Unless you’ve previously constructed a home, you may not know how much a home’s roof matters to its stability and structural integrity. Although the framing for a roof consists of the same types of two-by-fours as the walls of a home, what goes on top of that framing determines how well the roof resists weather. That’s why choosing the correct roofing material matters so much.
Roofing Materials by Climate
When planning your house, consider the area’s climate first. All of the building materials should stand up heartily to the inclement weather the area regularly experiences. Choosing the right material for the roof matters because it needs to last at least 15 years. Because material costs differ vastly throughout the U.S., this article only discusses cost in general terms.
Each roofing material offers benefits to a specific region of the U.S. Some of these prove pretty easy to guess because the roofing material pervades most homes in that area. For example, clay tile roofs dot the houses of the desert southwest, while cedar shakes top many homes in the northeastern U.S. Let’s consider each type of roofing material and where it performs best.
Asphalt Shingles: Even though asphalt shingles appear on the majority of U.S. homes, they don’t offer the best protection. This type of roofing material typically lasts about 15 years, the shortest life span of any residential roofing material. Shingles rated with a category three or four designation as a building material stand up well to hail up to two inches in size. Some architectural shingles, the most expensive kind, can withstand winds of up to 150 mph, as their wind rating indicates.< /p>
Asphalt shingling works best in areas that experience little wind or hail. Although it does not belong on homes in the Tornado Alley states, many of them feature it. Dry, arid climates like Arizona and New Mexico could safely use asphalt shingles. This type of roofing costs the least, making it the most common type in the country, used even in areas where other types would work better.
Copper Sheets: Providing that Old World appearance experiencing a resurgence, copper roofing works well in areas prone to hail or harsh winds. It appears on many Victorian homes in the U.S. northeast and northwest, where it works well. This tough, gleaming metal withstands dents from hail and doesn’t tear off during wicked nor’easters. Copper lasts up to 50 years, sometimes longer with adequate maintenance, but it costs more than asphalt, which puts off some homeowners who prefer it. < /p>
Metal Roofing:The term metal roofing typically refers to galvanized steel roofing using a standing seam installation method. The term also includes zinc and aluminum roofing. Roofers in the U.S. have not used tin since World War II, switching to the tougher, heartier steel, zinc, and aluminum options.< /p>
Steel, zinc, and aluminum each last about 50 years and all of these metal roofing materials withstand hail well. Most commonly seen on barns throughout U.S. agricultural areas, roofers now place it on homes throughout the country. It withstands weather events well and the anti-corrosion sealants used in its manufacture ensure that it doesn’t rust. Like copper, it costs more than asphalt but lasts more than twice as long.
Cedar Shakes:Many people adore the appearance of cedar shakes, but they don’t perform well in every climate. Used mostly in the temperate climate of the U.S. northeast, they perform best in areas without many weather extremes. This roofing material does hold up well against winter snow.< /p>
Shakes don’t work well in very arid climates. Both extreme amounts of water and sun warp wood. That’s why builders in Washington state, with its daily rains, or the desert southwest, with its arid desert, would not likely recommend this roofing material. It costs more than asphalt, but less than copper.
Clay Tiles:The hacienda-style homes of the desert southwest and Texas feature clay tile roofs. These tiles may appear fragile, but they offer strong protection against the common climatic features of the region. Roofing tiles made of clay handle the harsh desert sun well. Like shakes, these tiles cost more than asphalt initially, but last longer than three-tab or architectural shingles.
Matching Architectural Style with Building Materials
While the roof matters because it protects you and your possessions from the weather, it also needs to suit the home’s architectural style. When building a new home, you get to pick each material in tandem with another and the architectural style. If you renovate your home, you may need to update more than the roof if you want to change the roofing material.
Before you hire local roofers, consult with an architect or knowledgeable general contractor. Discuss what you want your home to look like after the renovation. If you have the money to spend, you can transform a home with vinyl siding and an asphalt roof into a stone or brick home with a metal roof. Essentially, money makes any change possible.
Perhaps your home features composite siding and an asphalt roof, but you want a copper roof. Copper won’t look good with most composite, so you’ll need new siding, too. That’s what we mean when we say that your roof matters to the overall curb appeal of your home. Your building consultant can help you identify the roof, cladding, and other changes needed to provide you with a cohesive, complimentary home appearance.
Considering Other Roof Matters
As those in the roofing business explain, your home’s roofing gutter system and downspouts need to complement the home’s design. Many roofing companies offer roofing gutter installation and repairs along with installing and repairing roofs. Ask to see their catalog of options, so you can choose a roof gutter system with downspouts that compliments your home’s exterior as you want it to appear.
