One of the most important decisions a homeowner faces when constructing a building or even when repairing a roof is the type of roofing material to use. In a way, the roof shields your house and your family from rain, snow, sunlight, and wind. You seek to have a roof that endures for many years and rarely requires repair work to be done on it.

There is plenty of good roofing material in 2024 to easily select from the market. Today’s most popular types of roofing include asphalt shingles, metal panels, concrete tiles, synthetic tiles, clay tiles, wood shakes, and slate tiles. It has been established that it is crucial to evaluate the regional climatic conditions, the roofing material cost, the architectural design of your house, and the amount of effort required to maintain the roofing material. Whether you are a homeowner, a builder, or a Construction Estimators, this guide will provide information on the benefits and drawbacks of the top roofing materials.

Asphalt Shingles

There are many types of shingles that can be used for roofing, but asphalt shingles are the most commonly used in the United States. They have a 15-30-year lifespan, with costs between $300 and $700 per 100 sq ft. As for the material, asphalt shingles are available in several varieties of colors and designs, including the three-tab and the architectural shingles. It can be used in any climate since it does not require generating heat. The advantages of using asphalt shingles include being cheaper to acquire, easier to install, and can be gotten in many styles. Some negative points are that a storm can quickly destroy them, some colors wash out the most quickly in the sun, and they wear out quicker than other types of material.

Metal Roofing Panels

They include steel, aluminum, and copper and are durable, lightweight, and fire-resistant. They can last 40-70 years or more It is estimated that they can last for 40-70 years or even more. Metal roofing costs can range from $5 per square to $15 per square to install. They are widespread and available in a wide variety of colors and designs. Some advantages include: Metal roofs can be very durable when handling extreme weather such as storms and fire, and they are more efficient when it comes to conserving energy. There are also downsides, such as they are costly, their hail can be dented, and may generate more noise from rainfall and hailstones. They also conduct heat in hot climates. All in all, metal roofs are a good choice for most homeowners in terms of durability and the ability to take little care of it.

Western Red Cedar Wood Shakes and Natural Stone Slate Tiles

If one wants to look natural but, at the same time, create a beautiful roof, then cedar and redwood shakes are the best. These costs range from $1000- $2000 per square installed. Wood shakes will serve you for approximately 25-30 years with proper installation and regular maintenance. Slate roofs are stone roofs, in natural quarries, with slate roof tiles in grey, green, purple, and red tones. It has a life cycle of over 100 years but is very costly, ranging from $1500-2500 per square when installed.

Construction Estimating Service can provide accurate cost assessments for these types of roofing materials, ensuring homeowners understand the financial investment required for both wood shakes and slate roofs. Such services help in budgeting and selecting the best materials according to the client’s needs and preferences.

Slate and wood shakes have the following advantages: the material is unique once properly installed and maintained. Such material includes shakes that are made from slate or wood. Some cons are that they are more expensive in terms of maintenance, that in some climates, they are more likely to attract moss or algae, and that they will need to be checked often for any signs of damage. They also come as very HEAVY and very expensive in the roofing industry.

Selective by Climate and Weather

Residential areas, especially in hot and dry areas such as the southwest, are best suited to reflective, energy-star-approved products such as light-colored metal roofs, clay tiles, or concrete tiles, as these are known to reduce cooling costs. Also, consider attic ventilation.

Places such as the Pacific Northwest are characterized by cold and wet climatic conditions, which call for the installation of roof designs that enable the easy drainage of water; this can be easily achieved by installing steep-sloped roofs. At present, asphalt architectural shingles and metal panels provide good water shedding. Covered balconies shield roofs against the possibility of water damage. Thus, adequate attic ventilation will minimize the formation of ice dams.

Coastal areas require structures that are not affected by strong winds and flying ash from hurricanes, and metal panels fit the bill. Corrosion-resistant metal should also be used near saltwater, which degrades several materials.

Choosing by Budget

These three types of shingles are the most popular because of their cost, durability, and efficiency, which provide excellent value to many homeowners. Nearly all manufacturers offer improved laminated asphalt shingles with better durability and warranties for $100-200 per square.

For 30-50 year-life spans, the average cost per square installed is $1,000-1,600 for concrete and clay tiles, but the added value to the home is roughly equivalent to the price of 30-year shingles.

Stainless steel costs $1,900/sq but has a 40-year limited warranty, no maintenance, and energy efficiency, while copper and zinc cost $1,200-1,800/sq and have a 50-year limited warranty, no maintenance, and energy efficiency.

Better slate and wood shake materials have attractive natural appearances but shorter guarantees of life span, in contrast to steeper costs, which range between $1,800 and $2,500 for each square installed. Ensure that your roof framework has the capacity to support heavy tile and wooden shake material, which should only be assessed by an expert.

Choosing by Home Style

Ranch-style homes look best when adorned with straightforward three-tab shingles in earth tones or budget metal panels in light shades.

Metal Cladding in copper, zinc, or color finishes gives Modern Contemporary Homes a new lease on life and dimension. For example, standing seam metal roofs can be combined with thin-film solar panels.

Victorian and Colonial Homes have dimensional shingles with Mscan color blends or multi-toned designs. Porcelain tiles are paired with decorative gable trims. Wood shakes present an authentic look but are less durable today than in the past if cared for and preserved, which adds to their cost.

Italian, Tuscan, and Spanish-style homes produce a Mediterranean look with clay barrel tiles or embossed concrete tiles that simulate clay. These home styles are also characterized by the use of stucco and stone, and tile roofs perfectly fit these styles.

Choosing Eco-Friendly Materials

Sustainable roofs in the current market include energy efficiency, solar-ready, cool roof compatibility, eco-manufacturing, and durability.

Roofing material is an ENERGY STAR-rated item as it reflects the sun’s heat and thus is energy-saving. Some examples are light-colored asphalt shingles, standing seam metal panels, single-ply membranes, and tile products.

Plastic and rubber from recycled materials create composite roofing that presents durability. Some synthetics resemble the appearance of the cedar shakes. In contrast, the durable rubberized polymer roofs imitate the look of slate or clay tiles but, at the same time, are far less in weight and, therefore, more accessible to transport and install on the construction site. Made from recycled consumer and industrial plastics and rubber, it can also be considered an environmentally sound roofing material.

Solar roofing involves solar shingles designed to produce photovoltaic energy. Conventional roofing materials also accommodate solar power for power generation purposes and provide clean energy.

Life cycle cost studies indicate that durable tile and metal roofs are actually more cost-effective in the long run because they avoid the need for re-roofing as often, but they cost more in the beginning. This is especially true for metal roofing and clay tiles, which can have a durability of 50-100 years.


Selecting a suitable roofing material is one of the sound decisions you can make for your home. In this guide, I outlined the dominant aspects to look at, such as the climate and weather of your area, budget constraints, the architectural style of your home, green features, and durability. Balancing these critical factors will help you decide whether to go for traditional and time-tested roofing designs or take advantage of the new-generation modern roofing systems available in the market. A Construction Estimating Services professional residential roofer can also consider your home’s situation to help arrive at a closer decision as to which materials to use when installing your new roof. The general idea is that by installing high-quality and long-lasting roof materials from a reliable manufacturer, your roof will last a long time.