These days there are more roofing options than ever, and researching materials can be overwhelming. How can you possibly choose? For starters, it's important to understand the pros and cons of each.

Asphalt Shingles

This is the classic roofing shingle that most people picture on American homes, and you see them everywhere.

  • Pros: Asphalt shingles are readily available and easy to install, which keeps them affordable. They come in many colors and profiles, so you're sure to find something that works with your home's design.
  • Cons: They can blow off in high winds, leaving your home vulnerable to the elements. They're not exactly a creative or upscale choice to add value.

Cedar Shakes

These rustic, wooden roof finishes are utterly unique. Wood was used for centuries as a roofing material, especially as settlers moved west and built their own homes.

  • Pros: Cedar shakes produced by eco-friendly mills can be a great choice for green homes. The old-fashioned look provides historical accuracy when restoring older homes.
  • Cons: A wood rood requires significant maintenance to protect it from water damage. Plain cedar shakes aren't fire rated, though they can be treated with flame retardants for added safety.

Slate Roofs

Another all-natural material, slate comes in shades of green, red, and blue-gray. Slate is also popular in restoring older homes and barns.

  • Pros: Slate is a type of rock, so it offers great durability and protection from fire. It's also a high-end look, and it's popular with architects and designers as well as historians.
  • Cons: Because it's made of rock, a slate roof is heavy enough to require a structural engineer if you're considering a retrofit. It's also relatively difficult to install, which drives up the price of an already-expensive material.

Steel Roofs

Once a low-end choice for a quick fix, today's steel roofing comes in a variety of designer colors and has surged in popularity among modern architects.

  • Pros: Durable steel roofs require minimal maintenance and stay clean for years. The raised, standing seams can be used as a design feature to highlight roof lines and create one-of-a-kind looks.
  • Cons: Not all traditionally-styled homes look good with a metal roof. Upfront costs can be startling, despite the great return on investment.

Still not sure which material to choose? Call the experts at Keyprime Roofing and Remodeling for a free estimate and great advice about the best roofing material for your home.