Choosing a Roofing System
When you begin to choose your roofing system you'll need to consider several
factors like the style, color, material, weight and cost. Here's some helpful
information to get you started.
The roofing style of homes used to be chosen according the area in which the
home was. The Northeastern areas normally used slate, the south used wood or
metal shingles, we used wood shingles and shakes, and southwestern homes used
tile. When asphalt shingles were introduced, most homes began using them. This
material can look like the traditional styles yet cost less. An estimated 70% of
new homes use some type of asphalt shingles. It is most commonly recommended
that when you choose your roofing material, not only should it match the style
of your home, but also that of the other homes in your neighborhood. Over time
it has become popular to follow specific home styles - slate roofing on brick
homes, wood, slate, or shake on wood exterior homes, and clay or concrete tile
on stucco homes.
Color of the roofing is best determined by the style of your home and the color
of the exterior you have chosen. Asphalt shingles can be found in most any color
you choose, where slate and wood tend to only be found in their natural form and
color. Another consideration when you choose the color that you should be aware
of is the energy efficiency it may provide for you. For instance, if you were
building in a warm climate, a lighter color would be beneficial to reflect
sunlight and help keep the home cooler. In cooler climates, choosing a darker
color will help absorb the heat from the sun.
Be sure to check with your local building codes before choosing your material.
Some areas do have requirements on roofing material meeting a standard fire
rating. Wood shingles and shakes are the most flammable material and are now
required to be pressure treated with a fire retardant. There are restrictions in
some areas that require specific material to be used. As an example,
neighborhoods classified as historic areas may require wood shingles or shakes
to preserve the historic look of the area.
Weight can easily be over-looked by many new builders. The weight should be
considered before the roofing purchase. The roofing frame being built for your
home will naturally only be able to hold so much weight. Asphalt shingles are
approximately 250 pounds per 100 square feet, where as slate is about 2,000
pounds. Any weight over 600 pounds per 100 square feet will require
strengthening of the standard roof frame.
Cost will be your number one variation on roofing materials. Asphalt shingles
have the lowest cost range. They can be purchased from approximately $25 to $30
per 100 square feet. Slate on the other hand will increase considerable to
around $500 per 100 square feet. The cost difference is huge, but you may want
to consider the life span of the material before opting for the asphalt. They
average 20 years, but slate may easily outlive one hundred years. Once the
material has been chosen, be sure to choose an installer that will do the job
properly. Even if you have to choose the more expensive roofer for his
guarantee, remember that the material will do no good if it is not installed