Freeman Exteriors

What’s the Best Roofing Material For Me? How to Choose in 2022

best roofing material

The first step to any roofing job is to figure out what material to use. You’ve got a ton of options to choose from, each one with specific pros and cons. Don’t go with the first option presented to you, or you might end up with something you regret.

Keep reading to find the best roofing material for you.

What to Look for in the Best Roofing Material

When picking the best roofing material, you need to consider a few things. These include style, longevity, cost, and installation. You need to decide whether you’re hiring someone to install the roof, or doing it yourself.

Considering this set of criteria and more, here’s a comparison of some of the most popular roofing options.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles might be the most popular roofing choice thanks to their low cost.

They also tend to last a long time — anywhere between 15 and 30 years on average! Despite this, they’re far from the most sturdy material for roofing, especially if you go with the cheapest option.

If you’re sold on asphalt shingles, don’t go with the cheapest ones available. The more expensive the shingles, the longer they tend to last. Cheap ones might not hold up to strong winds or hail as well as pricier ones.

Asphalt shingles are recyclable, though, making cleanup very easy and environmentally friendly when it comes time to replace them. They’re also fairly easy to install, all things considered. If you’re looking for a DIY job on a budget, asphalt shingles are a fine choice.

Clay Tiles

It doesn’t get much stronger than a clay roof. There’s a reason people have been using clay for their roofs since the 17th century! Unfortunately, it also doesn’t get much more expensive.

A clay roof will stand up to almost any weather you present to it. They’re nice and heavy, meaning they won’t break in hail or blow off the roof in heavy winds. A good clay roof will last over 100 years, meaning you’ll never have to retile your roof again.

Clay roofs are even known to withstand fire!

Not all houses will be able to take the weight of a clay roof, though. You need a very sturdy frame to hold all that weight, so you’ll need to get a professional to have a look. They’re also a pain to install, meaning you won’t be able to do this job alone.

You can also get roof tiles in concrete and ceramic. These will give you similar durability, but also similar costs and installation woes. However, the high price may be worth it for something you don’t need to replace ever again.


Slate, like clay, is one of the oldest-used roofing materials. It’s also one of the sturdiest, and most expensive.

A slate roof can last as long as 150 years.  It’s weatherproof, fireproof, and it looks gorgeous on any house. Slate roofs have a unique brick-pattern to them that’ll really help your house stand out.

Slate is also 100% natural, meaning no toxins are used to make it. It’ll also help regulate your home’s temperature, as it’s so dense.

You’ll most likely need to hire someone to install a slate roof, as the tiles can crack under the right amount of pressure. This adds to the total cost, making it one of your pricier options. If you want something unique and sturdy, though, slate is a great choice.

Metal (Standing-Seam)

A standing seam metal roof is basically a bunch of long sheets of steel laid on top of the house. They can also be made of aluminum, zinc, and copper.

You’ll see steel roofs a lot in wildfire areas, as they hold up to fire exceptionally well. They’re in the top-tier as far as durability goes, and they take just about no maintenance. A good steel roof will last you about 50 years or more.

You will not be able to install a steel roof yourself. The steel is heavy as anything, and virtually impossible to fit with one person. It’s best to leave this one to the professionals.

Steel roofing is considerably cheaper than clay or slate, and very durable. It could be a great option for you, especially if you’re in a wild-fire zone.

Wooden Shingles

Wooden shingles, usually made of redwood or cedar, will last you around 50 years max. They’re longer lasting than asphalt shingles, but not quite as durable. They’re not fireproof, and they’ll crack if exposed to too much hail.

Wooden shingles are great looking, though, and they’re also excellent insulators. They’ll keep your house nice and toasty in the winter and cooler in the summer. They’re also one of the easier options to install on your own, and are 100% environmentally sustainable.

If you love the design and want something that won’t break the bank, try out wooden shingles. They’ll take a bit of work to maintain, but it could be worth it.

Plastic Polymer

A plastic polymer root will last 50 years or more. They’re super durable, and look similar to wood shingles or slate depending on what you buy. They actually require less maintenance than these two options, though.

Plastic polymer holds up to hail and strong weather like nothing else. It’s also plausible to install these yourself with a little know-how. Of course, it’s usually best to get a roofing professional if you’ve never installed a roof before.

You’re also getting an extremely energy efficient roof using plastic polymer. It’ll reflect sunlight right off it, keeping the temperature in the home nice and consistent.

Plastic polymer is, unfortunately, one of the least environmentally sustainable roofing materials. Some companies use recycled plastic, though, making them a little more forgivable. If you’re looking for a plastic polymer roof, consider going recycled.

How Do I Choose the Best Roofing Material?

The best roofing material for one person will be entirely different for the next. Choosing the best roof type requires you to figure out your budget, what your frame will hold, and what will look best. Always consult a professional roofer before locking into your new roof.

If you’re looking for an experienced contractor in Champaign, Illinois, contact Freeman Exteriors and ask about a free estimate.

Jake Freeman

Jake Freeman

Freeman Exteriors is a family owned and operated general contracting company. We specialize in roofing and commercial renovations. We serve Champaign County, Vermilion County, including Champaign, Danville, Paris, IL and Crawfordsville, Covington, West Lafayette, IN and surrounding areas. Our goal is to be the general contractor of choice through our pledge to maintain the highest quality of standards and workmanship. Give us a call today to begin your next project!

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Fishers, IN 46038

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