Top 5 Materials for Roof Shingles

There are several things to take into consideration when choosing a new roof.  The largest priorities for homeowners are typically: cost, longevity, durability, and maintenance.  We’ve taken the top 5 most common roof materials and listed their pros and cons below to help you with your upcoming roof installation.

Asphalt Shingles

When you drive through a neighborhood, you’ll probably notice that most of the shingles look similar.  Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular shingles in residential roofing and offer a wide range of colors at a decently affordable price.  These shingles are divided into two categories: organic and fiberglass.  Organic shingles are commonly a paper base with an asphalt coating that makes them waterproof.  Fiberglass shingles are known for their fire protection abilities with an asphalt resin for waterproofing.  This is one of the easier materials for a roof installation and have a relatively long lifespan.  Periodic maintenance is suggested in areas with heavy winds and hail to preserve the integrity of your roof.

Wood Shingles

Commonly found on older model homes, wood shingles or wood shakes are a beautiful and natural roofing material.  While they run at the top of the list when considering the price per square foot, it’s the most aesthetically pleasing choice for many homeowners.  Wood shingles can be chemically treated to increase longevity, while untreated wood may need to be replaced more frequently in areas with large amounts of humidity or rain.  Wood shingles made from cedar are naturally insect resistant.  When compared to asphalt regarding wind and impact resistance, wood shingles and shake are much more durable.  Regular maintenance is required to keep these in good condition, including removing debris, trimming surrounding tree branches, and clearing gutters regularly.

Metal Roofing

Choosing a metal material for your roof is one of the fastest growing roof options right now.  Metal can be manufactured into nearly any size, shape, texture, and color you desire.  If you’re looking for a more durable option for asphalt shingles, metal shingles or slates can create a similar uniform look like slate tiles.  Metal tiles can mimic the look of curved, clay tiles without the fragility and weight.  Slate roofing comes in long, clean panels that offer defined vertical lines and a variety of colors.  Metal can offer more energy-efficient benefits than other roof materials and typically outlast most other materials, with a 30-50 year lifespan.  They have high tolerance against extreme temperatures, high winds, fire, and hail.  Additionally, metal roofs that need updating will most likely need to be repainted instead of replaced, and could even increase your home’s value.

Clay Tiles

Most often seen in Spanish or Mediterranean style homes, clay tiles are often an orange or red terra cotta color. Clay tiles are naturally yellow and white but can be glaze painted and heated in a kiln to change the color.  These colors will not peel or fade.  Although they’re not the friendliest on a budget, they’re the most environmentally friendly since they’re made from earth and easily recycled.  From a standpoint of sustainability, clay tiles are also resistant to strong winds and extreme heat.  The standard shape of these tiles also can create a pocket of air between the sky and your roof.  This pocket can help insulate your attic from unwanted heat or cold air.   Additionally, the life cycle of clay tiles is greater than asphalt or wood.



One of the most desired tiles for homeowners today, but not without cost.  There is not a classier tile on the market to put on your roof.  Slate tiles offer a wide variety of color, size, and thickness.  A well-built slate roof can last upwards of 100 years, as opposed to the 20-30 years an asphalt roof may last.  They are naturally fire resistant and environmentally friendly due to their natural material and longevity.  The downsides of slate roofing include the weight of the roof and the durability of the tiles themselves.  The density of the tiles need a strong support system, and the fragility can be an issue.  Contractors on your roof can step on and break tiles, which is expensive to replace in the long run and it may be difficult to match the color exactly.

Still not sure what material may be best for your roof?  Reach out to CMR Construction and Roofing for a consultation and quote for your roof.  We’re the roof experts and happy to help you achieve your dream home!