Roofing Options to Consider: Types, Materials and More

The roof on your house communicates your preferences in terms of color, style, feel and appearance. Upgrading your old roof gives you an opportunity to add value to your home. Preparation, framing and proper installation are critical to the roofing process. However, the material you use is the single determinant of your roof’s overall performance.

At Top Metal Roofs, we specialize in providing roofing options that are stylish, affordable, durable, and that provide superior performance in all weather conditions. We are experienced in installing roofs that highlight your individuality. We are also interested in the longevity of your roof and ultimately increasing the monetary and aesthetic value of your home.


The number of available roofing options is stunning. Before choosing a particular option, you need to consider its features and whether it meets your roofing needs. To decide on the best roofing option, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the weight of the material? Does it require special support?
  • What is the performance level of the material in inclement weather?
  • Does the material require special installation or maintenance?
  • What is the fire rating of this material?
  • What is the life span, warranty, and cost of the material?
  • Does the material offer a variety of styles and colors that complement other aspects of your home?

Types of Roofing Materials

Now that you know what to look for in a roofing option, you can make an informed decision. Here are the most common types of roofing materials available.

Asphalt shingles

Also known as composition shingles, asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material for single-family homes. They protect your home from the elements, they are affordable and they are available in a range of attractive options. For short-term roofing where you intend to sell your home within 10 years, cheap shingles are good enough. If you want a roof that will last for about 20 years, better shingles will give you value for money for that level of durability.

Asphalt shingles are manufactured in two main types:

  • Fiberglass shingles: A mat made of fiberglass mesh is covered in asphalt then topped with granules. The resultant shingles are lightweight and tear resistant.
  • Organic asphalt shingles: recycled paper is saturated with asphalt and coated with granules. They are heavier and more difficult to work with than fiberglass shingles. However, they are being phased out because they are prone to drying out and losing water resistance. 

Wood shingles and shakes

Redwood, pressure-treated pine, cypress, and cedar will provide a natural beauty to your roof by adding a rustic, striking appearance to it. However, before settling on wood shingles and shakes, you need to consider whether your roof receives enough sun. In addition, for your roof to be durable, quality installation must be done by a skilled contractor.

Wood shingles differ from shakes in several ways. They are machine-cut, have a smooth surface and cleaner edges which makes them appear more uniform. Wood shakes are cut by hand, are thicker, their appearance is more rustic and they cost more than wood shingles.

Concrete and clay tiles

Concrete and clay tiles are an age-old roofing option that has been renewed with stronger materials into three modernized versions:

  • Reinforced standard clay tiles for durability and strength
  • A lightweight blend of concrete tiles that are tough but easy to handle.
  • Fiber cement tiles made from a blend of wood, clay, and concrete for a strong, lightweight product.

The three types of tiles are coated with a waterproof layer.

Clay lasts longer than concrete but it is also more expensive. Fiber cement tiles are a fairly good compromise.


Natural and vinyl or composite slate is a different version of stone roofing. Instead of being molded from concrete or clay, it is made from actual stone that is hewn from rocks found in quarries. It is an ideal stone roofing style due to its tendency to naturally break into flat slabs. It is the highest-priced roofing material, most durable and must be installed by specially trained technicians. Slate is available in shades of green, red, grey, purple and black.

This roofing option lasts 40-60 years. Both synthetic and genuine slate have size options that suit your home’s design. Natural slate is durable but it is heavy and requires additional support. Synthetic slate is cheaper, attractive and lightweight.

If cost does not matter to you, slate roofing will make your large, luxury stone and brick home uniquely elegant.

Synthetic roofing products

The available synthetic roofing options include polymer, plastic and rubber roofing. They are made to provide you with the texture, appearance, and color of natural materials such as wood and slate. They are also designed for strength and easy maintenance, and some are fire-resistant.

If you choose to use synthetic materials, check out their wear features from installations in your neighborhood that are older than 10 years. Look at actual samples of the products on the manufacturers’ brochures and find out about the warranty from the manufacturer.

Metal roofing

Metal is an ancient roofing option that is currently enjoying a resurgence due to its eco-friendly nature, extraordinary durability, and contemporary styles. Metal roofing is manufactured in rigid sheet rolls of modular press-formed or vertical-seam panels. The panels can either be covered with granules or painted.

metal roofingMetal roofing is produced in different appearance options that include the traditional style as well as new options that resemble wood, tiles, shakes, and shingles. Metals used include zinc, aluminum, lightweight steel, and copper.

If you want a roof with a superior resale value, or if you plan to live in your home forever, metal is the ultimate choice. It is also an exceptional option if you want a sophisticated, green roof that can withstand snow and ice better than any other material.

Pros of metal roofing

  • Metal roofs last between 50 – 100 years, with 30 to 50-year warranties.
  • Metal roofing styles are available in dozens of color options and can resemble tile, slate, shakes or shingles.
  • Metal roofs add an exquisite look to the simple rustic designs on wood-sided homes, cottages, and cabins.
  • Metal reflects solar heat and keeps your house cooler in hot weather which will save you energy costs.
  • Most metal roofing profiles enjoy Class A fire rating.
  • Metal roofing materials are lightweight yet highly resistant to impact.
  • Corrugated and ribbed metal roofing styles can be installed on a budget and in a short time.
  • Recycled materials make the highest percentage of raw materials in metal roofs. After service, metal roofs are 100% recyclable.
  • Metal prevents the formation of ice dams and sheds snow and rain better than any other material.
  • Residential metal roofing such as standing seam, stone-coated steel and shingles are designed to meet wind uplift standards and stringent building codes.
  • Metal does not rot or crack and it is resistant to rust.
  • Metal is a low maintenance material. The only routine maintenance needed is to clean off dirt and debris

Exposing Myths About Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has undergone a lot of transformation in the recent past and has steadily gained popularity. With popularity comes many misconceptions. Let us find out the truth about the most common myths involving metal roofing.

  1. Myth: Higher risk of lightning strikes

Fact: Although metal conducts electricity, it does not attract electricity. Since your metal roof is not combustible, it is safer than other roofing materials such as wood.

  1. Myth: Metal is prone to damage by hail

Fact: Normal-sized hail will not damage your metal roof. Only massive hailstones can dent your roof. In addition, any minor denting on your textured metal roof will be quite unnoticeable.

  1. Myth: A metal roof makes your house extra cold during winter.

Fact: If your house has a typical vented attic, a metal roof will not affect the temperature during winter. The insulation under your roof, which is also the floor of the attic is what keeps your house warm.

  1. Myth: Metal roofing is loud in the rain.

Fact: Metal roofs are installed over an existing roof with insulation and attic space. For new roofs, the metal is installed with an underlayment. This makes the roof no noisier than other materials. Sometimes, it can even be quieter.

  1. Myth: Limited style and color options.

Fact: Whether you are roofing a modern home or a Victorian house, there are numerous metal roofing profiles to fit any architectural style. They come in a wide selection of attractive colors to choose from. If necessary, you can also order a custom color from the manufacturer.

  1. Myth: You cannot walk on your metal roof.

Fact: You can actually walk on a metal roof without damaging it if you know how. However, you must ensure that it is dry because wet metal is slippery.

Talk to a Roofing Expert

Is it time to install a roof on your new construction? Are you facing the challenge of replacing a new roof? This process may seem complex especially with the many roofing options available. Top Metal Roofs will guide you through the process of choosing the best roofing types and materials. We will help you choose a quality roofing option that will make your house noticeable. Call us today at 647-470-7161 and speak to our metal roofing experts.