A Guide for Comparing Roofing Materials

Roofs look simple from the outside, but it takes a lot of architectural expertise to design one that meets the needs of its owner. Even the material of the roof can be important, and there are plenty of different options out there. Each one comes with benefits and drawbacks that make it a good choice for some homes and suboptimal for others. That means that it pays for aspiring homeowners to look into all of their options and make the choice with a great deal of care.


Conventional shingles are the most popular roofing option in many areas. Their precise composition varies, but they tend to be built around a core of fiberglass or an organic material with added asphalt. The shingles tend to be cheap to purchase and easy to install, so they are one of the most affordable options for a new home. At an aesthetic level, they are unlikely to stand out because they are common. That can be an asset for people who want a home that blends in with the rest of the neighborhood, but it can be a disadvantage for people that want something a little more unique.

The downside to using shingles is their relatively low lifespan. Thicker shingles are available, and they tend to last longer than the others, but they will need to be repaired or replaced slightly more often than other types of roofing. A lifespan of well over a decade is normal, so this is unlikely to be a problem for people who are choosing a roofing material for a new building.

Clay Tile

In many ways, clay tiles are the opposite of shingles. They are fairly expensive, but they are also incredibly durable. Most tiles will only need to be replaced once in their owner’s lifetime, and some will event last longer than the person who installed them. There are regions where they are common, but they will tend to stand out more than traditional shingles. Plenty of different colors are available on the market, so people who want a house with a unique look can easily use these tiles to get it.

It is important to pay close attention to the structure of the home when installing a tile roof. The tiles are much heavier than other roofing materials, so the structure may need to be reinforced to make use of them. It is best to decide to use these tiles early in the design process so that the rest of the home can be designed to support them, but it is often possible to adapt the house during renovations to make them into a viable options. When in doubt, be sure to consult a professional before making the decision.


Metal, which can include steel, aluminum, and copper, is a rarer choice that offers a few distinctive advantages. The price is usually in the middle of the range, and they offer excellent durability for their cost. It resists fire extremely well, and it is easy to attach to a flat roof.

Heat can be a factor when installing these roofs. Metal is an excellent conductor, so the roof may need extra insulation to make sure that it does not heat the house. Reflective coatings can also help to solve this problem. Some metal roofs can also get a little bit noisy in windy areas. Pay close attention to your environment when deciding on a roofing material to help decide if metal will be a good choice for your building.

Solar Shingles

Solar shingles are a recent innovation. They are essentially tiny solar panels that are used to cover a roof in a way that resembles traditional shingles. That allows the home to generate electricity without needing to strap large solar panels into position in a way that can harm the home’s appearance.

The cost of solar panels is higher than that of traditional roofing, so this is an expensive option. On the other hand, the power that it generates will allow it to pay for itself over time. It also helps to conserve resources and protect the environment. It is an ideal choice for people that want to go green, and can be a reasonable investment in many environments.

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