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Jun 15, 2016

Buying a New Roof? Consider These 3 Factors

The roof is your family’s first line of defense against the elements, and it’s the crowning glory of your home. Routine maintenance is critical in preserving your home’s safety and character. If you notice any problems with your roof, it may be time for a replacement.

Replacing your roof is an expensive and extensive job best left to professionals. Uninformed purchasing and contractor choices can compromise your roof’s structural integrity. Consider the following factors so you can get the most for your money and hire a qualified contractor.

1. Style

You roof contributes just as much aesthetic value to your home as your lawn, siding, and doors. So, take time choosing a roofing material and color that complements the architectural style of your home and neighborhood.

With most new construction, about 30-50% of a home’s exterior you see is roofline. Consider a neutral color palette. Larger roofs tend to look more elegant in muted tones. Likewise, if your home has brick or stone facing, opt for a plainly patterned roof. You don’t want the exterior of your home looking too busy.
The goal is to create a harmonious blend of colors, patterns, and textures.

2. Material

There are a variety of roofing materials on the market. They all have their benefits and disadvantages. Consider the following options, and then talk with your contractor about which material would best suit your home.


By far the most popular, asphalt shingles are inexpensive and plentiful. They’re simple to install and repair, and they’re available in a multitude of colors. However, asphalt shingles aren’t the most durable and have a relatively short lifespan.

Clay Tiles

Reminiscent of Spanish architecture, clay tiles are common among homes in the American Southwest. Manufacturers make the barrel-shaped tiles from a mixture of clay and water. They’re extremely durable and can last up to 75 years. Although strong, clay tiles are brittle and susceptible to chipping.


A composite shingle is a mix of asphalt and another matte material. Some of the most common base materials include fiberglass and polyester. Composite shingles are lightweight and flexible. Some varieties also include mineral granules that guard against harsh UV rays. One disadvantage of composite shingles is their durability. They’re more expensive than standard asphalt shingles but share the same short service life.


Particularly in areas with heavy rain and snowfall, metal roofing is gaining popularity among residential communities. Metal roofing is available in either panels or tiles that join together to create an impermeable water barrier.  Metal roofs are fireproof and resistant to rot. While they’re lightweight, metal roofs are difficult to install. Reserve installation for the special tools and experience of a professional roofer.


Slate roofs used to be more common, topping many historical buildings around the nation. Now, you rarely see slate roofs on anything other than the most deluxe luxury homes. If properly constructed, slate roofs can last a lifetime. They’re environmentally friendly, quarried out of the Northeast. But, they’re also extremely expensive and heavy. Slate roofing requires proper home engineering to support its weight.

Wood Shingles and Shakes

Homeowners prize wood roofing for its traditional beauty and curb appeal. Most manufactures offer a 20- to 25-year warranty on wood shingles and shakes; though, properly installed and maintained roofs can last twice as long. Wood roofs are a premium product, so expect to pay a premium price. They also require a great deal of upkeep since they’re prone to rot.

3. Price

For some homeowners, the cost of a new roof will be their largest concern. Costs vary, depending on a variety of factors, including:

  • Condition of an existing roof
  • Labor
  • Materials-nails, shingle type, waterproofing membrane
  • Roof pitch-steepness
  • Size of the area being covered

A large portion of the overall cost will come from the type of materials and products you choose. Highquality shingles can be expensive. However, budget shingles are often less durable and have a shorter lifespan. Beware-you generally get what you pay for.

If you’re in the market for a new roof, contact a professional contractor for a price quote. It’s important to consider all factors of a new roof so you can understand what your contractor is quoting. Most contractors are flexible when it comes to negotiating price and offer free estimates.

However, don’t just go with the lowest bidder. They may be cutting corners with shoddy installation and inferior materials. Search for a company that comes with professional referrals, offers the type of materials you want, and whose estimate fits your budget.

Thank You for a nice job on our roof! We appreciate the way you take care of us!

~ Larry M. - Omaha, NE.