4 Common Roofing Materials Explained

Installing the right roofing material is crucial if you want your home to last for decades. But with the variety of options available, choosing the right type can pose a challenge. You need to select a roof that’s long-lasting and affordable and one that requires little to no maintenance.

That said, here are some of the most common roofing types in the market today:


  1. Wood Roof

A wood roof comes with a rustic feel, allowing your house to stand out from the rest in your neighborhood. Not only is it windproof, but it’s also weatherproof, meaning it lasts for longer lifespans than the majority of the roofing options.

Class A materials are ideal if you’re in a fire-prone zone, as they come with fire-resistant coatings.

Compared to other types, a wood roof is more eco-friendly. It’s made from a natural material, so it helps you save on energy, reducing the bills from heating or cooling systems.

The roof’s high installation costs make it too expensive for suburban residents. Coming with extra maintenance costs, it might not suit you if you have a limited budget.


  • It has a natural aesthetic that makes it different from other roofing types
  • Its cedar helps it resist insects and moisture
  • The Class A rating on wood shingles are suitable for people situated in fire-prone areas
  • Compared to asphalt shingles, it can last 5-10 years longer.
  • The majority of the shingles come from salvaged trees.
  • The material is recyclable


  • Materials that are non-treated come with a Class C rating
  • Some areas where wildfire is a common occurrence usually prohibit wood roofs
  • Untreated wood material requires very high maintenance. Regular cleaning is crucial as it helps you get rid of algae. You also need to clear debris regularly to allow the material to breathe
  • When setting up the roof, you need to be extra careful. Some faults can cause the roof to deteriorate quickly, causing some leaks.
  • The shingles or shakes easily get stained
  • Any additional repairs to the roof can be very costly.


  1. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are very popular; almost 75% of homes come with this roofing material. They often have warranties of 20 to 30 years. Replacing these shingles, unlike other roofing materials, is easy, and only eats up a few bucks. Any company you hire probably knows how to install these shingles because of their overwhelming popularity.

Composite shingles easily adapt when roofs either expand or contract. Their installation costs range between $1.50 and $3.00 per square foot.

The roof’s life span depends on your region’s conditions and the quality of the composite shingles, and it can be between 12 and 30 years. It has three variations:

3-tab shingles

Featuring a basic design, 3-tab shingles are popular in old and economical homes. They come in one overlapping layer, similar to traditional shingles. Every shingle’s tone varies, getting a dynamic look with each overlap.

Dimensional Shingles

Stronger than 3-tab, dimensional shingles can remain in service for 30 years or more. They have multiple layers, unlike the 3-tab with only one layer. When installed correctly, they can be cost-effective, as they offer curb appeal with their unique patterns and textures.

Luxury Shingles

Luxury shingles are common in old homes where the natural-ages aesthetic is preferred. This roofing option comes with a reasonable price tag, even though it often looks more like cedar shanks.


  • The roofing material offers some level of fire resistance
  • It goes well with most house styles
  • It’s usually affordable
  • Asphalt shingles can serve you for over 30 years if you’re in an area with a moderate climate
  • You get a variety of options and styles to choose from
  • If you’re well-versed with roofing materials, its DIY installation can be straightforward for you
  • Repairing asphalt shingles is relatively affordable


  • Compared to metal or tile, asphalt shingles come with higher maintenance costs, as they’re more likely to require replacements.
  • The cheapest asphalt options often don’t last longer than 15 years in areas with hot climates
  • When the temperature changes rapidly, the shingles can easily crack
  • Transferring organic shingles to your roof can be a problem, as they’re very heavy,
  1. Metal Roofing

Metal roofs have been popular in commercial settings for many years. In homes, however, they’ve only started to gain popularity in recent years. They’re one of the most eco-friendly roofing options available and can be crafted in any color of your choice. They can also come in various designs like tiles, panels, or shingles.

Initially, the installations costs may be a bit expensive, but the metal roofs repay the cost in the long run, as they’re resistant to wear and tear and increase a home’s resale value.


  • This roofing material suits houses with steep rooflines
  • The material reflects UV rays, saving your money in the long run
  • It can last for around 50 years


  • Its installation requires experienced professionals
  • During rainstorms, the sound echoing can be a bit bothersome.
  1. Clay tiles

Clay tiles have been a staple in most buildings for many years, with their origins tracing back to 3000 BC. Their aesthetic appeal has contributed heavily to their longevity, as they’re still popular today. Aside from appeal, they also offer strong protection, ensuring your home and belongings are safe from harsh weather.

The tiles’ color can last for many years. In fact, some manufactures offer warranties on the color’s durability that stretch up to 50 years. Clay tiles are flexible and can suit most roof designs and shapes.


  • They look appealing when brand new
  • They don’t corrode easily
  • Withstanding high winds and powerful hailstorms, clay tiles are very durable and can last for decades
  • They are a great green roofing material
  • The tiles require very minimal maintenance


  • Clay tiles can be 3x as expensive as asphalt shingles
  • Require roofs that can withstand enormous weights
  • Can be challenging to install, as you need to measure them accurately, and lay them in the right pattern.
  • Despite being durable even in the face of harsh weather, the tiles can break or crack if heavy objects fall on them


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