How Important is the Material When Choosing a New Roof?

You might think that choosing a new roof type or material is simply a matter of choosing the one that looks more aesthetically pleasing on your building, but this isn’t always the case. The most aesthetically-pleasing option is not always the most cost-effective one, for example. Designer or premium asphalt shingles can cost twice as much as the regular and more common three-dab or laminated shingles. They do come with more benefits, of course, but they are also more expensive in terms of both materials and labor.

Where you live will play a very important role in which roofing type you choose, and the building structure itself could play an important factor. If you live in the southwest, for example, you might find that terracotta clay roofing types are preferable, not just because they look good, but also because they offer a long lifespan in areas of hot temperatures. Other roof types can struggle with the kind of heat seen in these areas.

Price is one of the biggest factors when it comes to choosing a new roof, and it’s only when you start looking at all the things you CAN’T afford that you realise just how expensive the replacement or new installation project can become. A simple asphalt shingle re-roofing job can cost around $7,000 on your typical two-bedroom, two-storey home. If you wanted to go for more decorative shingles (and thicker/more durable ones), the price starts to rise quite quickly.

If you want to be eco-friendly about your roofing choices, concrete or clay roofing tiles are a great option. They can be crushed down and made into new tiles or other materials for construction. Asphalt tiles, on the other hand, almost always find their way to landfill sites. Slate can be recycled too, and it’s one of those roofing types that will last for a very long time if installed and maintained properly.

Some roofing tiles help to insulate the roof more than others. A well-insulated roof stops hot air escaping during the winter, and cool air escaping during the summer. In turn, these things will help to bring down the energy bills of your home. If your heating bills have gone up faster than you can keep track of recently, and your home is still frozen solid most of the time, it might be time to check that you're not letting a truckload of heat out via the roof. Color is also important when you're looking at the energy rating of a roof. Darker roofs grab heat and then retain it, whereas lighter roofs help to keep things cool. Unfortunately, lighter-colored roofs also require more cleaning to keep them looking their best.

Shake shingles are one of the best roofing options if you want good air ventilation in your home, which can help with energy efficiency, but they are well known to come with their fair share of problems when not properly maintained or installed, including water damage, black mold, wood rot, and even insect infestations. Of course, metal and other reflective roofing surfaces help to reflect heat away from your home or building, and with more demand for them, manufacturers are fast coming up with new ways to improve the aesthetics of them, including different finishes and colors.

If you want to get the maximum amount of years out of your roof, sometimes it’s best not to just pick the cheapest option. Asphalt shingles, for example, last longe when premium, thicker, and more durable shingles are used. The lighter, thinner, three-tab shingles have a warranty that sometimes falls below HALF of what is offered for the premium and more expensive versions. Higher-quality and longer-lasting roofs come at a price. There's no denying that. But when you choose the right roofing combination for your needs, things will be a lot cheaper in the long run. Your utility bills will decrease and your home will be more energy efficient. You won't need to worry about replacing your roof in fifteen to twenty years, if you're still living in the property. And, with regular maintenance, you may also find that the premium materials actually last longer than the warranty suggests!

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