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Roofing 101: Which Type of Roofing is Best for Your Home?

Do you know the difference between a gable roof and a gambrel roof? How about a flat roof compared to a low-slope one? If the answer is no, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to decide which type of roofing is best for your home.

That’s why we’ve put together this Roofing 101 guide. We’ll cover the basics of all the most common types of roofing materials and styles, from asphalt shingles to clay tiles. We’ll also give you information on pricing, lifespan, and other considerations to help you make an informed decision for your particular home and climate.

So don’t worry. By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly which type of roofing is best for your home and how to identify a reliable roofing contractor. So, grab your tape measure, flip on the flashlight, and let’s get started.

Quick Clarification

The type of roofing that is best for you depends on your specific needs and budget. Some popular options include asphalt shingles, metal, tile, and slate roofs.

Factors to Consider in Your Roofing Choice

When deciding which type of roofing is best for your home, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration.

  • First is cost.

Asphalt shingles are the most popular and economically friendly option on the market, while metal roofs are the most durable but come with a steeper price tag.

Clay and slate tiles can offer timeless beauty but will require a professional contractor and additional labor costs to install.

  • The next factor to consider is your region’s climate and weather conditions.

In areas prone to heavy rain or snowfall, asphalt shingles can provide excellent drainage and resistance to impact damage from debris like hail and branches.

Clay tiles are ideal for warmer temperatures as they help reflect the sun’s heat from building up in the attic, reducing energy costs due to lower cooling bills.

The added weight of metal roofing makes them more durable on homes with higher elevations and extreme weather conditions ranging from high winds to wildfires.

  • Finally, it is important to think about the overall aesthetic of your home when selecting a roof type.

Each material has its own unique characteristics that can complement certain architectural styles, so you need to make sure you choose something that will look great and enhance curb appeal.

Asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors while metal roofing classic styles can come coated in paint designed specifically to look like traditional Spanish red tiles or cedar shakes.

Each roof type comes with its own set of benefits so when choosing the best option for your home it is important to prioritize what matters most along with budget requirements before making a decision.

With all of these aspects taken into account, it becomes much easier to narrow down your choices and select the perfect roof for your house.

Armed with this knowledge, we are now ready to further explore how different climates/weather can life expectancy of various roof types differently in our next section.


When it comes to roofing and the type of roofing best suited for your home, climate/weather must be taken into consideration.

Depending on where you live and what kind of weather patterns are common in your area will greatly influence which type of roofing material is best for your home.

In areas that experience hot temperatures and receive a lot of sun exposure, houses with steeply pitched roofs may be beneficial because they allow attic air to escape, thus preventing excess heat build-up that can damage the underlying structure.

In cooler geographic locations prone to rain, hail, snow, or high winds having a resilient roof material is essential to decrease chances of weather-related damage such as leaks or shifting of the material following heavy precipitation.

If your house is located in an area prone to hurricanes or tornadoes then installing hurricane straps prior to attaching the roof is recommended for added strength against extreme weather.

Overall, choosing the best type of roofing for your home will largely depend on the climate/weather it will be exposed to throughout the year and opting for materials that are known to withstand those temperatures, precipitation amounts and wind speeds should provide peace of mind that your house is well protected from potential damage during any given storm or temperature spike.

Considering cost/budget when selecting a type of roofing material is an important step in the process as well.

  • According to a report published by the Department of Energy, asphalt shingle roofs last for about 20 years on average and metal roofs can last twice as long.
  • Slate tiles used on roofs have high durability, with a life span of over 100 years.
  • According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), metal roofs provide better fire protection as compared to other popular roofing materials such as asphalt shingles.

Top Summary Points

  1. Choosing the best type of roofing for a home will depend on the climate/weather in its location.
  2. Different types of roof materials are better suited to handle different weather conditions, with heat-resistant materials recommended for hot temperatures and resilient materials advised for colder areas with rain, hail, snow or high winds.
  3. Places that experience hurricanes or tornadoes should add hurricane straps to the roof for extra support.
  4. Financial, costs should also be taken into consideration when deciding which roof material is best.


When considering the budget for re-roofing your home, one of the most important factors to consider is material cost. The roofing material chosen will have a large effect on the budget both upfront and in long-term maintenance or repair costs.

cot of repair

Asphalt shingles are the least expensive option for materials, followed by metal roofing systems. Synthetic slate, tile and wood shakes are among the more expensive materials needed for re-roofing a house.

