If you are thinking about building your own dream house, you should start planning what materials you intend to use. Not only will this impact how your home looks, it will also determine its value, durability and sustainability. Roofing
is one of the key elements of a home, and it is probably the first thing you have to go over, since it basically performs important protective and insulation functions. And along with an architect, contractor and a reliable roofer, you should go over what material options you have, given your budget and expectations.
There are actually several roofing choices made available through the market today. But not all of them are advisable for specific types of homes and tastes. Asphalt shingles, for example, are used by over 75% of American homes. Aside from being popular, they are also quite affordable. However, this advantage comes with a number of downsides, including a low insulative value and a short lifespan of 15 to 30 years. On top of that, asphalt shingles are made of non-recyclable products. So if you are into green-living, this is the worst type you can go with.
An alternative would be wood singles and shakes, which come as redwood, cedar, and southern pine, to name a few. Sure, it is more expensive than that of asphalt. But if you want something that is good for the environment and complementary to your historical-contemporary home design, this would be a great route to explore. However, given its composition, wood singles are easy to catch fire. And on top of that, they are very difficult to maintain (although they live significantly longer than the first item listed). There are Class A wood singles with fire-resistant features you could buy for an extra cost. But that will not take out mold, split, and rotting problems out of the picture.
Now, you could have the roofer install clay and concrete tiles instead, and be less conscious about your home’s environmental impact and its sustainability. As an added advantage, you will also have access to multiple shape, styles, textures and colors, if you choose to go with this material. But you will have to spend more to acquire them and construct an added framing, as they are quite bulky and heavy. They are ideal to use for Mediterranean and European inspired houses, and is probable on of the most energy-efficient out of all the selections.
Slate is an upgraded version of clay and concrete roof tiles, and is believed to last hundreds of years. This is twice longer than the latter’s lifespan. And in addition, it is easier to repair and recycle, which makes its $550 to $1000 per square feet price quite realistic. But if you really want something cool for that same expense, you could go with metal roofing – copper, stainless steel and aluminium – and be assured of longevity, higher insulation reflectance and resilience. You could also try out fiber cement for the same fee and secure the best qualities of concrete, clay and wood roof tiles together.