It can be argued that the most visible, distinguishing and important part of a home is the roof. The roof generally represents about 40% of the visual exterior of a typical home and therefore plays an important role in its overall aesthetics. Most buyers in the market for a home will eliminate from consideration any home that does not have curb appeal for them. That’s why four out of five residential roofs in the United States today boast beautiful, affordable and reliable asphalt shingles.
What are the material options for residential roofs?
Today’s homeowner has a number of options when it comes to the style, material and color of their roof. Asphalt shingles are by far the most common option, with metal, clay tile, concrete tile, slate and cedar shake as alternatives.
The majority of residential roofs in the U.S. don asphalt shingles because they are beautiful, affordable, reliable and low maintenance.
Another material featured on a fraction of homes in the U.S. is metal roofing. While metal roofs are environmentally friendly and not as costly as stone-like materials such as clay tiles and slate, they are still more expensive than asphalt shingles and require a much more intricate installation.
What are some of the considerations when thinking about a metal roof?
In addition to high cost and difficult installation, homeowners also need to think through the following when considering a metal roof:
- Care must be taken on large roofs to provide for thermal expansion and movement
- Movement caused by differences in temperature may cause objectionable noises in some roofs; for example, curved roof surfaces
- Condensation accumulation issues can arise, such as rust, discoloration and mold
- Care must be taken to avoid the use of incompatible materials, as dissimilar metals can cause unexpected and rapid corrosion
- Metal refining, production and transport of metal roof components can be energy-intensive and is typically a non-local activity
- Support structure for metal required over older roofing systems (retrofit)
- There are a limited number of Contractor Training Programs
- Absence of skilled contractors
- Lack of organized codes and standards
- Repair, matching and cut-lists
- Lead time
- Accessories like snow jacks
- Maintenance issues with metal
- SH1 Rating
- Wind-uplift warranties
- Exposed fasteners—back out
- Repair and matching
What are the benefits of asphalt shingles?
For the past 150 years, asphalt shingles have proved the most popular roofing material in North America. The benefits are abundant and include:
- Versatility/Aesthetic options
- Color range
- Style range
- Natural look
- EnergyStar compliant options
- Life cycle cost
- Low installation cost
- Energy efficient
- Cool roofing/reflectivity
- Ease of installation
- Fire and wind resistance
If I select asphalt shingles, what is my return on investment?
The majority of home owners will base their roofing decision on cost, ease of maintenance and longevity. Asphalt shingles fulfill all three categories while also offering a range of color, style and eco-friendly options. Careful selection of a roofing material will reduce long-term costs for you and the environment.
- Life Cycle Cost Number
- Warranties (third party source)
- Time and Cost for Installers