The Pros and Cons of Different Roofing Materials

All roofing materials protect our homes from rain and snow and help keep the house warm or cool year-round.  Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing materials. They cost much less than other materials but they do not have the aesthetics of tile, clay, or metal that many people prefer. A new roof of any roofing material will keep you comfortable and dry. If you are willing to pay more for a new roof made from expensive materials it will be a good investment and add value to your home. 

Here is a list of the most widely used roofing materials and their benefits and drawbacks:

Composite Asphalt Shingles

The most common roofing material is composite asphalt shingles. They are available in many colors.


  • Asphalt shingles are economical. They don’t cost as much as most other types of roofing.
  • They last a long time. Asphalt roofs can last up to 40 years, according to professionals.
  • They can be used in many different climates but are best in cool to cold environments.
  • Asphalt shingles are made in a wide variety of colors. There are also marbled color mixtures that look great on a house with solid color brick or siding.
  • Repairs and replacements may cost less than other types of roofing.
  • These shingles last through snow and ice storms and they are fireproof.


  • Asphalt shingles do not have the appearance and sophistication of some more modern types of roofing.
  • They can become dislodged and blow away during high winds.

Other Types of Asphalt Shingles

Architectural Asphalt Shingles


  • They provide a multi-dimensional look to a roof.
  • Architectural asphalt shingles are a type of premium asphalt shingles.
  • These shingles are thicker and have a longer warranty because of their sturdiness.
  • They are often multi-colored for an interesting effect.


  • Specialized roofing installation is needed.

Specialty Asphalt Roofing Shingles

There are other kinds of specialty asphalt roofing shingles available. These can make your home look updated and modern. Some of them feature dimensions as they imitate more expensive roofing materials like slate.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles look great on a house with wood side and front panels. They can be stained to contrast with the house wood. Wood shingles also look great on cottage-style homes, but can add beauty to any house.


  • They look stylish and have a unique look.
  • Colors can be stained to contrast with wooden panels or to match them.
  • You can choose from redwood, cedar, or pine shingles.
  • Wooden shingles can maintain the rustic look of the home.


  • Not safe to use in fire zones since they are not fireproof. 
  • Need replacement in about 25 years.
  • More expensive than asphalt but cost less than some other types of roofing material.
  • Fewer color choices in ready-made shingles when compared with asphalt shingles.

Tile Roofing

Tile roofs are special and unique. They are great for coastal homes and are also used for historical houses due to their beauty. 


  • Tile roofing is long-lasting and may still be around when they are 100 years old.
  • The tile is natural and made from earth minerals. 
  • Recycling is possible when the roof is removed. This is completed by grinding up old tiles.
  • Tile roofs can insulate your home to keep cool air inside.


  • Tile roofing is more expensive than most other roofing materials.
  • It can be difficult to install and requires an expert tile roofer.
  • Not all roofs can use tile roofing because of certain roof slopes.

Metal Shingles

Metal shingles have a style of their own. They are used in Colonial-style homes to give an antique look. They can be aluminum, copper, steel, or other metals.

Old churches, centuries-old stone houses, and others often have metal shingles. 


  • They lower cooling costs substantially.
  • Metal lasts longer than wood or asphalt shingles.
  • They are resistant to rain or wind.
  • Metal roofing can be installed over old asphalt roofs that are in good shape.
  • Copper and zinc are available for unique looks.
  • Stone-coated shingles are available for a special effect. The stone coating is applied over the metal roofing.
  • Made in many colors including bright red.


  • Can be dented during hail storms
  • Rain noise is louder on metal roofs. Insulation can be placed underneath the minimize rain noise.

Slate Shingles

These sturdy shingles have been used since the 1300s. 


  • They last longer than other types of shingles – up to 100 years.
  • Snow, hail, and wind do not affect them.
  • Slate is the toughest type of roofing.
  • Homeowners love their stylish look.
  • Asphalt shingles that look like slate are available for much cheaper prices.


  • This is the most expensive type of roof.
  • Not many roofing companies install slate roofs.
  • Slate shingles are not appropriate for all types of climates.

Clay and Concrete Shingles


  • They are strong and wind resistant and can last 100 years.
  • These shingles look great on Spanish-style homes.
  • Fire resistance is a pro of clay and concrete shingles.


  • Not all frames can support them, so a structural engineer’s inspection is required. 
  • They are more expensive than some other types of roofing materials.

Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Standing Seam Metal Roofing has vertical ribs on each end. It can look beautiful on many styles of houses, especially ones made of stone or with stone trim.


  • These roofs are secure enough for solar panels.
  • Standing seam metal roofing has reduced leaks.
  • They are good to use in areas with heavy snow because of their strength.
  • Standing seam metal roofing is fireproof.


  • Not every roofing company has the ability to install this roofing.

Call now for a free roofing estimate and transform your home with Vanity Roofing! Our expert team provides top-quality roofing services to keep your home safe and looking beautiful. Don’t wait any longer, contact us today.

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