Economical to produce, relatively easy to install and widely available, asphalt shingles are today’s most popular roofing material—not only because they’re less costly than wood shakes, tile, metal or slate, but also because their guaranteed life span puts them favorably against competitors. At least a dozen major U.S. and Canadian building-product manufacturers market asphalt shingles, including GAF, CertainTeed and Owens Corning.
Tile roofs come in many styles, and each has its own preferred applications and intrinsic beauty. An exotic sense of romance is associated in particular with clay roof tiles, which commonly appear on Southwest-style and Mediterranean-inspired homes.
In addition to their beauty, tile roofs are extremely durable, lasting for centuries in some cases. Whether made of fired clay or concrete, individual tiles are often molded in a barrel shape, and reinforcing their strength is tile roofing’s interlocking mode of installation
An alternative to asphalt shingles and other popular materials, metal roofing offers high performance under harsh conditions and can last as long as a lifetime. When roofing your house, consider using a metal roof. Available in a variety of colors and styles, metal roofing is made of recycled materials and can be recycled itself, saving space in landfills. A metal roof can lasts three to four times longer than asphalt and it performs better in high winds.
There are two types of wood roofing—shingles and shakes. Neither boasts the practicality of a modern roofing material like asphalt shingles, but it’s difficult to deny traditional wood’s aesthetic appeal. In fact, many other roofing products try to simulate look of wood shingles and shakes. Made from cedar, spruce, or treated pine, wood roofing is especially appropriate for older homes and those based upon historical styles.
Which style is right for me?