The house trim also needs to blend well with the roofing materials. Vinyl trim won’t blend well with composite siding and a metal roof. Instead, use wood siding that you paint to match the metal roof.
Although you will need to hire an exterior house painter to paint composite siding and wood trim, they won’t need to paint a metal roof. Metal roofing comes in more colors than any other roofing material. Forget the gray shingles of most homes because metal roofing means you can have a red roof like a barn or a bright blue roof.
Materials Meant for Homes
The type of roof matters to both homes and businesses but, this article only covers residential roofing. That’s why you don’t see a section on built-up (BUP) roofing. Some builders will mix and match industrial, commercial, and residential architectural designs, but that rarely happens.
Since this article sticks to the roof matters and topics of the typical homeowner, let’s consider when your existing home needs a new roof. Most U.S. homes feature asphalt shingle roofs, which require replacement every 15 years. This reality and the falling prices for other roofing materials have led to increased use of alternative materials.
Roof wear applies to every homeowner, however, here’s an interesting tidbit if you become a homeowner by buying a new condo. You will only need to deal with interior roof matters, such as ceiling damage because the condo association owns the exterior of the building. If a condo complex undergoes damage to its roof, the condo complex association or condo building owner pays to replace the roof. When you purchase a condo, you only own “from the walls in,” an insurance phrase that means the inside of the condominium.
Hiring a Roofer Based on Roofing Material
Owners of single-family homes or duplexes, triplexes, etc., let’s consider the roofing services needed to address roof matters like a severely damaged roof. If your roof sustained damage in a storm or has worn thin because the wind tore off shingles, you need it replaced as soon as possible. That means you quickly need to obtain at least three quotes for roofing work.
Not every residential roofing service installs the same type of roofing. Just as doctors and lawyers specialize, so do roofers. When you want to switch from a clay roof to a metal roof, you hire a different roofing company than to go from an asphalt roof to a cedar shakes roof.
The type of roof you want on the home decides the type of roofer you hire. Most roofers only install one or two kinds of roofing. The most common roofing services install asphalt shingles. A metal roofing service may install all three types of typical metal roofs – steel, aluminum, and zinc.
Examining Roofing Service Credentials and References
While the roof matters, so does the training and experience of the individuals installing it. Choose your roofer from the oldest, most well-established businesses available. Check the licensing and certifications of each roofing service you consider.
Roofers typically specialize in both roofing type and materials. In order to market themselves to a wider audience, many roofers undergo training programs offered by one or more roofing materials manufacturers. This means that a roofer might hold certifications from TAMKO or GAF. Once earned, this certificate gets their business listed on the manufacturer’s website as a certified installer.
Choosing a certified roofing installer matters to the homeowner because using these roofers nets them an extra warranty – one for workmanship and installation – from the manufacturer. Even if the roofer retires or moves, the installation warranty remains in effect because it comes from the manufacturer, not the local installer.
Ask for references from each company that you consider. Contact each provided reference to check the information provided by the roofer. Ask each reference about the workmanship of the roofing project and the quality of the materials used.
Also, ask each reference about the attitudes and manners of the roofers, the level of customer service provided, and how well the workers cleaned up after themselves. Did the demolished roof get removed immediately? How knowledgeable could the roofer discuss the various roofing options that would work well with the climate and compliment your home’s exterior or desired exterior?
Compare each company’s roofing quote to the others, factoring in how easy other homeowners found each roofer to work with on their home improvement project. Try to strike a balance between the cheapest option and the firm that offers the best customer service because that option serves a homeowner best. That’s because if anything goes wrong with the roof, those companies with superb customer service respond best.
Prioritize hiring an installer who also offers repair service and maintenance visits. Any type of roof requires an annual inspection. If the roofing service offers free inspections, that ranks it among the best choices. Roofers that provide all four services – installation, repairs, maintenance plans, and inspections – provide the highest quality service for a homeowner.
Why the Right Roofing Material Matters
Now, you know why the right roofing material matters so much to a home. The roof does more than keep you dry and ensure your belongings don’t get damaged. The roof material needs to blend with the cladding material to create a harmonious architectural presentation.
Choose the material you want for your roof first since it makes it simpler to find an experienced roofer. You will only need to check the list of certified roofers on the manufacturer’s website to find local options. This lets you create a quick short list to call for roofing quotes.
If you want to make a radical change from one type of roof to another, consider hiring a consultant, such as an architect or general contractor. These professionals can help you choose a siding option that matches the roof type you want.
Most roofing projects take only one or two days. It takes longer to remove an existing roof and replace it with a new one than to install a roof for the first time in a new building.