Tips for Selecting the Right Roof Material

by Lauren Busser Direct from the Designers™’ Editorial Director

No part of your home is more important than the roof over your head. When you consider just what it does, and how important its job is in protecting your home and property it becomes obvious that this is an area where quality should come first. A cheap roof might let you down when you need it most, leading to damage and expensive repairs. Fortunately, high-quality roofing is easily available these days so that shouldn't ever be a problem but here are a few tips to help insure that you will be happy with every aspect of your roof for years to come.

Look at Some Samples

When you are thinking about the kind of roof you want, consider what is there now. If you are building a new home, the possibilities are endless. Lots of roofing manufacturers have computer design aids that will show you exactly what a roof will look like once it is on your house. If you're considering an eye-catching color you'll want to choose carefully in order to compliment your home and the homes in the neighborhood.

Make sure your roof lasts for the lifetime of your home with the GAF Lifetime Roofing System. Purchase three qualifying products and you will automatically get a lifetime warranty on your GAF shingles and qualifying accessories. Pictured here are the Camelot® shingles in Aged Oak.

GAF Lifetime Roofing System

Sustainability and Green Roofing Materials

Green construction is a popular trend in today's home construction and the roof is no different. Selecting a roof with a good solid warranty means that the product will have to be replaced less often and therefore create less waste, as well as expense in the long term.

You could install what is known as a cool-roof system designed to reflect the sun’s heat. Roof systems such as Boral’s® energy efficient roof system use air space between the tiles and the roof deck to provide ventilation to help cool the building and provide better protection against leaks. These homes are often more comfortable to live in while saving energy and in many cases they can last longer than homes constructed without such roofing.

Consider Color

A big trend in home exterior design is the deliberate application of color in previously overlooked areas. As a result homeowners are presented with a wide array of color and pattern choices for their home’s roof. Fortunately, there are tools available to help guide your selection. Recently DaVinci Roofscapes® partnered with Sensational Color to introduce a 36-page downloadable guide called FRESH Color Schemes for Your Home’s Exterior. The material covered in this booklet can help you create an inviting and intriguing color scheme for your home’s exterior.

Their advice on exterior colors is to start from the top down. So select your roof first and then colors for the rest of your home. Remember, the color of your shingles or roof tiles can't be easily changed so consider the way they'll look with other elements such as pavers or stones. Then try to think of how it will look once you paint your home’s exterior. When you are viewing samples, make sure that you look at them in sun and shade so you know what the roof will look like under both conditions.

From DaVinci Roofscapes®- Bellaforte Slate and Shake Roofing Tiles are affordable, beautiful and energy-efficient.

DaVinci Roofscapes Bellaforte Slate and Shake Roofing

Vet Your Contractor

If shingles are installed incorrectly they may prematurely fail so make sure you select a roofing contractor you can trust. Select the material you want for your roof first and then hire a contractor familiar with that type of shingle. This will reduce the risk of problems during installation as well as down the road.

Remember, re-roofing your home will be one of the biggest projects you take on as a homeowner so making sure your roof is installed right the first time will give you peace of mind. A good roof should last at least twenty to thirty years and a reputable contractor should be licensed and carry insurance for your property as well as the people who will be working on your roof. In addition to being licensed and insured look for contractors who will provide a good warranty and will stand behind their work.

Remember that beyond simply providing shelter from the elements, your home's roof can help you pull the entire home design together. Much like people suggest that you begin with a good foundation, a high-quality roof will give your home curb appeal and peace of mind for years to come.

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