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What Type Of Roofing Is The Best?

When it comes to protecting your home from the elements, you want nothing but the best.

You may have heard that metal roofs provide increased durability and energy efficiency. But is this true?

How do other materials like asphalt shingles, clay and concrete tiles, slate, wood shingles, and synthetic roofing products compare?

To help you decide which type of roofing material is the best for your needs, we’ve compiled information from the National Roofing Contractors Association and Bankrate to bring you all the facts.

Read on to learn more about each option so you can decide which type of roofing is right for your home.

Overview and Considerations

Regarding your home’s roof, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Each material has its unique advantages and disadvantages that you should consider.

Take, for example, the difference between asphalt shingles and slate. While asphalt may be more economical and easier to install, slate offers beauty and elegance that will last a lifetime. Much like your home’s foundation, it’s worth investing in something that will stand strong over time.

Cost considerations, weather durability, aesthetic options, longevity expectations, and maintenance requirements are all important factors when choosing a roofing material. Researching the best materials for your home based on these criteria is important.

Additionally, national organizations such as the National Roofing Contractors Association can offer valuable advice on selecting a good quality product.

Asphalt Shingles

You’ll get an economical, easy-to-install roof that won’t break the bank with asphalt shingles, but their shorter lifespan and lower insulation might not give you the long-term value you’re looking for.

Asphalt shingles typically cost between $70-$120 per square and have a lifespan of 20-25 years, depending on proper installation and weather resistance. The cost is much more economical than other roofing materials like clay, concrete, slate, wood, or synthetic products.

Installation is also fairly simple compared to other materials requiring additional framing support or professional installation. However, asphalt shingles perform better in temperate climates and can crack in extreme temperatures.

They are also available in several colors to complement your home’s style but may not last as long as other options. For those looking for a more durable material that will last longer and provide more insulation, clay, and concrete tiles may be the best option.

Clay and Concrete Tiles

Adding texture and elegance to your home, clay and concrete tiles are an expensive but durable option, costing $300-$500 per square with a lifespan of 40-50 years. They work well with Mediterranean, Mission, Southwestern, and Spanish-style homes.

When considering clay and concrete tiles for roofing material, weighing the durability vs. installation cost, maintenance requirements, color options available, and any additional framing support that may be needed for heavier materials is important.

Installation can be complicated due to the weight of these materials so professional help may be required. Maintenance requirements vary depending on the type of tile used but generally require cleaning or treatment every few years to ensure long-lasting performance.

Depending on the manufacturer, color options range from light shades to darker tones, but all colors should provide excellent protection from the elements. Finally, framing support must also be considered if you plan on using these heavier materials as reinforcement may need to be added for them to perform properly over time.

With careful consideration regarding all aspects of installation and maintenance costs, you can make an informed decision about whether or not clay or concrete tiles are right for your home’s roofing needs. Moving onto metal roofs…

Metal Roofs

Durable, long-lasting, and recyclable, metal roofs offer a great solution for eco-friendly home investments. They’re cost-effective, with prices ranging from $100-$300 per square and 40-75 years lifespan.

Metal roofs provide excellent energy efficiency as they reflect the sun’s rays and help keep homes cool in the summer. They’re also stylish and can be used in architectural styles such as bungalows, cabins, and contemporary or cottage-style homes.

Eco-friendliness is another advantage of metal roofs due to their recyclable nature. However, one drawback is that they can be quite noisy during rainstorms or strong winds. But this can be mitigated with insulation materials placed underneath the roofing material.

Slate and Wood Shingles

Slate and wood shingles offer a beautiful contrast of rustic charm and classic elegance, perfect for homes with Colonial, European, or French chateau-style architecture.

Slate is the most expensive roofing option but offers superior durability, lasting 50 to 100 years or longer. It’s also heavy and requires extra framing support during installation.

Wood shingles are an economical choice that gives a home a rustic look, however, they can be prohibited in fire-prone areas and mold, split, or rot over time.

