Types of Roofing

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San Francisco Roofing Materials


Your roof is the crowning jewel of your home. Choosing one material over the other may not seem like a very big consideration, but it can actually change the entire look of your home. Be sure to make a wise choice when choosing your home’s roofing material, whether it be a new construction home or a remodel. Before settling on a material, consider the four C’s- cost, color, continuity, and the climate in which it will be used.


Cost, of course, is a big factor in any purchasing decision. Decide on a budget that works for you and stick to it. Keep in mind that this number will need to cover materials, installation costs, and you may even want to factor in any major maintenance that may need to be done over the life of the roof. A slightly more expensive roofing material with minimal maintenance will cost you less over the long run than a cheap one that needs to have costly maintenance performed on it more often.


This is a matter of personal preference, but you will want to choose a color of roofing that compliments the overall design of your home. The specific materials you choose can also add or detract from the aesthetic, so choose wisely. There are many materials that can be bought in a variety of colors, or even matched to your specific desired color, such as asphalt shingles. Still others have their own unique coloration that will have to match your home as-is, like copper roofing. You may choose a color that blends in with your current color scheme, or one that “pops” out, it’s up to you. If you’re not sure about what kind of color or style would go best with your home, a designer, architect, roofing specialist, or even showroom employee may be able to offer you advice and help you decide. There are several tools online that allow you to upload a photo of your home and “try on” different roofing materials in various colors that allow you to get a sense of how the different materials may look on your home, which can be invaluable information. It’s one thing to see how it looks on a sample house, and quite another to see how it looks on your home.


The continuity of your roofing material refers to how long it will last under normal conditions. Some of the cheaper options such as a low grade asphalt shingle can only guarantee you 15 years, while a more expensive metal or slate roof could still be in good condition after 50. Obviously you will pay more up front for these long lasting options, but if you can afford to do so, it will end up saving you a lot of money, since you may have to replace asphalt shingles two or three times over the lifetime of a single higher-end roof.


The climate that your house is in will dictate a lot about what types of roofing materials are appropriate. For example, the delicate ceramic tiles of the Mediterranean may not perform very well when subjected to the snow and sleet of the Northeastern United States. Likewise, a heavy slate roof that sheds snow and ice would be overkill in sunny Florida. Pick a material that performs well in the weather conditions that you experience most often and is suitable for use in your climate.