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The Four Most Common Roofing Materials

Tags: Roofing, Repair, Replacement, Shingles, Slate, Metal, Steel, Installation, Tile, Rubber



As a homeowner, there will come a time where you need to have your existing roof replaced. You can always go with the same type as your existing roof; however, there are other types available that can be more beneficial. Before you decide which is the best type of roofing for your home, you should consider the options available and the benefits of each. 


#1 Asphalt Single Roofs

Asphalt is the least expensive roofing option. This type of roof can cost between $1.50 to $5.50 per square foot. While asphalt roofing is the least expensive, this type of roof also has the shortest lifespan. On average, asphalt shingles last 20 years.

The cost to install asphalt shingles is also relatively inexpensive. If the roof deck is still in good condition, it is possible to apply the new shingles over the old ones, which will cut back on the labor cost and the cost to dispose of the old shingles.

This type of roof is Class A fire-resistant. This means that an asphalt roof can withstand a burning fire for up to two hours, which can help save your home if there is a fire.

Asphalt shingles are prone to damage by strong winds, heat, and extreme weather. After a major storm, you may need to replace the missing or damaged shingles.


#2 Wood Roofs

Wood roofing lasts longer than asphalt roofs. The average lifespan in dry climates is up to 50 years. In wet climates like the East Coast, wood roofs can last up to 25 years. The actual lifespan depends on your climate, the type of wood used, and the cut and thickness.

Many homeowners prefer wood roofing because it provides a more natural look. In addition, wood shingles are environmentally friendly and are often made from biodegradable materials. If you install a wood roof on your home, you will be doing your part for the environment.

Wood roofs need to be treated regularly to keep them fire retardant, and they aren't the best option if you live in areas where wildfires are common.


#3 Metal Roofs

Metal roofing is a broad term and includes copper, steel, and aluminum. Metal roofs have the longest lifespan and can last up to 60 years. If you have a metal roof installed on your home, it could be the last time you ever need to replace your roof.

The cost of metal roofing is between $7.00 and $9.00 per square foot, which is over twice the cost of asphalt shingles; however, it is cost-effective because you won't need to replace it in 20 years the way you would with an asphalt shingle roof. You can also save on the installation because a metal roof can be installed over your existing asphalt shingle roof.

When people think about metal roofs, they expect an industrial look. However, metal roofs come in a variety of styles and up to 100 different colors, which will make it easy to find a metal roof that fits the style of your home.

If you are worried about a fire or live in an area where wildfires are common, metal roofing is the best option. This type of roof is fire resistant, and because of this, your home insurance premiums will go down.

Not every roofer is trained in installing metal roofs; therefore, you will need to find a contractor specializing in this type of roof installation.


#4 Tile Roofs

Tile roofs can last up to 100 years, but they are also expensive. The average cost of tile roofing is between $4.00 and $10.00 per square foot.

Tile roofing is excellent because it is fire-resistant and non-combustible. You also won't need to worry about your roof rotting or being destroyed by insects.

If you choose to invest in a tile roof, you can save a significant amount of money on your energy bills. This is one of the only roofing materials that can reduce your heating and cooling costs.

Tile roofing is very heavy and can put a serious strain on your home's structure. Before you decide to have a tile roof installed, you should talk to a structural engineer to ensure your home is strong enough to hold the weight of the tiles.


There is a lot more to choosing the best roofing material than choosing the least expensive one. There are other things you need to consider, such as the climate where you live and the style and stability of your home. Because your roof protects your home and family from the elements, you should consider the pros and cons of each before choosing the best material for your home.