Whether building a home from scratch or selecting a roof for existing construction, there’s a very vast range of materials that you can consider for your project. Among these are wood, asphalt, slate, clay tiles, composite shingles, and asphalt. The style is also a very vital factor to account for, but it’s certainly not the sole consideration to make it. Material weight, product costs, and the requirements for installation are other things that should influence your decision.
Following are a few things that you should know:
Modern Roofing Terminology
Terminology is something that we need to discuss before talking about roofing materials. “Square feet” is not a unit of measurement that roofers commonly use. Instead, roofers talk in terms of squares. The basic unit of measurement for roofers is a square, with one square representing an area of 100 square feet or a 10′ x 10′ square. For a standard, 2000-square foot, two-story home, a gable roof will have about fifteen squares or less than 1,500 square feet of roofed surface.
How Much A New Roof Costs
There are many different factors that will determine just how much a new roof costs. The cost of your roofing materials is a sure starting point, but you have to factor in many other considerations. One of these is the state of the current roof if you’re renovating or remodelling a home – whether or not old roofing materials must be stripped off and hauled away, whether the current structure requires repairs – all of these things are going to come at a cost. The roof shape is another determining factor. Gabled roofs that have no or few breaks in their planes (such as breaks caused by dormers, vent pipes or chimneys), allow for very simple roofing projects. Homes that have several chimneys, rooflines that intersect (the intersecting points are referred to as valleys), skylights, turrets, or any other elements will cost quite a bit more to re-roof.
Options In Roofing Materials
It is not possible to use every roofing material on every roof. Roofs that have low slopes or flat designs might require a surface that’s significantly different from the surface of a roof with a far steeper pitch. Tile and slate are very heavy roofing materials, and thus, the structure of some homes are inadequate for supporting the resulting load. Consider the options that follow, then speak with a reputable roofing contractor and start collecting job estimates.
Asphalt. Asphalt is the most commonly used roofing material available, largely due to the fact that it’s the least costly and doesn’t require a tremendous amount of skill to install. Asphalt is comprised of a fiberglass medium that’s impregnated with asphalt and finished with sand-like granules at the surface. There are two basic configurations offered: the single-thickness option or standard option, and products that are laminated and much thicker. Standard options cost half as much as the thicker designs, but shingles that are laminated have a visually-appealing, textured look and can last nearly twice as long (think 25 years as opposed to just over 15 years). Prices start at approximately $50 a square but depending upon the installation and the type of shingle you choose, the total price can actually be many times this.
Tips On Choosing A New Roof – Wood Shake
Wood. For many centuries, wood was the premier choice in roofing materials, and it remains a viable option today, but in certain areas, using wood is forbidden due to fire codes. Usually comprised of southern pine, redwood or cedar, roofing shingles are first sawn or split. These shingles are expected to last about 25 years (much like asphalt shingles), but on average, wood shingles cost twice as much as asphalt.
Metal. Steel, copper-and-asphalt combinations, copper, lead, and aluminum are all quite durable – and costly – roofing options. Copper-and-asphalt and lead roofs are usually installed as shingles, but some can come manufactured for seamed roofs that are basically vertical sheets of metal that are placed and then soldered together. Roofs like these can be installed for $250 a square, but they frequently cost two or three times this amount.
Tile And Cement. These half-cylinder roofing tiles are frequently seen in Mission and Spanish Colonial styles; certain metal roofs and cement can imitate the wavy effect of these tiles. Each of these options is expensive, long-lasting, and quite heavy.
Slate. Slate is ranked among the most durable roofing materials available. Keep in mind, however, that not all slate is exactly the same – some slate is sourced from Vermont quarries, while some are sourced from other states such as Pennsylvania – but the best slate will likely outlast the fasteners that have been used to secure it. In fact, it is not uncommon for 100-year-old slate to be recycled and reinstalled, with the understanding that it can last for another 100 years. But slate happens to be very heavy and very costly – with prices starting at $800 per square.
Selecting The Right Material For Your Roof
In most cases, if you’re remodelling your home, the current roof design will determine your roofing material choice. If you’re thinking about using alternatives, you’ll need to consider cost and other factors such as weight, texture, colour, and overall durability, along with the types of roof materials that are commonly used on homes like yours.
Notes On Roof Installation
No matter what you choose for your roof surface, flashing is something that you’re likely going to need. Flashing is a very vital part of the exterior work on your home, both on the siding and the roof. Flashing is all-metal (copper, aluminum or even lead), or a plastic film. It is installed in strips to places in which dissimilar materials are joined, like at the intersection of roofing shingles and a masonry chimney, where siding is flush up against the window frames and in other areas. Good flashing is vital for creating a watertight structure given that leakage is most likely to occur at all junctures where dissimilar materials meet.
Regardless of the roof materials you choose, the coursing should be parallel to all roof edges and regular to the human eye. There should be staggering of the joints from course to course, to minimize the chances of leakage. Watch out for any Kelowna roofing company who uses tar for the roof joints. Apart from roofs in which a membrane has been used, tar is a lazy and substandard method that should not be employed.
For most roofing projects, materials such as building felt (tar paper), are rolled onto the surface before nailing the shingles in place. With a cedar shake roof, however, furring strips or cedar breathers can be laid to ensure good breathing. In snowy regions, it is additionally possible to lay down a membrane known as an ice and snow shield.
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