Your Guide to Choosing a New Roof

You know you need a new roof. You’ve chosen a roofing contractor you trust, and you are ready to sign the contract. However, before your project can move forward, you will need to look at the specific choices that go into your new roof. Your contractor will guide you through the choices you need to make when it’s time for a new roof.

A gray ranch style model house in a new neighborhood.

Understanding the Terminology

It can be difficult to choose a new roof if you don’t understand the terminology that your roofing contractor will use. Understanding the terminology will help you when it comes to understanding how much your roof will cost.

  •   Roofing Square

A roofing square is a 10 ft by 10 ft area of your roof. A typical two-story home usually contains about 15 squares. When your roofing contractor is quoting their prices for installation, they will usually specify per square.

  •   Flashing

Flashing is metal or plastic film applied in strips to areas where dissimilar materials adjoin. Your will have flashing installed around your chimney, along any skylights, and anywhere else you want a good seal. Good flashing is what will help keep your roof watertight.

  •   Layering

Layering is installing new shingles over your existing roof. Although you may save some money in labor by avoiding roof removal and disposal, in most cases it’s not a good idea. It typically won’t last as long, and layering materials will usually void your warranty.

Considerations When Making Your Choice

There are several different factors that go into choosing the materials for your new roof. Some of the things you’ll want to consider are:

  •   Cost

Budget will likely play a big factor. There is a big difference in price when comparing the different materials.

  •   Durability

Certain materials will last longer than others and are less prone to damage from storms or fire.

  •   Style

Certain homes lend themselves well to different styles. If you have a historic or Mission style home, you will want your roof to reflect that style.

Understanding the Different Materials for Your New Roof

Before you and your roofing contractor talk materials, make sure you discuss budget. The different materials have very different price points, and while choosing more expensive materials usually comes with distinct advantages, it’s important to understand upfront.

  •   Asphalt

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material. They are the most budget friendly, and most roofing professionals are very skilled in installation. Asphalt shingles usually last between 20-25 years.

  •   Wood

Wood shingles are good for the homeowner who wants to preserve the look of a more traditional home. Wood shingles also have a life expectancy of 25 years, but are considerably more expensive and may be prohibited by the fire code in some areas.

  •   Metal

Metal roofs are gaining in popularity. They are lightweight, energy efficient, and long lasting. They are typically styled to look like traditional shingles. While metal roofs have many advantages, they can be very expensive and not every roofing contractor is experienced with installation.

  •   Tile and Cement

Tile and cement work well with certain styles of home. They are extremely durable and long lasting but tend to be expensive and very heavy. Some homes can’t support the weight without additional work.

  •   Slate

Slate will last for over 100 years. It is the most durable of all roofing materials. However, like tile and cement, slate is expensive and very heavy.

Choosing a new roof can be overwhelming. When making your decisions, look at the existing roof on your home, talk to your roofing contractor about what is most important to you. Contact Armorvue Home Exteriors for a virtual appointment to talk about a new roof for your home today!


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