Few things are as important as the material you choose for your roof. After all, this is the primary area of the house that keeps out the elements.

If you’re building a new house or simply renovating, it’s important to choose the best roofing material.

In this article, we take a look at several types of shingles and other materials that have become popular with homeowners in recent years. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to make sure your roof keeps you warm and dry every season of the year.

1. Asphalt Shingles

This is the most common and popular type of shingle on the market. Asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install. This is also one of the cheapest roofing materials available.

Asphalt shingles are typically composed of either an organic or fiberglass base, then coated on the bottom side with asphalt. These shingles are easy to work with, have a good life expectancy, and hold up fairly well even in environments that experience harsh weather conditions.

2. Wood Shingles

Here is another popular type of shingle that has increased in use over the last few decades.

Wood shingles are typically manufactured using wedge-shaped pieces of cedar or yellow pine that have been sawn from logs. Many homeowners love this roofing material because it is extremely attractive.

This type of roofing is more costly than other options. It’s also trickier to work with, and thus requires a higher level of expertise to install. 

Keep in mind that using wood shingles can also be a fire hazard. Especially in drier climates that have a higher chance for seasonal wildfires.

3. Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has become an increasingly popular choice for homeowners across the country, regardless of region or climate. A standing-seam metal roof is especially popular in areas prone to wildfires, and yet the look is aesthetically pleasing enough to install anywhere.

This type of roof is typically aluminum, although copper and zinc are also available. 

Another reason for the rising popularity of this material is that it’s essentially maintenance-free and extremely durable.

The metal panels are installed by placing them on the roof deck with the seams overlapping and raised ridges that run vertically along the slope of the roof.

If you’re interested in metal roofing, keep in mind that installation isn’t really suitable for DIY. We recommend hiring pros to ensure that the job gets done properly.

4. Clay Tiles

This style of roofing tends to be very popular in the Southwestern region of the United States. Clay and cement roofing tiles are very strong and durable, making them ideal for regions that experience intense heat.

Clay can last 100 years or more with proper maintenance. You won’t have to worry about decay as you would with other materials such as wood or shake shingles, but you do need to pay attention to cracking. Thus you need to avoid walking on a clay tile roof as much as possible.

These tiles are installed in overlapping layers across the surface of the roof. 

Caring for a clay tile roof is relatively simple. The key is to keep it clean, and then coat with a clear alkyd primer annually if possible. And replace any cracked or broken tiles as soon as you find them. 

Cost varies according to style and the exact kind of material used, but typically the more expensive the material, the longer you can expect your roof to last.

5. Slate Roof

If you’ve been considering using clay tiles on your roof, here is another option you should take a look at. Slate is another type of stone roofing material. But rather than being made from clay or concrete, this material is covered in actual stone mined from quarries.

When properly maintained, you can expect a slate roof to last for the lifetime of your home. In fact, there are slate roofs currently still in use that date back to the days of Shakespeare.

Keep in mind that a high quality slate roof can be quite expensive. And installation isn’t a job for amateurs. Hiring a team of pros is definitely worth the cost.

If you’ve been considering a louvered roof, here is a resource where you can read more now.

6. Built-Up Roofing

Built-up roofing is an option that’s far less expensive than other materials on this list, but there are also some drawbacks.

This material is made of alternating layers of roofing felt and waterproof materials such as fiberglass, plus hot tar. Built-up roofing is typically used on roofs that are either flat or feature a mild pitch.

BUR is cheap to install and very inexpensive, just be aware that installation is generally messy and smelly, so you might want to consider hiring pros to do the job.

Besides the mess and the smell, another drawback is the limited lifespan. These roofs will typically last between 20 and 30 years with proper care. And we should also add that this is by far the least attract roofing material on the list. But if every dollar matters, this is certainly an option to consider.

7. Asphalt Roll Roofing

The final option on our list is asphalt roll roofing. This material is typically used on relatively flat pitches and is installed by laying the strips lengthwise across the roof, and slightly overlapping each strip.

This type of material is not recommended for use on home maintenance. It’s actually better suited for stand-alone garages and sheds. It also has a lifespan of only 5 to 10 years.

The Best Roofing Materials for Your Home

When it’s time for a new roof, you certainly have plenty of options to choose from. This list of the best roofing materials will help make the choice a lot easier. It’s mostly a matter of taste and budget, but you also need to know what material will work best with the climate where you live.

Designing your home is an exciting process, so make the most of every moment, and create a space that your family will enjoy for years to come. Explore our blog for great ideas that can take your patio to the next level.

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