Both materials require maintenance such as regular inspections to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Cost comparisons should factor in additional expenses such as permits and labor costs.

Aesthetic appeal is subjective but each material adds unique character to the home’s exterior while offering different levels of environmental impact.

When choosing between slate and wood shingles, homeowners must weigh the cost versus value equation and their personal preferences based on durability comparisons, maintenance requirements, cost analysis, aesthetic appeal, environmental impact, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of roofing material works best in extreme weather?

Asphalt shingles and metal panels are often good choices when choosing a roofing material for extreme weather conditions. Asphalt shingles are affordable, easy to install, and effective in temperate climates but can crack in extreme temperatures.

Metal panels are durable, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly but can be noisy and expensive. Rubber tiles offer some insulation benefits and may perform well in extreme weather conditions.

Clay tiles provide excellent insulation but can be expensive due to their weight. Solar panels can potentially provide energy savings, but their longevity is still uncertain, and they can be costly.

Whether you choose asphalt shingles, rubber tiles, metal panels, clay tiles, or solar panels for your roof, it’s important to consider the cost of materials and the installation fees associated with each option.

What is the difference between synthetic and real slate roofing products?

Regarding roofing, you must consider all factors, from installation and maintenance requirements to weight considerations and environmental impact. If you’re looking for an elegant look with long-term durability, synthetic slate shingles may be the way to go.

While they have a similar aesthetic appeal to real slate shingles, synthetic options are more durable, lighter, and easier to install. Plus, they come at a lower price point! Maintenance is also relatively low since these materials don’t require sealing or painting like real slate.

However, if you’re trying to stay true to a certain architectural style or looking for the highest quality product on the market, natural slate is the way forward. Just be prepared to pay a premium.

Are there any fire-resistant roofing materials?

When it comes to fire-resistant roofing materials, clay and concrete tiles are great options. They add texture and elegance while offering excellent durability – they can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance.

Clay and concrete tiles can be heavy, requiring additional framing support. Metal panels provide excellent aesthetics and are durable and fire-resistant – they can withstand temperatures of up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit!

Asphalt shingles are affordable, easy to install and have a 20-25 years lifespan but may not offer the same fire resistance as other options. Wood shakes look great but need regular upkeep and may not be suitable for areas prone to fires.

Lastly, rubber membranes are relatively inexpensive and easy to install but should be done by a professional for optimal performance.

How much does it cost to install a new roof?

Installing a new roof is like starting a new chapter in your home’s life – you want to ensure it’ll last! Prices vary depending on the roofing material type, the house size, and additional factors like warranties, design, maintenance, safety, and longevity.

Asphalt shingles are usually the most affordable option but have shorter lifespans than other materials such as metal or slate. If you’re looking for something more durable to provide value for money over time, then clay or concrete tiles might be better options.

Metal roofs are strong and stylish but come with a higher price tag. Slate is elegant but heavy and expensive to install. Lastly, wood shingles are rustic but can rot over time if improperly maintained.

What type of roofing material is the most energy-efficient?

Regarding energy-efficient roofing, your options range from insulating shingles and green roofing to metal, rubber, and asphalt shingles. Insulating shingles contain special materials that help keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter.

Green roofing is designed to reduce the heat absorbed by a home’s roof. Metal roofs are durable and reflect sunlight to help save on cooling costs. Rubber roofs are affordable, lightweight, and fire-resistant. Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roof material due to their affordability and ease of installation, but they provide less insulation than other materials.


There are many options when choosing the best type of roofing material for your home. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends asphalt shingles for most homeowners due to their affordability and durability. With over 75% of all roofs in America being made up of asphalt shingles, it’s clear that this is the most popular choice.

When deciding on your roof, consider what fits your budget and needs best. Bankrate can help you make an informed decision with its partnerships, compensation policies, and information on roofing materials.

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