Additionally, some materials may need more underlying reinforcement prior to installation, like adding sprinkler systems to protect wooden roofs from potential fire damage, which can cause an increase in overall cost.

Though cheaper materials tend to lead to a lower initial price tag, it is important to also consider the long-term effects that each type of roof may have on your budget.

For example, asphalt shingle roofing may be a cheap upfront expense but they lack durability when compared to higher-grade rooftop materials such as composite or metal roofs.

Choosing more durable materials can lead to long-term savings and less frequent repair or replacement needs.

Overall, it is important that homeowners carefully consider their budget when selecting the type of roofing for their home and weigh both short- and long-term costs associated with each material against their financial capabilities before making any decisions about residential re-roofing projects.

Types of Roofing Materials

When it comes to roofing materials, there is a wide variety to choose from. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks when compared to the others, so determining the right material for your home can be a challenge.

Asphalt shingles, metal roofing, tile roofing, wood shakes and slate tiles are the most commonly used roofing materials today.

  • Asphalt shingles are an inexpensive option.

They also offer a variety of colors and textures which make them ideal for creating a distinct look for any home.

Asphalt shingles are relatively low maintenance, however, they do not last as long as other options and may require more frequent repairs or replacement than other materials.

  • Metal roofing offers exceptional durability and longevity.

There are many styles of metal roofs available today, allowing homeowners to customize the aesthetic of their homes while still getting the protection of long lasting metal roofing.

Metal roofs offer excellent energy efficiency and utility savings over time, however, installation costs can be high due to the complexity of some metal roofs.

  • Tile roofs are growing in popularity due largely in part to their traditional styling and eye-catching appearance.

Tile roofs provide unmatched protection against wind and hail damage, enduring extreme elements of all sorts with ease. However, they come with a hefty price tag; installation costs can be as much or higher than some of the more expensive metals roofs on the market.

  • Wood shakes also provide excellent protection against wind, hail and sun damage but require regular maintenance in order to keep them looking good year after year.

Routine inspections should be scheduled; preservative treatments should be applied to keep shakes from becoming damaged by rot, fungus or insects.

Wood shakes are typically more costly than asphalt shingle but they add striking natural beauty to any home’s exterior design when done properly.

  • Lastly, slate tiles not only offer exceptional durability but also convey classic styling that looks great on almost any home.

Slate is fireproof and will last over 100 years but is difficult to repair if damaged so professionals should be consulted prior to purchasing slate roofing material. This stringent installation process also makes slate one of the more expensive roofing materials on the market today overall when factoring cost per square foot into account.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials used on residential houses. Asphalt shingles provide a wide variety of color and style choices that can change the look of a house.

Asphalt shingles are constructed with a base layer, or mat, covered with asphalt and topped off with colored, granule-like material to reflect the sun’s heat and make them more durable in tough weather.

One clear advantage to asphalt shingle roofing is cost. They are much less expensive than other roofing materials, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious homeowners.

They are also relatively easy to install, although some roofs may require special installation techniques due to their pitch or size which could make installation time longer.

Additionally, asphalt tiles are lightweight and can be installed over existing roofs, saving time and money on labor costs if you’re not doing the work yourself.

asphalt roof- Big Easy Roofing

On the other hand, many homeowners find asphalt shingles aesthetically unappealing. A downside to this type of roofing is that the material can potentially be damaged by hail or strong winds which can blow the shingles off of your roof in extreme cases.

This can lead to costly repairs or even a full replacement necessitating additional expenses that might not be recoverable from insurance claims.

Also, UV rays can cause asphalt shingles to wear prematurely; when exposed to long periods of direct sunlight they may need to be replaced sooner than expected due to their shorter lifespan compared to other materials.

All things considered, it’s important to weigh all the pros and cons when assessing whether asphalt shingle roofing is right for your home and budget!

After taking into consideration all available information, you should now have an informed opinion on the subject so you can make an educated decision about what type of roofing is best for your home and lifestyle.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is durable and can last up to 50 years with minimal maintenance. It offers excellent weather protection and is able to withstand strong winds, hail storms, and heavy snow.

