Roofing Materials Guide: The Homeowner’s Options

Are you looking to update your old roof? Or you are constructing your new home and are looking for the best materials for your roof? Let us help you make the best buying decision with this roofing materials guide. Here are your various options when it comes to installing a new roof system, including their pros and cons.

Metal roofing

Metal roofs come in either a shingle or panel type and are often made of stainless steel, copper, aluminum, or zinc. They look great on modern homes, cabins, cottage-style properties, and bungalows.


  • Sturdy and lasts longer than wood and asphalt
  • Can last up to 70 years
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Ideal for rainwater harvesting
  • Ability to reflect sunlight

Cons: Metal roofs cost higher than other roofing materials

Asphalt Shingles

These roofing materials complement a wide variety of architectural styles. Asphalt shingles are ideal for both suburban and traditional styles. They can be supported with fiberglass without altering their appearance. Proper and regular roof maintenance can make them last for up to 25 years.


  • Among the cheapest roofing materials
  • Easy to install
  • Available in a wide assortment of colors


  • Inconsistent quality
  • Poor insulation
  • Shorter service life than other roofing types

Synthetic roofing

This is an umbrella term for various roofing materials: polymer, rubber, and plastic. These synthetic materials mimic the appearance, texture, and color of natural roofing materials such as wood and slate.


  • Easy to maintain
  • More durable, lighter, and cheaper than natural materials
  • Some synthetic roofing materials are designed to be fire resistant


  • Inconsistent quality
  • May absorb water and cause leaks

Concrete and clay tiles

Ideal for architectural styles such as Spanish, Mediterranean, Southwestern, and Mission, concrete and clay tiles add a touch of elegance to your roof and home. With regular and proper roof maintenance these roofing tiles can last up to half a century.


  • Very durable and long lasting
  • Non-combustible
  • Energy efficient
  • Versatile


  • Heavy weight
  • Generally expensive
  • Typically requires extra framing that adds up to the roof installation costs

Wood shingles and shake

The rustic appeal of these roofing materials that are typically made of redwood, cedar, or Southern pine make them a top choice for hundreds of years already. Over time, they transform into a lovely shade of gray. Because of that, wood shingles and shake look great with cottage-style, bungalow, Tudor-style, Craftsman-style, and Cape God-style homes. Wood shingles are often cut by machine, while wood shales look rougher because they are handmade. Both of them can last for up to 30 years with regular maintenance.


  • Attractive rustic appearance
  • Natural roofing materials


  • Prone to molds, rotting, and splitting during rains
  • Prone to fire (which can be solved by treating the roof with a fire-resistant coating)


Slate looks beautiful on home styles such as European, Colonial, and French chateau. It can last for as long as 100 years.


  • Elegant and visually appealing; available in shades of purple, black, gray, green, and red
  • Long lasting
  • Sustainable because it can be recycled
  • Fire resistant


  • Heavy weight
  • Requires additional framing
  • Expensive

For a professional roof installation, contact us at Roof Restoration Melbourne One!