How to Choose The Right Roof For Your Home

Your roof is worn-out and it’s time for a new one. Maybe you’re wondering if there’s something that lasts longer than traditional asphalt shingles. Or, maybe you’re tired of all the maintenance that comes with wood shake and you’re hoping there’s something more maintenance-free. How to choose the right roof for your home can be overwhelming. We can help.



What is Your Priority When Choosing the Right Roof for Your Home?

1. Initial Cost?

For a lot of folks, shelling-out thousands of dollars for a new roof is hard, especially when it’s unexpected. That’s why traditional asphalt shingles are so popular. Of all the roof coverings we offer, they are the least expensive. If up-front money is your primary concern when choosing the right roof for your home, go with traditional asphalt shingles. On average, asphalt shingles cost around $3.50/sf. To replace asphalt shingles on a 2500 square foot roof with mid-grade asphalt shingles, expect to pay around $8500.

house roof with new asphalt shingles

Traditional Asphalt Shingle Options

  • 3-Tab
  • Architectural/Dimensional
  • Luxury

Most 3-tab asphalt shingles are not impact resistant. If you feel asphalt shingles are the right roof for your home, we highly recommend choosing an impact resistant one, such as Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration Storm or Tamko’s StormFighter IR. Given that most parts of Colorado get hail, impact resistant shingles are worth it.

2. Is Saving Money Long-Term and/or Replacing Your Roof Less Frequently Most Important?

Replacing a roof is messy and noisy. Wouldn’t it be great if you only had to go through that once in your lifetime, at the most? That’s actually more realistic than you might think. No other roof covering is more durable and long-lasting than metal. Hear me out. Metal resists fire, wind, hail, snow, rain, algae, and solar radiation better than any other roof covering. And, not just standing seam or corrugated/PBC sheet metal. This includes stone-coated metal shingles and tiles.

Stone-coated metal shingles isn’t the slick sheet metal you might be thinking. They actually resemble traditional asphalt shingles in appearance and size. What’s more, they can also look like wood shake and barrel tiles.

a new standing seam metal roof on a house

If you want to save money in the long-run and replace your roof less frequently, consider a metal roof when shopping for the right roof for you. That’s because, on average, metal roofs often last 70 years or more. Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, frequently only last between 25 and 30 years. As a result, metal roofs often end-up costing less in the long-run.

All things being equal, if you have two identical homes in the same neighborhood, one with average architectural asphalt shingles and the other with stone-coated metal shingles, by the time the home with metal shingles is due for a new roof, the home with traditional asphalt shingles will have replaced their roof at least twice. Think about that. If you moved into your forever home at the age of 30, and immediately replaced the roof with a metal one, you probably wouldn’t have to replace your roof during your lifetime. Furthermore, if you choose standing seam or corrugated/PBC, that roof would have helped lower your summer cooling bill.

Metal Roofing Options

  • Standing Seam
  • Corrugated/PBC
  • Stone-Coated Metal Shingles and Tiles

3. Do You Like the Look of Wood Shake?

A wood shake roof looks great! It looks timely and old world. It also feels good knowing you have a natural roof, compared to asphalt shingles. That is, until your wood shake roof starts to deteriorate, split, and dry-up. Then a wildfire sparks in a nearby field or forest and you remember your wood shake roof is extremely vulnerable. Wouldn’t it be great to have a roof that resembles real wood shake, better than asphalt shingles do, yet is still resistant to wild fires and lasts a long time?

Enter stone-coated metal shingles. Stone-coated metal shingles are a great substitute to traditional asphalt shingles. This is because they more closely resemble wood shake than asphalt shingles do, they are much more resistant to fire than wood shake, they often last 70 years or more, and metal shingles are recyclable.

If you want the look of wood shake but don’t want all the hassle that comes with real wood, consider stone-coated metal shingles as the right roof for you. Westlake Royal Roofing’s Pine Crest Shake, in our opinion, resembles real wood better than any traditional asphalt shingle.

