Not Your Average Roof: Wood and Metal Options

Aerial view of a new cedar shake roof with copper details

To help you select the best type of roofing material for your home, HGTV suggests asking the following questions:

  1. What’s the lifespan of each kind of roofing material?
  2. How does it hold up in natural disasters?
  3. Is this roofing system ecofriendly?
  4. Will it complement the style of the home?
  5. How much does it cost?
  6. What type of ongoing maintenance, if any, is necessary?

In addition to asphalt, popular roofing materials include clay and concrete tiles, slate, synthetic roofing products, metal, and wood!

Let’s take a closer look at the last two, wood and metal roofing:

"If you want a “fix it and forget it” roofing option, a metal roof may be the right choice for you."

Wood Roofing (also referred to as Cedar Roofing)

If you’re searching for a more natural look for your home, one that blends seamlessly into the environment, then a wood roof may be just the answer. As a wood roof ages, it develops a uniquely weathered look.  Most wood roofs are made from western red cedar because of the tree’s ability to resist decay, straight grain, dimensional stability and impenetrability to fluids. When installed correctly, wood roofs can have a lifespan of 15 – 40 years, however the roof may require some maintenance to remove mold, fungi and moss.

Wood roofs can be excellent in areas that have high wind or hail. However, they are susceptible to fire and should be treated with a fire retardant. In areas with a lot of moisture or rain, you may have to clean and maintain your wood roof more frequently. Wood is heavier than some of the other roofing alternatives and is one of the more expensive choices. However, if you’re hooked on an authentic look and don’t mind the additional upkeep, a wood roof may be right for your home.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are made from steel, aluminum, copper and zinc alloys. They can be among the most expensive roof materials—at least initially. However, metal roofs require little maintenance, stand up to high winds, are fire resistant, and effective in blizzards as well as heat. This type of roofing system is eco friendly, made with recycled materials that can also be recycled if it is replaced.

Some customers are hesitant at the thought of a metal roof, worried that their house will look like it has a tin lid. But metal roofs have evolved tremendously over time, and many styles are designed to look like shingle, clay, tile, cedar shake or slate. In addition, metal roofs come in a number of color choices, giving homeowners even more options to tailor the look of their house. If you want a “fix it and forget it” roofing option, a metal roof may be the right choice for you.

Want to determine the best roofing material for your house? As your local contractor with over 100 years of experience! We can answer any questions you have to help you make the right choice.