One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when it comes to re-roofing their homes is neglecting to look into the wide range of roof shingles available to them for installation. Asphalt roofing shingles are, of course, the most popular and cost effective. If you’re working on a budget, there really isn’t any reason to look further.
But if you’ve got the means, or just feel like nailing something to your roof trusses that turns a few more heads, then there’s a number of quality products out there to choose from.
Aluminum, copper, and tin shingles are the most popular choices when it comes to metal roof shingles. At about $7 – $13 per square foot, copper roof costs are the highest, mostly due to its appearance. It looks great when installed, and it is one of the few materials whose looks actually improve over time. Other than that, copper shares many traits with its tin and aluminum counterparts. All are very lightweight, meaning they won’t stress your roof trusses, and very well-suited for cold climates (since metal is slick and heats up quickly, making them perfect for shedding heavy snowfalls). As for aluminum and tin, it’s probably best to choose aluminum when it comes down to it. It’s lighter weight, corrosion resistant, and aluminum shingles are now manufactured to mimic tin, making this choice a no-brainer.
Ceramic Roofing Shingles
Ceramic roofing tiles are another product that many homeowners are drawn to. Ceramic tiles come in a variety of options, including flat, Roman, Mission, and pantile (or s-shaped) tiles. Whether you’re looking for the red clay look of southwestern Mexican tile roofs or a ceramic imitation of slate or wood roofing shingles, ceramic offers more design opportunities than most homeowners realize. The only downside to these shingles is that they can be damaged by severe weather easier than some of the other roofing solutions on the market, though improvements in technology have worked to improve their quality in this arena.
Red cedar shingles dominate the wood roofing shingle market because of their natural ability to repel water and their resistance to rot and other weather-related damage. They are also a hard roofing to beat when it comes to looks, but they will cost you more in maintenance over the years. A well-maintained roof that is treated every 5 years or so will last for twenty or thirty years before needing to be replaced. One that is neglected, however, will last you a fraction of that if you’re lucky.
Concrete/Composite Roof Shingles
Last but not least, concrete roofing shingles are fast becoming both an industry and homeowner favorite. For starters, they can be made to almost perfectly mimic just about any other material, including all types of ceramic and wood shingles. Add to that the fact that once they are installed they are virtually maintenance free, and it’s easy to see why concrete shingles are fast growing in popularity. They will cost you more up front, and their weight can stress the roof trusses on some homes, but as long as your home is structurally sound the extra money you spend is well worth it. Concrete roof shingles are generally guaranteed for the life of the shingle, meaning this is most likely the last roof you’ll ever have to buy.