Jun 2011 9

What Kind of Roof is Best for Your House?

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Roof Tiles by Liz Jones Roof Tiles by Liz Jones

Many home owners underestimate the value of a quality roof. If you’re thinking about reconstruction, don’t forget that the more you invest in your house, the better you’ll want to protect it. You need to consider rain, snow, wind, and everything that can ruin your masterpiece in a matter of hours. You really should put all the effort possible into finding the most suitable roof for your house.

Well Chosen Material, the Key to Success

The question many of you might ask yourselves is: “What is the quality I should seek in a roof?” It’s very difficult to identify just the right material if you don’t know what it needs to be capable of surviving. You should look for information about lifespan, weight (so it won’t crush the roof framing), and roof sloping. You should also find out whether it’s permitted by local building codes, how resistant it is to fire and extreme wind, and (most importantly), how much it costs.

Wooden Shingles by Grant MacDonald Wooden Shingles by Grant MacDonald

There are seven major types of roofing used in Canada: asphalt composition shingles, metal, wood, plastic polymer, clay tile, concrete tile, and slate. Asphalt and wood both last around 20 to 30 years, while metal roofing will usually last ten years longer than asphalt and wood — and polymer, clay tile, and concrete tile all last over 50 years. The winning lifespan goes to slate, which is also the most expensive option. It costs from $1100 to $2000 per 100 square feet of roofing. Asphalt’s price is around $200, which makes it a winner economically, followed by metal, wood, and concrete tile (all $250-450), plastic polymer ($400-600), and finally clay tile ($800-1000).

Asphalt roofing’s biggest advantage is its price; this is why it’s used in over 80% of residential roofing. Wood is also very popular because of its price and because it’s very light and doesn’t need much support in framing, which makes it even cheaper to build. If you’re considering investing in recycled roofing materials, metal roofing is the best choice. Its green nature is not its only advantage: it also absorbs very little heat. For those who like fancy roofs, clay tile is just the right choice. It offers a great look and your neighbours will definitely envy you. If you’re the lazy type who doesn’t want to worry too much about the maintenance of the roof, plastic polymer will do the trick. It’s one of the more inexpensive choices as well. Concrete tile and slate are the options that last the longest. They’re very heavy and expensive, but incredibly good looking and tough.

Better Safe Than Sorry — Don’t Forget about the Warranty!

There’s a manufacturer’s warranty that covers all the problems that can arise from the actual roofing material, as well as the optional roofing contractor’s warranty that covers all the problems created by the contractors’ negligence or by accident when installing the roof. Some warranties can’t be transferred to other owners, such as your children or a person to whom you sell the house. Always search the contract for this information.

Last Touch — Choosing the Right Colour

An asphalt roof on Monroe School by Jim Grey
An asphalt roof on Monroe School
by Jim Grey

Choose the colour of your roof very carefully. Don’t paint it if you’re not 100% sure. The paint for the whole roof is quite expensive, so it’s best if you’re sure you won’t suddenly change your mind. There are shops that use computers to show you how a roof colour will look on your house. This can be very helpful. Don’t forget that the colour will fade somewhat after a few months. You have to decide with this in mind as well. It’s good to choose a colour that will match not only your house but also your neighbourhood‚ unless you’re a bit of an exhibitionist and you want to be one in a million with a pink roof! You’ll want to choose a colour with the weather in mind as well. Choose one that’s highly resistant to rain and wind, but that also reflects the heat well. If you like heat, you should choose a dark colour that absorbs the sun’s rays and heats your house. However, the effect won’t be great since most roofs are insulated and don’t transmit heat much.

One Response to “What Kind of Roof is Best for Your House?”

  1. Peter Gerrard

    When it comes to roof shingle materials, these days the popular choice seems to be composition roof shingles, which have a length between two and three feet. The substances used are crushed rock, thick felt, tar and a few other materials, which are combined into one section.

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