Pros and Cons of Different Roofing Materials

Posted on by Armor Roofing & Exteriors
Roofing Contractor Vancouver WA

Selecting Roofing for Your Home

Homeowners that are building a new home or are looking to replace an existing roof have a variety of materials to choose from. Roofing materials used to be much more limited, but with modern advancements and a desire for new and more efficient materials, homeowners now have several different options available to them.

Updating your roof not only adds value and changes the look of a home, but it can also save you money on your energy bill. Though it can be a significant upfront cost depending on the material you choose, updating your roof is one of the best investments a homeowner can make.

With the variety of materials available, it can feel a bit overwhelming, but the following guide will give you the pros and cons of each to help you decide. If you still aren’t sure which direction to go, you can always consult your local roofing contractor for their expert advice and tips.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt is the most common residential roofing material.  Economical and easy to install, asphalt shingles are an excellent choice for homeowners that want a no-muss, no-fuss affordable option.


  • Affordable. Most asphalt shingle roofs cost between $5,000 to $8,000.
  • Come in a variety of color options
  • Easy to install
  • Widely available and accessible


  • Quality is inconsistent and can vary greatly
  • It does not provide the same level of insulation other roofing materials offer.
  • Has a short life span compared to other materials. 20 to 25 years.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are exceptionally durable, and they hold up well in extreme weather conditions. They can easily replicate traditional roof shingles but are very light in weight, making them great for homes that don’t have a lot of support.


  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Weather-resistant
  • Recyclable
  • Flame-resistant
  • Come in a variety of colors
  • Long-lasting. 40 to 50 years.


  • Relatively expensive. Average metal roofs cost between $9,000 to $14,000.
  • It can be noisy when things hit the roof – like rain or other falling objects.
  • Conduct heat. If you already live in a warm climate, metal roofing may not be the right choice for your home.

Clay Roofing

Reminiscent of Spanish, Italian, and Southwestern American architecture, clay tiles give homes a beautifully textured look. They are ideal for homes in warm, dry climates because of their ability to withstand the heat.

Pros:Roofing Company Vancouver WA

  • Long-lasting. With proper care, clay tiles can last up to 100 years or more.
  • High moisture resistant
  • Heat and flame resistant
  • Their thermal resistance makes them energy efficient.


  • Very expensive. Clay roofs can cost anywhere from $11,000 to $16,000 on average.
  • Very heavy. Most homes require additional support to have a clay roof installed.
  • While clay tiles are considered highly durable, they can chip and crack easily if stepped on or dropped.

Concrete Roofing Tiles

In recent years concrete has started to become a more common material used for roofing. It has almost all of the benefits of clay tiles, but costs and weighs less. It is also capable of mimicking clay, slate, wood shakes, and other roofing material.


  • Easy installation with molded interlocking.
  • Heat resistant
  • Moisture resistant
  • Energy efficient
  • Versatile. It can easily be made to mimic other roofing styles.
  • Long life span. With proper care and maintenance, concrete tiles can last 50 to 100 years.


  • Expensive, but not as much as clay. Concrete roofs can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $14,000
  • Heavy, but not as much as clay. Lighter weight concrete may not require additional reinforcement in the roof structure.

Slate Roofing

Slate tiles offer a sleek and elegant appearance. They come in a variety of colors and are one of the most durable roofing materials available on the market.


  • Highly durable – nearly indestructible
  • Heat and flame resistant
  • Moisture resistant
  • Energy Efficient
  • Long-lasting. Slate tiles can easily last over 100 years.


  • Very expensive. Average slate roofs can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000.
  • Very heavy. Like clay, slate roofs will require additional support.
  • Difficult to install.

Synthetic Slate Rubber Roofing

Rubber tiles are made of a molded blend of plastic and rubber and are often made to mimic natural slate tiles. Many homeowners are starting to opt for rubber roofing because it can easily be made to look like slate, but does not cost or weigh nearly as much.


  • Lightweight
  • Strong and flexible
  • Can look like natural slate
  • Not as expensive. Average rubber roofing can cost between $12,000 to $16,000


  • New to the market. Since rubber tiles are relatively new, there has not been a lot of testing done in real-world applications.
  • Not readily available
  • The life-span is questionable. Some experts say it can last up to 50 years, but there has not been enough testing yet to back up these claims.

Wood Shake and Shingles

Wood roofing offers a very natural look that tends to look better as it ages. Wood shake is often crafted by hand and has a more rough-edged, rustic look to it. Wood shingles tend to look more clean-cut as they are typically made using a machine rather than by hand.


  • Natural
  • Inexpensive. Wood roofs typically cost around $9,000 to $12,000.


  • Highly flammable
  • Short life span. Though they can last longer than asphalt shingles with proper care, they tend only to last between 15 to 25 years.
  • Not great for wet climates. Wood roofing is more prone to mold and rot.

Solar Roof Tiles

Solar roofs are becoming increasingly popular as advances in technology make them more affordable and efficient. However, most homes will not have an entire solar roof but instead will have solar tiles placed on top of existing roofing material.


  • Save you money on your utility bills.
  • Relatively long-lasting. 30 to 40 years.
  • Low maintenance
  • Environmentally friendly


  • High upfront costs. Though solar roofing saves you money over time, they require a high initial investment.
  • Difficult to find experts who can install.

Hiring a Roofing Contractor

If you are considering replacing or updating your roof, contacting a local roofing contractor can save you time and money. Roofing installation is not something that you should attempt without a professional. Not only do they have the tools and expertise necessary to install your new roof properly, but they can also give you expert advice and tips when you are trying to decide which roofing material is right for you.

Armor Roofing & Exteriors

For over 25 years, the roofing contractors at Armor Roofing & Exteriors have served the Vancouver, WA, area with quality workmanship and professionalism. We guarantee an unrivaled degree of experience and customer service that you won’t find anywhere else. Call us today for all of your roofing needs!



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