Have you ever thought much about the type of roof you want on your home? Many homeowners take their roof for granted, and don't investigate different materials when building their homes.
As you make decisions about the exterior of your home, you should not only consider style, but also the attributes of a variety of roofing materials, including but not limited to the following:
- Asphalt. Glass fiber asphalt shingles are the most popular type of asphalt shingles, and are currently the most popular type of residential roof material. They remain one of the most commonly used materials due to their flexibility, ease of installation, and relatively low roofing costs. Keep in mind, however, that there are different levels of asphalt shingles with varied life expectancies extending up to 25 years. They also come in a variety of colors, some mimicking the look of other materials.
- Wood. Wood shingles project a natural look and come in different wood species, although primarily western red cedar in the northeast. They are made in varying widths, thicknesses, and cuts, resulting in a unique roof filled with character. Cedar shingles are very popular and are one of the oldest roofing materials in existence. If properly maintained, the life expectancy is 15 to 25 years. Unlike some of the other materials, wood shingles require regular maintenance to keep its beauty and extend its lifetime. Proper maintenance includes cleaning, removing debris and sealing. It's important to check fire codes before choosing wood shingles because some areas of the country restrict their use due to the fact that they are not fire-retardant. There are exceptions to this with some pressure-treated shingles that have been impregnated with a fire-retardant chemical.
- Slate. Slate is among the most durable roofing material you can install on your home. However, slate roofs are heavy and in most cases will require additional structural support. Most homeowners are drawn to its beauty, and the expectation of a slate roof's longevity can be up to 150 years. Slate roofing is costly running up to five times that of more conventional materials but are low on maintenance.
- Metal. Metal roofs are available in a variety of finishes such as copper, steel and aluminum. They can be installed in shingles or seamed in larger sections. Some metal roofs are coated with reflective chemicals which, unlike other roof materials, can boost energy efficiency by reflecting away the sun's rays and keeping the house cooler. Another advantage of metal roofs are that they are resistant to fire, mildew, insects and rot. Most companies back their metal roof products up to 50 years. Metal roofing is one of the most expensive options, especially copper, but due to its life expectancy, and, if you will be in your home for a long time, it may ultimately cost you less.
- Composite. If you like the look of wood or slate shingles, you may also choose a composite version. Composite shingles mimic the look of wood or slate shingles without the additional weight. They also resist cracking and warping better than the natural materials that they resemble, and will need virtually no maintenance. From a cost viewpoint, they are comparable to other premier products, and can have a life expectancy of up to 50 years. Unlike wood or asphalt shingles, composites have a class A fire rating which is the highest rating for fire resistance that can be earned by roofing products. Over the years, major improvements have been made to these type of shingles.
Keep in mind that it is important that you hire a good quality installer as, if a roofing shingle is not installed exactly according to manufacturer's or industry recommendations, both the fire rating and warranty may be compromised.
If you're interested in discussing the design and construction of a custom home in Fairfield County, contact the professionals at Country Club Homes today at 203-762-0550 or visit their website at www.countryclubhomesinc.com.