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Roof Buying Guide: Choosing the Right Roofing

roof buying guide

Not too long ago, the best you could do with your roofing was to bedeck it in shingles, but contemporary roofs want to be more than just strong. Today’s products can create clean energy, absorb heat, and reflect a rainbow of palettes.

There are synthetic cedar shakes, reflective paints, and silicone coatings that can extend your roof’s lifespan. If you’re a true eco warrior, there are even live roofs replete with soil and vegetation. If you’re in the market for a new roof, the industry is ready to take you on an exciting adventure through new trends and fabrications.

Step one: clarify your goals

Modern roofs have a long list of impressive powers, so the first step to choosing your roofing lies in clarifying your goals. Do you want a roof that can outlast a tough climate? Or is beauty at the top of your list? Are you in the market for an eco-friendly product, or are ventilation and insulation more important to you? What does your budget look like?

Do you need to save money on your upfront costs, or are you looking for reduced maintenance costs instead? There are six facets that you’ll need to consider:

  • Cost. Sometimes, the roofs with the lowest upfront costs are the most expensive products on the market in terms of lifespan, so calculate your investment over time.
  • Durability: Metal and wood can last up to 50 years, while asphalt offers a meagre lifespan of 30 years. Durability must account for ease of maintenance, too, so think hard before you invest in wooden shakes that require constant attention.
  • Style: Modern fabrications offer some exciting new aesthetics.
  • Material: Modern homeowners have a vast range of materials available to them. Rubber can now mimic wood shakes and slate. Metal roofing is more attractive than ever before, and composites can achieve the look of shakes at a lower cost.
  • Design: Your choice of slope has a powerful effect on the durability and solar power potential of your roof. Angular slopes shed water more easily, but flat designs can support solar panels and green roofing.
  • Eco-friendliness: An insulating, green, or solar paneled roof can shrink your carbon footprint.

Step two: assess your location-specific challenges

Nature expresses its wrath differently all over the world. Some areas are prone to ice and sweltering heat, while others bring wildfires. Roofing in humid areas is prone to rot and buckling which, in turn, degrades insulation. Wooden shakes might serve LA homeowners well, but Southern states would do better with rubber. Your choice of roofing should address:

  • Heavy rainfall and ice
  • Your risk of fire
  • Infestation potential
  • Sunlight exposure
  • Humidity
  • Blistering caused by extreme heat

roofing buying guide

Step three: choose your materials

There’s no such thing as a perfect roofing material, but there are certainly products that can address your unique challenges. Every product offers a wide range of strengths and frailties.


Asphalt doesn’t top the durability list by any means. It offers a lifespan of 15 to 30 years, but it makes up for its weaknesses by being wonderfully-easy to maintain. Asphalt is perfect for areas that are prone to wildfires and heavy winds, particularly if you add extra reinforcements.


If infestations are common in your region, clay tiles are naturally pest-resistant and can last a century or more. These tiles are fabricated entirely from eco-friendly minerals, which are fully recyclable.


Rubber roofing isn’t the ugly duckling of the industry anymore. It can mimic natural materials like wood and can withstand wind uplifts of 110 miles an hour. If you live in Hurricane Alley, rubber might be your new best friend.


Metal roofing can be installed in sheets that mimic asphalt tiles and clay. This is one of the most affordable solutions in your arsenal, but it’s noisy on rainy days. Its lifespan can extend beyond 40 years, and its fire-resistance is impressively robust. Choose a recycled metal roof, and you can add eco-friendliness to the mix.


Composite slate is perfect for fashionistas who want a customizable aesthetic. It’s durable and eco-friendly, too, but that comes at a higher upfront cost.

Step four: consider the rest of your roofing

Your roofing is more than just its armor. Beneath all that clay and metal lies the soft underlayment keeping your roof deck secure. All your components need to compliment one another while providing exceptional insulation.

Your joists and rafters are equally important. They give your roof its shape and provide a solid foundation for your tiles.

Think of your roofing options in terms of what they can do for you. By considering how your environment affects your materials, you’ll cut back on the maintenance work you’ll have to do in the coming decades. An intelligent choice is an easy choice, so take time now to save time later.


At 1-800-HANSONS we pride ourselves on presenting the best roofing. If you suspect that you need a roof replacement, we’ll be happy to inspect it.

We’ve been able to pioneer the industry’s only lifetime “No Leak Guarantee” – ensuring that a roof from 1-800-HANSONS will be the last roof you will ever buy. Click here for a free estimate.

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