There are many types of roofing materials out there. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- Cost —The shingle roof is the most economical in comparison to the metal roof and the slate/tile option. Depending on the options, a shingle roof can be 50% cheaper than metal and a drop in the bucket compared to a slate or tile roof.
- Speed of Installation —The installation time on a roofing project can vary because of size, steepness, and the number of layers that need to be torn off. Install time can be anywhere from 1-3 days.
- Attractive Look—There are many different styles of shingles. With technology evolving over the years, shingle manufacturers have been developing color patterns that are attractive to the eye and create great curb appeal.
- Lifetime Cost—The life spans of a shingle roof vary from roof to roof and region to region. However, the cost of maintenance is minimal. The first 10-15 years after a new roof is installed, zero maintenance will be needed. After that 10–15-year point, it is a good idea to have the roof inspected every couple of years if you are located in an area that has frequent storms. If not, a roof inspection may be a good idea every 5 years after that initial inspection.
- Easy to Repair—With any type of roofing application, problems can arise. A shingle roof application is the easiest and most efficient to repair.
- Absorbs heat—Instead of reflecting heat from the sun, a shingle roof absorbs the heat, causing the attic to heat up as well. As such, more energy is utilized to cool the house down.
- Susceptible to Storms—Depending on the brand and style of shingle that you purchase, the quality varies. Some shingles only have a 60-mph wind warranty. Only a few varieties of shingles are made to handle a hail impact. Standard shingles, over time, will have a hard time handling storms compared to the other two roof styles.
- Life Span—Shingle warranties range, but overall, shingles are rated between 25 and 50 years. You might think that that’s a pretty good range, but it’s a little rare to get the maximum life out of every shingle, especially in a region prone to storms. In these regions, life expectancy can be cut in half.
- Durability—Metal roofs are quite durable and hold up to the outside elements much better than a shingle roof. Metal roofs are unaffected by both heat and cold. Unlike a shingle roof that absorbs the sun’s heat, a metal roof reflects the heat from the sun. Unfortunately, hail also affects metal roofs by leaving unsightly dents.
- Looks—Not everyone may like the look of metal, but overall, a metal roof looks sharp. Depending on the manufacturer, a 30-year warranty could be provided against fading of the color.
- Low Lifetime Cost—A metal roof has a very minimal lifetime cost lasting approximately 40-70 years. It would be good to have the roof thoroughly inspected after 10-15 years and every 5 years or so after that. This time frame depends on your geographic location. Homeowners living in areas prone to powerful storms may want to have it checked out more often.
- Slower Install Time—Installing a metal roof is a slow process. Each metal panel needs to be set into place so that the seams align properly. A shingle job that may take 1 to 3 days to install can easily take 1-2 weeks to install if the metal is the chosen product.
- Cost—Between the increase in labor and materials, a metal roof can easily double the cost of a shingle roof. The cost over 50 years can equal out since you might have to replace the shingle roof a second time. However, the original price of the metal roof turns many away.
- Harder to Repair—As we talked about, a shingle roof is easy to repair. A metal roof, on the other hand, can be much tougher. A metal roof requires more of a skilled trade laborer to perform the work. Plus, a metal roof may expand from the bottom of a roof to the top. This creates quite a project and instead of hundreds of dollars to repair a section, it’s possible a repair can be in the thousands.
Tile or Slate Roof
- Life Span—The main advantage of a slate or tile roof is the life span. The tile themselves can last well over 100 years. In some cases where the slate or tile roof is replaced, the tiles themselves are removed and then reinstalled after the underlayment is replaced along with any damaged wood.
- Looks—Slate and tile come in many styles and color variations. Many shingle manufacturers make shingles that try to mimic the look of a slate or tile roof. A slate or tile roof offers a look that is incomparable to any other option on the market.
- Price—The total cost of a slate or tile roof well outpaces the cost of a shingle or metal roof. A slate or tile roof can range into thousands of dollars per square. This type of roof can start around the $30-40,000 mark and go easily over the $100,000 range.
- Install Time—A slate or tile job can easily take a month or longer to install. This can be a big consideration when choosing a roof.
We hope that this has helped you as you consider the best roofing option for your particular needs.