Part of owning a home is knowing that you’ll have to replace the roof sooner or later. Given that the average roof replacement costs between $2,000 and $12,000, you’ll want to do your research on roof shapes and types before making a decision on what type of roofing material you want used—even before you even need a roofer to install it. Once you’ve educated yourself, you can find a roofer qualified to help ensure you’re making the right decision for your home. Here are some of the common types of roofing, along with their lifespans and some pros and cons.
Wood shakes and shingles are one of the oldest roofing materials, and they still lend a classic look to your home. Modern versions can still be quite durable: If properly cared for, wood shakes commonly have a lifespan of 14 to 20 years. The initial cost of a wood roof is only moderate, but the wood does require treatment for fire resistance and periodic maintenance, raising the cost per year of this choice. Architectural styles that commonly incorporate wooden shingles are Colonial and Tudor Revival.
Asphalt roofs provide one of the lowest costs per year of any roofing material. Not only are they generally inexpensive per square foot, asphalt roof shingles can last between 18 and 30 years depending on weather and maintenance. You’ve probably seen this style often, as 80% of residential homes use them. One downside, though, is that they’re not particularly eco-friendly if they end up in a landfill.
Clay Tile, Slate and Steel
Clay tile, slate and steel all last similar lengths of time—and that lifespan is significantly longer than other materials. These types of roofs can last 50 years or longer, though that predictably comes with a higher initial cost. Slate can even last up to 75 years if properly installed, but costs up to twice as much as clay tile. These materials are also all highly fire resistant and offer unique architectural interest.
Of course, all these types of roofing materials require proper installation and maintenance to reach their maximum lifespans, so you’ll need a roofer experienced in installing your selected type. And once your new roof is installed, experts recommend you have it inspected at least once a year to avoid letting problems compound to the point where they’ll require more extensive and costly action.