The Six Most Common Roofing Materials

Whether you’re building a new home or replacing an old roof, it’s important to understand your options when it comes to roofing materials. Each type of material has its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks, as well as varying costs. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of roofing materials and their associated costs. 

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials for homes in the United States. They are relatively inexpensive, durable, and easy to install. Asphalt shingles are typically made from fiberglass and covered with a layer of asphalt that helps protect them from UV rays and water damage. Asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors and styles, so you can find something that fits your taste and budget. The cost for asphalt shingles typically ranges from $3 to $5 per square foot installed. Asphalt shingles also last 15-30 years, depending on how well they are maintained. The biggest downside to asphalt shingles is that they don’t perform as well in high winds or extreme weather conditions compared to other types of material. 

Clay or Concrete Tiles

Clay or concrete tile roofs are a great option for homeowners looking for something extra durable and high-performing. Clay tile roofs have been around since ancient times—in fact, they were used on some buildings in Ancient Rome! But don’t let their age fool you; clay tile roofs are still extremely popular today due to their longevity (up to 100 years!), resistance to fire and rot, ability to withstand harsh weather conditions like hail storms and high winds, as well as their ability to reflect heat away from your home so you stay cooler during hot summer days. Clay tiles can be painted in any color you choose, allowing you to customize the look of your home’s exterior. The only downside to clay tiles is their cost—they tend to be much more expensive than asphalt shingles or other types of materials.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular due to their longevity and energy efficiency benefits. Metal roofs come in a variety of styles, including standing seam panels and corrugated sheets, so you can find something that suits your needs and aesthetic preferences. They are resistant to wind damage as well as rot and insect infestation, making them an ideal choice for homeowners looking for a low-maintenance option. Additionally, metal roofs come in a variety of colors so you can customize the look of your roof without sacrificing its protection against the elements. The downside is that metal roofs tend to be more expensive than other types of roofing materials—especially when professional installation is required—so if you’re on a tight budget this might not be the best option for you. Prices for metal roofs vary significantly depending on the type chosen but generally range from $5 to $15 per square foot installed. 

Wood Shingles/Shakes

Wood shingles or shakes can give your home a classic look but require more maintenance than other types of roofs. This is due to their susceptibility to rotting and insect damage if not properly treated with preservatives or coatings regularly. The cost for wood shingle/shake roofs is typically around $7 to $10 per square foot installed.

Slate Tiles

Slate roofs have been around for hundreds of years and have withstood the test of time due to their durability and style. Slate roofs often last between 50-100 years, depending on how well they are maintained, which means they may never need to be replaced again! Slate tiles offer a classic look with superior strength and durability; they are extremely resistant to fire, water damage, insects, fungus growth, high winds, and more. Additionally, slate tiles come in a variety of colors which makes them great for customizing your home’s exterior look and feel. Slate tiles also have excellent insulation capabilities, which help reduce energy costs in both summer and winter months. The downside is that slate roofs can be extremely expensive to install due to their weight and size requirements. Installation costs are relatively high ($8-$25 per square foot) due to their heavy weight, but slate tiles have a lifespan that ranges from 50-100 years! 

Alternative Roofs 

If you’re looking for something unique or eco-friendly, there are plenty of alternative roofing materials on the market these days. From recycled rubber roof tiles to solar panel systems, there are options available that can help make your home greener while still providing superior protection from the elements. Additionally, many alternative roof materials offer additional benefits, such as enhanced insulation or UV protection, which can help reduce energy costs even further over time.  


When it comes time to replace your roof or build a new one for your home, there are many different types of roofing materials available with varying costs associated with them depending on the style you choose. Asphalt shingles are an inexpensive option, but lack longevity compared to other materials like clay or concrete tiles, metal roofs, or wood shingle/shake roofs, which have higher upfront costs but may last longer overall with proper care and maintenance. Just remember the tips listed above and keep an eye on your roofing budget to see what would best suit you, even if you have to pay extra to save money in the long run. Ultimately, the best choice should be based on what fits within your budget while still providing quality protection for your home over years to come!