Composition is far and away the most popular and widely-used home roofing material. It typically comes in 20-, 30-, 40-year "lives." (There is also an unlimited-life variety) 25-year shingles are used on most starter homes and have no texture. 40-year or "Lifetime" shingles have a dimensional or architectural look with good curb appeal and are considered specialty shingles and recommended as an upgrade to consider.
There are two styles of metal roofing to choose from. Screw down (using exposed fasteners) is used on most standard homes. The screws have a tendency to "back out" after seven to ten years, requiring normal maintenance. Standing seam (using concealed fasteners) is considered an upgrade and is the more costly of the two.
Slate is a very expensive and heavy material. In order to install slate roofing, a house must be engineered to support over 1,000 pounds per square. There is normally a two-month lead time for the product and typically a lengthy installation period.
Not as pricey as real slate but also not as heavy. No special bracing is required as most homes can handle the weight. Allow at least six weeks for material and extended time for installation.
Two styles of wood shingles are available. Wood shingles are the smaller of the styles (18") and installed over open lathe at a 5" exposure. Wood shakes are 24" installed using #30 felt at a 10" exposure. Most city codes require that any installed wood shingles be fire treated. Wood shingles are high priced and require at least a four week lead time.
This type is considered a "lifetime" roof and is typically used on upper-end homes. Weight is an issue so a home must be engineered, or otherwise evaluated, to handle 1,000 pounds per square of roofing space. Most concrete-tile orders take two months to be fulfilled; only small amounts of tile are normally in stock.
Clay is considered an upgrade over concrete tile. Special underlayment is required. Clay can be offered in one piece and two piece styles. Two piece tiles require perpendicular batten boards and additional labor.
(Modified) Flat Roofing
Modified roofing is made by all shingle manufacturers. It can be installed by the "torch apply" method or it can be "hot mopped". Some modified roofing is "self-adhering" so no heat source is required. Modified roofing is used on most commercial applications as well as patio roofs and in the waterproofing of walk on decks. Single-ply roofing also is available which does not require a flame for installation.