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The Pros and Cons of Different Home Roofing Materials: Which One is Right for You

Pros and Cons of Different Home Roofing Materials

Deciding what materials to use for your home’s roof is a big decision. You have to consider the aesthetic, structural, and financial pros and cons of home roofing materials in relation to how many square feet you need to roof, and making the wrong choice can result in untimely, expensive repairs.

So how do you know what type of roofing material is right for you? A1 Home Improvement has the information you need to find the perfect roofing material for your roofing needs.

If you’re looking for expert opinions and installation, check out our blog on the top roofing companies in Connecticut for trusted providers in the area.

Types of Roofing Materials

There are seven common roofing material types available for residential use:

  • Asphalt shingles
  • Metal roofing
  • Plastic polymer roofing
  • Slate roofing
  • Wooden shakes
  • Clay tiles
  • Concrete roofing

Roofing material costs, durability, and ideal use cases vary widely among these options, so it’s important to understand each material to make an informed decision on which is right for your roof. Keeping an eye on the latest roofing trends can also provide valuable insights into innovative materials and techniques that might be a perfect fit for your needs.”.

Asphalt Shingles Pros and Cons

Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material, representing roughly 80% of roofs in the United States.

This material’s roofing popularity comes from its solid fire and severe weather resistance, cost-effectiveness, and ease of installation.

You can expect to pay between $1.50 and $5.50 per square foot for standard asphalt shingles. Architectural shingles cost between $22 and $28 per square foot.

One downside to using asphalt shingles is the material’s lack of eco-friendliness and durability. Asphalt shingles have an average lifespan of roughly 20 years. However, more expensive architectural asphalt shingles can last between 30 years and 50 years.

Metal Roofing Pros and Cons

Among the most durable roofing materials, metal roofing boasts great energy efficiency, ease of installation, and eco-friendliness.

Metal roofing can last up to 80 years and is a great option for homes in rough climates. Storms and hail might tear off asphalt shingles, but metal roof panels can stand up to more damage.

The downsides of metal roofing are mostly aesthetic, as they tend to develop a patina over time.

Metal roofing is also on the expensive side, especially in the case of copper roofs. Standard metal roofs cost between $7.00 and $9.00 per square foot. Copper roofs can cost as much as $35 per square foot.

Plastic Polymer Roofing Pros and Cons

This home roofing material is one of the newer materials on the market.

Plastic polymer roofing is a high-tech plastic blend that emulates the look of wooden shakes or slate tiles while providing superior durability, hazard-proofing, and ease of installation. This is great for addressing an older home’s needs without sacrificing their classic appearance.

Plastic polymer shingles can last up to 50 years, and many come with 50-year warranties. They are a great choice for older homes with deteriorating original roofs. Using this roofing material can preserve your home’s classic look without compromising on durability.

The downside is plastic polymer is more expensive than asphalt shingles at $4 to $6 per square foot and requires stronger-than-average roof structures to support the weight.

Slate Roofing Pros and Cons

Slate roofs are extremely hazard-resistant and eco-friendly. The natural stone tiles give your home a charming appearance.

Durable slate tiles can last up to 100 years.

However, slate roofing is heavy, expensive, and only usable for steeply pitched roofs.
Slate roofing costs between $4.00 and $10.00 per square foot.

Wooden Shakes

Traditionally, wooden shakes are made of cedar, but you can find other types of wood as well.

Wooden shakes are known for their natural aesthetic, eco-friendliness, and affordability.
In a forgiving climate with proper maintenance, wooden shakes can last up to 30 years. For areas that experience frequent severe weather events or have a propensity for wildfires, wooden shakes are not the best choice. If you want the look of wooden shakes, the safer choice is to opt for plastic polymer shakes.

Wooden shakes’ weakness is their lack of durability, fire resistance, and higher-than-average need for maintenance.

Wooden shakes cost between $4.50 and $9.00 per square foot.

Clay Tiles Pros and Cons

A beautiful roofing material — especially for homes with an Italian or Spanish architecture — clay tiles are tough, resistant to fire, and energy-efficient.

Clay tiles can last as long as 100 years. However, they are vulnerable to cracking from concentrated impact damage such as falling tree limbs.

Clay tiles are also among the heaviest roofing materials and often require reinforcing the roof prior to installing them.

This material costs between $8.00 and $14.00 per square foot. Most of the cost comes from the initial installation and the possible need for reinforcements to the roof structure to hold the tiles’ weight.

Concrete Roofing Pros and Cons

This style of roofing is growing quickly in popularity. It meshes well with a variety of design languages such as modern, Bauhaus, and brutalism, and concrete provides exceptional durability at a relatively low cost.

The downside is that concrete roofing can be prohibitively heavy, requiring homeowners to consider significantly reinforcing their roofs to support the weight.

This material’s cost varies widely, with estimates ranging from as low as $4.00 per square foot to as high as $16.00 per square foot.

Concrete is one of the most durable materials you can use for your roof. Concrete can last up to 100 years and generally require very little maintenance.

Which Roofing Material Is Right for You?

Now that you know about each type of home roofing material, you are on the path to choosing the right material for your home. For more guidance, consider exploring roofing tips for homeowners, which can provide additional insights. If you love the rustic look and want a durable roof that lasts 100 years, clay tiles might be your top choice. If you want a hassle-free installation, asphalt shingles could be right for you.

Whatever material you decide to use for your roof, you can rest easy knowing that professional installation is just a call or click away. A1 Home Improvement is here to meet all your roofing needs, and our friendly, knowledgeable team can help you make the best decisions for your home’s roof.

Call us at 860-259-6783 or contact us on our website to set up your free, no-obligation estimate for your home roofing material.

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