When it comes to home decor and renovation, thinking about the roof is rarely the most exciting thing you’ll consider. It’s one of those things that we all hope will last forever, but we know deep down it won’t. When the time comes to replace it, there are a lot of factors to consider, but investing the time to make sure you make the right choice will always pay off. We’ll go over the 5 most crucial factors to consider when you talk to your contractor.

1. Your climate

If you live in a warm area, you’ll need a roof that can withstand the heat and sun without cracking or needing frequent maintenance. If you live in an area with lots of snow and cold weather, you will need a roof that can shed the snow load without causing a build-up, sagging, or flooding. Some roofs are made to outlast every type of weather, like metal roofs, while others have strengths that lie in improving the energy efficiency of your home or withstanding high winds.

2. The materials

There are many types of deck material and there are many roofing materials too, to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. The type of material you choose for your roof will affect the cost, weight (which can affect structural requirements), noise factor (if it’s noisy when it rains, that might bother you at night) and durability.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roof tiles in America. They come in a variety of styles and colors. They’re lightweight, affordable, durable, easy to install and upgrade. Inexpensive, but they have a short lifespan (about 15-20 years). They require regular maintenance to keep them effective at preventing water from leaking into your home.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiles are made from natural materials and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They’re exceptionally durable, can last for up to 100 years with proper maintenance, and are fire-resistant. They’re also one of the most expensive roofing options.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular in North America. They’re made from a wide range of metals, all with their own advantages and disadvantages. Because they come in different thicknesses for different load-bearing needs, they can be stronger than any other option, but that also creates some limitations as to their shape and size of them. In general, because metal roofs are lighter than shingle roofs of the same strength, they can be more susceptible to wind damage if not installed correctly. Metal roofs should last up to 50 years and don’t require a lot of maintenance when installed properly.

Slate Tiles

Slate tiles are a natural stone that is quarried in many parts of the world. It’s an exceptionally durable material and can last up to 200 years with proper maintenance. Slate is also fire resistant and comes in a variety of colors. The biggest downside to slate tiles is their prohibitive cost and weight (which can require reinforced roof framing).

Solar Shingles

Solar shingles are a newer technology that blends traditional roofing materials with solar energy harvesting. They’re made to look like traditional asphalt shingles, but they have tiny solar cells embedded in them that convert sunlight into electrical energy. Solar shingles are still a relatively modern technology, so their cost and lifespan have not been fully determined yet.

3. Roofing style

Once you’ve chosen your roofing material, it’s time to start thinking about the actual style of your roofline. The most popular types of roofs in America are gable and hip roofs, and they each have their own pros and cons.

Gabled Roofs

Gable roofs are the more traditional style of roofing. They have two sloping sides with a ridge down the center. This creates triangular eaves on each side at the bottom, where water will accumulate and need to be drained away from your home. Gable roofs come in one or two-story versions, depending on how much space you need for rooms and decorating options.

Hip Roofs

Hip roofs are a style that has four sloping sides with ridges running along the outside edge of each side. The ridges create roof overhangs (like gabled roofs), but the eaves tend to be smaller because they’re not on both sides of the roof. Hip roofs are more weather-resistant than gabled roofs and can be used on one or two-story homes.

Traditional Roof

Traditional roofs are the oldest roofing style, dating back to ancient times. They have four sloping sides with an included angle of about 60 degrees. The ridges create overhangs on all four sides, which significantly reduces the size of the eaves. Traditional roofs generally need more maintenance than gabled or hip roofs because they lack built-in eaves drainage.

Contemporary Roof

Contemporary roofs are a more modern style that is becoming increasingly popular. They have two or three sloping sides with a very steep included angle (usually around 90 degrees). This creates very small eaves and roof overhangs, which can be good or bad depending on your climate and the design of your home. Contemporary roofs are often made from metal or plastic materials, which can be less durable than traditional roofing materials.

