If you are getting ready to replace your roof, you may be looking for all the information you can find on common roof types. If this is the first time you have been through this process, or if it has been decades since the last time you replaced a roof, you may be surprised to see all the different types of roofs you will have to choose from.
Having many choices can initially seem confusing, but it is a good thing. The amount of options on the market today allows consumers to choose the best roofing type for them, their home, and the weather patterns they see in their particular area.
This article is going to discuss the pros and cons of 8 different roof types:
- Asphalt Shingles
- Fiberglass Shingles
- Rubber Shingles
- Metal Shingles
- Clay Tiles
- Slate Shingles
- Cedar Shingles
- Solar Roof Tiles
This information will allow you to make an informed decision about which roof type is right for you! This is important as the typical cost of replacing a roof in America ranges between $8,000.00 – 11,000.00.
Asphalt will be at the top of the list of common roof types in America. Asphalt shingles are currently the most popular type of roofing material used in the USA. When researching asphalt shingles, you will discover that there are three different types of this roofing material:
- 3-Tab Asphalt Shingles: This is the cheapest variety available. The name is derived from the fact that each shingle strip has three tabs. They typically last for about 25 years.
- Dimensional Asphalt Shingles: These are mid-grade shingles, with the cost being about 15% higher than 3-tab shingles. The name comes from the random pattern they create on a roof. They typically last for about 30 years.
- Luxury Asphalt Shingles: Luxury shingles are the premium version, but they cost almost double what dimensional shingles cost. They are designed to look like slate. They typically last for up to 50 years.
The Pros of asphalt shingles include that they are affordable, easy to install, have a century-long proven track record in the USA, are durable, and can be recycled.
One of the cons of asphalt shingles is that excessive heat or moisture can considerably lessen the lifespan; this means the environment and the elements that your home is exposed to will determine whether asphalt is right for you. Other cons include that they can only be installed during the warmer months, are prone to cracking, and do not provide a unique look for homes due to their popularity.
Fiberglass shingles are another popular choice for common roof types in America. One of the most significant differences between fiberglass and asphalt is what the matting of the shingle is made of. Asphalt shingles are usually paper, whereas fiberglass matting is fiberglass.
Fiberglass shingles, or roof panels, come in different dimensions and styles. You can choose from 7/8” corrugated, ½” corrugated, R Panel, 7.2 Panel, or an AG Panel. They are also available in several different styles, some designed to counteract the elements. For instance, you can get fiberglass shingles which are chemically coated to reduce the growth of algae.
When choosing fiberglass shingles, consumers choose between 3-tab fiberglass shingles, the cheaper version designed similar to 3-tab asphalt shingles, or an architectural shingle, which offers a more high-end, visually appealing appearance.
One of the biggest pros of using fiberglass is that it can offer a wide range of colors and styles, creating a better look and feel of a home. It is also lightweight and handles the elements much better than asphalt.
On the other hand, there are certain cons that consumers should consider. Fiberglass is a more expensive option, it is best for smaller roofs, and this type of roofing can only be installed when it is dry outdoors.
Rubber shingles are also a choice among common roofing types. Rubber roofing is more expensive than standard asphalt but cheaper than slate. Typically the cost range of doing a roof in rubber shingles ranges from about $12,000.00 – 25,000.00. There are three different types of rubber shingles (TPO, EPDM, PVC). Between the different types that can be chosen and fluctuating prices, consumers can expect to pay between $4.25 – 8.25 per square foot.
Although this type of roofing is more expensive upfront, there are many advantages to choosing rubber shingles. For instance, although it costs more, it typically lasts longer. When rubber shingles are installed correctly, they usually last for 30 – 50 years. Rubber roofs are also very durable and weather resistant, which is excellent for people who live in wet or extreme weather climates. Rubber shingles are also lightweight, can help insulate the building, and require little to no maintenance.
There are also a few cons besides the high cost. A new rubber roof may have a strong odor which may be a turnoff for some consumers. However, this smell will dissipate over time. It is also possible that they could develop black mold spots, but these are easy to get rid of by cleaning the roof. However, if you are concerned about this problem, you can have a coating of UV protectant added to avoid it altogether.
At a time, metal shingles were not considered part of the common roof types for residential homes. However, that time has passed. Today more and more people are getting metal roofs because of the pros they offer. If you consider going metal, you might be surprised to learn that there are nine metal roofs! Here is a brief rundown of those roof types:
- Tile-Inspired: Popular in warmer climates. They allow for the benefits of metal roofs while fitting in with the local motif.
