Pros and Cons of Residential Roofing Materials

These days, when getting a roof replacement, you have many different options of materials, colors, and styles. Gone are the days when your only choice was shingles, slate or cedar. Each roofing type has pros and cons that are worth examining.


Pros: While there are multiple types of shingles, a few commonalities to their advantages and disadvantages exist. The main advantage is the initial cost. Shingles are less expensive and easier to install than their tile and metal counterparts. The easier installation also helps defray the upfront costs. Some types of asphalt shingles do offer impact resistance, however, not as much as other roofing types.

Cons: Shingles do break down easier from heat and UV rays. They are generally warranted for 30-years, but usually, need replacing about every 25 years. Decreased longevity does reduce its cost-effectiveness overall.

Tile Roofing:

Pros: The most significant advantage is that tile roofs are very long lasting. Tile roofs come in various materials and colors and are stylish and aesthetically pleasing. These roofs can last from 50 to 100 years or more. Repairs often consist of replacing 1 or 2 tiles. Tile roofs are also energy efficient as they do insulate your home and help save on your utility bills. These roofs are resistant to both impact and carry a class “A” fire rating. While the initial cost of tile roofs is higher, they are often more cost-efficient in the long run.

Cons: Tile roofing is more expensive than shingles. Tile roofing is heavy. Not all homes will support its weight. While this roof is low maintenance, the underlayment does. The underlayment needs to be replaced every 8 to 20 years, which requires removing the tiles and then putting them back in place. While cheaper than a roof replacement, this does require an additional expense. Also, while these roofs are impact resistant, they do carry other concerns when walking on the roof, as this can damage tiles. A professional should always be used for any maintenance and repairs.

Metal roofing:

Pros: Like tile roofing, this roofing is quite long lasting, though less so than tile roofs. The average warranty is 50 years, but it usually needs to be replaced 40 to 70 years after installation. It is impact resistant. However, it is prone to denting. Like tile roofing, it does come in a variety of materials, styles, and colors. Metal roofing also carries a class “A” fire rating. The fire rating does come at a price, though. While it is resistant to fires from sparks and embers from wildfires, fireworks and the like, if a fire starts from the inside, this can be a problem. Firefighters often must cut into the roof to control the fire, which takes time and can be detrimental to saving the interior. Like tile, it is impact resistant. It does hold up more against hail, branches, and other debris. You can walk on it without the damage that can be a problem with tile roofing. It is also lighter weight than tile, and more homes can support it.

Cons: Metal roofing is more expensive than either shingles or tile. It does carry the same fire-resistant rating as a tile roof; however, since it must be cut into during a fire started on the inside of the home, tile is a bit better on that count. Like shingles and tile, it does come in a variety of colors, materials, and styles. Often, however, it does come with less resale value as it is considered to have less curb appeal. Some people do find that noise is more of a problem with a metal roof.


All roof types come with both pros and cons. For the best advice, contact Becker Roof and Exteriors today regarding your needs and budget. We have the expertise to best help with your informed decision-making process.