The roof serves as your home's greatest protector. It's the main thing keeping the elements from destroying your greatest asset. Roof costs can be high. But they're a fraction of the price you could pay for ignoring roof problems. Investing in your roof also generally raises property values. The primary factors that will affect the cost of your roof installation or repair are the complexity of the job, the number of shingles or tiles needed and the quality of materials.
Asphalt and composite shingles are some of the most affordable, easy-to-install, durable and long-lasting roofing materials you can use. They can be made with organic or fiberglass materials. Fiberglass shingles tend to provide better fire protection, but both types can be waterproofed and should effectively protect against mold and mildew. Continue Reading
The biggest drawbacks to asphalt shingles are that sudden weather changes can cause them to decay, and their reputation as the cheap-looking option. But new advances have led to asphalt shingles with different looks and textures that are much more appealing.
If your home has an Italian, Spanish Mission or southwestern look, clay roofs can finish that motif with a grand flourish. Clay tiles last a long time, protect against fire and won't rot or fall prey to insects. But they're fragile and costly, both for the materials and the labor. They also tend to be heavier than other materials, so extra roof support might be needed.
Like clay tiles, these carved rock shingles can be heavy, so you might need extra support for your roof. They also can be expensive and fragile. But slate provides excellent fire protection, it lasts a long time, it's low maintenance and it provides an elegant, natural look that can be laid out in many patterns.
Beware of the fire hazard. Yes, wood shake creates a gorgeous natural look, but even with sprayed-on fire retardant, they provide poor protection against a blaze. For that reason, many neighborhood covenants ban them. Wood shakes also require more maintenance than other materials, making them fairly expensive over time.
Concrete or Cement Tiles
Cement or concrete roofing is growing in popularity because it can create the look of wood or ceramic tile without most of the drawbacks. They tend to last a long time, provide good fire protection, require little maintenance and they're usually both lighter and more affordable than ceramic. The many styles and colors of cement and concrete give you tremendous flexibility.
Metal roofs tend to be more expensive than other options, but you can't beat them for durability. A metal roof that is periodically sealed and painted to protect it from poor weather and moisture can last a lifetime without replacement. In fact, it's not unusual to find them sold with lifetime warranties. They can be painted any color, and they can try (not always successfully) to mimic other materials. The main drawback of metal roofs is the noise: rain pinging on a metal does not lend itself to a quiet time at home. These roofs also carry high price tags.
Although the cost and quality of roofing materials may be the largest factor in your roofing costs, there are a few others that can influence the price.
If you are not putting a new roof on a new home but are replacing an existing roof, you may need to factor in the removal of the old roof. Some types of roofing shingles allow for installing new shingles right on top of the old, but some do not.
In figuring the price of roofing, be aware that you also may need to put an underlayment to further protect your roof.
Also, you may have to factor in the accessibility. If your roof is extremely steep, very high, or has hard to reach places, a roofer may charge a higher rate. Accessibility is a significant cost factor for many roofing professionals.