With so many decisions to make on a new home, choosing a roof style would seems to be a no brainer. But with several different styles and types of roofs, this could make that no brainer decision a little harder than expected.
A very common roof type is the Hip roof. All sides of a hip roof slope down to meet the walls of the home. A hip roof is more involved then other types of roofs but building the walls for such a house is actually easier as they are all the same height. They are very good for homes in high wind or hurricane areas as they offer better internal bracing and are less likely to be peeled from the home. The roof also protects more of the home from elements such as sun, wind, and rain, which over time can require increased maintenance for the structure. Hip roofs internal roof space is less which makes access for maintenance more difficult and offering less storage space.
Gable roofs are another popular choice. It has two roof surfaces of the same size that are pitched at the same angle back to back, forming a triangular roof. Its simple design makes it inexpensive and easy to build. The shape of the gable roof allows for good ventilation, sheds water, and provides the most ceiling space. It is not ideal for high wind areas like the hip roof and is the most likely of roof types to suffer damage. Adding the recommended bracing to the end wall will help properly brace the roof.
Now to pick Asphalt Shingle, Slate, Tile, or Metal.
Asphalt shingles are the least expensive roofing material and is light weight, fire resistant and available in a variety of colors. This style roof can be installed over an existing roof. The asphalt is infused into a fiberglass core. The material is then covered with color granules. For a flat appearance you would go with a single layer of shingles and for a textured look you would use double layered architectural shingles. Shingles do age more then any other roof type with a lifespan of 15-20 years for single layer or 20-25 years for architectural shingles.
Tile offers a wide range of looks. They will not burn, rot or attract insects. It also provides optimal attic insulation. Mined clay is shaped, glazed or painted, then baked. Concrete tile is made up of sand and pulverized rock which are mixed with concrete, tinted, then poured into molds. The lifespan on tiled roofs can be a lifetime if it is installed with sound underlayment. Clay tile can be expensive and some types can crack under foot if walked on. It adds weight to the structure of the home and replacement cost could result in higher insurance rates. Clay roofs are the only roof product that doesn’t fade, but instead gets darker.
Slate is actual slate stone pieces cut to form. The lifespan can be a lifetime when installed correctly. Slate is impervious to fire, rot, and insects. It also has greater impact resistance, less maintenance, and can be easier to repair then tile. It is expensive to purchase and install and with the weight it could require extra support. Like tile it can add to your home insurance cost. It does have a high wind resistance because it is mechanically attached.
Metal roofs are thin sheets of stainless steel, aluminum, copper, or zinc. They are measured, cut into panels and seamed for customer installation. Metal can be formed to look like shingles, tile, and slate. Metal is lightweight, durable, and protects against fire, rot, and insects. The lifespan of the metal roof is a lifetime, but could require recoating. Pricing may be higher with metal and can be noisy with rain and hail and show surface dents. Professional installation is important to the longevity of the roof.
There are pros and cons to every decision. As long as you talk it over with your contractor and get the right professional to install the roof,it all comes down to preference!