From asphalt shingles to slate, the roofing material you choose is a huge consideration that will contribute to the style and overall look of your home for many years to come. When you update your existing roof you can add value to your home and show off the look and feel of your house using colour, style, and look. Keep reading to see how to upgrade your home using the best roofing materials out there.

1. Before You Start

Before you choose your roofing supplies, there are some questions you must consider. These will help you make your decision.

  • Does the material meet fire codes in your local area?
  • How heavy is the material and does it need special framing?
  • What’s the cost, warranty, and life span for the material?
  • Is the material available in a wide variety of styles and colours that will complement your home?
  • Do you have to consider special installation and maintenance issues?
  • Will this material offer decent performance in the weather conditions you experience commonly in your area?

How you answer these questions will help you decide the best roofing material for your house. There are many materials available and here are some of the most popular ones you might consider, as well as some pros and cons, the house styles they look best on, and the cost and life span.

2. Asphalt Shingles

The number-one most common roofing material on residences in Canada is asphalt shingles. They’re popular because they’re easy to install and very affordable.

  • Pros: Asphalt shingles are available in a wide variety of colours, are widely available, and one of the least expensive roofing materials you can select.
  • Cons: Asphalt doesn’t offer the insulation of other roofing materials, has a shorter life span than alternatives, and the quality of shingles varies.
  • House Styles: Asphalt shingles can work well with lots of different styles, but look best on traditional suburban homes.
  • Lifespan and Cost: These shingles will last 20 to 25 years when properly maintained. Average cost ranges from $70 to $150 a square (100 square feet).

3. Metal

Metal roofs are available in two types, shingles and panels, and are available in copper, stainless steel, aluminum, and zinc. These are a great choice for houses that often experience extreme weather conditions. They’re also a good choice for someone who is interested in harvesting rainwater.

  • Pros: Metal roofing lasts longer than asphalt and wood, is durable, and has a high solar reflectance.
  • Cons: Compared to asphalt and wood shingles, metal roofing is rather expensive.
  • House Styles: Metal looks great on a wide variety of house styles like cabins, bungalows, cottage-style homes, and contemporary homes.
  • Life Span and Cost: Metal roofing can last up to 75 years! Prices typically cost in the $500 to $1,800 per square range.

4. Wood Shingles and Wood Shake

Many people love how wood shingles and shakes age and weather to a lovely shade of grey. Wood shakes are handmade and look rougher than wood shingles, which are typically machine-cut.

  • Pros: Wood offers a natural, rustic look and are usually made form redwood, cedar, and southern pine.
  • Cons: Some areas have fire codes that prohibit the use of wood on roofs. Wood shingles can mould, rot, or split in wet climates.
  • House Styles: The rustic look goes well with Craftsman, Cape Cod, bungalow, cottage, and Tudor-style homes.
  • Wood roofs will last around 25 to 30 years, and cost around $470 per square.

5. Slate

Slater offers both beauty and elegance and comes in shades of red, black, gray, green, and purple.

  • Pros: Slate is fire-resistant, extremely durable, and is considered a sustainable roof.
  • Cons: Slate roofs are heavy, expensive, and installation requires extra framing and professional roofers. Quality can vary among imported products.
  • House Styles: Slate goes well with French chateau, European, and Colonial home styles.
  • Slate can last between 50 and 100 years or more, and cost starts around $800 and goes up to $1,600 per square.

Note: In reference to roofing, one square is equal to 100 square feet, and one bundle will cover around one-third of a square.

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