Metal roofing materials come in a variety of colors, shapes, styles, textures, sizes and more so you can choose exactly the right look for your home. While metal roofs can be much pricier than asphalt shingle roofs, they are more energy efficient and require less maintenance over time.

Metal roofs also offer higher levels of insulation when compared to asphalt shingles.

On the downside, while most metal roofs are fire-resistant, their lightweight construction might lead to damage from lower-velocity wind or hail.

Also, since metal performs differently in terms of heat absorption as well as sound resonance, there could be some noise issues associated with it if not properly installed.

In comparison to other types of roofing such as tiles or shingles, installing or replacing a metal roof system is typically more difficult and takes longer due to its precise installation process – particularly when dealing with curved edges or multiple stories of a building.

This additional cost must be taken into consideration when determining the overall budget for the project.

Overall, metal roofing provides homeowners with considerable longevity and low maintenance that most other exterior options lack. However, one should consider all factors before deciding if this option is right for their home.

Now that we have explored all things related to metal roofing, let’s take a look at tiles – the next item on our Roofing 101 guide.


Tiles have long been esteemed as a premium roofing option, offering both aesthetic and practical benefits. Tiles are generally made from fired clay, although concrete tiles are also popular in some regions.

In many cases, tile roofs can last up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance.

Tile roofs help protect against the elements and offer some insulation value. The natural colors of tile blend well with any home’s exterior color palette and their durability can be trusted in even the strongest storms.

Proponents of tile roofing suggest that tile is fireproof, making it an ideal choice for areas prone to wildfires.

On the flip side, tiles can be extremely heavy and some roofs may require structural reinforcement depending on the existing construction. This means added upfront costs for labor and materials.

Additionally, tiles are more expensive compared to other materials like asphalt shingles and metal roofing. Despite requiring minimal repairs over time, if one individual tile becomes damaged you will likely need to replace an entire row or section in order to ensure a consistent look across your roofline.

Ultimately, while there are pros and cons to consider when debating tile roofing installations, a properly installed tile system can protect your home for years to come and is an excellent choice for those looking to invest in a quality product with longevity.

Now that we have discussed the merits of tiled roofs let’s move on to discuss the strengths of wood roofs in the following section.


Wood is one of the oldest forms of roofing material and it’s still used today. Wood shingles and shakes are both popular choices for residential homes, but their lifespans vary.

Wood shakes have a much shorter lifespan than wood shingles, with an average life span of 15-30 years, while wood shingles can last up to 50 years when properly maintained.

Both types of wood roofing require regular maintenance in order to keep them in good condition. If not maintained properly, the roofs can easily become damaged by moisture or insects.

wooden roof cedar shingle

The main benefit of using wood roofing is its aesthetic appeal; it provides a natural look that adds character to any home.

In addition, it is relatively inexpensive compared to other types of roofing materials, making it budget friendly for most homeowners.

On the downside, wood roofing is also more combustible than other types of roof materials, making it a less safe option in areas with high fire risk.

Given the pros and cons that come along with using wood as a roofing material, weighing the pros and cons should be part of any homeowner’s decision-making process when considering this option.

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits and drawbacks associated with using wood for your home’s roof let’s move on to discussing the pros and cons of different roofing types.

Pros and Cons of Different Roofing Types

When choosing the best roofing for your home, consider the following:

Asphalt Shingle Roofs:

  • Economical option with a lifespan of up to 20 years.
  • Difficult to replace larger sections if damaged.
  • May not offer sufficient protection in areas with frequent hail storms or high winds.

Metal Roofing:

  • Extremely durable and fire-resistant, lasting over 50 years.
  • More cost-effective in the long run due to longevity and energy efficiency.
  • Higher installation costs due to complexity.

Tile or Slate Roofs:

  • Life expectancy of around 30 years but more expensive to install.
  • Heavy weight and labor-intensive application process.
  • Time-consuming and costly to replace broken tiles.

Wood Shake Roofing:

  • Provides a rustic aesthetic and strength but requires regular maintenance.
  • Lacks fire resistance, requiring additional protective measures in certain regions.

Rubber Membranes or Synthetic Compositions (TPO):

  • Comparable lifespan to metal roofs, protecting against extreme temperatures.
  • More susceptible to wear and tear from hail or debris impact.

