Choosing among the types of roofing materials when replacing your roof is a big decision. Before making the choice, look at the material’s longevity, weight, aesthetic appeal, and your budget. These factors will help you determine the material that will best suit your needs. Below are five different roofing materials and their advantages and drawbacks.

Slate Roofing

Slate is one of the highest quality, most durable roofing materials available. It is a natural stone, mined and cut into shingles for roof coverings. The durability and expense of production are responsible for the slate’s high cost and complicated installation.

Slate roofing materials can last from 75 to 200 years and cost between $800 to $1800 per square, which is 100 square feet.


• Slate tiles are durable, insect-resistant, and fireproof.
• Slate can last over a hundred years.
• This type of roofing is nearly maintenance-free.
• The roofing material increases home value.


• Slate installation requires skilled professionals with experience with that type of roofing.
• It is a very costly material.
• Slate is heavy and difficult to transport and install.
• Its weight requires strong structural support.

Types of Metal Roofing Materials

Metal roofing is available in different materials, including copper, aluminum, and steel. This type of roofing can last from 40 to 80 years, given metal’s durability. Metal roofing costs from $120 to $900 per square, not including installation.


• Metal roofing is available in a variety of colors.
• It is durable and offers high resistance to the elements.
• The material is lightweight and easy to transport.


• Metal roofing may require painting occasionally.
• Could easily be dented by a falling tree branch or stray baseball.
• Some may find it visually unattractive and not suited for suburban areas.

Asphalt Composite Shingles

Asphalt shingles consist of a fiberglass base with mineral and asphalt granules on the top layer. It is the most popular roofing material and will last from 12 to 25 years. Asphalt roofing costs from $70 to $150 per square. The installation will be more.


• Asphalt roofing is inexpensive and easy to install.
• It is widely available.


• The material degrades with exposure to the elements.
• Asphalt isn’t very durable and often needs repairs.
• It doesn’t withstand extreme weather well, like high winds and storms.
• Asphalt shingles break easily, requiring replacement.

Wooden Shakes and Shingles

Wooden roof materials are typically made from hardwoods or composite wood material. Wood shingles can last up to 30 years and cost $250 to $600 per square.


• Wooden shingles have notable longevity of up to 30 years.
• Wood tiles are durable; they can withstand hail and severe storms.
• They are energy-efficient, affordable, and recyclable.


• Wooden roofing requires regular maintenance.
• Unless treated, wood is not insect or fire-resistant.

Types of Roofing Materials: Clay Tiles

Clay tile roofing is made from earthen clay, molded into tiles, and fired in a kiln. Clay roofing can last up to 100 years and costs between $750 to $1700 per square.


• Clay doesn’t corrode.
• It is energy-efficient.
• Clay roofing requires very little maintenance.
• It is aesthetically pleasing and complements a variety of architectural styles.


• Clay tile is costly and can break under severe weather conditions.
• Clay is heavy and requires strong structural support.

Choosing a roofing material shouldn’t be a stressful process. Learning about your options makes it easier for you to choose a roofing material.

Homesmith Home Inspections provides inspection services to the Houston, Texas area. Contact us to request an appointment.