Choosing a new roof? With so many different roof styles and roof materials to choose from, there’s bound to be one that fits your house’s architectural style and your budget. The challenge is how to narrow down your options. These questions can help you make a short list, or at least get a general idea of what want (or don’t want).
What’s your budget?
When you look at your budget, consider:
- The cost of the roof materials
- The cost of installing them
- How long will they last before they require repair or replacement
Some roof materials are cheaper to buy but may require more upkeep or more frequent replacement. For example, wood shingles are affordable but are more prone to weathering and damage from the elements. Asphalt and fiberglass are more expensive, but they are both durable and relatively easy to install. Clay and slate roof materials are beautiful and can last for decades even with very little maintenance, but they’re very expensive and will need special installation.
However, you can control other factors to bring down your overall expenses. Flat roofing costs less to install than pitched roofs. Or, if you like a particular color or texture, you can also ask your roofing installation company for cheaper alternatives.
What’s the architectural style of your house?
Roofs are a great way to enhance your house design and boost its curb appeal. But what kind of roofs will look best with your current architectural style? For example, Spanish-Mediterranean homes look beautiful with clay roof tiles. Conversely, a more modern and industrial design tends to look better with flat roofs made of metal.
You can talk about this with your interior designer or look at architectural magazines for inspiration. Do check with your homeowners’ association if they have rules about the color or material of your roofs – some communities are quite strict about this!
Do you want your roof to give you extra space or functions?
A flat roof design has the additional benefit of giving you space for a rooftop garden or lounge area. You can also use the extra space for storage or for installing solar panels or bins for rainwater collection.
What is the climate/weather conditions?
Is it very hot? Does it rain often? Do you often get a lot of strong winds or heavy snowfall? Be sure to include these factors when you choose roofing materials.
For example, some materials like terracotta, concrete and ceramic are much better for warm climates because they keep the building cool. Even the color of your roof is a factor: white metal roofs won’t absorb as much of the sun’s rays as black or dark blue metal roofs.
If you get a lot of storms, then pick a roof style and roof material that will resist wind damage or aren’t so porous that they absorb the rain water. For example, metal roofs are popular in snowy cities because the ice just slides off it.