4. Is a Cool Roof Most Important?

As of the time of this writing, it’s 99ΒΊ outside and it’s only late June. Cities and towns all around Colorado regularly break heat records. We’re all doing what we can to make our homes more energy efficient. However, what about your roof? Do you know a standing seam or corrugated/PBC metal roof helps cool your home the most during the hot summer months? That’s because these sheet metal roofs reflect and release the most heat. If you want a roof that helps cool your home, choose standing seam or corrugated/PBC as the right roof for your home. Bonus, a standing seam roof is one of the best roofs for solar panels πŸ™‚

Corrugate sheet metal is the most durable roofing material.
Corrugate sheet metal is the most durable roofing material.

5. Recyclability

Colorado landfills are filling-up. For example, as of the time of this writing, the Larimer County Landfill is estimated to reach capacity in 2024. Talks of a new landfill location are currently underway. Asphalt shingle manufacturers, such as GAF and Owens Corning, offer recycling programs, however, these programs aren’t available here in Colorado. As a result, asphalt shingles go to the landfill.

Metal roofing, on the other hand, does not. We have identified multiple metal recycling centers from Denver to Fort Collins, and we do our best to take old metal roofs, including stone-coated metal shingles and standing seam, straight to these metal recycling centers. If recyclability is a priority to you, any metal roof is the right roof for your home.


Pros and Cons of Different Roofs

Asphalt Shingles

Pros:
Least expensive, initially
Quick to install
Flexible
Impact resistant options
High wind resistant options
High heat emittance

Cons:
Expensive long-term
Not recyclable in our area
Short lifespan at only 15-30 years
Low solar reflectivity

Wood Shake

Pros:
Attractive natural appearance
Somewhat eco-friendly

Cons:
Among the least resistant roofs to hail, fire, rain, wind, etc.
Expensive to install and maintain
Requires regular maintenance
Short lifespan at only 20 years
Prone to rotting, insects, cracking

Slate

Pros:
Attractive natural appearance
Long lifespan at 70+ years
Excellent resistance to fire, hail, wind, rain, etc.
Recyclable/Repurposed
Low Maintenance

Cons:
Expensive
Heavy
Takes longer to install

Clay Tiles

Pros:
Excellent resistance to fire and rain
Moderate resistance to hail and wind
Moderate lifespan at 50+ years
Recyclable

Cons:
Expensive
Heavy
Prone to breaking during installation
Takes longer to install

Concrete Tiles

Pros:
Excellent resistance to fire, hail, wind, rain
Moderate lifespan at 50+ years
Recyclable
Low Maintenance

Cons:
Expensive
Heavy
Takes longer to install

Standing Seam

Pros:
Excellent resistance to fire, hail, wind, rain, etc.
Long lifespan at 70+ years
Recyclable
Least expensive long-term
Low Maintenance
Dozens of color options

Cons:
Expensive short-term
Takes longer to install

Corrugated

Pros:
Excellent resistance to fire, hail, wind, rain, etc.
Long lifespan at 70+ years
Least expensive long-term
Recyclable
Low Maintenance
Dozens of color options

Cons:
Expensive short-term
Takes longer to install

Stone-Coated Metal

Pros:
Excellent resistance to fire, hail, wind, rain, etc.
Long lifespan at 70+ years
Least expensive long-term
Recyclable
Low Maintenance

Cons:
Expensive short-term
Few color options
Takes longer to install


Factors That Impact Cost:

  • Time to Install
  • Longevity
  • Cost of Materials

Time to Install

Generally speaking, the less time it takes to install a roof, the less expensive it is to install. This is one reason why asphalt shingles are the least expensive roof initially – they’re inexpensive to purchase AND quick install. Sheet metal roofs, such as standing seam and corrugated/PBC, are relatively quick to install in that large sections of a roof are quickly covered. However, metal costs more to purchase than asphalt shingles. Compared to clay tiles, which are both costly to purchase and slow to install, which makes them expensive.

