How to Choose the Best Roofing Materials For Your House

If you’re planning on replacing your roof, you’ll quickly find that you have many options based on your aesthetic choices, the design of your home and your roof, and your budget. It’s important to find an experienced, local roofing company to install your new roof, and they can be a great resource early in the process as you consider different options within your price point.

Houses in suburb at Summer in north America. Luxury houses with nice landscape.

A Primer on Roofing Terminology And Types

Most roofers don’t use square feet as a measurement. Instead, they talk in squares. Their basic unit is a square, equivalent to a 10′ x 10′ square in area. A typical two-story, 2,000-square-foot house with a gable roof will have a roof area of less than 1,500 square feet or about 15 squares.

The choice for available roofing materials is long and increases yearly as new technologies and materials are developed. You can choose from traditional asphalt shingles to natural materials like cedar shakes, natural slate, and clay tiles. Other materials include metal shingles or standing seam, a rolled rubber roof, fiber-cement, or concrete tiles.

What Material Should You Choose For Your New Roof?

Your choice is only limited by your budget and the condition and design of your home.

Asphalt/Fiberglass Composition Shingles

This is the most common and generally most affordable roofing material. Asphalt shingles are durable, long-lasting, reasonably lightweight, and are quick and easy to install. These are just a few of the reasons asphalt shingles are found in 75% of all homes in the US. They come in a wide variety of styles and colors to complement your home’s architecture and style. You can even select what are known as architectural shingles, which are thicker and have a more interesting texture. An asphalt roof will last 25-30 years.

Wood Shingles

Wood is one of the oldest and most traditional shingle types, although fire codes forbid its use in some areas. Usually made of cedar, redwood, or southern pine, shingles are sawn or split. They have a life expectancy in the 25-year range (like asphalt shingles) but cost an average of twice as much.


Aluminum and steel are durable, stylish, eco-friendly, and expensive roofing surfaces. Standing seam metal roofs are traditional in cottage and farmhouse construction but also look good on modern homes. Available in multiple colors, a metal roof is attractive and can last for the lifetime of your home. The cost can be more than twice that of a shingle roof but is often more cost-effective over the lifetime of the home. They also reflect heat, keep your home cooler in summer, shed snow and ice easily in the winter, and are fire-resistant.


Slate is among the most durable and traditional of all roofing materials. Slate will outlast the home it is installed on; the best of it will survive the fasteners that hold it in place. Hundred-year-old slate is often recycled for reinstallation. Slate is very heavy and extremely expensive—typically, prices start at about $800 a square. It also requires regular maintenance by a roofing contractor with experience working on slate roofs. If you desire a slate look with less weight, a synthetic composite slate may be a good choice for you.

If you are looking for the best materials for your new roof, contact the professionals at Armorvue Home Exteriors today for a virtual appointment to discuss all of your options. We’ve been installing homes in this area for over 75 years and we can help guide you through all of your choices. Find the perfect roof for your home that looks great, performs well, and is within your budget.


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