Roof Materials And Why Your Selection Is Vital To Your Home Plan Design
The roof style of your house plan’s elevation will play a large role in the aesthetic appeal of your home. It will tie together many of the exterior architectural elements of your home plan that define a particular style, but most importantly it will need to provide a robust and long lasting shelter for the home. The type of roof material you choose will depend on your budget, environmental factors and desired look.
Here is a rundown of the most popular styles of roof and roofing materials used today:
One of the oldest styles of roof in America is the shake. The style can transport you to a bygone age, but also has its drawbacks. Shakes are different from shingles, which are machine-sawed. Shakes are torn into thin strips by hand. The rough and rustic finish is what homeowners find attractive. Apart from being expensive and environmentally destructive (they are made from trees which are 100 to 800 years old), they also require regular maintenance.
Stone and Slate Roofs
Another traditional but more costly roofing choice is slate shingles. Made of stones, slate roofs give homes a “cottage in the woods” look. Slates are heavy and most often the rafters on which they rest will need reinforcement. But if one looks at the durability factor, they are a great investment. For the environmentally conscious homebuilder, there is the option of artificial slates made of recycled rubber. They look like the real thing, are lighter, will last 100 years and are much easier to fit.
Tiles, whether barrel shaped or Roman, are an aesthetically pleasing roofing choice. They come in various shapes and sizes, can be easily nailed in, and are durable and weather resistant. Clay still remains the best raw material for tiles, which is superior to wood because of fire resistance. Due to their porous nature tiles function well in windy circumstances and are hail resistant. A recent innovation involves concrete tiles that are virtually indestructible.
Apart from the above-mentioned choices, a recent trend in roofing tends towards steel, metal and aluminum. These roof types were never the first choice of homeowners in the past because they were associated with industrial use, but opinions have changed over the years.
Of the three, steel is the cheapest because of its lightweight and recyclable nature. Most often constructed from scrap, zinc coated steel does not corrode easily, shrink or crack. Over 80% of the market in metal roofing is dominated by steel. Steel roofs can last for 50 years and are available in various colors, shapes and sizes. People living in areas with heavy snowfall prefer steel because of its shedding properties and its resistance to strong winds and gales. Those living in seismically sensitive regions also choose steel because it is lightweight and completely resistant to fire.
Metal roofs are durable though more expensive than steel or concrete roofs. They can be engineered to suit the local climate of the region. They are long-lasting and share many of the qualities of steel roofs. They are also relatively rustproof since they are galvanized with zinc and aluminum and polymer coated.
Aluminum is the most energy efficient material for metal roofs. This translates to considerable savings in energy bills. Aluminum can be easily wrought into various shapes to resemble tiles, shingles and panels. In coastal areas aluminum roofs are very popular, because they do not rust. The biggest drawback of aluminum roofing is its cost. Initial installation is more expensive than steel or other traditional roofs but over its lifecycle, which could be up to 50 years, it becomes highly cost effective. In addition, aluminum is the most environmentally friendly. Almost 90% of it is manufactured from recycled materials and it is completely recyclable.
Tough building codes and new architectural methods are sprouting newer roofing materials every day, providing consumers today with a wide array of choices. Personal aesthetic preferences and your individual criteria will ultimately determine the type of roof you choose.