Picking a roof is a huge decision when it comes to having your custom home built. It impacts not only home style but also cost, resale value, and other house expenses. As technologies and styles evolve in home building, roofing options continue to expand. Each material offers something different in terms of advantages and each also has their shortcomings. To make your decision a little easier we’ve explained all the pros and cons of the most popular roofing materials.
When picking a roof there are a few questions you should ask yourself. Each material has pros and cons so in order to find out which will work best for your home you need to figure out what you want out a roof. Ask the following questions as you try to decide:
• How long will it last?
• Does it hold up during natural disasters?
• Will it work on the roof I have/want?
• Does it fit the style of the home?
• Is the material eco-friendly?
• Is the roof material allowed by building codes?
• How much does it cost?
Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing for homes today. They’re reliable for keeping out the wind, cold and tend to be fire and moisture resistant. The shingles also are visually pleasing and fit many home styles, which is why they’re popular. They can be used from low to steep roof heights and are fairly inexpensive to install.
The bad news about asphalt shingles is that they aren’t very eco-friendly. They’re also not incredibly durable. Although they can last for 12-20 years chances are you might need to get a few patches during that time.
Metal roofs can be made from a number of metals such as steel, aluminum, copper or zinc. They are also available in different styles from sheets to shingles. As for being eco-friendly, metal roofs can be made from recycles materials, as well as be recycled when replaced, which makes them a good environmentally friendly option. They absorb less heat than traditional asphalt, which means a lower electricity bill spent to cool your home in the summer time.
Metal roofs are extremely durable and resistant to both fire and wind. They also last for at least 50 years, which means it’s a solid long-term investment for your home.
A big downside of metal roofs is the look and the cost. Metal roofs can look to industrial, modern, masculine or rustic for some people’s liking. They are also more expensive than other roof materials. Steel roofs are moderate in price whereas copper roofs are quite expensive.
Plastic polymer is durable synthetic roofing shingles that can resemble either wood or slate depending on style preferences. They are both long lasting as well as low maintenance. Plastic polymer is also an eco-friendly option as it can be made from recycled material and can be recycled when replaced. They’re also fire and wind resistant.
This roofing material can be more expensive to install compared to other options. The synthetic makeup of it is also not always appealing to homeowners looking to build custom luxury homes. This material might not be the best option for people looking to build a home with a flatter roof either.
This roofing material is great for homes that are looking for a more natural look, especially homes surrounded by greenery. Wood shingles are made from natural materials, typically cedar, which makes them a green roofing option.
Wood shingles provide a unique look that won’t fit every architectural design. Their low resistance for a fire has resulted in them being banned in areas that have a high probability of wildfires. They’re moderate in price but require periodic maintenance and tend to have a short lifespan.
Clay tiles are a great option for people that like Spanish or Mediterranean looking homes. They’re made from natural materials and don’t take much energy to manufacture. They’re both low maintenance and long lasting.
Clay tiles only fit a certain style home so they aren’t a good option for everyone. They’re also brittle and can break easily which makes installing them challenging. While they provide excellent fire resistance they don’t so well with the wind. The heavy clay also requires a reinforced roof to support the weight. This material also tends to be one of the most expensive ones.
Slate is one of the oldest roofing materials used. It is extremely durable and long lasting. It’s made from natural slate rock, which makes it environmentally friendly as well as fire and wind resistant.
This material only comes in one color and style, dark gray, so it won’t fit every home style. It’s also incredibly heavy so a reinforced roof structure is necessary to support it. Slate is also very expensive and required specially trained workers to install it.
If you want a home that is really green and eco-friendly than a green roof is the way to go. They insulate the home well making cooling and heating it very easy and cheap. Green roofs also have the bonus of lasting 30-50 years if installed correctly.
Green roofs require some care and water. They can also be heavy due to the soil so reinforced support is necessary. They work best on flat roofs though some slight slope. Installing them correctly can be costly but they are a great option for eco-friendly luxury custom homes.