There are currently 75 million single-family homes in the United States, according to Bill Hippard, president of the Metal Roofing Alliance. And of those 75 million homes, about 7% re-roof annually, which comes out to about 5 million new roofs per year. Replenishing a roof is great for the health (and the value) of a home, but how does a homeowner even begin to understand which materials are best to work with?
One option is to start doing some heavy research. Whether you’re installing an outdoor patio, planning enough space for a screened-in porch or deciding on a cultured stone fireplace, the more background info you know about your desired home improvement task, the better you’ll be able to make the right choice.
But let’s get back to roofing. You’re going to want to be familiar with the most popular and modern styles, so here’s a little cheat sheet you can use to help jumpstart your research.
Option 1: Asphalt Shingles
The Appeal: TheHouseDesigners.com reports that nearly three-quarters of all American homes have asphalt shingles because of their neutral appearance, which gives them a bit of a universal appeal. The downside, however, is a much shorter lifespan than other materials in addition to poor insulating quality.
The Cost: Typically around $50 to $150 per square, though that all changes based on where you choose to buy the materials. There’s also an environmental cost — or more appropriately, asphalt shingles aren’t very “green,” especially compared to…
Option 2: Wood Shingles
The Appeal: If asphalt is neutral, wood is strikingly rustic and quite a bit more natural on its appearance. All things considered, this one really comes down to aesthetics, and wood often gives a home a much warmer quality than most other materials can. Think of them as the cultured stone of roofing materials.
The Cost: TheHouseDesigners.com calls wood shingles “high maintenance” because of how they crack and rot, just as regular wood does. They’re made of all-natural materials though, which is a selling point, though it ups the price to over $100 per square.
Option 3: Steel, Aluminum and Copper
The Appeal: Metal roofs in general are extremely energy efficient and make for a suitable green option for any home. Plus, their sleek appearance gives your home in a very modern, very contemporary and extremely unique — especially when put up against all the others in suburbia.
The Cost: Depends on what type, but the low end runs about $100 per square and the pricier stuff (stained copper and the like) can reach up to $600.
Option 4: Green Roofing
The Appeal: When you want an environmentally friendly option, you really can’t much greener than actual grass. Yes, green roofing is effectively a garden right atop your home growing either large plants or small coverings of moss. They’re great for drainage, too.
The Cost: Surprisingly, green roofing is only about $15 or $20 per square foot. Plus, you may get some financial benefits back in the form of a higher resale value for your home.
Though cultured stone fireplaces make your home more luxurious, updating roofing can prove to be a significantly wiser financial decision. Just ask any professional roofing service. More on this topic.