The best type of roofing material depends on your needs and objectives, specifically whether you’re looking for beauty, longevity or affordability. What is best for you and your home? Once you determine this, you’ll be able to narrow the field for consideration.

If Beauty Is What You Seek, Cedar Shake Is the Best

Cedar Shingles and Shakes

Cedar shake is hard to beat, particularly if it was part of your original home design. What do we mean by this? Simply put, there are homes where the architect designed it with the siding and layout to look good with a cedar shake. If you tear that off and replace it with something other than cedar shake, you’ll be able to notice it—and not in a good way. Sure, the roof will look new and nice. But it won’t fit the overall aesthetic of your home.

Additionally, cedar shake looks nice for myriad reasons. Each shake one is its own item; they’re not made cookie-cutter out of a factory. This means each shake has lots of character, adding depth and uniqueness to your roof. Moreover, cedar shake roofs age naturally and beautifully, thereby extending the life of your roof. Cedar shake roofs are also highly durable, as they can withstand some of the harshest of weather conditions.

If Longevity Matters Most, Then Concrete Tile Is Your Best Choice

Concrete tile roofs have life expectancies easily exceeding 50 years. The material is incredibly strong. It also isn’t subject to UV damage like other common roofing material.

Perhaps one of the greatest selling points of a concrete roof is how well it ages. Concrete can sit around a long time. While wood decays and asphalt deteriorates, concrete remains stable.

But, be careful. Concrete is like glass. It is at risk for localized damage, such as cracking or breaking.

If Affordability Is Your Goal, Go for Composition

Architectural Composition Shingles

When budget is your biggest concern, then consider the savings you can get by choosing a composition roof. The amount of savings you get varies, however, depending on what’s currently on your roof. Swapping out a composition roof with another composition roof has the most cost savings—everything underneath the roof, mainly the sheathing, is already in place. But when converting from a cedar or tile roof, you lose some of the cost savings by having to convert the under-system of the sheathing to one that is compatible with composition.

The amount of savings you gain will also depend on the quality of the composition roof you choose. There is a bigger spread between low-end and high-end roofs within the composition category; speak with a knowledgeable roofing professional to understand the pros and cons of each option in this category.

Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Roofing Material for Your Home

Take localized environmental factors into consideration. If you’re in a heavily wooded area with frequent branch loss, then tile isn’t a good option. If you’re in a swampy location that’s damp and has lots of moss in the grass, composition’s susceptibility to moss growth may make you want to consider another option.

When in doubt, reach out to a local roofing professional to help you choose the best roofing material based on your home, your budget and your geographic area.