What type of Roofing is Suitable for your Home?
Selecting the right roofing materials for your home is not an exact science and it will force you to take a number of variables into account. After all, the roof of your home is perhaps one of the most important investments you can make. You want to be sure that you're investing in materials that make sense for your climate. However, you also want to be sure that the materials you select fit the aesthetic of your home. While there is no perfect formula that can give you a definite balance between these two concerns, there are a number of things you can do to make your decision easier.
Select for Your Climate
The most important part of this decision is finding a material for your roof that makes sense for your climate. Using roof materials that are not properly suited to your local weather and environment is a sure way to waste money. For example, buying tin roofing material for a home or outbuilding when you live next to the ocean can be a terrible idea. The salt and moisture can cause massive corrosion on this type of roofing and significantly lower the lifespan of your roof. This means you'll have to have it redone more often due to the corrosion.
In the above example, using cedar shingles or tar-based shingles for roofing would be a much more effective solution. Cedar is naturally resistant to corrosion by salt air and tar-based shingles are designed to repel a wide range of elemental factors.
If you live in an area where strong storms are a fact of life, then you may want to consider investing in hurricane-proofing for your roof. While this doesn't make your roof literally immune to hurricanes, it can do a lot to help protect you from most of the potential damage.
The way your roof performs is far and away the most important thing to consider here. However, taking the time to consider the aesthetics of your roof can be a smart thing to do. Your roof will hopefully last for years and you don't want to be stuck with a roof that just doesn't fit with the rest of your home or your neighborhood.
Getting creative with the aesthetic choices you make with your roofing material will require you to have a firm grasp on the aforementioned climate concerns. For example, homes in Arizona or Nevada could look perfectly natural with Spanish tile roofing or something similar. By contrast, that choice would look blatantly ridiculous if the house were in Alaska or northern Minnesota. You want to consider the aesthetics of the roofing choice you make, but you don't want that decision the more important functionality of your roof.
When deciding on the material you want to use on your roof, you should also consider what you want to do with your roof in the future. Do you want to put in a solar water heating system? Do you want to start placing skylights throughout your home? It's essential for you to know the answers to these types of questions before you make any definitive decisions on this. For example, it could be difficult to go back and create skylights in a roof that was done in Spanish tile instead of standard shingles.
You should also look into any local grants or tax incentives that could exist for specific types of roofing materials. Using roofing material that has a high R-value can sometimes fall under local incentives that promote energy efficiency in your area. This will vary greatly from state to state, so you should contact your local city hall to learn more about any relevant programs in your area.
There are No Definitive Answers
What works for one person or home will not necessarily work for everyone. This is a tried and true axiom amongst those who have gone through major home upgrades. All home upgrades require you to be intelligent with how you make your decisions. This is especially true when it comes to having your roof redone since it can be an extremely expensive process to go through. In the end, taking the time to look over all of your options and find the one that best suits your unique situation is the only smart way to move forward.