The Six Most Popular Roofing Materials

Updating your roof allows value addition and communicates the feel and look of your home. Apart from the fact that preparation, roof framing and proper installation are important, the roofing material selected improves your home's exterior. This article describes the most popular roofing materials.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Roofing Materials

In choosing the best roofing material, it is important to consider the following factors.

  • Availability of the material in various colors which will complement the home
  • The heaviness of the material and if it will need special frames
  • Special maintenance and installation issues
  • Performance of the material in extreme weather in the location
  • The cost, the warranty, and the product durability
  • If the material will meet the local area fire codes

Putting into consideration the above factors will help you in determining the best roofing material for your home. There are various available options and here is a description of the most common materials used in roofing.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are mostly used roofing devices in the United States. They are popular because they are easy to install and very economical. Organic materials or fiberglass can be used to reinforce the shingles without changing its appearance.


  • Easily available
  • Can be accessed in a variety of colors and
  • It is less expensive compared to other roofing materials. It costs $70-$120 per square.


  • The quality is not guaranteed
  • As compared to other materials, it does not provide insulation.

Housing Styles

Using asphalt shingles allow for a variety of architectural styles. Most common are the traditional suburban styles.

Concrete and Clay Tiles

Roofs made of clay and concrete tiles are elegant due to additional texture. Clay tiles which are genuinely flat and ribbed are very durable although they are heavy. Concrete tiles are not as expensive as clay tile but are also heavy.


  • They are long-lasting. The last for about 40-50 years.
  • Are non-combustible


  • Clay tiles are expensive. The prices per square is about $300-$500
  • They are heavy
  • They need additional framing

Housing Styles

Using concrete and clay tiles allows for mission, Spanish style, and Mediterranean home styles.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are lightweight, lasts for a long time and good in harvesting water. Further, they can resist extreme weather. The two types of metal roofing available are shingles and panels which come in copper, stainless still, aluminum or zinc metals.


  • They are durable compared to wood or asphalt. They last for about 40-70 years.
  • Reflects solar


  • They are relatively expensive. The price ranges from $100-$300 per square. Some styles may even cost from $600-$800 per square.

Synthetic Products

Synthetic products for roofing are now available. They are designed such that their look, texture, and color are similar to that of natural materials. They are strong and can be maintained easily. Some of them are fire-resistant. It is advised that before you purchase the materials; check the warranty information from the manufacturer.

Further, it is advisable to check the brochures of the manufacturer to determine the full-size of the samples. Also, see the wear characteristics from roofs installed at least ten years ago.


As compared to other natural roofing devices, they are;
  • Cheap. The cost per square is starts from $300
  • Non-fragile
  • Lightweight
  • Long lasting. The expected lifespan is 50 years if maintained.


  • Some absorbs water
  • Some have poor quality

Housing Styles

Various architectural styles can be obtained through the use of synthetic products for roofing.

Wood Shake and Shingles

Wood shakes are made by hand and are rough-looking compared to wood shingles which are made by a machine. Most homeowners love the looks of wood shake and shingles and the way they are weathered to beautiful gray shades. They last for a very long time. If you live in a place prone to fire, it is advisable to use a wood shingles for class A which coated with fire-resistant material.


  • They offer a natural beauty to the roof


  • It is prohibited in some areas by fire code
  • Wood shingles are not good in wet weather because they can rot, split or mold

Housing Styles

The use of wood shakes and shingles you to build Capecod, Tudor, Cottage, Craftsman, and bungalow home styles.

Lifespan and Cost

They last for about 25-30 years, and the price per square starts from $100-$150
Prices start at around $100 to $150 a square and will last approximately 25 to 30 year


Slate offer distinct beauty and elegant appearance. They come in various colors including black, red, grey, green and purple.


  • It is durable. It last from about 50-100 years.
  • It is Fire resistant
  • It is easily Sustainable


  • It is expensive. The price per square starts from $600
  • It is heavy hence need for extra framing and should be installed by a professional
  • The quality is not guaranteed

Housing styles

The material works well for European, French, and Colonial chateau home styles.