Finishing a roof is not the ‘most fun’ part of your new home build or remodel, but it is an essential part of being satisfied, long term, with your home investment. We all need a sturdy, well ‘engineered’, waterproof, long-lasting and attractive roof and we want it all at a reasonable cost. That’s not too much to ask for is it?
Well, before you put pen to paper and write that check there are many decisions to be made about your new roof. What type of shingle will we install? A 15 year shingle, 25 year shingle, or a 50 year shingle? Is there really that much difference between them? What about the cost difference? Or wait, do I really have to do shingles at all? What other options do I have, like what about slate? What about metal? Or can I do a thatched roof? How waterproof will that be?
There are so many decisions that need to be made, and let’s not discount the ‘color’ decision, but fortunately many of our choices are narrowed down by the area in which we live—no, a thatched roof would not be a good choice (and probably not even an option) if you live in a more northerly, cold, snowy local. …
Listed, in no particular order, are a few of the more common roofing materials:
Composite or Asphalt Shingles: By far these are the most popular option for roofing material. They are a three-tab shingle made of out a fiberglass mat topped with asphalt and mineral granules. This is an all-round good choice for most home roofing needs and composite shingles typically come with 20 and 30 year warranties, but premium composite shingles may work well up to 50 years. They are very easy to install and if you should need to replace a shingle at a later date they are easy to replace.
Wood Shake Shingles: Thick wood shingles can last upwards of 25 years but they do need regular maintenance more than other roofing materials, but with proper maintenance wood shake shingles can last up to 35-40 years—lasting almost as long as composite shingles. While wood can still be a good choice for roofing, currently in many areas fire codes forbid its use.
Metal Roofing: This is a material that has become increasingly popular of late, and due to its growing popularity many more options have become available the modern home owner. At one time a metal roof was only a flat solid sheet with ridges where the two sheets joined. New metal roof materials replicate the look of many other roofing materials such as composite/asphalt shingles and slate roofing material in a variety of colors so they no longer need to give your home that “industrial” feel. The advantages to a metal roof are fire resistance, insect resistance (they’re not a food source for termites or carpenter ants!), longevity and resale value. A metal roof will look great, but on the downside, the cost can be almost double what the cost of an asphalt shingle would be and installation requires highly experienced installers.
There’s so much more to be told about roofing materials, but we’re out of time today, so stay tuned to my next edition where we will continue our discussion, beginning with Slate Shingles. You all come back now ….