- Slate-Inspired: They look like slate roofing which can be quite costly.
- Shake-Inspired: Has a classic roofing look.
- Standing Seam: Provides a sleek appearance, but it is a premium option.
- Zinc: More popular in Europe due to the expense, but it is durable and does not need much upkeep.
- Aluminum: It is lightweight, durable, and can be installed quickly.
- Corrugated: Metal roofing that is treated to appear luxurious and beautiful.
- Copper: Very expensive but highly durable. It could last more than a century.
- Galvanized Steel: Steel coated in zinc to help protect against rust.
Now that you know that there are many different types of metal roofing options, you might wonder what the pros and cons of getting any of those metal roofing options could be.
- Pros: Metal roofs are long-lasting, eco-friendly, and energy-efficient, and they can be quite stylish.
- Cons: However, they can be much more expensive than other options, create a noisy environment, especially during rain and wind storms, and you can have issues with performance and expansion due to water levels, heat, and cold weather.
Clay tiles are another choice for common roof types, especially because they are sustainable and durable. Clay tiles come in four distinctive styles allowing consumers to choose the pattern that best fits their home or personality. Here are the patterns you will be able to choose from:
- Mission Tile: This is the original clay tile made of concave panels and convex covers, which ultimately form the roof layout.
- French Tile: The French style has a lower profile than the Mission tile but still has prominent grooves and shadows.
- Spanish Tile: The Spanish version uses a barrel shape instead of covers and panels.
- Interlocking Tile: This style, also called flat tiles, interlocks like puzzle pieces and overlapped to create a beautiful pattern.
There are many pros and cons to using clay tiles for roofing. They can create a striking look for any home. They are durable, including fire-resistant, wind-resistant, and impact-resistant. They can also last from 50 – 100 years. Clay is also a good choice if you are looking for energy efficiency, eco-friendly choices, and roofing that does not require much maintenance.
However, there are cons. When something has so many pros, the price will reflect this. Pricing can cost from $50.00 – 100.00 per square foot. They are also very heavy, weighing 788 – 1,780 pounds per square. So if you are using these, ensure your home is well constructed to handle the weight.
Slate is another popular common roof types due to its elegant lines and overall aesthetic. There are six different types of slate that you can choose from when determining your roofing needs. Here are the different types you can choose from:
- Natural Slate: This is the most common slate and the most expensive roofing material on the market. It can last up to 100 years.
- Fiber Cement Slate: This is a cheaper alternative to regular slate and can last 20 – 25 years. However, it also requires repainting every 10 – 15 years.
- Bituminous Slate: This is a good choice for homeowners who want the look of slate without the price tag.
- Concrete Slate: This one also looks lovely; it is relatively affordable and can last 50 years. However, after 20 years, the underlayment must be reduced, which can be very costly.
- Metal Slate: This version is eco-friendly and durable, lasting up to 70 years. It is cheaper than regular slate but can be 2 – 3 times as expensive as other options.
- Composite Synthetic Slate: This pricing is equal to metal slate, but it is lightweight and does not need additional structural support.
There are many pros to having a slate roof. These considerations include being fire-resistant, environmental-friendly, having a lifespan of a lifetime (100+ years), energy efficient, and durable.
The biggest cons to a slate roof are pricing and weight. Many people would love a slate roof but can not afford to pay; the price will accumulate quickly. The weight of slate can also be a problem. One hundred square feet of slate can weigh between 800 – 1,000 pounds. Often this will add to the price as structural improvements may need to be made.
Cedar shingles are another choice people consider when looking at common roof types. There are three different types of cedar shingles to choose from.
- Common Cedar Shake Shingles: These are the cheapest type you can get. They can be made from any part of the tree; they are the leftover pieces of other cuts.
- Select Cedar Shake Shingles: This choice will give you middle-of-the-road quality. 20% will still be made out of the common option, but 80% will be straight-grain cedar.
- 100% Straight Grain Cedar Shake Shingles: This is the one for you if you want a top-of-the-line cedar roof. It is made of 100% straight grain, and each is hand selected for quality.
Cedar shingles can provide a visually appealing roof, which is just one of the pros of this type of roofing material. Other pros include a lightweight roofing material that repels insects, is environmentally friendly, and provides a pleasant smell and insulation. Cedar can also come in multiple shades and raise the resell value of a property.
