Different types of roofs for homes include asphalt shingle, wood, metal, slate, and tile and cement. The type of roof material that can be used may depend on the slope of the roof as well as its structural integrity and load-bearing capability. The price of the roof varies depending on the type of material being used.
The most common type of residential roof is the asphalt shingle. It is the easiest to install and the cheapest material to purchase. Asphalt shingles are typically available in the least expensive standard single-layer thickness or a thicker laminated style that can cost twice as much but usually lasts for 25 years. Installation requires a less experienced crew than most other types of roofs.
Wood roofs are typically made of redwood, southern pine or cedar. Wood shingles can last up to 25 years, but they also cost about twice as much as asphalt. In some residential areas, local fire codes prohibit the use of wood for roofing.
Metal roofs are typically made of large aluminum or steel-ribbed sheets that are joined together with solder or rivets. Copper and lead are also used but typically as smaller shingles. Metal roofs are very expensive but are far more resistant to weather and have a life span of 40 to 70 years.
Half cylinders constructed of tile or cement are common on Mission-style or Spanish Colonial homes. Tile roofs are expensive, durable and heavy.
Slate is a premium quality roof material. It is very durable and the most expensive type. Hundred-year-old slate roofs are commonly recycled and used on new construction because they are expected to last another 100 years.