Roofing Types – Asphalt and Wood Shingle Roofs
Wood and asphalt shingles are by far the most popular roofing materials in America. Combining affordable pricing, solid durability, and a plethora of color and style choices, these roofs come with a manufacturer warranty of up to 25 years. Wood shingles – although they cost a bit more than asphalt ones – are typically installed on older homes due to their simple and classic beauty. Asphalt shingle roofing has a reputation for being low-quality, but it isn’t necessarily accurate. Architectural asphalt shingles provide a 3-D appearance and excellent performance.
Metal is a durable and cost-effective alternative to traditional roofing materials. Slightly more expensive than other roofs, metal roofs more than make up for this with their long lifespan, energy efficiency, and protection from the elements. Metal roofs are furthermore recyclable and come in many different designs, including those that mimic natural stone, wood, and tile.
Masonry and Slate Roofs
Masonry roofs are popular in areas of the country with little rain and consistently high temperatures. They are attractive, fire-resistant and excellent insulators. Masonry roofs are relatively cheap and come in many different styles, sizes and colors. Weight is a drawback, however; your roof support structure may need to be reengineered to take the load. Slate roofs offer many of the same qualities as other masonry roofs. They are extremely attractive and durable – a professionally installed slate roof typically lasts 100 years or more! As with masonry roofing, weight can also be an issue with slate, and the material is priced on the high side. But considering that slate roofs last 2 to 4 times longer than other roofs, they’re well worth the extra money.
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A flat roof is an alternative to a traditional sloped roof. Flat roofs keep costs down by reducing the square footage that is covered with roofing material. Traditionally used to cover commercial spaces such as shopping plazas and industrial buildings, flat roofing is making its way into the residential roofing sector thanks to improved waterproofing processes and stronger materials. They must be maintained properly, however, to prevent leakage, and repairs can be a headache (the source of the leak is often difficult to find).
With vast improvements in sun-capturing technology, solar roofing systems are gaining a foothold in the residential roofing business. Their initial cost is high, but the installation immediately starts paying for itself. In some cases, you can even sell extra energy back to the electric company. Solar roof styles include roof-mounted solar panels and solar roofing tiles that mimic the look of asphalt and other traditional roofing materials.
- EPDM/Synthetic Rubber Roofs: Flat rubber roofs are cleaner and simpler to install than those made of hot tar or tar paper, but an EPDM membrane is fairly expensive. Membranes are sold in standard black or light colors, with the latter recommended for hot climates, as they deflect sunlight. Rubber roofing resists scuffs and scratches fairly well.
- Built-Up-Roofs: Also known as a tar roof, this type of flat roofing consist of several layers of tar (or, in some cases, tar paper) and waterproof membrane with crushed stone (aggregate) on top. Durable and very low-cost, built up roofing is a great choice for commercial or industrial buildings. Due to the heavy weight of tar roofs, however, some buildings require additional structural support.
- Concrete/Masonry Roofs: A flat concrete roof is an excellent choice in areas with constant high heat and little rainfall. They are easy to install, cheap, and provide homes with extra insulation by absorbing a significant portion of solar heat.
- Modified Bitumen Roofs: This is a heat-applied peel-and-stick product that’s very easy to install, but not as durable as other flat roofing types. Most installations feature a layer of aggregate applied directly atop the bitumen.
- Flat Metal Roofs: Metal roofing is highly durable, resists puncturing very well, and is lightweight – which saves on engineering and material costs. Choose from many different metals and roofing styles.
New Roof Costs
- An asphalt shingle roof starts at $2 to $4 per square foot installed and might cost as much as $5 to $8per square foot installed. On a 1,500 square foot roof, that’s a total estimated cost of $3,000 to $12,000.
- Wood shingles cost $6 to $9 per square foot installed ($9,000 to $13,500).
- Galvanized steel is one of the most popular metal roof options and costs $9 to $13 per square foot installed ($13,500 to $19,500).
- Masonry roofs typically cost $2 to $5 per square foot installed ($3,000 to $7,500).
- Slate roofs, at $15 to $20 per square foot installed, are one of the more expensive options ($22,500 to $30,000).
- Flat roofs typically cost $5 to $7 per square foot ($7,500 to $10,500).
- Solar roofing generally costs $25 to $35 per square foot installed, although keep in mind that you probably will only cover a portion of the roof, not the entire surface (covering 1/4 of the roof, or 375 square feet, would cost around $9,000 to $13,000).
- Removing and disposing of existing roofing, an unusual roof layout (dormers, peaks and valleys), and other factors can contribute to a higher overall project cost.