Ready to upgrade the exterior of your home? While getting a new paint job or exterior siding is great, don’t forget about the roof.

A new roof can give your home a much-needed facelift at a fraction of the cost of a full remodel. The best roofing material looks stylish but is built to last.

Check out this guide to choosing the best roofing material for your home

Choosing the Best Roofing Material

One of the first things to consider when choosing your new roofing material is the slope of your roof. A roof that’s too steep or completely flat could limit your choices.

Also, consider local weather patterns. If you live in tornado alley, you need roofing materials with strong wind resistance to weather major storms.

You’ll also need to find a roofer who can inspect the strength of the framing of your home. Parts of the country where wildfires are common need a high fire rating.

Here are a few common questions to ask yourself when choosing the best roofing material for your property:

  • What’s the lifespan of the roofing material?
  • Is it too heavy for the existing roof framing?
  • Does the roof have enough slope for the materials?
  • Does the roofing material match the style of the architecture?
  • Are there any building code restrictions against using this type of roofing material?
  • Does this roofing material fit within my budget?

Once you can answer these questions, you can narrow down the types of roofing material that work best for your home.

Different Types of Roofing

Price alone shouldn’t be the determining factor in your roofing material choice. Here are a few tried and true roofing material options for your property.

Wood Shakes

If budget is no issue, wood shakes are a stylish option that’ll last for decades. The typical lifespan of wood shakes is around 40 years depending on how well they’re maintained.

Keep in mind that while wood shakes look great, they won’t continue to look good if they aren’t regularly maintained. You’ll need to have them regularly inspected to prevent moss growth and to repair broken pieces after storm damage.

Wood shakes aren’t the best roofing material for areas where wildfires are common.

Asphalt Shingles

If you want to stick to the basics, asphalt shingles are your best bet. This is the most common type of roofing material available even though it is not the most durable.

Most homeowners and builders choose asphalt shingles because asphalt shingles are low cost and very easy to work with. These shingles hold up to fire and wind fairly well with little maintenance required.

Plastic Polymer

A plastic polymer roof is one of the best roofing options because it’s durable, cost-effective, and can resemble trendy styles like wood shakes or slate. Roofing material made up of plastic polymer has good wind and fire resistance.

Plastic polymer shingles can be used on moderate to steep sloped roofs. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, there are recyclable plastic polymer roofing materials available.

Slate

One of the most stylish roof options available is slate. Slate is heavy and expensive, but it’s also the best protection against fire and wind.

Color choices are limited to the grey family, but there are options to choose more irregular shapes. Choose slate roofing material only if you have a steep-sloped roof.

Don’t try to install a slate roof yourself. Because of the texture and weight of the material, slate can be dangerous to install without expert roofers.

Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles can be made to look like just about any other roofing material. This makes them a budget-friendly option for homeowners that want a high end look, but can’t afford the high cost of materials and installation.

Concrete tiles are durable but do break in some situations. You’ll need a reinforced frame to support the heavy weight of concrete tiles.

If you choose concrete tiles, expect them to be long-lasting and low maintenance. They offer great fire protection but aren’t the best option for heavy winds.

Metal

Modern homes look great with the sleek lines of metal roofing material. Metal is one of the best roofing materials to choose if you live in an area with hurricanes or tornadoes.

Metal is long-lasting and comes in a variety of natural colors like copper. Over time, copper roofing materials develop a protective green patina.

Metal roofs can eco friendly if you choose to buy those made out of recycled materials. You’ll spend more than you would with asphalt shingles, but the roof absorbs less heat which can help you save on your energy bill during summer months.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are heavy and brittle like slate, but offer the top fire protection of all roofing materials. These tiles are also the top choice for Spanish style architecture as they come in a rich orange-red that offsets stucco siding.

Not all house frames can hold the heavy weight of clay tiles. If you need to reinforce your house frame, the cost can get expensive.

Clay tiles aren’t great against heavy winds. You’ll need to make repairs after major storms to keep up the roof’s appearance.

If you need a budget-friendly option, look elsewhere. Clay tiles are expensive to both buy and install.

Roofing Materials for Longevity

Most people expect to get at least a few decades of life from the roofing material they choose. The best roofing material takes this expectation a step further by adding high resistance to natural disasters and house fires.

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