Installing a new roof on your house can be a massive undertaking. There are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to your roof -- everything from price to materials to design. So don't rush into the process thinking that you can install any old roof and get it over with quickly. More specifically, research various materials and pick one that is right for you and your situation. If you're not sure where to start, the information below is a great place to begin.
By far the most popular choice for the average consumer is asphalt shingles. Perhaps the main reason for this is the fact that they're so inexpensive compared to other materials on the market. In other words, if you're on a tight budget, asphalt is probably your best bet. That said, going with asphalt shingles means compromising in other areas. Asphalt roofs won't last nearly as long as slate or concrete (though you'll still get a couple of decades out of them), and they're far more fragile and prone to cracking.
For many consumers, wood shingles occupy a perfect middle ground between cheaper asphalt shingles and more expensive tile ones. In addition, you wouldn't be hard pressed to find people to argue that they're the most aesthetically pleasing choice, as they go well with many types of homes and architectural styles. They are, however, vulnerable to the dual threats of fire and termites. Be proactive in combating both of these things, and you'll have a roof that will more than likely last you for the life of your home.
If your budget is a little bigger than the average homeowner's and you are looking to install a premium quality roof, then look no further than slate tiles. These tiles possess none of the disadvantages of wood shingles -- they won't ever rot because of termites or catch on fire -- and they are far more durable than asphalt ones. The only downside to having a home with slate tiles is that you will need to hire a special contractor to install the roof (asphalt roofing, on the other hand, is fairly easy to install yourself if you enjoy do-it-yourself projects) and you will most definitely need deep pockets to do it. But if price isn't a concern, then you shouldn't hesitate to purchase quality slate tiles that will last several generations.