6 Best Roofing Materials Options That Every Homeowner Should Consider

Roofing has always been an afterthought for majority of homeowners until it starts giving some serious headache when it leaks, and then we seriously realize the importance of the surface of our house’s exterior which is as important as our interior. The main purpose of roofing is to keep the house dry and to protect us from inclement weather; however it also contributes to the appearance of our house, therefore if you are planning to build a new house or perhaps going for remodeling, you should always consider available roofing material options.

wood roof shingles

Compared to what we used to have few years ago, nowadays there are more roofing material options available than ever, but that doesn’t make it easier because choosing one material becomes confusing and difficult at times. I can say that based on my own experience because I’m at present in the process of buying roofing material for my backyard office, and every time I make my mind for a material and then look at other available options, I get confused and go back to zero, which can be frustrating. Roofing options range from concrete to asphalt shingles, clay tiles and wood shakes, and from slate that looks like rubber to steel panels.

Keeping all these aforementioned options in mind, the most rapidly increasing trend in roofing construction is engineered roofing materials, because they are relatively cheaper and strong enough to be considered by homeowners. This particular change in trend is driven by several factors that include cost effectiveness, because wood roofing is expensive, and other reason is that, local city municipal rules now mandate the use of fireproof roofing materials. Besides, the reason why people prefer engineered roofing materials is because they not only want their house to look good, but they are also concerned about their roof’s longevity.

The core structure of a new house is generally completed in few weeks or months; however it may take more time depending on the size and complexity of the construction. Internal wooden skeleton or we can say the core structure is covered with plywood or some other sheet material. Under construction terminology it is known as ‘sheathing’ however if it is on the floor it is called subfloor.

The next phase is roofing and for that there are a wide range of options available that include clay tiles, plastic, asphalt, metal, wood and stone. You may also purchase panels, shingles, rolls or strips for roofing. Benefit of these options is that you can have the luxury of selecting any color or texture you want that goes perfectly well with your exterior theme. Cost per square foot of these materials range from $0.40 to $10 per sq. ft.

Roofing Area Measurement

Before we talk about materials, let’s discuss about roofing area measurement terminology that construction companies generally use. Contractors measure roofing area in square feet. For instance total roof area of a 2000 sq. ft. house will calculate to 1500sq. ft. of roofing area.

Factors That Affects Roofing Cost

There are several considerations that affect roofing cost, however material used for roofing is the biggest factor that influences overall pricing of roof construction. There are other factors too, such as existing roof’s condition if you are remodeling your house, because old materials used has to be taken off, and if the supporting structure has become weak, then it must be repaired as well. Other important price affecting factor includes shape of the roof. For instance a simple gable roof without chimneys, dormers or pipes will cost less money because it will be a simple roofing construction. On the other side house with intersecting rooflines, fancy exterior design, multiple chimneys or turrets will definitely cost you more money for construction.

southern pinewood roofing

Commonly Used Roofing Materials Options

Different types and shapes of roof require different types of materials due to complexity of roof construction job. Roof that is flat or if it has low slope would require different surface material compared to what is used for steeper roof. Engineered roofing materials like tiles, stones and slate are extremely heavy, and that could cause some serious problems if the core structure of the house is inadequate to take the load. Given below are some of the popular and preferred materials for roofing:

Wood Roofing – For centuries, wood has always been the preferred choice as a roofing material, and it is still going strong. However, in some countries fire codes do not allow homeowners to use it anymore due to safety and security reasons. For wooden roofing construction companies generally use southern pine, cedar and redwood and their shingles are usually split or sawn. They have mid-range life span, as they have life expectancy of 25 to 30 years, however it is an expensive roofing option compared to other materials.

wood roof material option

wooden roofing structure

Asphalt Shingles – It has to be one of most popular and commonly used material preferred by homeowners. Reason why people prefer it is because it is a cheaper alternative for other materials and also requires minimum skills and labor for installation. They are made with fiberglass substances, it is then impregnated with asphalt and then the end result would be shingles that looks like sand granule surface.

asphalt shingle roofing material

asphalt shingles roof

beautiful asphalt shingle roof design

Asphalt shingles are available in 2 different configurations that include standard single thickness and other is the thicker laminated shingles. Standard option would cost half the price of laminated shingles. Starting price of asphalt shingles would be close to $45-$50 per square, however it can be more or less depending on the hardware retailer, but generally they offer discount if you negotiate with them for bulk pricing.

asphalt shingles installation

Metal Roofing – Looking for durable roofing materials? Aluminum, lead, steel, copper-asphalt roofs are all considered as sturdy and durable materials, but they are expensive compared to other aforementioned materials. Copper-Asphalt and lead types are installed in shingles form, but Aluminum and steel are pre-assembled or manufactured for the roof structure and then joined with solder. As i mentioned earlier, it is an expensive option, these roofs start at $200-250 per square but generally they would cost you a lot more than that, and installation is additional.

metal roof made with lead and steel

metal roofing cost

Cement, Slate and Tile Roofing – They are second most commonly used material for roof construction because it’s a durable option, but can be expensive as well. On the other side slate is probably the most durable material compared to its counterparts. Slate roofing can last upto 100 years or more, but cost can be a major concerning factor for homeowners because it generally cost about $900 per square (could be more or less depending on your retailer), which is definitely way beyond the reach of middle class families.