Choose the Right Materials Roofing (composition, laminated, wood, metal, clay tile, slate, concrete

Choose the Right Materials Roofing (composition, laminated, wood, metal, clay tile, slate, concrete

Roofing 101: Composition

Composition roofing, usually called asphalt shingles, is the most common roof used on houses. It’s lowest in cost and easiest to install. Characteristics:

— Cellulose or fiberglass mats coated with asphalt and granules

— Many colors available; lighter colors reduce cooling costs

— Lightweight with flat profile

— The heavier the shingle, the longer it will last

— Algae-resistant granules available for warm, humid climates

— Cost: Starts at $50 per square (100 square feet), uninstalled

Roofing 101: Laminated

Laminated shingles are thicker and heavier than composition roofing. Multilayer panels produce three-dimensional profiles and shadow lines. Characteristics:

— Fiberglass mat instead of cellulose core

— Has a shake-like profile

— Greater fire and wind resistance than composition

— High-end products weigh up to 450 pounds per square

— High-end products last 40 to 50 years

— Cost: $60-$80 per square, uninstalled, more for premium or architectural product lines

Roofing 101: Wood

Wood shingles and shakes are made from cedar, redwood, and southern pine. Some local codes prohibit wood because it’s flammable. Characteristics:

— Wood’s natural character blends with the landscape

— Shingles are flat and machine sawn on both sides

— Shakes are thick and may be hand split

— Requires a roof with at least 4:12 slope to shed water

— Lasts 15 to 25 years; apply preservative and fungicide every two to five years

Roofing 101: Metal

Metal shingles are long lasting, lightweight, and fire-resistant, but they conduct heat and can be noisy. Characteristics:

— Made of aluminum, steel, or copper

— Come in standing seam, corrugated, or faux-shake styles

— Can last 40 to 50 years; color coatings guaranteed against fading for 25 years

— Aluminum won’t rust, but lower grades can dent

— Cost: Steel and aluminum, $100-$260 per square, uninstalled; copper, $250-$500 per square, uninstalled

Roofing 101: Clay Tile

Clay tile is a heavy, durable material that complements mission and Spanish-style architecture. Characteristics:

Roofing 101: Slate

— Available in different colors and grades, depending on origin

— Considered virtually indestructible

— Requires specialized skills and expertise to install

— Can weigh 700 to 2,000 pounds per square; usually requires reinforced roof framing

— Lasts 100+ years; only maintenance is replacing broken tiles

— Cost: $300-$600 per square, uninstalled

Roofing 101: Concrete Tile

Concrete tiles imitate clay and slate in appearance and durability; can also look like wood shakes. Characteristics:

— Can be molded to interlock so they’re easy to install

— Roof framing may need to be reinforced to handle the weight

— Lighter-weight types available

— Some products come with limited lifetime warranties transferable to new owners

— Only maintenance is checking for loose or cracked tiles

— Cost: $150-$250 per square, uninstalled for standard types; $350-$500 per square for lightweight types

Roofing 101: Rubber Composite

Also known as synthetic slate, rubber composite shingles are molded from a blend of plastic and rubber bonded molecularly. Characteristics:

Roofing 101: Composition

Composition roofing, usually called asphalt shingles, is the most common roof used on houses. It’s lowest in cost and easiest to install. Characteristics:

— Cellulose or fiberglass mats coated with asphalt and granules

— Many colors available; lighter colors reduce cooling costs

— Lightweight with flat profile

— The heavier the shingle, the longer it will last

— Algae-resistant granules available for warm, humid climates

— Cost: Starts at $50 per square (100 square feet), uninstalled

Roofing 101: Laminated

Laminated shingles are thicker and heavier than composition roofing. Multilayer panels produce three-dimensional profiles and shadow lines. Characteristics:

— Fiberglass mat instead of cellulose core

— Has a shake-like profile

— Greater fire and wind resistance than composition

— High-end products weigh up to 450 pounds per square

— High-end products last 40 to 50 years

— Cost: $60-$80 per square, uninstalled, more for premium or architectural product lines

Roofing 101: Wood

Wood shingles and shakes are made from cedar, redwood, and southern pine. Some local codes prohibit wood because it’s flammable. Characteristics:

— Wood’s natural character blends with the landscape

— Shingles are flat and machine sawn on both sides

— Shakes are thick and may be hand split

— Requires a roof with at least 4:12 slope to shed water

— Lasts 15 to 25 years; apply preservative and fungicide every two to five years

Roofing 101: Metal

Metal shingles are long lasting, lightweight, and fire-resistant, but they conduct heat and can be noisy. Characteristics:

— Made of aluminum, steel, or copper

— Come in standing seam, corrugated, or faux-shake styles

— Can last 40 to 50 years; color coatings guaranteed against fading for 25 years

— Aluminum won’t rust, but lower grades can dent

— Cost: Steel and aluminum, $100-$260 per square, uninstalled; copper, $250-$500 per square, uninstalled

Roofing 101: Clay Tile

Clay tile is a heavy, durable material that complements mission and Spanish-style architecture. Characteristics:

Roofing 101: Slate

— Available in different colors and grades, depending on origin

— Considered virtually indestructible

— Requires specialized skills and expertise to install

— Can weigh 700 to 2,000 pounds per square; usually requires reinforced roof framing

— Lasts 100+ years; only maintenance is replacing broken tiles

— Cost: $300-$600 per square, uninstalled

Roofing 101: Concrete Tile

Concrete tiles imitate clay and slate in appearance and durability; can also look like wood shakes. Characteristics:

— Can be molded to interlock so they’re easy to install

— Roof framing may need to be reinforced to handle the weight

— Lighter-weight types available

— Some products come with limited lifetime warranties transferable to new owners

— Only maintenance is checking for loose or cracked tiles

— Cost: $150-$250 per square, uninstalled for standard types; $350-$500 per square for lightweight types

Roofing 101: Rubber Composite

Also known as synthetic slate, rubber composite shingles are molded from a blend of plastic and rubber bonded molecularly. Characteristics:

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