Choosing the Right Roofing Material for Your Home


The roof is one of the most important parts of a home; it provides protection from the elements and also adds to the beauty of the home. Without a good roof, a house is not complete and is not expected to last long because it will be open to the vagaries of the elements.

When building your home, you need to consider long and hard what material will work best for your roof. This consideration applies also to people who want to replace this part of their homes.

Be ready to sift through a wide range of materials (both those you know and the ones that you have never heard of). You will actually do better with a roofing contractor who knows his onions than on your own(unless you are an expert in this field).

In this article however, we will discuss some of these materials and also share some tips that will help you choose the best material for the roofing of your home.


Different Types of Roofing Materials

There are different types of materials used for roofs; some have been in existence for a long time while others are new discoveries. Some of the enduring old timers are wood shakes, copper and slate while an all-time favourite is asphalt –fiberglass. There are some new introductions into the market that are made from concrete, fiber cement and plastic composites.

All these new developments are geared towards achieving sustainability, easier installation, more durability and lower costs. These are all features that every home owner truly desires. Let’s briefly list some of these materials below:-

Rolled Roofing

This type roof is made of material that’s a combination of asphalt, minerals and mineral granules. It is best for low slope homes and out building such as sheds and other utilitarian buildings.

Built-up Roofing (BUR)

This is one of the oldest roofing materials that are used for low-pitch or flat roofs. BURS are made with many layers of roofing tar paper that is infused with asphalt (the asphalt is applied while it is still hot).


This is another type of roofing that is great for roofs that are very low and also flat roofs. There are many types of membranes that are used and they include:-

  1. Polychloroprene
  2. Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)
  3. Polyvinyl Chloride(PVC)
  4. Chlorinated polyethylene sheets
  5. Polymer-modified Bitumens

Asphalt Composite Shingles

These are quite popular in North America. They are made with a fiber glass base and topped with mineral granules and asphalt or cellulose that is covered with asphalt. They are 3-tab singles and are adequate for the roofing needs of most homes.  They are lightweight and durable; however, the organic options of these are usually heavier but also durable.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing any Material for your Roof

When you are thinking of the best material to use for your roof, you need to seek expert opinion but in addition to that; there are factors that you must consider. These factors will most likely be pointed out by the expert so you need to know them and they include the following:-

Ability to Withstand the Elements

What is the good of any roof that cannot protect a home from the hazards of the elements? This therefore means that whatever material the roof is made of must be weather resistant. It must have the ability to run off snow and rain and also hold up when it is very windy; this is in addition to enduring the sun no matter how hot for a good number of years.

The Slope of the Roof

This is an important factor to consider as some materials work better with certain slopes than others. Due to the intricacies of this factor, you have to ask the contractor in charge of the project about this specifically. Ensure that they explain it to you in details and that you understand every detail before you sign off on any material.


The roof of your home is the first thing that people will see from afar off. This therefore means that you must ensure that the material you choose must add aesthetic value to the overall appearance of your home. It must be compatible to the style and finish of the exterior of your home.

You must choose a material that fits the architectural style of your home. For example, you cannot put Spanish tiles on a Colonial style home. However, you are not bound to use original materials because thankfully, there are modern materials that are designed to mimic the appearance of the original materials.

Bear in mind that there are materials that are better at imitations than others. So be sure to see the actual product and outcome before you agree to any imitation.


The cost of this part of a building can either be relatively affordable or insanely expensive. Asphalt- fiberglass is a very popular option amongst home owners because it is one of the least expensive materials that are available.

That said however, there are several factors that affect the cost of roofing and they include:

  1. The complexity of the material
  2. The design
  3. The height of the building
  4. Steepness of the surface to cover


This goes without saying because no one wants to have a covering over their home that they will have to keep changing ever so often. While it is true that you can get very cheap covering for your home, you might end up finding out that you did not actually save money in the long run.

So do your due diligence and find out the cost benefit of any material that you choose to cover your building with. Finally on the issue of cost, note that while ‘expensive’ does not automatically translate to top quality, good roofing materials do not come cheap.


Roofing is an important aspect of a building that no one should take for granted. No homeowner will want to build a house with a covering that can be blown off at the slightest inclement weather. That is why we have put together this piece to help you make the right choice. You will do well to bear it in mind so that you can make an informed decision.