This is a tough question to answer as there are many factors involved in choosing a material. Style of roof or pitch of the roof is very important. Budget is also a factor, but look is also important.
First and foremost you want to choose a material for your roof based upon the style or pitch of your roof. Your roof pitch is essentially how steep the roof is. This step is the most important. You need to determine which products are on the market and have been developed for your style of roof. There is no “one size fits all” roofing material. A very common mistake is using shingles on a very low slope or flat roof.
The second most important factor is budget. This is the nerve wracking part of your decision. Budget doesn’t mean “I want the cheapest roof.” Cheapest now, or cheapest in 50 years are two different things. You have to ask yourself: “How long am I going to occupy or own this building?” “How much money can I spend now on this roof?” The answer to these two questions will determine your budget.
If you’re planning on selling your building in 5 years there is no reason, other than resale value and curb appeal, to install a roof rated for 80 years. The simple formula is this: Cost of roof installation divided by the rating of the materials in years. In the long run it is cheaper to spend that little bit of extra money now so you won’t have to bear the brunt of a complete replacement again for a very-very long time. However if you simply can’t afford the upgrade then it’s important you don’t spend more than you can afford.
Now that you’ve decided what types of material are available for your roof, then narrowed the decision down to the quality of material you find fitting; it’s time to choose how you want your building to look. The look of your building can be very important especially if it is your home. Think of a color scheme and go with that scheme. Don't introduce too many colors.
In the end you should choose a material that makes you feel comfortable and confident. You don’t want to install an improper material. You don’t want to install a material you can not afford or a material that doesn’t match your home’s existing quality. Lastly you want to make certain the material you choose will be pleasing to your eye every time you drive up to your building.
Written by Grumpy in January 2003
Grumpy is the online Persona for Thomas Kral, the founder of Reliable American, Inc. Reliable American is a firm specializing in roofing and remodeling. www.reliableamerican.us
The information found in this post is not to be considered legal advice. The author of this post takes no responsibility for any losses that occur. Use at your own risk.