How to Choose the Best Roof for Your Home

Making the decision to install a new roof isn’t always easy. The upfront investment can be quite high, especially if you’re interested in certain materials. While roof replacements for cosmetic purposes aren’t time sensitive, installations to fix damage or deterioration should be scheduled quickly. Regardless of if you want a new roof to upgrade aesthetics or reduce the risk of dangerous problems down the line, it’s important to work with a professional to choose the best roof for your home.

How to Tell if You Need a New Roof

Many people think about getting a new roof after severe weather has wreaked havoc on their exterior. This is understandable. Large-scale storm damage that can’t be fixed by repairs will need to be taken care of quickly and, under certain homeowners’ policies, is covered by the insurance provider. This makes undergoing a roof replacement a no-brainer. However, it’s not the only time to get a new roof.

Over the years, general wear and tear adds up. A few lost shingles here, some loose flashing there, and all of a sudden, the damages can no longer be fixed by repairs alone. While undergoing roofing maintenance and isolated repairs can help you get the most out of your roof, the materials aren’t meant to last forever. After about 25 years, materials lose their strength and more frequent repairs are needed.

Some signs of a damaged roof may include missing shingles, an old or worn-out appearance, age (at least 20 years old), cracked or blistering shingles, curling shingles, dark streaks and moss growth, and more. If you think you may need a new roof, schedule an inspection with a contractor to get a better understanding of what’s required.

Important Roofing Factors to Consider

You’ll receive more information once your roofing contractor has finished their inspection. If you can fix things with repairs, great. It’s still important to factor in the age of your roof, as repairs may not hold well in older structures. On the other hand, if they indicate that you need a roof replacement, how do you determine what’s best for your home? You can begin by learning about a few key roofing factors.


The first thing you should consider is overall longevity. If you get a new roof installed, how long will it last? Some materials can withstand severe weather for up to 50 years, while others may start to lose their protective covering after only 20 years. Work with a roofing contractor to go over all of the options available. Homeowners who plan to move soon may choose something with a lower longevity if the aesthetics make the property more appealing to buyers, while people who plan to remain in their home for the rest of their life may want something more economical. You may also want to consider the color of your roofing materials.


Another important factor to consider is the durability of your roofing structure. Some areas throughout the country are plagued with more severe weather than others, making certain materials less than ideal for residential roofs. Although there are pros and cons to each type of material, the professionalism of the installation can make a big difference on durability as well. Even if you live somewhere that’s not as prone to severe storms or high winds, durability can help decrease the likelihood of needing a premature roof replacement in the future.


The slope of your roof is the angle from the top of the roof to the perimeters. This refers to the elevation changes that happen throughout the roof’s pitch. Although there are some residential guidelines depending on where you live, the slope can be altered to help change the aesthetics of your home and provide you with more protection from the elements. If you live in a particularly wet area, a higher slope will ensure better runoff from rain and snow. If you live in an area with high winds, a lower slope can help reduce the force placed on your roof throughout the year.


Your current roofing structure sits on top of framing. During the initial installation, this is usually built based off of the weight of your roofing materials. If you plan to upgrade your roof from a light material to a heavier one, it’s important to factor in the weight of the structure to get a better understanding of what’s needed. If your contractors will need to add additional supportive framing to your roof during the installation, the cost may increase. You can work with your roofing contractor during the inspections to get a better understanding of what this might involve.


Cost is one of the biggest factors to consider when choosing the best roof for your home. Although you may have dreams of a slated roof with natural stone and elegant designs, the cost of these materials, along with the additional reinforcement, can lead to prices that are triple or even quadruple your initial installation. While there may be a few features that you’re determined to include, it’s best to understand the estimated cost of installation before you start making concrete decisions.

Solar Capability

Another thing that many homeowners are starting to consider is the solar capability of their roofs. With renewable energy becoming increasingly appealing to both homeowners and future buyers, solar panel installation may be a worthwhile investment. The rate of return will depend on where you’re located, but if you’re interested in solar you will need to choose the materials and roofing slope accordingly. Otherwise, you may find it impossible to add panels in the future without undergoing yet another roof replacement.

Choosing the Right Roofing Material

Almost all of the roofing factors discussed above are based on the type of material you choose to install. Some of the most common materials include asphalt, wood, metal, tile, and slate.

Asphalt roofing is one of the most commonly used roofing materials across the country. It’s one of the least expensive options and the installation process is fairly straightforward, which can lower the amount of time it takes for your contractors to finish the job. Asphalt shingles can also be laminated to improve longevity and appearance.

Wood roofs have been a popular option for years, but are recently less favorable due to the fact that they increase the risk of a fire spreading. Although they have a similar life expectancy to asphalt shingles, they tend to cost twice as much.

Metal roofs are one of the most up-and-coming roofing styles in the country. They’re extremely durable, long lasting, and can even help refract light and heat from your home. Contrary to what you may think, metal roofs can also be installed in various styles and colors to match your home’s aesthetics. In order to enjoy a beautiful metal roof, it’s important to work with a contractor who is experienced in this material.

Tile and slate roofs are a little less common and a lot more expensive. However, they’re fairly durable and can offer a unique appeal for homeowners. The best way to find the right materials for your home’s needs is to determine your goals and work with a roofing contractor.

Quality Roof Installation Matters

Choosing the best roof for your home is a process, but without experienced contractors it can all be for nothing. The right contractors will help ensure that you avoid bad roofing jobs and are instead left with a beautiful roofing installation that lasts for years. Always talk to a contractor to get an estimate and consider your budget. This allows you to weigh your options and choose the best roof for your needs. For ongoing help throughout this process, work with a roofing contractor at First Star Exteriors. Our professionals are available to walk you through the costs of a new roof in various materials so you can better understand your options.

When you’re ready to get started on your new roof selection and installation, contact First Star Exteriors. We believe there’s a perfect balance between hands-on, personable treatment, quality of work, and speed of delivery. The contractors at First Star Exteriors always take the time to understand your needs and communicate effectively from the first quote to the last nail placed. To learn more about our roofing options or to get a quote from us today within 48 hours, contact us at (479) 267-4800 or fill out our contact form here.

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