Types of House Roofing


The roof on a house is not only practical in protecting it from the elements, but also reflective of the residence's architecture. Each roof type has its advantages and disadvantages. When installing or replacing a roof, cost is an important factor in determining roof type. Roof materials vary widely in appearance, durability and cost.

Shingle Roofs

  • The most common and least expensive roof type is the shingle roof. Most shingle roofs consist of asphalt shingles, which may last up to 20 years and are priced in the range of $50 to about $150 per 100 square feet, according to Bob Vila's online home improvement library. Asphalt shingles have replaced wood shingles over the decades because of the cost of wood and changing building and fire safety codes. Asphalt shingles are naturally water-resistant and are coated with ceramic granules to prevent damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, according to Ask the Builder columnist Tim Carter.

Metal Roofs

  • Metal roofs are gaining popularity because of the material's durability and energy efficiency. Metal can lower energy usage because it reflects, rather than absorbs, heat from the sun. Most metal roofs are standing-seam, meaning they are made of long sheets of metal joined by a raised vertical seam. According to Carter, metal roofs are fairly fire-resistant and low-maintenance. Metal also withstands wind, rain and snow well. Although the tiles are priced from $100 to $600 per 100 square feet—putting them at a higher price than shingle roofs—they cost less than tile or slate roofs and can last for a least 50 years.

Tile Roofs

  • Appearing often on Spanish- and Mediterranean-style homes, tile roofs are hardy and fire-resistant. Tiles are made of either concrete or molded clay that has been baked and then cured to strengthen the tile. Clay tiles can cost $300 to $500 installed per 100 square feet, according to Vila, and tile roofs will last for several decades. Tiles can be glazed, flat or interlocking and come in a variety of shapes and colors. The heavy weight of tile roofing requires a strong roof frame and trusses that are able to support the tiles, according to Roofing Materials by Vila.

Slate Roofs

  • Slate is a beautiful choice for a roof. Dense, durable and resistant to fire, hail, water and insects, slate has been used throughout history and is common in the Northeast region. Slate roofs require a skilled installer and can last more than 100 years. According to Vila, slate can cost up to $1,000 per 100 square feet. As with tile roofs, slate is very heavy and requires a roof frame that will support its weight.

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  • Photo Credit roofers working together image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com roof image by kuhar from Fotolia.com roof line image by John Sfondilias from Fotolia.com red tile roof image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com slate image by BONNIE C. MARQUETTE from Fotolia.com
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