Roofing projects are among the most expensive home renovations. That makes picking out the right type of roofing extremely important. You do not want to purchase a roof that is weak and causes endless problems, but you also want to stay within budget. Below are some of the most popular roofing options, associated uses and costs, and average lifespans to help you pick out the right roof for your house!

Asphalt Roll Roof
Roll roofing is one of the cheapest options and easiest to install. Roll roofing is rolled out and overlapped across the roof. It is often used for garages, porches, and small sheds. It is not a great option for home roofs. Most asphalt roll roofing lasts between 5 and 10 years depending on weather and how well it is taken care of. The average cost for this type of roof is $2.25 per square foot.

Composite Asphalt Shingle Roof
Composite asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material. These shingles consist of an asphalt underbelly, with an organic or fiberglass base mixed with more asphalt, and then topped with variegated chips of quartz, schist, slate, or ceramic granules as a protective layer.

The average cost for composite asphalt shingle roofing is $5 per square foot. Its affordability is a result of easy installation and durability. These shingles can last for 15 – 40 years and occasionally last 50-plus years. The length your shingles will last depend on which specific model you choose, weather, and how well you take care of it while you have the house.

Built-up Roofing (BUR)
BUR layers different roofing materials across each other to build a water-resistant shield. Fiberglass and hot tar are popular options. BUR is only used on flat roofs or roofs with a gentle grade. These are popular for commercial properties.

These roofs last between 20 and 30 years. Proper installation, inspection and repair can prolong the lifespan. The average cost is $4 per square foot.

Wood Shingles
Wood shingles are thin, curved pieces of natural wood. They are undeniably more attractive than traditional shingle options, but installation is tricky and they pose a fire hazard. In fact, some places have actually restricted their use because of that very threat.

Most wood shingle roofs last around 30 years, but some have lasted 40-50 years. As always, proper upkeep will keep your roof healthy longer. Their attractiveness comes with a higher price tag. Costs vary between $6 and $11 per square foot depending on the specific wood selected.

Wood shake shingles are a thicker variant of regular wood shingles. Their extra padding makes for a more durable protective layer and helps them last longer. Most wood shake shingle roofs last 40 years. Pricing for wood shake shingles comes in around $13 per square foot.

Metal Roof
Metal roofing is growing in popularity across the United States. Metal panels are overlapped across the roof, offering an attractive and durable option. Common metals used include steel, aluminum, copper and zinc. Because of their design and strength, maintenance is minimal.

Costs vary based on the metal used:
Steel & aluminum: $10 per square foot
Zinc: $13 per square foot
Copper: $18 per square foot

Average lifespan is around 40 years, but under the right conditions can last up to 75 years. Even though they require low maintenance, it is important to conduct regular inspections to ensure you get your money’s worth.

Stone Roofing
There are three popular types of stone roofing: clay, concrete, and slate. Each offers a unique and durable roofing option. The average lifespan of each is around 100 years. These roofing options are not vulnerable to the normal wear and tear. Instead, cracking is a major concern for tile roofs. Proper inspection can ensure your roof goes the distance.

Costs for stone roofing ranges from $10 to $20 per square foot. And, some types of slate roofing can be as expensive as $75 per square foot.

Picking the right option
Composite asphalt shingles are by far the most popular roofing option in the United States. Roughly 80% of homes use a variation of this material. But, depending on your budget, design interests, and expectations, other options are available and are growing in popularity. Take the time you need to find the right roof for you before you jump into a large project.