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Your Home’s Hat: Picking the Right Type of Roof

Until the roof leaks or the shingles are blown off, most people don’t pay much attention to their roofs. However, aside from keeping the inside of your home dry and safe, the roof is essential for the personality and appearance of the house. When it’s time to replace your roof or if you’re building a new house, you should decide what type of roof is best for the style of your home. There are more roofing materials on the market than ever before, which means it can be challenging to pick the right one. Here are some of the best options for choosing the ideal type of roof for your house:

Shingle and Shake: Craftsman, Traditional, Ranch Style
Type of Roof shingle and shake


Wood shakes and shingles are among the most visually appealing types of roofs. Cedar is often used for the shingles in red, white or yellow varieties. Over time, the wood will weather out and turn a gray or silver color. Real wood shingles are best, but they can be costly and require maintenance such as pressure washing and re-oiling. Shake or shingle type roofs will last from 30 to 50 years, so the cost of the roof is often offset due to its lifespan. Make sure you check with your city to find out if the fire codes will allow you to have a these types of roofs made from natural wood.

Clay Tiles: Mediterranean, Spanish, Moorish
Type of Roof clay roof

performance roofing

Clay tiles were once made by hand by placing the clay over a thigh or log. These tiles will last for years and are quite beautiful. Barrel tiles are also on the market these days and are made from concrete, metal or plastic as a cheaper alternative to clay. Barrel tile types of roofs work well if you’re constructing or remodeling your home to feature Mediterranean or Old World style. Even though clay tiles are costly, you’ll get up to 80 years out of them, which makes the price well worth it.

Asphalt Shingles: Traditional, Ranch Style, Contemporary
Type of Roof asphalt roof

bob vila

Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roof shingles these days. Most of the shingles are three-tab. They are the most affordable choice, and you can choose from 12 or more colors, including solid shades and blended varieties for a natural look. Asphalt shingles can last for 20 to 30 years, but likely won’t do much for the overall appearance of your home. If you want a better version of the shingle, you can go for the 3-tab variety, that is known as the architectural shingle.

Metal: Modern, Some Traditional Styles
Type of Roof Metal modern


If you want a type of roof that’s both modern and vintage chic, metal is a great choice. These types of roofs first gained popularity in the 1700s and were a mixture of lead, copper and zinc. A number of historic buildings in the country still have metal roofs. These days, a roof made of metal will likely consist of galvanized steel on the low end and copper on the high end. Roofs made of metal are also environmentally safe, since many of them are made from about 65 percent recycled materials. Since these types of roofs are relatively light, they can be installed over your existing roof, and you won’t have to throw away excess materials in landfills. Metal roofs often cost more, so it’s best to determine the life span of the roof before getting one.

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