Choosing a material for your roof is an important decision. For most of us the roof is an afterthought at least until it starts to leak. Then we realize how critical that roof of our house really is. Yet, as well as keeping the house dry, the roof contributes greatly to the look of the house, so when building a new house, adding on, or re-roofing, it may worth paying some attention when considering the roofing material options. Right now there are more options in the marketplace than ever, so choosing one is tough.
The type of roofing you use can either add to the style and attractiveness of the home or take away from the looks and leave you wondering how such a mismatch could have happened. Before launching into any project that includes installing a new roof, take the time to look at and think about many different types of materials so that you will end up with a roof that is perfect for your home.
Start your search for roofing material by looking around different neighborhoods in your community. Look at older houses to see traditional materials as well as newer houses to see what kinds of materials are the latest and the greatest. As you look at different materials, think about how they will fit with your home’s architecture and style, as well as with the general style of your neighborhood.
With the different styles, looks, and materials in mind you are now ready to look at cost. The most durable materials of course tend to be the most expensive, but don’t assume that the highest quality materials are the best choice for your home. If you plan to live in the home for a very long time then it probably makes sense to invest in a long lifespan roof, but if you will be moving within just a few years, you won’t get enough return on your investment to justify spending for a top quality roof. Pay attention to local building codes and any neighborhood covenants, because more and more areas have guidelines and rules about the types of materials you can and can’t use on your roof. Spend some time considering roofing material up front so that you save yourself time, money, and effort later on.
You may be surprised by some of the newer roofing materials. It’s very possible that some of the roofing that you like best is made of materials that you do not expect. For instance, many kinds of metal roofing are made as individual shingles, in shapes and textures that are very much like tile, slate, or wood shingles. Looks are important, but so is durability. Check out the lifespan of different types of roofing material. The lifespan for the material you choose can range from a traditional 20 years for composite shingles to an ultra long 50 years for some kinds of metal roofing.
It’s important to consider below factors while making a decision.
· Price: Obviously, if you are on a budget, the most important consideration in your roofing decision may be price. Asphalt shingles are generally the most cost-efficient material to use for roofing, costing less than clay tiles or slate. Keep in mind that you not only have to pay for the materials, but for installation as well. Slate roofs are much trickier to install than asphalt shingles, and consequently the installation costs tend to be much higher as well.
· Weather Concerns: Be sure to keep your local climate in mind when choosing your roofing material. If you live in a hot climate, you may want a metal roof to reflect heat, rather than asphalt shingles, which can end up absorbing a lot more heat into your attic. Conversely, if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and rain, you'll want to be sure that your roofing materials can stand up to moisture. Wooden shakes, while an attractive choice, are prone to rot over time if they get too much water. Wooden roofing materials are also more dangerous in dry climates, where fire is a serious concern. Finally, if you live in an area of high wind, lighter materials like corrugated metal and composition shingles may be blown around, while heavier materials like tile and slate will be unmoved.
· Know Your Frame: Every house is different, and it's essential to learn about yours before you buy roofing material. What is the slope of your roof? Slate, tile, and asphalt shingle roofs all work well at slopes of 4 inches in 12 or steeper. If your roof has a pitch of less than 3 inches per foot, you're best off avoiding those materials and sticking with rolled asphalt roofing, or a more modern membrane material. How much weight can your roof frame support? If you're planning on a heavy material like slate or clay tile--which can weigh over half a ton per square--you should definitely have your roof inspected first to make sure you can support that much weight. Metal roofing can weigh 20 times less, and is a better option for structures with limited support.
It’s always better to consult a roofing professional or contractor who has experience, knowledge about roofing materials and in installing roofs.