Types Of Roofing Materials

Types Of Roofing Materials

Every building you see has a roof. Common sense tells us that we want a roof that will not only last a long time, but won’t cost an arm or a leg to install. Roofing materials and installation procedures are sometimes quite controversial, with one person saying that what they use is the best, and another saying they have nothing but trouble with that type of material. A lot of this depends on your locale. Much of it, however, lies in the expertise and skill of the roofing contractor who does the job for you. In the roofing industry, many roofers are sub-contractors of big builders. These sub-contractors often use unskilled labor to keep the job cost down, and if so, you end up with an inferior roof. Be careful here.

Roofing materials vary from locale to locale. In temperate climates, like southern California, you often see clay tile roofs. In other, more intemperate climates, you see roofs of metal or slate. This article will focus on the different types of roofing materials. We will look at what is best in different locales, and give you an estimated cost for roofing.

Roofing Materials

A little information first — a square in roofing terminology is a 10 foot by 10 foot section of roof. Roofers determine this by calculation, and always add a certain percentage for cutting and replacement.

Depending on where you live should dictate the kind of roof you would have. A clay roof works as well in New England as it does in Southern California, but in New England, the trend is towards metal roofs because of the intemperate weather.

Asphalt Shingles

If you can’t afford the high cost of clay tile or slate roofs, the most popular and least expensive is the asphalt roofing shingle. These are the most popular roofing material. They come in two types — organic, and non-organic, which is fiberglass. They follow strict guidelines for manufacture. They come in a variety of colors and durability. They are seen on homes in every part of the country. The biggest downfall of this shingle is its vulnerability to wind and ice damage. Always be sure to have a certified roofer install them to insure that warranties are in effect. Plan on paying on average of $55 per square for installation.

Clay Tile Roofs

Clay is a good roofing material regardless of where it is located, and is resistant to insects, mold and decay, won’t burn, and will often outlast the decking it is built upon. You will see this roof on homes with a southwestern, Italian, or Spanish Mission design. This style is more prevalent in California. Keep in mind that a clay roof is very heavy, and expensive to install. It should never be walked on. Plan on paying $150 to $400 a square to have a clay roof installed.

Slate is another roofing material that is long lasting and near indestructible. Seeing a roof that is slate and 100 years old is not uncommon. This type of roof is often seen in New England. It is as resistant to outside influences as clay tile, and is also extremely heavy. It is very expensive to install, because skilled stonemasons typically install it. Prepare to pay $1,000 a square to have it installed. The good thing about this high cost is that you have a roof that will never need to be replaced in your lifetime.

Wooden Shingles

Wooden shingles are a good roofing material generally made from Western Red Cedar. Cedar is resistant to rot and decay. It comes in two types depending on manufacturer. There is a hand sawn and tapered shingle, called a shake, and a shingle that is sawn.

They come in three categories — one, two and three. A number one is the best for roofing. They often come in different sizes. Plan on paying $70 to $100 a square to have installed.

In the late 1700s, zinc, copper, and lead were the most popular materials used for roofing. They lasted for decades, but are extremely expensive to build. Today, we see Galvanized or Galvalume Steel roofs. Galvanized is the most popular, and Galvalume is used in the South where hurricanes are common. The typical metal roof costs anywhere from $1.80 to $6.00 per square foot to install. It installs very quickly and easily. It is resistant to fire, insects, mildew and rot. These roofs are often seen in climates that get a lot of snow.

Whatever your wish for roofing materials are, be sure to know the cost of installation and durability issues. A good roof will last for many years — a poorly installed roof will be nothing but trouble. Use these guidelines in your next roofing project.

Alden Smith is an award winning author and regular contributor to DoItYourself.com. He writes on a variety of subjects, and excels in research.

Every building you see has a roof. Common sense tells us that we want a roof that will not only last a long time, but won’t cost an arm or a leg to install. Roofing materials and installation procedures are sometimes quite controversial, with one person saying that what they use is the best, and another saying they have nothing but trouble with that type of material. A lot of this depends on your locale. Much of it, however, lies in the expertise and skill of the roofing contractor who does the job for you. In the roofing industry, many roofers are sub-contractors of big builders. These sub-contractors often use unskilled labor to keep the job cost down, and if so, you end up with an inferior roof. Be careful here.

Roofing materials vary from locale to locale. In temperate climates, like southern California, you often see clay tile roofs. In other, more intemperate climates, you see roofs of metal or slate. This article will focus on the different types of roofing materials. We will look at what is best in different locales, and give you an estimated cost for roofing.

Roofing Materials

A little information first — a square in roofing terminology is a 10 foot by 10 foot section of roof. Roofers determine this by calculation, and always add a certain percentage for cutting and replacement.

Depending on where you live should dictate the kind of roof you would have. A clay roof works as well in New England as it does in Southern California, but in New England, the trend is towards metal roofs because of the intemperate weather.

Types Of Roofing Materials

Asphalt Shingles

If you can’t afford the high cost of clay tile or slate roofs, the most popular and least expensive is the asphalt roofing shingle. These are the most popular roofing material. They come in two types — organic, and non-organic, which is fiberglass. They follow strict guidelines for manufacture. They come in a variety of colors and durability. They are seen on homes in every part of the country. The biggest downfall of this shingle is its vulnerability to wind and ice damage. Always be sure to have a certified roofer install them to insure that warranties are in effect. Plan on paying on average of $55 per square for installation.

Clay Tile Roofs

Clay is a good roofing material regardless of where it is located, and is resistant to insects, mold and decay, won’t burn, and will often outlast the decking it is built upon. You will see this roof on homes with a southwestern, Italian, or Spanish Mission design. This style is more prevalent in California. Keep in mind that a clay roof is very heavy, and expensive to install. It should never be walked on. Plan on paying $150 to $400 a square to have a clay roof installed.

Slate is another roofing material that is long lasting and near indestructible. Seeing a roof that is slate and 100 years old is not uncommon. This type of roof is often seen in New England. It is as resistant to outside influences as clay tile, and is also extremely heavy. It is very expensive to install, because skilled stonemasons typically install it. Prepare to pay $1,000 a square to have it installed. The good thing about this high cost is that you have a roof that will never need to be replaced in your lifetime.

Wooden Shingles

Wooden shingles are a good roofing material generally made from Western Red Cedar. Cedar is resistant to rot and decay. It comes in two types depending on manufacturer. There is a hand sawn and tapered shingle, called a shake, and a shingle that is sawn.

They come in three categories — one, two and three. A number one is the best for roofing. They often come in different sizes. Plan on paying $70 to $100 a square to have installed.

In the late 1700s, zinc, copper, and lead were the most popular materials used for roofing. They lasted for decades, but are extremely expensive to build. Today, we see Galvanized or Galvalume Steel roofs. Galvanized is the most popular, and Galvalume is used in the South where hurricanes are common. The typical metal roof costs anywhere from $1.80 to $6.00 per square foot to install. It installs very quickly and easily. It is resistant to fire, insects, mildew and rot. These roofs are often seen in climates that get a lot of snow.

Whatever your wish for roofing materials are, be sure to know the cost of installation and durability issues. A good roof will last for many years — a poorly installed roof will be nothing but trouble. Use these guidelines in your next roofing project.

Alden Smith is an award winning author and regular contributor to DoItYourself.com. He writes on a variety of subjects, and excels in research.


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