As a homeowner, your ideal approach to your roof is “out of sight out of mind”, and knowing what types of roofing are best for your home isn’t something that typically crosses your mind. What this basically means is that although your roof provides a stylish accent to your home’s exterior, it’s better when you don’t have to deal with it. Sure there is some regular maintenance that needs to be done but what you’re mainly trying to avoid is the huge leaks and other damage from either old age or violent storms.
Of course, there does come that time when the roof must be replaced either due to violent wind and hail storm, because of old age, or just because you want a style / energy-friendly upgrade. Most people choose to replace their roof with the same material that is currently installed. If you want to explore your options however, here is a guide on how to choose the right types of roofing for your home.
TYPES OF ROOFING
There was a time when 8 out of every 10 roofs in North America were covered by asphalt shingles. That number has shifted a bit as homeowners opt for more energy-efficient roofing types and modern manufacturing methods have made metal, tile, etc. more affordable. The #1 reason that asphalt shingles were (and still are) so popular is because of cost. Asphalt is 3X less expensive than most other roofing materials and costs up to 20X less than high-end products like slate. Of course, asphalt roofs are much less durable having a life span of only 15+ years compared to most other roofing types which are expected to last 50+.
Asphalt Roofing Cost
Asphalt Roofing Prices are about $75-$125 per roofing square (10′ X 10′). With their 15-20 year life span they cost consumers about $4-$8 per square, per year.
The reason that asphalt roofing may be losing some steam regarding popularity in North America is due to consumers’ fondness with metal roofs. It’s actually really hard to find any downfall with metal roofing. The composition of metal roofs can include steel, aluminum, copper or zinc alloy which is still more lightweight than clay or concrete tiles. Metal is much more durable to the elements than a wood roof and can be recycled which makes it a more environmentally-friendly choice than asphalt. Metal roofs come in sheets as long as 24′ which helps speed up installation and can also be manufactured to look like shingles which helps improve home aesthetics. Metal absorbs up to 1/3 less heat than asphalt making them an energy-efficient roofing choice and they have warranties of 50+ years.
Metal Roofing Cost
Metal Roofing Prices are about $250-$450 per roofing square. Because of their 30-50 year life span they cost only about $5-$15 per square, per year.
Plastic roofing (or plastic polymer roofing) is made to resemble slate or wood shakes with the two obvious benefits being more lightweight than stone and more durable than wood. The differences are drastic too with plastic roofing weighing 70-300 lb per roofing square compared to up to 1,000 for slate. Plastic roofs have an expected life span of 50 years which is more than double the 15-25 year expectancy of wood. Another environmental benefit is the ability of plastic roofs to be both made of, and broken back down into, recycled materials. Plastic polymer is also very resistant to mold and algae growth as well as damage from UV rays, wind, rain, and snow which leads to it’s long life span. Perhaps the only negative aspect of plastic roofing is that it’s not authentic slate or wood so they might not bring back the ROI when it’s time to sell your home. The money saved on upfront costs can be used for more profitable renovations however making it a wash.
Plastic Roofing Cost
Plastic Roofing Prices are about $400-$650 per roofing square. Because of their 50+ year life span they cost only about $7-$13 per square, per year.
Clay tile is perhaps the perfect type of roofing if you have an Italian or Spanish style home. It captures that architectural style in an ideal manner but you’ll need to take careful consideration when deciding on clay tile for other types of homes. Granted, the material is very durable to the wind and weather but can actually break when walked upon. Perhaps the biggest downfall of clay roofing is that it is extremely heavy at roughly 600-1800 lb per square. If you’re going from an old clay roof to a new clay roof, you should be alright. If you’re switching from shingles to a clay roof your home is going to need extensive structural reinforcement to support this incredible boost in weight. This adds even more to the already high costs of installing clay.
Clay Roofing Cost
Clay Roofing Prices are about $800-$1000 per roofing square. Because of their 50+ year life span they cost around $20 per square, per year.
Concrete tiles are very similar to clay except that they are made of a mixture of cement and sand and not kiln dried. Interestingly enough, concrete roofing costs much less to install than clay tiles but are less susceptible to cracking when walked upon and less brittle in cold climates. Concrete tiles do have a higher water absorption rate and are more likely to have mildew formation which makes them require more maintenance. Concrete tiles can be made to resemble slate, wood, or even clay offering those materials’ benefits without their drawbacks.
Concrete Roofing Cost
Concrete Roofing Prices are about $300-$500 per roofing square. Because of their 50 year life span they cost about $5-$10 per square, per year.
Slate roofing tiles could be considered the marble countertops of the roofing industry – there is no more immaculate material yet the installation isn’t always feasible. There’s a reason why concrete tiles, asphalt shingles, and so many other roofing materials are manufactured to emulate slate because it is the most stylish roofing option. Those aesthetics come with a cost however. Slate can cost upwards of $2,000 per roofing square to install making it very rare. Because there are so few homes with natural slate roofs installed upon them, it’s also hard to find contractors experienced in the proper hanging of them. Slate has a 75-150 year life span which could also work against it. Homeowners either aren’t going to be alive or aren’t going to live in the same house to recoup the ROI – although slate can be a big selling point when putting a house on the market.
Slate Roofing Cost
Slate Roofing Prices are about $1100-$2000 per roofing square. Because of their 75 year life span however they cost about $10-$20 per square, per year.
There’s a reason why wood is such a coveted material inside the home – it creates a warm, inviting area and matches virtually any décor. Many of those attributes hold true on the exterior of the house as well. Wood offers a natural look like no other roofing material and actually improves with elegance as it wears and ages. Besides appearance wood shakes are one of the most environmentally friendly roofing materials. They are a natural insulator which is great for the Winter yet they don’t absorb the heat in the Summer. Cedar is also surprisingly dimensionally stable – largely avoiding changes due to humidity or damages from moisture and insects.
Wood Roofing Cost
Wood Roofing Prices are about $350-$450 per roofing square. Because of their 15-25 year life span they cost only about $14-$30 per square, per year.
Finding the perfect roof for your home involves a careful evaluation of looks, durability, and costs. One thing to remember is that your upfront costs don’t necessarily tell the story of how affordable your roof is going to be. The annual costs as well as the ROI when the home goes on the market will tell you the real value of your new roof.
Contact Brinker Construction today to get a free inspection and get more information on what we can do for your roofing and home!