From Shingles to Metal: Exploring Common Roofing Materials

August 7, 2023

When it comes to selecting the perfect roof for your home, the options may seem overwhelming. The roof not only protects your house from the elements but also contributes to its overall aesthetic appeal. From classic asphalt shingles to durable metal roofing, each material offers unique benefits and considerations.

In this blog post, we will explore common roofing materials, including their features, pros, and cons, helping you make an informed decision when choosing the ideal roof for your home.

Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most widely used roofing material due to their affordability and versatility. They come in various colors and styles, making them suitable for a wide range of architectural designs.


Asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install and provide adequate protection against rain, snow, and sun exposure. However, they have a shorter lifespan compared to other materials and may require replacement after 20-25 years.

Metal roofing

Metal roofing has gained popularity for its exceptional durability and longevity. Made from materials like steel, aluminum, or copper, metal roofs offer excellent resistance to fire, wind, and impact.


They are also lightweight and energy-efficient, reflecting sunlight to keep the house cooler during hot summers. While metal roofs can be more expensive upfront, their extended lifespan of 50 years or more often makes them a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Wood shingles and shakes

Wood shingles and shakes add a natural, rustic charm to homes and are often used in traditional and cottage-style architecture. Typically made from cedar or redwood, wood roofing provides excellent insulation and allows for proper ventilation. However, wood roofs require regular maintenance to prevent rot and protect against insects, and they may not be suitable for areas prone to wildfires.

Slate roofing

Slate roofing is renowned for its timeless elegance and exceptional durability. With its distinct appearance and wide range of colors, slate roofs can enhance the curb appeal of any home. Additionally, slate is a fire-resistant material that can last for over a century with proper care. However, slate is heavy, and the installation process requires skilled professionals, making it a more expensive option.

Clay or concrete tiles

Clay or concrete tiles are commonly used in Mediterranean and Spanish-style homes. They come in various shapes and colors, adding a touch of sophistication and flair to the roofline.


These tiles are resistant to fire and insects, and they have a long lifespan of 50-100 years. However, like slate, clay or concrete tiles are heavy and require additional structural support during installation.

Composite roofing

Composite roofing materials are engineered to mimic the appearance of natural materials like wood, slate, or shake. They are made from a combination of rubber, plastic, and wood fiber, providing the best of both worlds: the aesthetics of traditional materials with enhanced durability and lighter weight. Composite roofs are also more affordable than genuine wood or slate options.

Metal shingles

Metal shingles are a contemporary alternative to traditional asphalt shingles. They offer the appearance of shingles while benefiting from the durability and energy efficiency of metal roofing. Metal shingles are lightweight, easy to install, and come in a variety of colors and styles, making them a popular choice for modern and transitional homes.

Built-up roofing (BUR)

Built-Up Roofing (BUR) is commonly used on flat or low-slope roofs. It consists of multiple layers of asphalt or tar-saturated felt and bitumen, creating a weather-resistant and long-lasting roof. BUR is a time-tested solution, providing excellent waterproofing properties and insulation for structures with low-pitched roofs.


Choosing the right roofing material for your home can make a significant difference in enhancing its curb appeal, protection, and value for years to come. By understanding the features and characteristics of each roofing material, you can make an informed choice that best suits your home’s needs and your personal style. With options ranging from the classic appeal of asphalt shingles to the timeless elegance of slate, you’re sure to find the perfect roofing material that will help your home stand proudly and securely under any weather conditions.

When it comes to roofing installation, Salt Lake City Utah offers a plethora of professional services to ensure homeowners receive the quality and durability they deserve. Here’s to making a smart investment in your home!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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