How to Select the Best Roof Material

Roofing materials aren’t created equal. If you want to replace your old roof, you don’t have to choose the material you have. Instead, ask your roofer about all your roofing options, such as metal, clay tiles, wood shakes, and asphalt shingles. Check out the factors to consider when buying roofing materials.


Many people choose inexpensive roofing materials to save costs, but your selection may cost you more in the long term. An inexpensive material likely has a short lifespan, and you might have to replace your new roof sooner than expected. However, the modern roofing industry has many cost-effective and durable materials, so you can find something suitable for your budget.

Local Climate

The roof is among the most exposed components to weather conditions. Each roofing material reacts differently to various weather conditions, so consider the weather patterns in your region.

For instance, some materials crack under intense heat while others loosen due to strong winds. If you live in a cold location, you probably want a material that traps heat, like asphalt, metal, and slate. Terracotta tiles, concrete roofs, and slate tiles are among the materials that perform well in hot weather because they reflect heat.


If you plan to live in your residence for several decades, invest in a durable material like metal, slate, and tile. Although these materials cost more than asphalt and other materials, they endure the elements for a long time. But, proper installation is key to extending your roof’s lifespan, so only work with expert roofers.


The weight of the material of your choice determines if your roof needs extra support. Roofers typically install metal and shingles without additional reinforcements. However, slate and clay tiles are pretty heavy and weigh on your building’s structural integrity.

A light material is ideal if your residence is 40 years or over because it places less pressure on the foundation. Even if your house is relatively new, discuss your roofing options with your roofer to avoid overburdening it. Keep in mind that heavy roofing materials might add to the installation costs.

Local Building Codes

Local building codes list the permitted roofing materials to enhance safety. Your roofing contractor will know the roofing rules and regulations, so consult them before you shop for a new roof. Also, check community guidelines if you live in a gated community or have a Homeowners Association (HOA).

Energy Efficiency

Your roof material’s energy efficiency impacts how comfortable you are in your home and how much you pay for energy bills. Certain materials, like metal, reflect the sun’s rays from the attic rather than absorbing the heat.

If you have an inefficient material, it absorbs and transfers heat to the areas below. In turn, your air conditioner works overtime in summer to keep the interior cool, resulting in high energy costs. If you install an energy-efficient roof, you will often see a significant reduction in utility bills.

Home Design

Some materials suit specific architectural styles, while others are versatile and work on any house design. For example, tiles stand out in vintage houses, while metals lend a modern aesthetic to any home. Many homeowners favor asphalt shingles because they feature many textures and colors that let buyers get as creative as they want. If you are unsure of the finish you want, walk around the neighborhood for design inspiration. 

Maintenance Costs

All roofing materials need maintenance, but the upkeep costs and frequency vary between different options. Some inexpensive materials are attractive in the short term, but the repair and maintenance costs quickly add up in the long term. Ensure you research the maintenance requirements of different materials before choosing one.

As manufacturers introduce new materials to the roofing market, homeowners are more confused than ever about their roofing options. Contact us today at Donny’s Roofing & Home Improvement to discuss all your options for a new roof.