At Roof Authority, we started this series of articles to answer the question we hear most often: What is the cost of a new roof?
In our first article, we explored how to choose the right roofers. You might think it’s as simple as doing a quick online search for the “best roofers in Atlanta,” and that’s a good start. But you’ve still got to do your homework. (If you’re just joining us, you can find out more about that process here.)
What Next? Roofing Materials
In part two, we are diving into materials: What are the differences, in cost, durability and look? And what’s best for your structure, your budget and your style?
We believe that, with the right information, you can make the best choice for you. So let’s get right to it.
Your roofing options
When you’re talking about which roofing materials to choose, more often than not it’s a question of shingles or metal. There are some significant differences between the two, from aesthetics to price point to overall longevity, and below we’ve broken down some of the pros and cons. A new roof is one of the most substantial investments you can make — arguably the most important surface in a home — so we recommend you read through this list carefully to determine what materials are best for you.
- More options, many looks: Shingles come in a wide variety of styles and materials. In fact, we could write an entire article about the various shingle options on the market today. They can be made of asphalt, fiberglass, organic materials, wood or slate, and they come in a range of colors, from a rich brick to a classic gray. To get a sense of the different options, check out the website of CertainTeed. At Roof Authority, that’s the brand of shingle we trust, and the company offers detailed pictures of many of its products.
- Cost effective: Given the variety of shingle options, the cost for a shingled roof varies considerably. However, in general, shingles are more cost-effective than metal, which can cost twice as much or more. So if price is paramount, shingles are likely the way to go.
- Wider variety of warranties: In general, shingles come with a 20- to 30-year warranty, and an upgraded underlayment can extend that to 50 years. But as we discussed in the first article in our series, a good roofing company that has a relationship with its manufacturers will be able to offer you several options on warranty coverage. These extra warranties will cover things such as labor, material, tear-off and disposal should their product have an issue. That said, it’s important to understand that, more often than not, roof problems stem from improper installation, not defective shingles. So be sure you choose your roofing contractor wisely.
- Quicker installation: Installation of a shingle roof is easy and fast. In some cases, it can be installed in a day. The product is also easy to maintain and repair, and keeping up with that maintenance will extend the life of your roof for years to come.
- Popular: It’s estimated that four out of five roofs are made with shingles. A drive around your neighborhood will show you that estimate is probably a bit low. Shingles are popular, for all the reasons stated above and more. So consider that a ringing endorsement of a solid, dependable product with a lot to offer.
- Longer lifespan: While a metal roof can cost double the price of shingles, it comes with one huge benefit: A metal roof can last twice as long, if not more. We’re talking 40 to 70 years, in some cases. Depending on how long you plan to live in your house, that could be extremely appealing or not worth the investment. But it is important to consider. Also worth a thought: Homes with metal roofs have higher resale values than those with shingles.
- More durable: It stands to reason that if a metal roof can last a lifetime, it’s probably pretty tough. Metal ranks highly for wind resistance — some can withstand gusts of up to 140 miles per hour — and remain largely intact during earthquakes. Metal roofs are also hail- and fire-proof, will not corrode or crack and may be impact-resistant — a huge plus in the case of storm damage. Given all that extra protection, a metal roof may also qualify you for a discount on your insurance.
- More lightweight: Metal roofs are lighter than their shingled counterparts. That matters when it comes to preserving a roof’s structural integrity and lifespan.
- Style: Metal offers a lot of variety when it comes to color, finish and profiling, and it tends to be the go-to choice of architects, who always have aesthetics foremost in mind. There a few different looks available in metal such as standing seam and copper. Consider it a side bonus that something so expensive is not just safe, durable and long-lasting, but also nice to look at.
- More energy efficient: You might notice a lower energy bill if you go with a metal roof over shingles. The light color and reflectance help reduce heat build-up in higher floors. Metal roofs are also 100% recyclable and generally made from recycled content, making it an appealing option for the environmentally conscious.
As you can see, there are lots to consider when choosing roofing materials. That’s why it’s important to find a roofer who knows the products they are working with, inside and out. Above all, you want a roof that lasts, no matter which material you choose.
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And if you enjoyed this article, check out the other articles in our Knowledge Center. We have lots of great roofing information to help you better care for your home.