What Kind of Roof Do I Want?

The scenario: You're having a house built. You've got the works – French drains, finished basement, landscaped grounds. Everything's planned to a T. Then First American Roofing comes to you and says, "Hey! What kind of material do you want to use for the roof?"

And you're stumped. Are there so many different kinds? What do you do?

Well, don't panic, for starters. Yes, there are many options – and just as many opinions, as well as a number of factors that will influence the decision. Everything from cost to climate can be a sticking point, but we'll help guide you through it.

This scenario also applies if you're just having a roof replaced. Suddenly, your options are wide open. Do you stick with what you had before or try something new? Aesthetics are a huge concern, but you have to consider installation time, cost, the weight of materials, environmental impact, and a great deal more.

So don't get overwhelmed. Here's where you start:

Know the lingo

Roofers don't really talk in square feet. They talk in a more confusing unit called "squares." Squares are actually one hundred square feet. Materials are purchased in fractions of this unit. For instance, if you are in an average 2-storey house with about 2,000 square feet of living space and a dual-pitch roof (the kind with gables that kids draw), you're looking at about fifteen or so squares.

Know your budget

That's going to be a primary deciding factor. The materials don't account for the cost; you have to account for labor (including removal of old materials) as well as the shape of the roof. Features like skylights, chimneys, turrets, crenellations, or other fancy features are going to drive the price up.

Choose your material. This is a big one – so big we'll be using subheadings. There are plenty of options, and most have merit. Here's what is usually on the table:

  • Asphalt The number one most commonly used roofing material, mostly because it's very inexpensive, comparatively. These are basically fiberglass and asphalt admixtures, with a life expectancy of 15-25 years or more, depending on the thickness and whether they're laminated. Laminated shingles cost more, but still less than other options.

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  • Tile– Used commonly in Spanish or Mission style homes, tile tends to be extremely long-lasting, but also expensive and very heavy – which can add structural costs for the necessary means to support it.
  • Wood– The old standby – now outlawed by some fire codes – for centuries was wood. Wood shingles are sawn or split, are very attractive, and have a similar life expectancy as asphalt – at about double the price tag. Oklahoma roofing customers are unlikely to select wood, as the climate – which can include hail, heavy snow, high winds, and ice – will ensure that regular maintenance is required.
  • Metal Expensive, but usually considered worth every penny, metal-roofing materials can last far longer than your modest human lifespan. Also, unlike fiberglass and some asphalt, metal doesn't leak or leech chemicals. Available in almost any color, it's the preferred material of people for whom price isn't the deciding factor.

With First American Roofing at your side through the process, you can get the roof you want and need at a price you can handle. Call or contact us today for an estimate or with any questions you have. We're happy to help!