home with black shingle types of roofs Choosing a new roof is a decision that will affect your home for decades to come—that’s the intention, at least. Depending on your selection and the investment you’re ready to make, various types of roofs can last anywhere from 10 to 100 years.

Questions to ask before selecting your roofing material

  • Is the weight of this roofing material suitable for the frame of my house?
  • How long does this particular material last?
  • Does it require maintenance? If so, how often and how extensive?
  • Is the slope of my roof appropriate for this material?

Types of roofs: options, pros and cons

“Shingle” is a generic term for sections of overlapping roofing material, not a specific type of roof.

Fiberglass/Asphalt shingles

Fiberglass/Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material. They’re relatively low in cost compared to the other options mentioned. They come in a variety of styles and colors, making it easy to align with the style of your home. Despite the moderate cost, durability is not sacrificed, as fiberglass/asphalt shingled roofs are projected to last between 20 and 50 years, depending on the amount of asphalt used in the product. Other factors causing premature aging are climate, sun exposure and lack of proper ventilation.


Metal roofing can be expensive, but choosing to go with a lower quality material can increase the likelihood of dents. While it is lightweight and withstands wind well, it absorbs less heat than asphalt shingles. Excessive noise can be a factor if you live in an area that experiences a lot of rain, hail or wind storms. Metal roofing is available in sheets or shingles, giving you the option to make your home a bit different than most others on the block.

Wood shingles and shakes

Wood shingles and shakes are made from cedar, redwood and southern pine. Western Red Cedar #1 Blue Label is the best option here. Some areas restrict the use of wood shingles to due flammability, so check your local building codes before installing. While this material is moderate to high in initial cost, it requires frequent upkeep and can have a shorter lifespan. If maintenance time and expenses are something you’re trying to avoid, you may want to consider a different material. Poor installation methods and improper ventilation will significantly decrease the lifespan of your wood shingle or shake roof.


Slate is the most expensive and heaviest roofing option. It is also the oldest type of roofing material, so if you’re going for a rustic, aged feel for your home, slate may be a great candidate. It protects well against fire and wind and tends to have a long lifespan. One downside: slate must be installed on very steep-sloping roofs.

Solar shingles

Years ago, transitioning to a solar roof required big, bulky solar panels, and ended up costing more than it saved. Today, solar shingles are available in options that closely resemble flat asphalt shingles, and come at a fraction of what they used to cost. With Federal tax credits of 30% and many states delivering utility discounts for using solar power, going solar is a great option to consider. Aside from cost saving, solar panels use safe, natural power and even add future value to your home.

Clay tile

Clay tile is both expensive and heavy. While projected to have a long lifespan of 50 to 100 years, the tiles are very fragile and can chip, crack or break from time to time. Clay tile brings a classic Spanish and Italian feel to your home.

Ceramic tile

Ceramic tile is less expensive than clay tile, and can still last more than 100 years. Ceramic tile is also more lightweight than clay tile, but still requires a strong support system. Certain metals can be made to look like ceramic tile, making for a cheaper option with a similar look and feel.

Bloomfield Construction is a leading Michigan contractor, and brings more than 20 years of experience to your fiberglass/asphalt, metal, wood shingles and shakes, or slate roofing project. There are many types of roofs to choose from, and selecting the best one can feel overwhelming. Be sure you’re making the right choice—contact the Bloomfield Construction professionals.

Jeff Petrucci

Jeff is a licensed builder, national award-winning general contractor and owner of Bloomfield Construction. His team specializes in residential and commercial insurance repair work including floods, smoke, fire, wind & hail damage, and, of course, roofing. The team quickly and effectively handles emergency calls, and provides accurate quotes. Bloomfield Construction works with the best in the industry, utilizing the most up-to-date technologies, to complete each and every project.