Roofing Types And Styles

If you are building a house or simply replacing a roof, choosing a roofing material and color can be a bit of a daunting task.  There are several different choices, and you can be somewhat confined to what goes with your architecture as well as what fits in with the surrounding houses.  Finding a balance between looks and cost can also be challenging depending on your budget.  However a good roof should last quite a while if it’s done correctly.

Here is a list of some of the most common and popular roofing styles, in no particular order.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingle roofs are one of the most popular roofing types in North America due to its longevity, ease of maintenance, and low cost.  An asphalt shingle roof typically comes with a 20-30 year warranty and it is very easy to replace single shingles or sections of the roof in question.  The shingles themselves are typically made of a base of fiberglass and a topping of composite mineral and asphalt.

Standing Seam Metal

Popular in areas with risks of high snowfall or wildfires, standing seam metal roofs are incredibly durable and are recyclable when they have reached the end of their lifespan.  They are made of aluminum or steel panels that meet at raised metal seams.  This type of roofing lasts 30-50 years on average, and is fireproof and capable of dealing with heavy moisture easily.

Metal Shingles

Designed to be a bit more pleasing to the eye than the traditional standing seam metal roofs, metal shingles have been created with all the benefits of standing seam metal without the industrial look.  These metal shingles are stamped in metal and then finished to mimic asphalt roofs, wooden shingles, or even clay tiles.

Wooden Shingles

Hanson Roofing

Wood shingle roofs are one of the more luxury type roofing options as they are typically very attractive looking.  However they can be more expensive to maintain, and aren’t always suited to very damp climates or areas where wildfires pose significant risks.  The shingles are generally made from cedar or redwood, and can be stained or painted.  A well maintained shingle roof can last 50 years in dry climates, but in damp climates it may need replacement after around 20 years.

Clay Tile

Clay tile roofing is a very popular material in salty coastal climates or hot and dry climates, such as Florida and California.  A very durable roofing material, these tile roofs can last a century if maintained.  Cost can vary depending on the type of clay or tile you use.  Clay roofing is often seen in different patterns such as Spanish, Mission, French, and shingle.  Clay tile roofing is also fireproof.


Slate roofing is probably the most expensive type of roofing you can buy.  This makes it most appropriate for luxury houses where cost is no object.  The trade off, however, is that slate roofing is extremely long-lived, and can last up to 200 years!  Installing slate roofing is a specialized task, so it may be harder to find a roofer who can install it properly.  Another option for slate roofing is rubber slate, which is a convincing doppelganger for actual slate roofing but is much cheaper.  Rubber slate roofing only lasts 50 years.

Rolled Roofing

Rolled roofing is one of the cheapest solutions, and is often used for industrial buildings, flat roofed houses, and sheds/structures where good looks are very far down on the list.  You will often see this on the tops of apartment buildings where the roof is flat and not visible from the ground.

Rolled roofing is applied in strips and a good rolled roofing solution should last about 10 years if it is installed and maintained correctly.

Built Up Roofing (BUR)

Built up roofing is another option for flat roofed or industrial buildings.  It consists of several layers of roofing felt combined with heat applied asphalt.  A well installed built up roofing solution can last almost 20 to 30 years.  It is more costly than rolled roofing but lasts longer.

About Auther:

Leigh Gordon is an avid surfer, writer, and blogger living in San Diego. She spends time hiking and traveling, and enjoys seeing all that California and the world have to offer. She owns a yellow lab named Finn.