7 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Roof Type for Your Dream Home

You’re in the process of building your dream home. You have most of the details nailed down. But you’re still trying to decide on the roof.

What material should you use for your new roof? And more specifically, what kinds of things should you take into consideration when choosing a material? Great question and one that we can answer for you.

Without further ado, here are seven tips to help you choose the right roof for your dream home.

1. Look at Each Roofing Material in Person

Roofing materials all possess their own special aesthetic. Cedar shakes are wildly different from asphalt shingles, for example.

That said, it’s difficult to determine their aesthetics by looking at pictures. As such, you’re advised to look at each roofing material in person.

Looking at them in person will help you to see the small differences that exist between materials. It will also expose you to the various styles and colors that are available. For example, metal roofing comes corrugated, flat, adorned with intricate designs, and otherwise.

Only by looking at your roofing material in person can you truly decide whether it’s right for your home. Pictures will give you a general idea but might present the materials differently than what they really are.

2. Study Up on Insulation

Roofs aren’t just responsible for providing an aesthetic and protecting their respective homes from rain. They also need to offer insulation.

What you might not realize, however, is that every roofing material comes with its own individual insulation characteristics. Some materials provide tons of insulation. Others provide very little.

The most insulative roofing material is cedar shakes. These wood roofing blocks do a terrific job of resisting heat and cold. Metal is next in line, followed by cement and clay tiles, then slate roofing, then asphalt shingles.

Note, however, that regardless of the material you choose, there are other ways to provide insulation. For instance, you could add insulative spray foam underneath the surface of your roof.

3. Compare Roofing Lifespans

Every roofing material has an estimated lifespan. Some materials top out at around 25 years; others can last over 100 years.

While the materials with shorter lifespans will generally cost less upfront, the materials with longer lifespans will generally cost less over time. As such, depending on your financial situation, they both have the potential to be solid options.

Curious as to the lifespans of different roofing materials? Let’s review them.

Asphalt shingles typically last around 25 years. Cedar shakes typically last around 35 years. Metal roofs last between 50 and 70 years. Clay tiles, cement tiles, and slate roofs can last well over 100 years.

4. Learn About Maintenance

One of the most annoying parts of homeownership is roof maintenance. If you don’t have the money, you’ll have to crawl up on the roof yourself, exposing yourself to dangerous situations. If you do have the money, you’ll have to, well, spend it, hurting your bank account.

Note, however, that not all roof maintenance is created equal. Some materials require a lot more maintenance than others.

The most maintenance-intensive roofing material is cedar shakes. Cedar shakes need to be sealed, stained, and cleaned on a regular basis. They’re both expensive and time-consuming to care for.

Other materials — like asphalt shingles, metal roofing, slate roofing, and concrete and clay tiles — require relatively little maintenance. Generally speaking, they only need to be cleaned from time to time.

So, keep this in mind when you’re buying. The unique look of cedar shakes might not be worth it if you have to put in a great deal of effort just to keep them going.

5. Compare Costs

The cost of a new roof will always vary based on its material. Every roofing material comes with its own individual price tag.

The cheapest roofing material is, by far, asphalt shingles. This is the reason for its extreme popularity: it’s affordable!

The next cheapest material is cedar shakes, at least initially (maintenance costs can drive up the price over time).

Metal roofing is next up the ladder, followed by clay tiles and cement tiles. Rounding out the list is slate roofing, which is extremely expensive, but extremely durable as well.

Note, when comparing costs, you also need to compare other characteristics, like durability and maintenance needs. Cedar shakes might cost less than clay tiles upfront, but because clay tiles outlast cedar shakes by around 50 years, and because they require very little maintenance, they might actually offer more bang for their buck.

6. Read Up on Your Neighborhood’s Housing Code

Depending on where you live, you might not be able to use the roofing material of your choice. Some neighborhoods require you to use a certain type of roofing or a certain color of roofing. If you don’t follow these guidelines, you can be fined and forced to replace your roof.

Read up on local guidelines and ensure that you’re not wasting your money. There are few things more painful than having to replace a roof you just installed.

7. Make Sure Your Home Can Bear the Weight

Some roofing materials (like slate roofing, clay tiles, and cement tiles) are on the heavy side. In fact, in some cases, they’re so heavy that they can damage a roofing structure over time.

So, if you plan on installing one of these, make sure to check that your home is strong enough to hold them. Call up a reputable roofing company in your area. They’ll assess your roof and give you an accurate answer.

Your New Roof Is Right Around the Corner

And there they are, seven tips for helping you choose a new roof. Put these tips into action and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits of the perfect roof.

Seeking out other home-related info? We can help you with that. Check out some of our other blog posts now!

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