The next time a thunderstorm rolls in, take a minute to stop and appreciate how much your water-tight roof does for you. Thanks to this protective layer of material, your entire home remains dry and you and your loved ones are safe from the elements. Your roof is so important to your home’s protection that even a single hole can cause serious damage and be costly to repair. That’s why it’s vital to choose quality roofing materials. But there are quite a few decisions to make before you find the roofing that’s best for you.
Consider the Weight
It’s very important to consider the weight of the roofing itself. Some roofing, such as clay or slate, weighs much more than other roofing options like metal or even shingles. That means you’re either adding or removing weight from your home roof system when you change up the type of roofing you use. Removing weight is never an issue, but adding it can be.
Is Your Frame Strong Enough?
If you’re planning on moving to a heavy-weight roofing material like slate, clay, concrete, or any of the other weighty options, it’s crucial to ensure that your roof can handle the weight. If you put all that weight up on a roof that simply isn’t designed for it, you could have a disastrous failure. The worst part is that the roof might not fail immediately—it could take up to a few years under that increased pressure to finally give way.
Consult a Professional
Have an expert look at your roof system before you decide to switch to a heavier option. You need someone to tell you that your roof can handle the added weight. If it can’t handle the weight, you’ll either have to change to a new roofing option, such as shingled metal roofing to create a similar effect, or you’ll have to modify your roof system to be stronger and handle more weight.
Consider the Cost
One of the first things that you’ll likely consider when deciding on a roofing material is the cost of the product. Some materials, like copper or slate, simply cost more than others like asphalt shingles or cellulose. That doesn’t mean that they’re a rip-off or that you shouldn’t spend the extra cash. There are two things that you should consider. How much you’re paying and how long the roof is going to last, and whether or not you can afford a more expensive, and longer-lasting roof in the beginning. When comparing the cost of products, write each down and keep them for your personal records. Here’s a simple breakdown of estimated roofing costs (not including installation):
Costs Per Square Foot
- Asphalt Shingles – $1.50 – $28
- Wood Shingles – $2 – $3
- Laminated – $6 – $8
- Metal Roofing – $7 – $9
- Concrete Tile – $1.50 – $5
- Clay Tile – $2.50 – $5
- Rubber – $3 – $4
- Slate Tile – $10 – $50
When picking out your roofing option, durability is crucial. Metal roofing can last up to 40 years, while asphalt shingles are known for failing around the 20 year mark. This means you could pay twice as much for metal roofing as shingles and still get the same amount of value, no matter which you choose. In these instances, the metal roofing would actually be the better value—unless you’re factoring in the added labor cost of removing and installing the second shingle roof 20 years later into the overall price estimate.
To give you a good idea of which investments make sense, here’s a breakdown of average life expectancies for different roofing options.
- Aluminum Coat – 3 to 7 years
- Bitumen – 20 years
- Cellulose Fiber – 20 years
- Asphalt Shingles – 20 years
- Architectural Asphalt – 30 years
- Fiber Cement – 25 years
- Clay or Concrete – 100 years plus
- Standard metal – 40 to 80 years
- Copper – 70 years
- Slate – 80 to 150 years
- Wood – 30 years
Labor Costs Matter
If you’ve researched installation costs for different roofing materials, you’ll soon realize that labor costs matter quite a bit. Many roofing jobs nearly double in price when labor is factored in. That’s why you should not only look at different providers in your area, but also at different options and what they cost to be installed. Typically, flat metal roofing is quite affordable—as are asphalt shingles for installation—but more intricate or difficult products like clay or concrete tiles, copper roofing, or slate will cost much more to have installed on your home.
The Different Options Available
There are many different roofing options available, and you should give each of them a look when considering which is best. Factor the cost, the look, and the longevity of each product in your mind and choose the one that you like the best in the end.
- Concrete Tiles
- Slate Tiles
- Clay Tiles
- Wood Shingles
- Asphalt Shingles