalt roofing lasts 25 years, and the most luxurious can last around 30 years.
Now that you know some of the main types of roofs, do you have a rough idea of the kind of roofing material that’s right for you?
The choice isn’t easy. But learning the advantages and disadvantages of every roofing material type means you’re well on your way to constructing your ideal roof.
Some materials are more expensive and durable than others, but there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer.
It all depends on your personal needs and the kind of house you want to build for yourself. So take this opportunity to customize it to your preferences.