The Pros & Cons of Different Roofing Materials

So you’ve noticed you need a roof replacement before Santa Claus comes to town. While you could stick to the original material, you may benefit from considering other roofing options. Then you can add your dream roof to your Christmas wish list.

Before you make a list and check it twice, you need to know what’s naughty or nice about each roofing material. Below we’ll go over popular roofing options and their pros and cons. Let’s start by exploring the factors you should think about before choosing a roofing material.

Roofing Material Aspects to Consider

When weighing the pros and cons of different roofing materials, you should consider your personal needs and your house structure. Check out our full guide on how to choose a new roof for your home for more details.

Here is an overview of factors to consider:

  • Longevity: How long is the roofing material expected to last?
  • Durability: Will the material withstand local weather conditions?
  • Roof structure: Does your roof have the right slope and structure to support the roofing material?
  • Aesthetics: Does it match the curb appeal of your home?
  • Cost: What is your budget? Don’t forget to include installation costs and how often you need to replace the roofing material.
  • Home value: Will it increase the value of your home?


Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material because the pros often outweigh the cons for homeowners.


  • Easy to install
  • Most affordable option
  • Wide variety of colors
  • Fire-resistant


  • Cannot use asphalt shingles on flat roofs.


Wooden shakes are usually made from cedar, but they can also be made from other wood, like redwood or southern pine.


  • Provides a natural aesthetic
  • Can be treated to be fire retardant
  • Weighs less than clay or slate roofing materials
  • Uses all-natural materials
  • Fairly affordable


  • Needs treatment for fire resistance
  • Requires periodic treatment to prevent damage and attracting mildew
  • Lifespan varies drastically depending on climate, type of wood, and thickness
  • Local municipalities may have banned wood roofs due to fire concerns


Metal is a broad term for materials such as copper, steel, aluminum, and zinc alloy.


  • Various metal materials and colors mean you can find something to match your house’s aesthetic
  • Most durable roofing options
  • Long lifespan
  • Can fit several roof slopes
  • Fire resistant
  • Can increase the value of your home


  • Fairly expensive
  • Copper can turn green after some time
  • Difficult to install, which usually means higher installation costs for experienced roofing contractors

Clay Tile

Clay tiles are usually found on roofs of stucco homes. It provides a certain Italian or Spanish aesthetic that many homeowners find appealing.


  • Creates a specific aesthetic
  • Durable material with a long lifespan
  • Resistant to fires, rot, and insects


  • Heavy material means your roof will need to withstand the weight, or you must build additional structures to support it
  • Expensive materials
  • May require more maintenance than other roofing materials
  • Difficult to install, which may mean higher costs to install it


Slate is a popular roofing material because it often aligns with homeowners’ requirements.


  • Extremely durable
  • Provides curb appeal
  • Resistant to wind, fire, and mold
  • All-natural material
  • Usually requires little maintenance


  • Expensive (but its durability means you won’t have to replace it for at least 50 years with proper care)
  • Heavy material means your roof will need to withstand the weight, or you must build additional structures to support it
  • Can’t be used on flat roofs

Need Help Choosing a Roofing Material?

A roof replacement can cause a lot of stress for homeowners, but choosing experienced residential roofing contractors can go a long way in having a smooth experience.

Best Contracting has replaced thousands of residential roofs in Lancaster, PA and many other surrounding areas. We’re fully insured, hold several trusted roofing industry certifications, and provide a 10-year workmanship warranty. We take pride in offering high-quality services and will take care of your home like it’s our own house. Contact us today to get a free quote.

Share this article