4. Roof pitch

The pitch of your roof is the ratio of its height to its width. This measure is best left up to your roofing contractor, as they have the experience necessary to advise the best angle for your home based on a variety of factors.

Low-sloped roof (traditional)

The traditional standard for residential homes in America is that most roofs should have a pitch of at least 4/12 (meaning, four inches of rise for every 12 inches in overall length). This creates about 30 – 45 degrees of incline, which is usually enough to ensure good drainage. However, you may want to consider a higher or lower pitch depending on your climate and the style of your home.

Steep roof (contemporary)

A roof with a steeper pitch will be more weather-resistant and can help shed snow and ice faster, but it will also be more difficult to install and maintain. A roof with a lower pitch will be easier to install and maintain, but it may not be as weather-resistant.

5. Type of insulation

The type of insulation you choose for your roof can have a significant impact on the efficiency, durability and cost of your project.

Fiberglass batt insulation

Fiberglass batt is the most generic form of insulation in homes because it’s affordable, easy to install, and effective. It comes in various thicknesses called batts or blankets, and you’ll want to install it between your rafters before installing the roofing material. Fiberglass batts come in various thicknesses.

Liquid foam insulation

Liquid foam insulation is a desirable choice for high-moisture areas such as coastal homes or climates with significant snowfall. It can be sprayed onto wooden beams before installing the roofing material, or it can be sprayed in place on your roof. The foam expands to fill any gaps or voids in the insulation layer, which creates a strong bond with the underlying materials.

6. Cost and warranty of the roof materials

The price of any roofing material varies depending on the current market and availability. Thus, you should also consider a product’s warranty coverage before making your decision.

Metal roofs

Metal roofs are exceptionally durable but can be pricey compared to traditional roofing materials because they tend to cost more per square foot. Metal roofs usually have good warranties because they’re made from recycled materials and are likely to last a long time. However, they can be noisy when it rains, and because metal roofs tend to have poorly insulated underlays, they may not be a viable choice for very cold climates.

Plastic or rubber roofing

Plastic or rubber roofs tend to be less expensive than metal roofs, and they come in a variety of colors and styles. However, they have shorter warranties than metal roofs, and they may not be as durable.

Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material in America, and they’re typically the least expensive option. They usually have a 20–30-year warranty, which is short compared to other roofing materials. However, shingles can be easily removed and replaced if necessary, so they may be the best choice for homeowners who plan to stay in their homes for less than 20 years.

Clay or concrete tile

Clay or concrete tiles are durable but extremely heavy, which means they can be expensive to install. They also require special roofing underlayment and insulation, so they may not be the best choice for homes with limited attic space. Clay and concrete tiles usually come with a 50-year warranty.

7. Color of the shingles to match your home’s exterior design

The color of your roof will also play a part in how it looks with the exterior design of your home. Experts like Mighty Dog Roofing in Salt Lake City often have tools that can provide a simulation for how specific roofs will look on your home which can help if you’re indecisive or unsure about your preferences. Here are some things to consider when choosing roofing colors for your home.

Homes with red brick or stone

Homes with red brick or stone exteriors may benefit from more neutral-colored roofs (such as gray, black, brown, or green) because dark roof colors may make the home look smaller.

Homes with lighter or more colorful siding

Homes with a lot of light-colored or brightly colored siding may benefit from darker roofs to provide contrast so their homes don’t appear washed out by the sun. However, it’s important to avoid choosing excessively dark colors for your roof because they may make your home look too formal or severe.


Whether you are considering a new roof for your home or just doing some research, it is important to weigh all your options before deciding. By considering the seven factors listed above, you’ll be able to choose the roof that is best suited for your needs and budget, and personal aesthetics.

Jackson Martin

Jackson Martin, holding a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas, has been a prominent figure in the home improvement sector for over 18 years. He joined our team in 2020, sharing his expertise in renovation techniques, sustainable building practices, and DIY projects. Jackson's previous experience includes working in residential construction management and as a home renovation consultant. He is an advocate for energy-efficient homes and enjoys participating in local marathon events.

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