Chinook Roofing Blog

How to Choose Materials for a New Roof


Posted on: February 07, 2017

A roofer installing a new asphalt roof for a client.

Choosing the materials that you’re going to use for your new roof is a very important decision – after all, we’re talking about the part of the house that keeps practically everything else safe from the elements. There are dozens of different roofing materials on the market to choose from, so where should you start? Below is a quick primer on some of the most popular roofing materials to help you choose the one that will be the right fit for your home.

1. Asphalt (a.k.a. Composition) Shingles

Hands down, three-tab composition asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material in the United States. Not only are asphalt shingles one of the most economical choices available, but they’re also fairly easy to install, and they come in a wide variety of styles and colors. In addition, most asphalt shingle products on the market today are guaranteed for at least 20-30 years, providing excellent value for the money.

2. Metal 

Metal roofing has been a mainstay for sheds, barns, and other utility-type buildings for decades, but it’s also a great choice for residential structures due to its exceptional durability and high performance. Comprised of corrugated and galvanized sheets of metal, this roofing material is quite versatile, and when properly installed, it can last you for 50 years or even more. One of the more popular metal roofing styles for residential homes is known as a “standing-seam” roof, which features parallel sheets of metal joined by interlocking seams that create uniform ridges along the expanse of the rooftop. This style offers clean lines and a wonderful aesthetic that can work well with several different types of architecture.

3. Wood Shingles and Shakes

Few roofing materials offer the warm, rustic look of wood shingles and shakes. Aside from their eye-grabbing impact, wood shingles and shakes are fantastic in terms of their insulation value, and they’re fairly easy to work with as well. This roofing option has somewhat fallen out of favor over the past few decades due to concerns about fire hazards, especially in light of the stricter fire codes that are in place in most states today. Fortunately, there are companies out there that manufacture fabricated shingles that are designed to mimic the look of wooden shingles and shakes, but without the low fire rating.

4. Slate

Slate is one of the most elegant and durable roofing choices, but it’s also one of the most expensive. The natural beauty of slate makes it a perfect complement to dozens of different architectural styles. Because of its weight, slate must be supported by a robust roofing system, so this is one thing to keep in mind when considering your options. Some manufacturers have picked up on this, and now offer an engineered slate lookalike (comprised of plastic and recycled rubber) that only weighs about one-third of the weight of natural slate.

5. Ceramic

Made from baked clay, ceramic tile is a popular choice for people looking to achieve that Mediterranean-influenced look. One of the most popular types of ceramic tile is barrel tile, which is cut into fairly large half-cylinder shapes averaging 16 inches in length. Ceramic tiles can also be cut to look like regular shingles, or even similar to the look of slate tile. Like slate, ceramic tiles are quite dense, which means that you will need to ensure that your roof framing system is strong enough to bear the weight. A well-installed ceramic tile roof will last upwards of 70-80 years, so you definitely get an excellent bang for your buck should you choose this material.

With so many different roofing materials available, it’s not always easy to determine which one would be the best fit for your home; this is where the experts at Chinook Roofing & Gutters can help. Our team of trained roofing professionals can provide you with plenty of insight and recommendations to help you weigh the pros and cons of each option so that you can be confident in your final choice. Contact us today to see how we can help you choose the best roofing materials for your needs and budget.


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The only thing better than our new roof is the company who installed it. Kind and capable people from the inspection and estimate to impeccable clean up. Thank you so much!