Roof Types 101: Pros and Cons of Popular Options

  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: April 22, 2024
  • Updated On: April 22, 2024

One of the most difficult decisions for a homeowner is what roofing material to select for their new or existing homes.

This is because the roof will be something you will have to see every day for years or decades to come and it will mark a difference in the look of your property for everyone to see. That is why it is so important to be well informed as to the pros and cons of the most popular roofing options before making that all-important decision. After all, you do not have to deal with roof leaks in Portland if you can avoid them.

Most Popular Roofing Materials

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material preferred by homeowners everywhere. These days, asphalt shingles can look like tile, slate, or wood shakes and come in a variety of colors.

Pros – Lower maintenance and installation costs. Durability and ample selection of textures and colors.

Cons – They may blow off during high winds. They may also crack when exposed to temperature fluctuations. They last less than other roofing options.


If your home style is Spanish or Mediterranean, red tile shingles are almost a must. They can be made from concrete or clay and can be flat or curved.

Pros – They may help your house stay cooler in the summer months and warmer in winter. The tile material can be recycled and tiles are easy to repair.

Cons – They are pricey and heavy, requiring extra support on your roof. They are fragile and may break easily.


Slate roofs call for a specialized roofer and are expensive but their unique textures and colors make them particularly attractive.

Pros – Slate is a naturally beautiful material and may be found in a range of colors. They last forever and are non-combustible and water-resistant.

Cons – These tiles can break and they make for a very heavy roof that needs additional support before they can be installed.

Wood Shakes and Shingles

Wood in any presentation adds natural beauty to any home. Wood shakes and shingles are in the mid-range of roofing options.

Pros – The beauty of wood is unmatched, and it looks even more appealing over time. Wood also works great as an insulator, impacting your energy bills.

Cons – Wood shakes or shingles are hard to install. Also, these shingles are most likely to catch fire and are prone to degrading due to termites or mold.


If you are looking for a durable roofing material, metal is a great option. It is environmentally friendly and lasts about twice as long as asphalt shingles. There are different metals to choose from and they also come in individual shingles, long panels, or rolls.

Pros – Metal roofs increase a home’s energy efficiency. They are also fully recyclable and lightweight.

Cons – Metal roofs may be noisy during rain and hailstorms. Low-grade metals can rust and tend to last less than other metal options.

Most Popular Roofing Types

Gabled Roof

Pros – Water runs off the roof’s peaks and the design lends itself to ample ventilation.

Cons – These roofs can be very susceptible to damage from severe weather.

Flat Roof

Pros – This is a relatively inexpensive roof type and many homeowners use its surface to install solar panels or to create a rooftop deck.

Cons – Flat roofs tend to experience more frequent leaks since there is nowhere for water to run off.

Mansard Roof

Pros – These roofs offer additional living areas and work well when you are thinking of an addition.

Cons – This roofing design is more expensive than other options and may have problems in areas with heavy snowfall.

Pyramid Roof

Pros – These roofs tend to be very energy efficient and can withstand high winds. Its unique design can make your home stand out from your neighbors’.

Cons – Their uniqueness also makes them more expensive to install and you may have a hard time finding a roofer to build one for you.

Hip Roofs

Pros – The slopes on these roofs make them ideal when you are looking for a long-lasting roof.

Cons – These roofs call for a great number of seams which may end up making them more susceptible to letting water in.

Making the Final Decision

Ultimately, the best roof for your home will have to include the ideal combination of roofing materials and style. For someone who is tackling this problem for the very first time, you may be feeling overwhelmed with the possible number of options. The best way to move forward, in this case, is to schedule a consultation with a local roofer who can help you weigh the pros and cons of every option and guide you to make the selection that will work best for your home.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.