Top 6 Residential Roofing Materials

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Whether your roof is damaged or you’re considering making a change, familiarizing yourself with your best options is always essential. There are many different types of roofing materials to choose from.

The brings on the question: what styles are best for your home? Which material will complement your home the best? How will your chosen material save you money in the long-run and are there any noticeable disadvantages?

Don’t delay any further in choosing the right roofing material for your home? Here are the top six residential roofing materials with relevant details, such as pros, cons, house styles, cost, and life span. 

Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material in the United States. You’ll be hard-pressed to drive in a neighborhood and not find a home with asphalt shingles. These roofing materials have a reputation for being affordable and easy to install. 

These shingles can be reinforced with organic materials like cellulose and fiberglass without changing their overall appearance. If you’re considering a change to asphalt shingles, here are the specifications:

  • Pros – Asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors. It’s widely available nearly everywhere and one of the least expensive roofing materials. 
  • Cons – Asphalt shingles have a shorter lifespan than other materials, don’t provide as much insulation (which can lower indoor temperature and reduce energy costs), and the level of quality can vary. 
  • Best for: many architectural styles, especially in traditional suburban areas. 
  • Cost: Prices can range from $70 to $120 per square foot. 
  • Lifespan: If maintained properly, asphalt shingles can last up to 30 years. 

Clay & Concrete Tiles

Clay and concrete tiles can add elegance to any roof. Scalloped, ribbed, and genuine flat clay tiles are very durable. They are also very heavy and absolutely must be installed by a professional roofer. 

While concrete tiles are less expensive and just as versatile, they are still very heavy and require special installation expertise. 

  • Pros: Clay and concrete tiles are versatile, durable, and non-combustible and concrete tiles are very energy-efficient. 
  • Cons: These tiles are very expensive for many homeowners, require additional framing, and are heavy.
  • Best for: Southwestern, Mission, Spanish-style, and Mediterranean style homes. 
  • Cost: Prices can range from $300 to $500 per square foot. 
  • Lifespan: If maintained properly, clay and concrete tiles can last up to 50 years. 

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are exceptionally resistant to harsh weather conditions. Available in shingles and panels, metal roofs come in zinc, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum. They’re surprisingly lightweight, recyclable, and long-lasting. 

  • Pros: Metal roofing lasts much longer than wood and asphalt, provides optimal solar reflectance, and is durable. 
  • Cons: Metal roofing can be very expensive. 
  • Best for: Cabins, bungalows, contemporary, cottage-style homes.
  • Cost: Prices can range from $100 to $300, but some styles can exceed $800. 
  • Lifespan: Metal roofing can last anywhere from 45 to 75 years. 

Slate Roofs

 Slate tiles offer a distinctive beautiful appearance and many available colors that include: purple, red, grey, green, and black. 

  • Pros: Slate is sustainable, fire-resistant, recyclable, and durable.
  • Cons: Slate requires special installation and framing, is very heavy, and expensive. Also, the quality can vary depending on the slate material. 
  • Best for: French, European, and Colonial chateau homes.
  • Cost: Prices can reach up to $600 per square foot. 
  • Lifespan: Slate tiles can last for more than 50 years, and sometimes upwards of 100 years. 

Wood Shakes or Shingles


 Wood shingles have been a go-to roofing material for hundreds of years. Many homeowners love the appearance of wood shingles and how they complement a shade of grey. 

Wood shakes are made by hand and look rougher than wood shingles, which are processed by a machine. If you live in a region known for wildfires, browse for Class A wood roofing materials that are coated with fire-resistant substances. 

  • Pros: Wood shakes provide a rustic appearance and are created by southern, redwood, and cedar pine. 
  • Cons: In some cases, fire codes can prohibit the use of wood shakes. Wood shingles won’t usually hold up in wet climates and can rot, split, and mold. 
  • Best for: Tudor-style, craftsman, cottage, Cape cod, bungalow homes. 
  • Cost: Wood shake prices can range from $100 to $150 per square foot.
  • Lifespan: It can last anywhere from 25 to 30 years. 

Synthetic Roofing Products

 There are available synthetic roofing materials that include a polymer, plastic, and rubber, designed to provide you with the texture, color, and appearance of natural materials like wood and slate. 

These products are created to be easy to install, maintain, and durable. In fact, some synthetic materials are fire-resistant. 

  • Pros: Synthetic roofing products are not as expensive, heavy, and fragile as other natural products. 
  • Cons: The quality can vary and absorb water. Also, newer products aren’t as tried and true as natural materials. 
  • Best for: Different architectural style
  • Cost: Prices can begin at $300 per square foot. 
  • Lifespan: Synthetic roofing products can last up to 50 years. 

Give us a Call Today!

Have you chosen the roofing material you want to use? If so, give us a call at (864) 574-7638 to receive a free estimate. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you have any questions about these popular residential roofing materials? If so, please refer to these FAQs for more information. 

What is the best material to use for a roof?

  • Asphalt shingles are hailed as the best residential roofing material, mainly because they are lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to install. They also come in sheets and can replicate the elegant appearance of more expensive slate or cedar tiles. 

What is the longest-lasting roofing material?

  • Slate, concrete, and clay tiles last the longest. These materials can last significantly longer than other natural and synthetic products, such as wood shakes, metal roofing, and asphalt shingles. 

What is the best roof for high winds?

  • Asphalt shingles are the best roof for high winds. These products are capable of withstanding winds up to 110 miles per hour. No other roofing material comes even close to this level of wind resistance. 
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