What Type of Roof Should I Choose?

Choosing the right roof for your home is an important decision. Asphalt shingles are the most common and affordable option, but there are other materials to consider, such as slate, clay, metal, wood, green roofs, and solar shingles. Each type of roof has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to consider your home's climate, budget, and style when making a decision. Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in North America.

They are made of a fiberglass base covered with asphalt and mineral granules. They come in a variety of colors such as gray, brown, red, green or blue. Architectural asphalt shingles have more than three tabs to create a layered texture on the roof and are more expensive but can last 15 to 30 years. Three-tab asphalt shingles are thinner and create a uniform brick-like pattern.

They are more affordable but typically last 7 to 15 years. Wood roofs can be a great choice for charming Cape Cod cottages and cozy Craftsman and Tudor style homes. They start out gritty brown and silver with age. Wood roofs can last 50 years in dry climates but must be treated in fire-prone areas such as California.

Humid climates such as the East Coast can cause water damage that shortens the life of wooden roofs. Clay shingles are common in warm climates like Southern California and Florida because they can withstand winds of up to 150 miles per hour and are incredibly fire resistant. Natural slate is extracted from quarries while synthetic alternatives such as fiber cement, slate or bituminous styles are more affordable but have many of the same benefits as natural slate. Green roofs are one of the most affordable types of roofs and can be a great choice for those looking for an eco-friendly option. Roll roofs are also very popular with homeowners and builders on a budget. All installation materials are affordable and labor is also cost-effective.

However, roll roofs should not be hammered into flat roofs as this may cause water leakage. When choosing the right roof for your home, it's important to get expert advice from experienced professionals such as home improvement writers, content editors, small business owners, creative agencies, and licensed professionals. At Bankrate we strive to provide readers with accurate and unbiased information so you can make smart personal finance decisions.