Besides major remodeling projects such as kitchen or bathroom renovation, new roofing is one of the most expensive home improvement “repairs” that a homeowner ever faces. As with most home improvement choices, homeowners have to choose between quality and expense. With roofing, material quality is usually directly related to how long you can expect your roof to hold up.  

But let’s face it, it doesn’t make sense to scrounge up pocket change for a roof that isn’t going to hold up when inclement weather or heavy snowfall strikes. And since installing a new roof is one of the most expensive home improvements you’ll make, you want to make sure that your investment is a good one. After all, a cheap roof is no bargain if you have to replace it every eight years.  

Here, we’ve outlined roofing material comparisons to help you choose the best roofing material for your roof. 

Composite Asphalt Shingle Roof

As one of the most popular roofing materials, composite shingle roofing is found on more than 80 percent of all homes. Composite shingles use either an organic or fiberglass base that is saturated with asphalt, coated on the bottom side with quartz or ceramic granules. These roofs are relatively low cost, easy to install, and have a decent lifespan. 

Average Lifespan

Composite asphalt shingle roofs can be expected to last 15 to 40 years, depending on the quality of the materials chosen. In some instances, shingle roofs may even last as long as 50 years. Most shingle roofing manufacturers offer a range of products in different weights and life expectancies. Preserve the lifespan of asphalt shingle roofs by avoiding cheap shingles and avoid walking on them. Never power wash an asphalt shingle roof. 

Average Value

On average, asphalt shingle roofs cost around $5 per square foot to install, though the labor costs vary from region to region. Assuming that a 2,000 square foot house has a roof square footage of around 2,200 square feet, that roof averages about $12,000 for professional installation. Factor in that the roof will probably be replaced at least three to four times, and you’re looking at about $30,000 to $40,000 over 100 years.  

Since you’re less likely to live in a home for that time period, an asphalt shingle roof is a great price point for most homeowners.

Roofing Material Comparisons - Composite Asphalt Shingle Roof

Standing-Seam Metal Roof

Standing-seam metal roofing is a concealed fastener roofing system that features vertical or trapezoidal legs with flat space in between. This increasingly popular type of roofing material is made from large steel panels, although copper and zinc are also used. These roofs are virtually maintenance-free and very durable.

Average Lifespan

Standing-seam metal roofs have a lifespan of 30 to 50 years, but information about longevity is still being gathered. In optimal circumstances, metal roofs may last up to 75 years. If you want to prolong your roof’s lifespan, regularly check to ensure that fasteners and sealants haven’t failed, and inspect your roof for distressed, bent, or slipped panels.

Average Value

Costs for standing-seam metal roofs average about $10 per square foot for steel or aluminum, $13 per square foot for zinc, and $18 per square foot for copper. For a 2,000 square foot house with 2,200 in a sloped roof area, average national costs for a steel panel roof are about $22,000.
Roofing Material Comparisons - Standing-Seam Metal Roof

Clay or Cement Tile Roofs

Clay tile roofs are very popular in the Southwest but can found anywhere in the country. These specific roofs have incredible strength and durability––thanks to clay and ceramic terracotta materials. These roofs are made up of individual tiles aligned in overlapping layers over the roof surface.  

This may very well be the only roof your home ever needs.  

Average Lifespan

Unlike traditional roofs with shingles or wood, clay tile roofs are less likely to slough off of mineral grains, as with composite shingles. Rather, cracking is what can doom tile roofs. Avoid walking on your tile roof as much as possible to prevent damage. 

Average Value

Costs for clay or cement tile roofs vary considerably. For instance, concrete tiles can cost around $10 per square foot installed; terra cotta can range from $15 to $20 per square foot installed; ceramic tile, from $20 to $30 per square foot, installed. However, since this roof will very likely last a century, costs in today’s dollars would remain $44,000 over 100 years.
Roofing Material - Clay Tile Roof

Slate Roof

Slate is another version of a stone roof, but rather being made from molded clays or concrete, these roofs are covered with actual stone hewn from rock mined from quarries. For those concerned with their budget, slate is one of the most expensive roofing materials but the most durable of all. When properly maintained, slate can potentially last the lifetime of your home. 

Average Lifespan

This roof is extremely durable, so you can expect it to easily last up to 100 years or more. If you want to extend the life of your slate roof, immediately replace any broken tiles you find. Make sure that all flashings are correctly installed and in good working order.

Average Value

There is a large variation in costs for a slate roof, which can range from around $10 per square foot to as high as $75 per square foot. If we assume an average home installation cost of $30 per square foot, then a 2,000 square foot home can cost roughly $60,000 to roof with slate.
Roofing Material - Slate Roof

For more information or to schedule a roofing consultation, contact Energy Shield.