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Raise the Roof: Helpful tips to help you choose the right roofing

New Asphalt Roof

Time to put a new lid on things? Choosing the right roofing can be a chore if you don't bother to do your homework. It is also a big expense, so you want to make sure to do things right the first time. A few simple tips can help you determine which type of roofing will help your home look great, withstand the elements, and last a long, long time.

Better on a budget

The first thing to consider is how much you have to spend on your new roof. All roofs are NOT created equal, and neither is the cost of purchasing and installing them. Composition shingles in asphalt or fiberglass provide a durable surface that's relatively easy and inexpensive to install and maintain. Wood shakes are another attractive and affordable choice, although they require more upkeep, and may not be right for every style of home. On the other hand, if you've got money to burn, you may want to consider a high-end material such as clay, slate, or tile. While the high cost can be a downside, low maintenance and long lifespan more than make up for it.

Home style

Boost your curb appeal by taking the color and architectural style of your home into consideration when making roofing decisions. Own a Cape-cod? Coastal homes are often topped with bright colors like red and blue. For Spanish-style homes, clay tile is the traditional choice. If you belong to a homeowners or community organization, there may be rules regarding the color and type of roofing you may use, so be sure to check the guidelines before making your decision.

Environmentally-friendly

Want to get back to nature? Green roofs are a great way to do it. Eco-roofs may consist of a number of different plant types, and can be obtained in pre-grown modules and trays for easy installation. Some companies will even grow a new roof to your specifications. Whether you want grass or flowers, your green roof will help to save energy, produce life-giving oxygen, and remove excess CO2 from the atmosphere.

Color your world

Choosing a new shingle color (and there are now many to choose from) is an easy way to brighten up a dull color scheme. Blue and grey houses often look best with black or dark grey shingles, as do white houses, if you are going for a traditional look. Consider brown or a combination of brown and cream shingles if your home is tan, brown, or cream in color. Own a yellow, red, or green home? Grey, brown, or black are generally the best choices. As a general rule, always try to coordinate the color of your roofing with the colors you find in other elements of your home.

Some like it hot

The overall weather conditions in your area are another thing to consider when choosing new roofing. To live comfortably in a warm region, a roof which reflects, rather than absorbs the sun's rays can help you save big on cooling costs. Slate, clay, terra cotta, and concrete tiles are excellent choices when it comes to keeping cool, although the cost and added weight may be a concern for some homeowners. Flat, white tiles in ceramic, concrete, or composed of a composite materials can reflect up to 77 percent of the sun's rays, and cut monthly AC costs substantially. White metal roofing is also a good way to keep things cool. While the cost is generally higher than that of some traditional roofing materials, low maintenance, durability, and energy savings more than compensate for the upfront costs.

Thar she blows!

If you live in an area that is often subject to high winds, heavy snowfall, pounding rain, hail, or other fun things that Mother Nature can throw at you, you need roofing that can take a beating. Metal roofing is increasing in popularity in regions prone to heavy snowfall because it allows snow and ice to slide off, and saves on heating costs when properly-insulated. It is also a durable choice in areas where high winds occur, as are heavy-duty asphalt shingles. Concrete tiles can take a pounding, so they may be a good choice where heavy rains are common.* Passive and active solar paneling are also good options, and actually work most efficiently in cooler climates.

*Concrete tiles are three-times heavier than asphalt shingles, so be sure that your home can support the added weight before installing them. Avoid metal roofing in seaside areas where they are prone to rust, and forego cement tile in areas of heavy snowfall, as snow will not slide off easily.

Show your metal

Metal has become an increasingly popular roofing choice over the past few years*. Metal roofing comes in three basic styles: standing seam types requiring crimping and soldering during installation, screw-down panel versions, and metals that mimic slate, tile, or cedar. While initially more expensive than some other types of roofing, going metal means no more worries about mold, mildew, chipping, or cracking. Metal roofing has can help to lower your heating and cooling because it provides good insulation, and gives you the added security of fire resistance as well. Metal roofing has a long life expectancy, so it may be well over half a century before it needs to be replaced.

* If you belong to a homeowners association, be sure to check the bylaws before deciding to install metal roofing.

Posted by: Ahmed Muztaba
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