Popular Types of Roofing

January 31, 2012 | Filed under: Featured Post,Homeowner Tips,Misc. Good News,Uncategorized

We are pleased to feature a guest blogger today. This post is by Erik Braunitzer of Douglas Elliman Real Estate Company, agents for NYC Apartments.

When it comes to buying a new roof or replacing an old one, there is an abundance of materials available to choose from–some more popular than others. The following is a rundown of some of the more common options along with pros, cons and approximate costs.

Asphalt, Fiberglass, or Composite Shingles

Shingled roofs have been popular and practical for a number of years because of their affordability and durability. The materials found in the shingles can be asphalt, fiberglass or an economical combination of different materials. Shingles are easy to install and come in many different colors making them a versatile choice. On the down side, they can blow off in heavy winds and are not the most attractive option. Shingle roofs can vary greatly in price depending on quality of the materials used. An asphalt shingle roof will cost $2.75- $4.50 per square foot installed and will last from 5 to 25 years depending on thickness, durability, and climate.


Today’s metal roofs are made from aluminum or coated steel and can come in the form of tiles, shingles, or modular panels. Metal roofs are fire resistant, energy efficient, recyclable and require almost no maintenance. Many people find them an attractive complement to their homes. Metal roofs will typically cost from $7.00 to $12.00 per square foot depending upon the quality, with exotic metals such as copper and zinc costing even more. That money can be a wise investment, however, when considering that metal roofs can easily last up to 80 years or even longer in the case of non-ferrous products.

Clay and Concrete Tile

Another option for roofing is tile. Tile comes in many colors, is fireproof, cannot be damaged by insects and does not rot. It can however, be broken and will make your roof less easy to access when any type of maintenance needs to be done. It is also very heavy, weighing as much as 20 pounds per square foot. The cost of tile roofs ranges from $6.00 to $12.00 per square foot installed, with clay tile being more costly than concrete. Since tiles can be broken, and snow on a roof can be heavy, this type of roof is more suitable for areas with warm, mild climates.


Natural slate is very expensive, making it impractical for most people. But it can last up to 100 years. In recent years synthetic slate shingles have been developed that have looks very similar to that of natural slate. Synthetic slate generally runs close to the same price as clay tile and can last up to 50 years.


Finally, a roof made of wood shakes or shingles gives a unique look and is less costly than slate. Typically the wood used is pine, cedar or spruce. Unfortunately, these types of roofs are vulnerable to fire, insects, and weather conditions and lifespan will depend on how well the roof is maintained.