Roofing Material: Which is right for my house?

If you are building or remodeling a home, one of the many decisions you will make is which type of roofing material to apply. Similarly, when looking to buy a home, it is important to note the type of roofing in each of your options. Not only is the roof one of the first things people see when looking at your house, but it is also an essential structural component that should be chosen with care. We want to help you find the roofing material that will best suit your needs—here are the most common types of roofing materials and their best uses:

Asphalt Shingles 

The relative affordability and ease of installment of asphalt shingles make them one of the most commonly used materials for roofing in the United States. These shingles come in a variety of shades, and can look fairly nice on many different types of houses. Despite their popularity, not every asphalt shingle is the same—some have added materials to protect from cracking, impact damage, and deterioration. It is important to ask about the materials used in the production of your shingles before purchasing them so you know you’re getting the best quality roofing. Overall, asphalt shingles are known for their low-maintenance, and can be warrantied anywhere from 20 years to a lifetime. Their biggest disadvantages are their tendency to crack with steep temperature changes, potential to fade in continuously hot weather conditions, and environmental harm.

Roofing Material: Are asphalt shingles right for my house?

Wood Shingles

A bit heavier than asphalt shingles, wood shingles are made from western red cedar and redwood. They are produced from natural materials and therefore are considered more environmentally friendly than many other roofing options. Wood shingles are slightly harder to produce and install than asphalt shingles, so they tend to be a bit more expensive. Moderate maintenance will be required if you choose wood shingles, such as removal of mold and mildew. Unlike metal roofing options, wood shingles are not prone to rust. In addition, these can be painted to whichever color you like. Because of their low fire rating, wood shingles are not ideal if you live in areas prone to wildfires. If you choose this type of roofing, a lifetime of 30-40 years is not unusual. 

Roofing Material: Are wood shingles right for my house?

Metal Roofing

This type of roofing material might have a bad reputation, but there are definitely some benefits for those who choose to go with a metal roof. Different types of metal can be used, including tin, steel, aluminum, and copper to make a metal roof. Copper roofs are not very common, as they are difficult to obtain and very expensive. Of those more obtainable materials, galvanized steel is the one which will give you the longest-lasting roof (around 60 years). Regardless of the type of metal used, metal roofing is arguably the most difficult to maintain. Extra materials must be added to protect from lightning, rust, and air pollution. In addition, having a metal roof can make for a very loud home during rain showers. On the up side, metal roofs are great for those who have chimneys or fireplaces or those who live in areas prone to wildfire because they will not burn. They are also very strong and can stand up to the weather in every season. Overall, metal roofing has its obvious downfalls, but can be cheaper and easier to install than other options. 

Roofing Material: Is a metal roof right for my house?

Clay or Concrete Tiles

Roof tiles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to complement almost any architectural style. They tend to be quite expensive, especially if compared to asphalt or wood shingles, but they have the potential to last longer and often look much nicer. Tile roofing (both clay and concrete) can withstand severe weather conditions and have a high fire rating. To add to the expense of having a tile roof, this type of material is moderately difficult to install and will require a professional. In addition, because of the immense weight of the tiles, many roofs will need to be reinforced before installation. For some, the relative sturdiness and beautiful appearance of clay or concrete tile roofs is worth the high cost and difficult installation. 

Roofing Material: Is a tile roof right for my house?


We have covered the most commonly used materials for roofing in the United States. If you are looking to renovate or purchase a home, take consideration in the type of roofing material used and how that may affect the value of your home. We hope this guide is helpful in making your decision! Please let us know if you have experience or information to share about this topic. 

Roofing Material: Which one is right for me?