Different types of Roofing Materials

It is said that the roof is the most important structure of your home. Proper maintenance and replacing your roof are big factors in your home’s value. The question is what type of roofing material do you choose? From standard asphalt shingles to immaculate slate rock, replacing your roof can cost anywhere from $5000 to over $50,000 depending on the material you choose.

roofing materials

Other factors that will affect the cost of your roofing project are the size of your home, pitch of the roof, what roofing company you end up choosing, and lastly, the roofing warranty included with the project.

5 Types of Roofing Materials

For most homeowners, the following roofing materials are the most common and standard in the industry. You will want to do your due diligence as there are many types of roofing materials available to choose from. Below are the pros and cons of 5 types of roofing:

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most widely used roofing material on the market. Some estimates put it at over 70% of the market share of all residential roofing! There are many advantages to using shingles. First, is it’s cheap?

For small budgets, asphalt shingles are the way to go. Next, the material itself is lightweight and makes for installation & repairs very easy. This combined with many different profiles and color options, make shingles a sound roofing decision.

The downside to asphalt is they are susceptible to wind uplift and damage. Installation of shingles should not be done in extreme weather either hot or cold. Also, the lifespan of asphalt roofing is max around 20 years. So be prepared to go through this process again in 2 decades…

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is becoming more and more popular due to its sleek look and its durability. The most common used metals are aluminum and steel with a small amount of roofs coming in copper.

There are many pros to having a metal roof with the first being that it is 100% fire resistant. Metal is also good at repelling rain and snow buildup, something that asphalt shingles is not. These materials also last a long time and usually come with 40 – 50+ years of warranty.

On the other hand, metals roofs will cost much more than shingles and can range from $150 – $700 per 100 square feet. They are also known to be somewhat noisier than a standard roof, although some say this is a myth! Denting is highly likely with metal roofing, especially when there is hail or other large object that hits the roof.


Tiles are considered to be a true green and eco-friendly roofing material. Made from either concrete or hardened clay, most people will think of the Spanish or Mediterranean roof that they normally see. One of the outstanding benefits of tile is that it can last for the lifetime of your home and most likely for generations to come if installed professionally.

Not only that, since tiles come from natural materials they are one of the most energy efficient material one can use. Research has shown that using tiles over shingles can reduce heat transfer from the roof to the attic by over 70%!

The downside to tiles are the cost. It is very pricey to install as well as the tiles themselves are very heavy. Concrete even more so. Extra support and underlay maybe required for this type of roofing. Also, if you ever need to get on the roof, they are not the easiest to walk on with breaking them.

Slate Roofing

Slate is considered the Rolls Royce of roofing and its cost is in line with this. Slate is a a metamorphic rock that is quarried in different parts of the world & then ‘cut’ by special machinery to form slate roofing tiles.

Slate is a material of beauty and can really add value to your home based on appearance alone. Once installed correctly, you won’t have to worry about it for the rest of your life due to its long lifespan and durability. Also, cut straight from the earth it is very eco-friendly and green.

Slate is very heavy and your home will most likely need some extra support for the increase in weight. If your roof is ever damaged, it will be difficult to match the original rock color, given every quarry is different.

Wood Shakes and Shingles

Wood roofing is a popular alternative to asphalt shingles. It lasts about 30+ years which is much longer than asphalt. Another advantage of wood roofing is that it is very energy efficient allowing you to save on heating and AC costs due to its high R value. Another big plus is that wood roofing is extremely wind resistant and can handle winds up to 200+ mph!

Wood shakes or shingles, on the down side, can be a fire hazard if not treated. Too much wet and damp wood can also lead to mold and fungus with poses the threat of wood rot. A last disadvantage is that most people agree that wood shingles over asphalt shingles will require more maintenance.