Some of the cons of a cedar roof include cost and maintenance. Cedar, especially 100% straight grain, can be costly. Also, the money spent on this roof will not end with installation. Cedar requires regular maintenance to prevent moss, mildew, and mold growth.
Solar Roof Tiles
The final selection of common roof types is solar roof tiles. Solar roof tiles are becoming increasingly popular because people want to be more active in lessening their footprint. Solar panels can help by creating energy to use without solely relying on utility services.
There are two different types of solar singles available today: Silicon Solar Shingles and CIGS Solar Shingles. Silicon solar shingles are the original model. They are in a frame and ridged. They are installed with existing roofing materials. CIGS solar shingles are newer. They are made of thin film technology and are flexible and lightweight. These types of panels can either be used on an existing roof or be installed with a new roof.
There are many advantages to using solar roof tiles; the first is that consumers who choose these can reduce their CO2 footprint. People also invest in solar because they can be eligible for tax credits as homeowners and reduce their energy bills. Solar panels, especially the newer ones, can create a desirable aesthetic.
Of course, there are some disadvantages to these roof tiles as well. Solar panels can collect and use power but not store it. So if you are considering them to use power at night or during storms, the current technology does not yet support this. The roofs must also be at a specific angle to catch the sun, which does not make this an option for everyone.
There are eight different types of common roof types that you can choose from. When deciding the type of roofing that you want to use on your own home, there are many different factors you will want to consider. Some of these factors include:
- Colors and Styles Available
- Level of Eco-Friendliness
- Future Maintenance Needed
- How Often You Will Need To Replace Your Roof
Which factor is the most important to you is a personal decision. You should pick the top 3 or 4 variables and determine which roofing type will best meet your needs and goals.
Home improvement is a wide-ranging term. Literally speaking, it can (and does) refer to virtually any action you take to improve the quality of your home –– whether that means a paint job in the bathroom under the stairs, or the installation of a whole new roof.
Ultimately, home improvement can serve a handful of different purposes. If you’re a DIY type, you might appreciate home improvements simply as projects –– satisfying and productive tasks to complete at home. Naturally, you’ll also appreciate that a finished improvement can also make your home easier or more pleasant to live in. Above all else, however, is consideration for how home improvements add value to your property. While different changes impact the property in different ways, the bottom line is that they are all designed to improve appearance, boost functionality, add space, and/or address repair needs. Through these efforts, it is generally the case that a successful project can in fact increase resale value –– sometimes by thousands of dollars at a time.
Below, we’ll look at how home improvements impact your property, which ones are most worth focusing on, and how you can effectively prioritize your spending on projects.
How Home Improvements Add Value To Your Property
As stated, different changes to your home will impact its value in different ways. However, there are a few primary purposes of the majority of home improvement projects that all stand to improve the property’s worth:
Improving Appearance – While visual appeal is somewhat subjective, an improvement that decidedly improves upon a home’s image can add value. Indeed it is for this reason that HGTV lists painting and kitchen revival (“take down the rooster wallpaper and paint it a neutral color,” the article recommends) as some of the most valuable improvements. The following are a few additional examples:
- Exterior paint job
- Planting trees/landscaping
- Clean or replace carpets or rugs
- Power washing
Boosting Functionality – This is another broad category, but it essentially refers to anything that makes your home more functional or efficient. Some changes in this category can be aimed at convenience and comfortable living; others may seek to address energy efficiency and sustainability. These examples can all add value to your home:
- Installing a kitchen island
- Investing in solar panels
- Installing energy-efficient windows
- Updating old appliances (such as refrigerators, water heaters, etc.)
Adding/Converting Space – Alongside the idea that home improvements add value to your property, consider also that home additions can significantly improve value. Exploring this very topic just a few years ago, Opendoor estimated that adding living space can add 5.3% to the average median home value. This can be done both via full additions, or by way of turning an unfinished space into a livable one. Here are a few examples:
- Finishing a basement
- Adding a bedroom/bathroom
- Constructing a guest house
- Converting a spare garage
Conducting Repairs and/or Updates – You can also add value to your home by addressing any updates that may be due, or repairs that may be required. Here, there is some overlap with the aforementioned notion of investing in new appliances. But there are also other jobs to consider, such as these:
- Replacing siding
- Filling or replacing cracks in wooden exteriors and/or driveways
- Replacing the roof
- Repairing wear and tear (small holes in walls, scratches from pets, etc.)
