Your roof will likely need to be replaced at some point if you live in a house for a long time. When it is time to replace your roof, you have different roofing material options to choose from. Many people decide to go with the same type of roof they previously had but is that the best choice? Here are the pros and cons of 5 different roofing materials.

Types of Asphalt Roofing Material Options

Asphalt shingles are by far the most popular types of roofs. There are 2 types of asphalt shingles: 3-Tab and Architectural.

3-Tab Shingles

3-tab shingles are the cheapest roofing material options. They are thin asphalt shingles that lay flat instead of overlapping one another. They cost less than a dollar per square foot but only last 10-20 years.

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are also made from asphalt but they are thicker and higher quality than 3-tab shingles and have a dimensional look due to the various sizes and shapes. While you will pay more for architectural shingles, they are more durable and can last up to 30 years. If you live in an area that experiences strong winds, you should definitely choose architectural shingles over 3-tab.


Metal roofing is an attractive option for many reasons. The lifespan of a metal roof is generally longer than asphalt, at 40-70 years depending on the type of metal. Also, metal roofs withstand high winds and are fire-resistant. They reduce cooling costs by reflecting solar heat, but a metal roof will cost you more than asphalt roofing material options.

Wooden Roofing Material Options

Wooden roofs provide old-world character and charm to any home. They usually come in the form of cedar shingles and shakes, but other types of wood can also be used. Wooden roofs generally require more maintenance than other roofing material options to keep them from rotting or growing moss and mold. They are also susceptible to pest infestations. People mainly choose wooden roofs for the aesthetic and because they are good insulators.

Solar Shingles

If you want to go off-the-grid at home and also need a new roof, solar shingles may be the way to go. The difference between solar shingles and solar panels is that solar shingles replace existing roofing materials while solar panels are attached to a roof that’s already in place.

You’ll need a certain type of roof slope and enough sunlight for this roofing material to work well on your home. It can completely eliminate your electricity bill when you generate your own solar power. Solar panels may be slightly more efficient, but if you already need to replace your roof, you will be saving money overall by choosing solar shingles.

Altamont Inspections provides home inspections to Western North Carolina. Contact us to schedule an appointment.