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Essential Tips for Choosing the Right Residential Roofing Material

Your roof’s primary function is to shelter you from the elements. The roof must be able to shed rain and snow, hold up against wind, and endure the sun for decades.

Aside from its durability, it should complement your home’s architectural style and enhance its curb appeal. Before you choose a roofing material, here are seven essential tips to guide your decision: 


Depending on the roof’s configuration and your choice of roofing material, cost can vary widely. Asphalt shingles are the least expensive option, while clay or concrete tile roofs are considerably more expensive.

A residential roofing contractor should be able to provide an itemized cost breakdown and clearly explain any available warranties. The contractor should also separate the costs for cleaning equipment, the work area during and after installation, and any necessary minor sheathing repairs.

Wood-based materials are popular for rustic homes and offer an attractive appearance. However, wood is susceptible to moisture damage and may require a fire retardant. Wood shingles and shakes are available in traditional, smooth-faced shingles or thicker, more textured shakes. Cedar is a popular wood option but expensive, especially when cedar shakes are used. Wood can also be more expensive than other options, such as neoprene or EPDM rubber roofs.


When choosing a roofing material, durability is one of the most important factors. You want something that will withstand the elements and protect your home from rain, snow, hail, and other inclement weather.

Metal roofs, for example, can last homeowners anywhere from 40 to 70 years and provide a sleek look that elevates curb appeal. They also come in a variety of colors and are energy-efficient. Slate is another durable option, offering a traditional, timeless aesthetic. However, it is heavy and may require additional structural support in your home.

Other durable roofing options include clay and concrete tiles, wood shingles and shakes, and natural stone. These materials are available in various colors and styles and can withstand storms and extreme weather conditions. They are also long-lasting and easy to maintain.


The roofing material you choose is not just about costs and durability; it also has a big impact on the appearance of your roof. Whether you want to preserve your home’s curb appeal or increase the value of your home before putting it on the market, different roof materials offer different aesthetics.

Asphalt shingles come in many styles, from traditional 3-tab shingle designs to dimensional and luxury options that mimic the look of other roof types like slate or cedar shakes. Some roof materials have special styles that work better with certain architectural designs, such as gable or domed roofs.

Metal roofs have many style options, from standing seam to corrugated paneling. Some metal roofs have reflective coatings to help reduce energy costs, especially in hot climates. If you are concerned about the environment, consider a green or cool roof option that uses recycled materials. Talk to roofing companies about the best roofing materials for your roof design and climate.


The roofing material you choose can affect the way your home looks. Whether you choose cedar shingles or metal sheets, it’s important to ensure that the color and design complement your home’s architecture.

A well-designed roof should also provide proper ventilation. If the roof lacks ventilation, it will get hot in summer and dry out in winter, which can cause damage to the wood and lead to wavy areas of the roof and even leaks. A ridge vent is designed to solve this problem by creating an opening at the roof’s peak that allows warm air to escape.

Another factor to consider is the weight of the roofing materials. Some heavy materials, such as masonry and slate, can put excessive pressure on the framing of your house. This can require redesigning the house’s structural framing and add expense, time, and headaches to your project. Also, these types of materials may work differently than your budget or the architectural style of your home.