Longevity

Longevity and durability often go hand-in-hand. Generally speaking, the more durable a roof is, the longer it lasts, therefore the less expensive it is over its life. Asphalt shingles have a short lifespan at around 20-25 years on average. This makes them expensive in the long-term. They are cheap to purchase and quick to install, which is why they’re inexpensive initially. Metal roofing, on the other hand, cost more initially, but last much longer than traditional asphalt shingles, which is why metal often costs less in the long-run.

Cost of Materials

One reason why asphalt shingles are the least expensive roof covering is that they’re the least expensive to manufacture. Clay tiles, on the other hand, are time-consuming to produce, which is one reason why they’re among the most expensive roof. Sheet metal roofs, such as standing seam and corrugated/PBC, fits nicely in the middle since the sheets are relatively quick to produce. We, for example, form our standing seam roof panels from large rolls of metal. Forming and installation of standing seam is relatively quick.


What to Look For in a New Roof in Colorado

  1. Fire Resistant
  2. Hail Resistant
  3. High Wind Resistant

Strong winds are common along the Front Range in Colorado, especially in the Spring and Fall. Wildfires are becoming more common. Hail storms destroy roofs and other property every Spring. Therefore, you’ll want to look for a roof that’s resistant to fire, hail, and strong winds, if you live in Colorado. Some cities require these features, in fact. Longmont requires a roof that’s at least 110mph wind rated. Loveland requires a fire-rated and high wind resistant roof. Fort Collins requires an impact resistant roof.

Here are roofs that we sell and install that are fire, wind, and hail resistant. Roofs that excell in these areas are listed first:

  • Metal Sheets, Such as Standing Seam and Corrugated/PBC
  • Stone-Coated Metal Shingles and Tiles
  • Clay and Concrete Tiles
  • Certain Asphalt Shingles
new standing seam metal roof on house
Standing Seam Metal Roof
stone-coated metal roof shingle sample
Stone-Coated Metal Shingles
a new concrete shake roof
Concrete Shake Roof
Impact Resistant Shingles

Metal Sheets

If you’re looking for the roof that’s the most resistant to fire, hail, and strong winds, look no further than standing seam or corrugated/PBC metal sheets. Metal is, by nature, resistant to fire, since they use no combustible adhesives, such as asphalt. If an ember were to fall onto your standing seam metal roof, it will likely slide down it or blow off and extinguish. There is nothing on or in a metal roof to catch fire. Thanks to the screws used in their installation, metal is also highly resistant to strong winds, as screws are a superior fastener compared to nails, which are used when installing asphalt shingles. Metal roofing, especially corrugated/PBC, is also highly resistant to impacts, such as from hail.

Stone-Coated Metal Shingles and Tiles

Our second favorite roof covering that’s resistant to these three treats is stone-coated metal shingles and tiles. We put them in second place because they use asphalt to adhere the stones to the metal. Asphalt is flammable. However, the asphalt is protected by granules.

Clay and Concrete Tiles

Clay and concrete tiles come in third simply because they don’t have any give. When a large hail stone strikes one, they can crack. On the other hand, metal or traditional asphalt shingles have some give to them and will flex, some. Clay and concrete tiles are naturally fire-resistant since they contain nothing combustible. Concrete tiles are more high wind resistant since they weigh more than clay tiles.

Asphalt Shingles

Because traditional asphalt shinlges use asphalt, they are not considered as fire-resistant as other roof coverings mentioned above. However, some asphalt shingles are more high wind and impact resistant than others. For example, Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration Storm shingles are Class 4 impact resistant and resistant to strong winds. Their Duration Flex shingles are modified with rubber, basically, so they, too, are impact resistant. Tamko’s Stormfighter IR shingles are also high wind and impact resistant.


The Right Roof For Your Home

How to choose the right roof for your home can be overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be. If you want a longer-lasting roof, such as metal, but feel the initial financial burden is too much, roof financing is available. If you’re unsure which roof is right for you, contact us for a free consultation and estimate.


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