How to Choose the Right Roof for Your Home

When it comes to roofing, you are not short of options these days. There are a wide variety of alternatives ranging from natural materials such as slate and wood to manufactured products like asphalt, polymers and sheet metal. While each option comes with pros and cons from a structural standpoint, a roof serves more than just a utilitarian purpose; it is a design element that can increase the visual appeal of your home and add a finishing touch to its beauty.

So what do you need to consider when selecting a roof?

Longevity: How long will the roof last?
Weathering: Will it stand up to extreme weather conditions and natural disasters?
Weight: Is it too heavy for the existing frame?
Aesthetics: Will it complement the rest of the house? Are there enough colour options?
Energy Savings: How do different roofing materials affect energy savings?
Price: How much does it cost to install it and maintain it?

There is a number of different options available for selection including asphalt shingles, metal, plastic polymer, clay and concrete tiles, slates and wood shingles. It can be overwhelming to have so many different options, especially if you don’t know the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Having said that, it can also be confusing to spend paragraphs talking about each option.

This is why we created the comparison chart below to help you through this process. We rated the different roofing options based on 8 criteria and came up with a final grade for each alternative.

Asphalt Metal Natural Slate/Tile Wood
Longevity 4 5 5 3
Weathering 5 5 5 2
Weight 4 5 3 3
Aesthetics 5 3 5 3
Colour Choices 5 5 5 2
Energy Savings 5 5 2 2
Initial Cost* 4 3 2 1
Long Term Cost* 5 5 5 2
Total 37 36 32 18

* A higher rating for cost indicates lower price for the consumer

Based on our ratings, premium asphalt is a great choice given its average cost, low maintenance and aesthetics. There is a reason why over 80% of homeowners are choosing to install asphalt roofing. Of course, based on your budget and the specific look you are going for, you might want to consider another alternative.

When it comes to installing the roof, it is important that you leave it to professionals. Not only is it a dangerous project that requires experience and expertise, it is also critical for warranty purposes. A roof that is not installed by the manufacturer’s specifications will not be covered by a warranty and the last thing you want when you invest in your home is to be deprived of that protection in case a problem occurs.

Finally, to get the best performance from your new roof, it is recommended to perform an inspection beforehand to determine the best way to undertake the project. Installing new shingles on top of an old underlayment is usually not a good idea if you are looking for longevity. In order to get good long-term results, the underlayment is just as critical to the equation as the shingles. Take a minute to watch the short video below that explains the process visually to have a better idea about it.

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