What’s on the Roof?

March 12, 2010 | 5 Comments

Realtor magazine ran a great article this month on the importance of a home’s roof. According the Realtor.org the shape and pitch of a roof are important clues to the home’s architectural style and character. When helping homebuyers evaluate a home it’s a good idea to consider the roofing material and its condition. Here are a few pros and cons of roofing materials:

  1. Asphalt or composite shingles. This is the most widely used choice with almost any style of house and can be installed by most contractors. The lower-end 3-tab shingles can last 15-20 years while heavier and costlier “architectural” shingles with a 3 dimensional look can last up to 40 years.
  2. Clay tiles and concrete. Tiles look more stlish on certain homes, such as Spanish or Mediterranean and are mostly found in warm weather regions. Tiles are lighter than concrete, but tend to be more fragile. These materials can last from 50-100 years.
  3. Metal. A unique choice than can look modern and come in many colors. They are often manufactured in shapes, from shingles to panels and come in various thickness and textures-some even resemble dragon scales. Metal can be quite noisy when it rains and it’s quite expensive,with copper at the upper reaches.
  4. Slate. Slate demands a time-consuming installation process and is one of the most expensive types. Slate has a life span of over 50 years and has natural gradiations in color and texture which make it tough to beat aesthetically.
  5. Wood shakes and shingles. These natural materials look great on most homes, whether traditional or contemporary. They can also last up to 50 years, but they must be treated to withstand fire and some state building codes don’t permit them.
  6. Solar shingles. Dow Chemical Co. will soon release the PowerHouse Solar Shingle, which can be incorporated into home roofing systems along with standard asphalt shingles. The product will cost less than solar panels and will be easier to install.

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