Thinking of updating the existing roof on your home?
A new roof is one of the largest home improvement projects you’ll ever take on. Not only will it change the ambiance of your home, but it can also add to the resale value as well.
There are many things to take into consideration before you make your final selection on roofing materials. In some cases, a roof may be an easy update to what is already in place. In other circumstances, it may take additional work to ensure your new roof is safe and secure. Start by asking yourself a few questions before you begin the process.
- What is the cost, life span and warranty for the roof I’m selecting?
- Are there any special homeowners regulations that factor into my decision?
- Will the new roofing materials add weight to my roof, requiring updates to the existing frame?
- Will the roofing materials meet fire codes for my area?
- Are there any special installation or maintenance items I should consider?
While each of the answers can guide you towards the right roof for you, ultimately your opinion will play a factor too. There are many choices available to today’s homeowner. Here are a few things to weigh in on with each material available.
Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material used in today’s residential construction. They are popular at every price point because they are easy to install and economical too.
Pros: Asphalt shingles come in a variety of styles, colors, and patterns. They are one of the easiest roofing choices to install. They also are the least expensive. Because asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors, they will enhance the look and feel of just about any style house. If properly maintained, asphalt shingles will provide your home with protection for up to 25 years.
Cons: While asphalt shingles may be a viable roofing product for up to 25 years, that falls on the short end of the longevity spectrum. Because asphalt is a single layer, it doesn’t provide the insulation that you’ll find in many other roofing materials. Asphalt shingles do fall at the bottom of the pricing structure; it’s best to avoid off brands as quality can change drastically from product to product.
Clay and Concrete Tiles
Clay and concrete tiles are growing in popularity because of their quality and style. Clay tiles can be flat, ribbed or scalloped. Concrete tiles can also be molded into many looks and styles. But keep in mind that both are very heavy and must have the support of your existing roof structure.
Pros: Clay and concrete tiles add warmth and style to just about any home. They are long lasting and can remain a viable roofing product for up to 50 years or more. They are non-combustible, making them the perfect choice for homes in fire hazardous areas. They also provide energy efficiency, working to keep cold and heat at bay.
Cons: Clay and concrete tiles may not always be the perfect choice for all architectural styles; they work well with Mediterranean, Mission, Southwestern and Spanish style homes. They are very heavy and often need additional support built to handle the additional weight. They are also at the upper end of costs.
Metal roofs are the perfect addition to homes that face extreme weather conditions all year round. You’ll find metal in both panel and shingle formats, and come in aluminum, copper, stainless steel and zinc.
Pros: Metal roofing is one of the most durable products on the market. It will last longer than other choices, such as asphalt or wood. It offers high solar reflectance. While metal roofs run from middle to upper ends of the pricing structure, it can last as long as 75 years, making it truly a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. It enhances the look of bungalows, cabins, contemporary and mountain style homes.
Cons: Metal roofs are at the upper end of the pricing structure. They have a look and feel that may not work with all styles of homes.
Slate roofs are similar to its clay and concrete tile counterparts. They offer beauty and distinction that are unparalleled in the roofing industry. However, the weight can be a problem for some roofs.
Pros: Slate is a very durable, fire-resistant material that in some cases cast last 100 years or more. It is also a sustainable product that can be recycled at the end of its useful life. It works well on many architectural style homes, including Colonial, European and French chateau.
Cons: Slate is one of the most expensive products you’ll find for your roof. Because of the added weight, it will require extra framing before installation. Slate can be imported from around the world; quality can be impacted depending on the point of origin.
Wood and Shake Shingles
Wood and shake shingles have been one of the most popular roofing materials for hundreds of years. Many homeowners love the look and feel of wood and shake shingles as they weather and age over the years. They make excellent choices on all kinds of homes, from beach houses to mountain retreats, bungalows, cottage and Tudor style homes.
Pros: Wood and shake shingles can be hazardous in fire-prone areas; make sure you purchase Class A fire-rated wood roofing products that have been treated with fire-resistant coatings. Wood shingles have a rustic look that appeals to many homeowners. They are a natural product and can be considered sustainable depending on how they are produced. Wood and shake shingles are at the lower spectrum of cost, and can last up to 30 years.
Cons: Fire codes in some areas may prohibit the use. Wood shingles can also be of concern in wet climates, allowing mold and fungus growth to occur. Splitting and rotting can also occur.
What’s the right roofing material for your home? Franklin Building Supply can assess and share all of your available options with you to help you make the right choice for your home. Stop by today!
Kevin Morse works at Franklin Building Supply, a one-stop solution for all the building supply needs. He loves to blog about home décor and DIY and often provides valuable suggestions for home improvement.