Home Improvements That Add The Most Value To Your Property
It’s easy –– and even somewhat exciting –– to think about how home improvements add value to your property and simply get to work. You may be tempted to throw money and effort at every project that occurs to you (within reason), acting on the notion that it’s all boosting value. This is an understandable impulse, but unfortunately not a very productive one. Because focusing on the wrong improvements –– those that are less efficient or add less value –– constitutes a bad investment.
Once you recognize this, the natural priority becomes figuring out how to identify the right improvements –– those that you can manage, and which will add sufficient value to your home to be worthwhile. To this end, here are some of the most commonly cited examples of improvements that add the most value to your property:
- Kitchen Remodeling – Remodeling your kitchen can involve anything from replacing old appliances, to building an island, to altering designs and cosmetics. Broadly speaking though, Credit Karma has estimated that a “midrange minor” remodel can offer a 72% ROI on an average investment of about $26,000. A “midrange major” remodel, meanwhile, offers about a 57% ROI on an average investment of about $75,000.
- Energy Updates – An energy update might mean replacing windows, modernizing your HVAC system, or these days even adding solar panels. These jobs range significantly in cost, but across the board they can add value. As an added bonus, they can also save you 10% or more on your energy bills while you’re still in the home.
- Finishing Unfinished Spaces – Finishing unfinished spaces amounts to adding on to your property. The most common example involves finishing a basement (adding insulation, drywall, appliances, etc.). However, this concept can also apply to a bonus room, or even a large shed converted to a guest house.
- Roof Replacement – A new roof is considered very valuable on a home. Installation can easily cost more than $20,000, but the ROI on home value can come out to as much as 65% or more.
These are not the only examples. Some smaller options in particular (like replacing a garage door) can add small amounts of value at high ROI. But the four updates listed above are some of those that can add the most raw value to your property.
The Effect Of Roof Replacement On Property Value
Expanding on the final example listed above, roof replacement is considered to be a key investment in home improvement. This is because while a given kitchen upgrade or energy update may be more or less impactful than another, a new roof is regarded as a surefire way to increase property value. This is the case for four main reasons.
First, roof replacement will increase the curb appeal of your property. While it sounds simplistic to say so, the roof is one of the first things prospective buyers will see when they look at your home. A newly renovated roof will “pop,” so to speak, making the home look newer and more appealing.
Second, a new roof improves the structural integrity of your property. A brand new roof will be free of leaks or damage, and will also ensure that there are not pest-related issues compromising the home’s structure. It’s also important to note that these are not just functional benefits, but active selling points. The roof is generally included in the inspection process when someone seeks to buy a new home, and if there are structural issues, the home’s value will decrease (on the ground that the buyer will need to repair the roof).
Third, replacing your roof will also make the property safer. This isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind, but the bottom line is that a new roof will stand up to damaging and potentially harmful elements (such as hail, falling trees, or fire from a lightning strike).
The fourth and final reason that this particular home improvement adds value to your property is that it improves long-term appeal. As stated, buyers will need to address repairs if you haven’t. On the other hand, if they see that the roof is new –– and documentation and warranties are passed along to them upon sale –– they will know that they won’t have to worry about the roof, potentially for a decade or more.
For all of these reasons, studies have indicated that roof replacement can yield 63% ROI on the property’s value, whereas some other popular projects (like bathroom remodeling) can return 50% of the initial investment or less.
What Home Improvements Don’t Add Value To Properties?
Despite all the positive examples discussed above, it’s important not to get carried away. That is to say, you shouldn’t confuse the idea that home improvements add value to your property with the notion that all home improvements add value to your property. As alluded to previously, there are some projects that –– while they can improve the home environment in one way or another –– do not offer enough ROI to be worth the investment (nor the time or effort involved).
The key is figuring out which projects are worthwhile and which ones aren’t, so that you can prioritize your time and investment accordingly. So, which home improvements don’t add value to your property, and why don’t they? Here are some important examples to keep in mind:
- Swimming Pools – While installing a pool can boost value, a thorough write-up at Bankrate stresses that it won’t necessarily. A pool is expensive to install, maintain, and insure, meaning that it’s difficult to recoup the value at sale.
- DIY Projects – This is a broad category. But it’s sometimes said that if you do too many DIY projects in your home, prospective buyers will be able to tell, and will wonder if your home has actually been properly, professionally maintained. A small DIY patch-up here and there is fine. But larger projects should be left to professionals.
