How to Choose a Roof for your Home
When it’s time to get a new roof, many homeowners wonder which roofing type is ideal for their home. Many consumers explore many roofing types rather than merely replacing their existing roofing systems. While many considerations weigh into the decision, including covenants and personal esthetic preferences, each type of roofing has its own advantages. Don’t know how to choose a roof for your home? Here are some ideas…
Types of Roofing Materials
If you’re wondering how to choose a roof for your home, we’ve included a list of different types of roofs to consider:
By far the most popular choice for roofing material, asphalt shingles are available in many colors to suit many homeowners’ tastes. We’ve installed our fair share of asphalt shingles and there are a couple of reasons for this:
- They are the most common, with over 75% of American roofs having them.
- They are the least expensive, costing homeowners about $50-$100 per square.
- They are one of the easiest to install, on just about any architectural style.
- They are one of the most affordable of all roofing materials and since they’re easily replaceable, this type of roofing style can cut down your repair costs.
- Asphalt shingles can usually last more than 30 years, depending on the weight of the shingle. These shingles are very fire resistant, as well.
- They can come in a variety of styles, making it easy to select shingles that will complement the style of your home.
However, you might want to consider the downsides to having asphalt shingles as well:
- They have a low R-value (insulation value): Being a thin material, their resistance to heat (and cool) flow is very low.
- They have a shorter lifespan: Compared to other roofing shingles, asphalt shingles don’t last long, lasting from only 15 to 30 years.
- They are not eco-friendly: They have the least-green roofing option to have on your roof and are not recyclable.
A more durable solution than traditional shingles, metal roofing systems also offer more leeway for architects’ designs to flourish, making it a favorite among high-end builders, though are typically much more expensive than other options. Lightweight and virtually fireproof, metal roofs withstand extreme weather well.
Homeowners can reasonably expect to get 50-60 years of service life from a metal roof, though that means you may be investing in a roofing system that will be around a lot longer than you’re in the house.
Metal roofs have a very high life expectancy. They’re weather-resistant, and offer especially good protection from high winds and snow. They are also fire-resistant, earning a Class A fire rating, which means it’s the most resistant.
While metal may seem like an odd roof choice, its range of styles and colors make it an excellent option for giving a modern update to older houses and buildings.
They are also remarkably low maintenance and generally come with a 20- to 40-year warranty. Even though the initial costs of a metal roof will be more than traditional materials, the minimal maintenance and low replacement costs will help save money in the long run.
Many homeowners prefer the more natural look of cedar shakes and shingles for their roof. While more expensive than traditional asphalt shingles, you can expect them to last 30-40 years if maintained well. Cedar shakes and shingles are more resistant to extreme weather and more energy-efficient than asphalt options but are also more costly.
Wood shingles are small, light, and severed on both sides. Wood shakes are generally thicker and are hand-split. The most common wood shingles are cedar, which are longer-lasting and more fire-resistant. Fire-retardant coatings are typical with wood shingles. Take into consideration wood shingles require a steeper roof to get rid of moisture.
Wood shingles are beneficial for the following reasons:
- Natural Beauty – The character of wood shingles blends nicely with the landscape and other surroundings. Its natural color and look enhance your home’s overall curb appeal and over time, the cedar will change to a more old-fashioned, silver color.
- Lightweight – Second to asphalt shingles, wood (cedar) shingles are one of the most lightweight roofing materials, making them easier to repair.
- Insulation – Cedarwood is a natural thermal insulator, keeping your house cool during the summer and lowering the heating bill in the winter.
Tile and Slate
Homeowners who demand high style often choose tile or slate roofing systems. Concrete or clay tiles are available in numerous styles, from classic Tuscan tiling to fire-resistant concrete replicas of shake roofing.
While many tile and slate roofing systems are engineered to last up to 50 years and are highly resistant to Colorado weather, the roofing underlayment may need to be replaced every 20 years, requiring maintenance many homeowners don’t foresee. Also, because of the weight of these roofing systems, many homes must be structurally reinforced to accommodate them.
Clay tiles are all-natural and are fired in a kiln. They are generally one of the most expensive and heaviest of roofing materials. Clay tiles will last a long time, however, as they are environmentally friendly and are resistant to both freezing and hot temperatures, as well as the sun’s harmful UV rays.
However, they are more vulnerable to cracking in Colorado’s extremely low temperatures. There are some benefits, though, like:
- Insulation – Since hot and cold temperatures don’t affect clay tiles as much as other roofing materials, clay is a natural insulator, keeping the energy bill low.
- Low-maintenance – Clay tiles don’t absorb water, mold, or mildew very well, making them basically maintenance-free.
- Color – Clay tiles don’t lose their color much since they are a natural roofing material.
Slate tiles are natural, shingle-like, flat sheets of rock. Slate tiles can also be very pricey and heavy for your roof, but the stone look provides plenty of curb appeal to your home. Because of their weight, slate tiles do require extra roof support and framing.
This roofing material requires professional installation, as walking on these tiles can be difficult and result in breaking the stone slates.
In Colorado, these are the most common roofing options we’ve seen in our experience. We can also assist you in how to choose a roof for your home and what it consists of.
If you’re still wondering how to choose a roof for your home, our roofing experts can talk with you about your ideas, your budget, and your needs.