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  • Trent Gabel



Needing or wanting to replace a roof come with the same questions. What type of roof should I install? This question is answered two-fold, first if the roof replacement is for an insurance claim you will be paid for like kind and any upgrade would be out of pocket. The second is geographical conditions. You would not want a cedar shake roof in a mountain town environment that gets a ton of snow, or something of equal contrast. Homeowners should realize that this is only the first step. Tersuli Construction Services has compiled this guide to help homeowners understand the most common roof types, their advantages and disadvantages.

Basic Considerations

· Longevity: How long is the material supposed to last?

· Durability: Will it hold up to the region’s weather?

· Weight: Will it be too heavy for the existing structure?

· Slope: Will the angle be sufficient?

· Aesthetics: Will it complement the look and feel of my home?

· Environmental friendliness: Eco-friendly options are not just good for the environment, but for your wallet.

· Local code: Does your new roof adhere to municipal regulations?

Once you and your contractor have assessed all these considerations, it’s appropriate to choose from one of these popular roofing materials.


Asphalt or industry wide known as composition shingles are one of the most common roofing materials, comprising almost 80% of the housing market. This is due to overall weather resistance, broad range longevity and cost.

Pros: They have good fire and wind resistance, are relatively inexpensive, moderate in weight, and are appropriate for a variety of slope types.

Cons: They are not very ecofriendly and may not have the longevity of some types. If you live in a humid climate, you may need a special algae-resistant type of asphalt shingle.


Metal roofs are offered in a wide variety they can be anything from steel to copper.

Pros: materials are lightweight, recyclable, and energy efficient. Metal roofs actually absorb a third of the heat of asphalt. They’re durable, have good resistance to the elements, and can fit a variety of roof slopes.

Cons: Some people don’t like the look of a metal roof, and they can be moderately priced (steel) to very expensive (copper). Copper can develop a green patina with age, which homeowners may find unattractive or unappealing.

Plastic Polymer

Many new options on the market are supposed to resemble wooden shakes or slate, but they’re a high-tech plastic blend. These may be ideal for older homes that look good with shake but need extra durability.

Pros: These shingles are durable and low maintenance; they come in a variety of different styles to meet the owner’s particular tastes. They are generally lightweight, but may also be moderate in weight, so this is a consideration for people in older homes. They have good fire and wind resistance.

Cons: These shingles may not work in all homes, especially weightier models. They are also more expensive than asphalt/composition.


Slate is a classic roofing material, and you may find many older buildings and homes have slate tile roofs. It really adds an elegant touch to a home.

Pros: Slate tiles are very durable and have good resistance to wind and fire. They’re made from an all-natural material and are recyclable.

Cons: Slate tiles are very heavy and expensive. They can be used only on roofs that can bear their weight, and only steeply sloped roofs.

Wooden Shakes

The most common shake is wooden typically made from cedar but may be multiple other types of wood as well.

Pros: Wooden shingles give your home a nice natural look and add character and charm to older homes. They are made from all-natural materials and are recyclable. They are also affordable.

Cons: Unless they are specially treated, wooden shakes have low fire resistance. They also have a shorter lifespan and require more maintenance than other building materials.

Clay Tile

Clay tiles or “Spanish tile” are a Southwestern standard. They keep out the heat and accent the usual stucco exteriors, clay tiles are heavy.

Pros: Fired in a kiln, clay tiles can add energy efficiency to your home and give your home a Spanish or Italian appearance.

Cons: Clay tile is expensive, and any severe storm can break it. You may find that you must replace tiles more often than other roofing materials. Their weight requires a very strong structure for support, which usually means reinforcing the roof deck before applying them.


Last but not least there is concrete which is becoming a more popular option on modern homes.

Pros: Concrete is long lasting and durable; it also has excellent fire resistance. It’s less expensive than clay and fits a variety of home aesthetics.

Cons: The heavy material may require roof reinforcement. It can also crack and break in heavy winds. Concrete is less expensive than clay but is still more expensive than asphalt/composition.

If you are in the market for a roof replacement, Tersuli Construction Services team of professionals can assist with the tough decisions. We are always available for a no cost consultation so you can have all your questions answered before moving to the estimating phase.

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