Understanding the pros and cons of each roofing type enables homeowners to make an informed decision based on climate conditions and budget considerations. Now, let’s discuss how homeowners can determine the best kind of roofing for their specific needs.

How to Determine the Best Roofing Type for You

When it comes to determining the best type of roofing for your home, there are several factors to consider—budget, location, climate and desired aesthetic.

While the initial cost may be a significant factor when selecting a type of roofing, keep in mind that the quality of materials and longevity of the roof should also be taken into account as this can impact overall cost over time.

One option people often look to is shingle roofs made from asphalt. Asphalt shingles are harvested from petroleum in sheets and nailed or glued onto the roof.

This type of roofing is typically the least expensive and available in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors to accommodate a homeowner’s desired aesthetic.

An advantage for homeowners who choose asphalt shingle roofs is that many types come with warranties of up to 10 years, providing assurance that their roof will last.

The opposing view suggests that metal roofing may be a more cost-effective choice due to its longer lifespan. Metal roofs usually require little maintenance beyond some occasional paint touch ups and can easily last over 25 years.

Some other benefits of metal roofing include its high durability in various weather conditions, including extreme temperatures and heavy snowfall; plus, it can provide additional insulation and reduced energy bills.

The setbacks associated with metal roofing include its heavier weight and more costly installation than an asphalt shingle roof.

Moreover, because metal roofs can reflect sunlight and make noise when precipitation hits them—some homeowners find this less desirable than having an asphalt shingle roof installed.

Ultimately, it is important to weigh all pros and cons carefully when evaluating what type of roofing material works best for your home—taking into consideration everything from current budget to long-term cost savings—since this item is such an important investment for homeowners.

Maintenance and Lifespan of Roofing Options

Consider maintenance and lifespan when choosing roofing:

  • Different roofing types require varying levels of maintenance.
  • Asphalt shingle roofs may need more upkeep, requiring periodic sealing to prevent water damage.
  • Tile roofs need regular checks for breaks and cracks, with missing tiles requiring replacement.
  • All roofs should be periodically cleaned to remove debris and vegetation, with moss removed using professional products.

Lifespan varies significantly:

  • Asphalt shingles last around 12-20 years with maintenance, while tile and metal roofs can reach 50 years or more.
  • Asphalt is cheaper upfront but offers less longevity, while metal roofs are more durable but often costlier.
  • Homeowners should weigh these factors carefully before deciding.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the expected lifespan of different types of roofing materials?

Roofing lifespan varies based on factors:

  • Asphalt shingles: 20 to 50 years with maintenance.
  • Metal roofing: 40 to 70 years on average.
  • Clay tile: Over 100 years but pricier.
  • Slate roofing: Up to 200 years, but costlier and needs skilled installation.

Choose a roof type based on budget and desired lifespan.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of different types of roofing materials?

Advantages and disadvantages of different roofing materials:

Asphalt Shingles:

  • Common and affordable.
  • Easy to install, lightweight, and provide good insulation.
  • Variety of colors available to match home’s exterior.
  • Less durable than other materials and susceptible to weather and installation damage.

Wood Shake Roofing:

  • Classic and charming look.
  • Excellent energy efficiency and insulation.
  • Requires regular maintenance for waterproofing, staining, and mildew treatment.
  • Heavier than asphalt shingles, demanding extra measures during installation.

Metal Roofs:

  • Customizable in color, shape, and size.
  • Long-lasting (up to 50 years) with proper care.
  • Highly durable against various elements.
  • More expensive upfront than asphalt or wood, with added costs for wind uplift protection.
  • Decisions should consider the intended use, environment, and budget.

What should be taken into consideration when choosing a roofing material?

Consider these factors when choosing roofing material:

  1. Cost and longevity: Longer-lasting materials may have higher upfront costs but offer better long-term value.
  2. Local regulations: Ensure the material meets building codes, especially regarding fire ratings in certain regions.
  3. Climate suitability: Select materials that withstand weather conditions in your area, like hail or snow resistance.
  4. Aesthetic appeal: Choose a style that complements your home’s look, whether classic or modern.

Considering these elements ensures the right roofing material for your home.

Ready to start your roofing project? Big Easy Roofing is here to help. Our experienced team of professionals provides quality roofing services and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us show you why Big Easy Roofing should be your trusted partner for all of your roofing needs.

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