- High-End Appliances – As stated previously, updating appliances (say, as part of a kitchen remodel) can help to add value to your property. However, splurging on extremely high-end appliances is not necessary. Buyers want to know that appliances are modern, in working order, and won’t need replacing; they don’t necessarily need the newest and best models, which will cost a great deal to install.
- Attic Conversion – An attic conversion can certainly add to the appeal and value of your home. However, it also tends to cost a great deal in the first place, which lowers the ROI. Fixing up an attic can cost $40,000 or more, and will seldom add that much to the resale value.
- Wine Cellar – A wine cellar is a popular idea as a home improvement, particularly in certain markets. Wine Guardian notes that buyers making $150,000 a year almost expect cellars in homes valued at $800,000 or more –– and will pay between $15,000 and $60,000 for the amenity. However, installation can cost even more (up to $80,000 in some cases). Furthermore, for buyers who don’t fit the parameters just mentioned, the value add is less.
Is Renovating Your Home The Best Way To Add Property Value?
Amongst all of the ideas and projects discussed above, many represent isolated repairs or upgrades. Others, however, come closer to being full renovations. But what exactly is a full renovation? How can it be done, and does it effectively add value to your home? These are important questions to ask yourself as you go about considering your options and prioritizing your investments.
While there is not a universal definition of a full renovation, the phrase typically describes a more comprehensive remodeling and redesign job. To give an example, remodeling a kitchen may involve replacing cabinets and countertops; redesigning it might mean new wallpaper or lighting fixtures. A full renovation, however, would entail remodeling, redesign, and appliance upgrades. For all intents and purposes, it describes breaking down and rebuilding a space in its entirety, with improvements.
As to how you can go about a full renovation, you will –– in almost all cases –– need to consult with professionals. While there may be some small aspects of the job you can do on your own, remember our caution above, that too much DIY work tends to show (and not in an appealing way). Instead of tackling too much on your own, you’ll want to contact contractors and subcontractors in order to go over the renovation, estimate the cost, and ultimately have the work done. If the project involves a home addition or a change to the floorplan or layout of your home, you may need to consult an architect as well.
Broadly speaking, these types of home improvements add value to your property. For instance, a write-up at Portico estimates that a full kitchen renovation can add 10% to resale value. That might mean $25,000 on a $250,000 home –– excellent ROI even if the full renovation costs $15,000. The same article highlights full renovations to bathrooms being able to add up to 5% to resale value.
The simple fact is that full renovations upgrade your home with new appliances, visual appeal, and a sense of newness –– all of which buyers will pay for. Because these renovations are expensive however, it’s important to approach them with care and focus on projected ROI.
Avoiding Home Improvements That Can Potentially Bring The Property Value Down
We’ve discussed that some home improvements add value to your property, and others don’t (or do so to a lesser extent). But there are also some home improvements that have the potential to bring property value down. Naturally, it’s important that you identify improvements that can have this effect, so that you can avoid them accordingly. Fortunately, Homelight has done a nice job of gathering relevant examples within a broader piece on things that can hurt home value. The following are some to remember:
- DIY improvements done poorly
- Improvements that ignore building codes
- Shoddy workmanship by unreliable contractors
- Poor landscaping
- Deferred repairs (Note: It is not sufficient to defer repairs in the hopes of larger renovations, nor to tell prospective buyers that you’re planning to address things.)
In general, the idea of a home “improvement” bringing down the value sounds almost illogical. However, as these examples show, it is always important to ensure that your well-intentioned efforts to maintain your home are carried out effectively. Doing repairs on your own can result in work that’s poor when viewed by a professional eye. Trusting un-vetted contractors can bring about iffy workmanship. Blindly trusting a landscaper can result in a yard that, while technically maintained, is not necessarily appealing.
Avoid these issues, and you’ll further ensure that you can maximize your home’s value.
The bottom line is that home improvements add value to your property –– so long as you approach them in a strategic manner. There is a virtually endless list of projects you can undergo in order to repair, update, and change your home. To get the most value out of these projects however, you need to consider each one’s cost, appeal, and potential ROI.
First, it’s important to identify home improvements with high potential ROI –– such as renovating a kitchen, making energy improvements, or installing a new roof. In the process, you must also be careful to avoid those projects that may cost more than they’re worth. If you can accomplish these things though, you’ll be well on your way toward an outline for improving your property’s value over time.