How To Compare The Top 5 Residential Roofing Material Options

graphic with the quote How To Compare The Top 5 Residential Roofing Material Options

Congratulations, you need a new roof! Yes, we know; nobody says that. But if you step back and think, a complete roof replacement is an excellent opportunity to select a roof that fits your style, taste, budget, and plans. Compare these five residential roofing material options, and then pick the roof type that suits you and your family best. 

Four Before

To be honest, the first four options in residential roofing materials can be bundled together under the category “Expensive Also Rans.” They are:

  1. Wood—Wood shingles and wood shakes are beautiful, expensive, and highly combustible; wood shingles (sawn on top and bottom) and wood shakes (sawn on bottom, split on top) are usually made of red cedar and only rate a Class B fire rating (meaning, they catch and spread fire) but they do lend your home a warm, rustic charm
  2. Tile—Ceramic, terracotta or concrete tiles can last a century if they are not walked on and cracked; while long-lasting and perfectly suited for Mission style architecture, tile is extremely heavy and requires rare skills for correct installation; tile tends to attract mold and moss, which can be diminished through extensive annual maintenance
  3. Metal—The decades-long surge in residential metal roofing has transformed this industrial material into a trendy(and expensive) home product; high-quality, pricey metal roofing can last for half a century with proper installation and scrupulous maintenance, but installers command a top price for their highly specialized skills
  4. Slate—Akin to tile, slate roofing is heavy, long-lasting, extremely expensive to install, and rarely used; it is as brittle as tile and needs even less maintenance than metal roofing, but it can only be installed on a steep-slope roof that is specifically reinforced to handle the load

No one roofing material is ideal for all residential applications. A metal roof may be perfect for your needs; you may hunger for a terracotta barrel tile roof. Slate may call to you as no other roofing material can. Each material has its benefits and its drawbacks. If you seek an economical alternative to all four costly choices we have mentioned, consider the simple, elegant asphalt shingle. 


Very few of us can plan for the next 50 years. We may hope and dream, but to construct our lives around the year 2072 makes little sense. So is a metal, tile, or slate roof really necessary? Sure, each can last half a century or more, but why would you, here and now, care? 

On the other hand, we can all plan for this year’s budget, or next year’s vacation. By opting for the unitized beauty of the asphalt shingle, you can preserve your budget and afford that vacation. Shingles are the most popular residential roofing material in North America and one of the most economical solutions for homeowners needing a complete roof replacement

Among the many benefits of shingles:

  • Durability—A typical mid-range shingle roof will easily shrug off harsh weather, broiling sun, and the random pair of pint-sized sneakers sent aloft on a dare or in search of a flying disc (to be clear, no amateur should ever climb on a roof!)
  • Lifespan—That economically priced shingle roof will reward you with at least 20 years of reliable service, but many Denver-area homeowners happily enjoy 30+ years before considering complete roof replacement
  • Energy efficiency—Many shingles are available as Cool Roofing materials, recognized by the federal Energy Star program as helping to boost your home’s energy efficiency
  • Fire resistance—All asphalt shingle roofs are Class A fire rated
  • Wind resistance—You can talk to your residential roofer about the options, but all shingles are wind-rated for at least 110 mph (miles per hour), with specialized shingles that handle winds up to 150 mph
  • Colors and Styles—Because of its popularity, the asphalt shingle is available in a vast array of colors and a wide range of styles, from Victorian cut tabs to architectural deep-cut shingles to the sleek economy of the three-tab shingle
  • Curb appeal—A new shingle roof signals reliability, care, and confidence to prospective buyers; you are recognized as a caring, careful homeowner when you invest in an economical, beautiful shingle roof
  • Maintenance—An annual inspection of your shingle roof will help prevent common issues like algae or moss growth, water infiltration, or loose shingles
  • Cost—Shingles are unbeatable for their low, low up-front installation cost compared to any other roofing material

Sense and Cents

We all want to be proud of our homes. But that does not mean bankrupting our budgets by indulging in trends like metal, slate, or tile roofs. You can show good sense and save dollars and cents by choosing shingles for your complete roof replacement

Red Diamond Roofing in the Denver and Fort Collins area is proud to serve our neighbors and friends with complete roofing services. Contact us today for more details about residential roofing materials and GAF shingles. 

Posted in Residential
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