Types of Residential Roofing Materials

Now, more than ever, there are various types of roofing materials to choose for your home. From asphalt, slate, and wood to concrete and clay tiles, there are multiple possibilities to choose from. Although aesthetics are important, it’s important to take into consideration each materials cost, installation requirements, and weight.

Here is an overview of the five most common types of residential roofing materials:


Asphalt roofing tiles are definitely the most popular and most frequently used in remodeling projects throughout the United States. This is mainly because they are affordably priced, easy to install, and made of durable material. They can be used on any house, from contemporary to vintage, and they come in multiple color options and from various manufacturers. They are fire resistant and easily repaired. However, they can be subject to mildew and moss and are not the most environmentally friendly option available.


Wood roofing products come in two forms: wood shakes and wood shingles. Both are usually more expensive to purchase and install. Also, wood is not fire-resistant unless treated with fire retardant chemicals. Building codes in some communities don’t allow wood roofs due to their lack of fire resistance. However, wood roofing is often the most aesthetically pleasing option, because as it weathers, it can transform into a unique silver-gray color. They also blend nicely with the environment and are long-lasting if well maintained, sometimes lasting up to fifty years.


Steel, copper, aluminum, and stainless steel are the most common metals used for roofing. Metal roofing is a lightweight option and the pricing varies greatly based upon which metal is chosen. Metal roofing is typically used for bungalows, ranches, contemporary, or historic houses. It is available in many different looks and colors, and is extremely durable, with a lifespan of 50 years. It is also low maintenance and can even be installed over existing roofs. However, the installation can be difficult and it is a more expensive option. Periodic painting is also often required. Ask your general contractor if this is the right option for you.


Slate is one of the more aesthetically pleasing roofing material options, and it is also incredibly durable. It’s lifespan is forever, which is a huge bonus when investing in a roof material option. The fasteners and flashing are the only concern as far as lifespan, but if proper ones are used, the lifespan can be over 100 years. It is also fireproof and low maintenance. However, it is the most expensive option and requires special installation. It is also one of the heavier roofing material options.

What is a Soffit?

Most every building contains a soffit, but many people don’t usually have a clear understanding for what a soffit actually is. If you look outside at any building and notice the material connecting the side of the building and the roof overhang, you will see a soffit.

The word “soffit” means something fixed underneath in the French language. Commonly, the word is used to describe the building’s main roof, but it can also be applied to under porches, stairs, arches, columns, or anything with a ceiling that can be seen. Technically, it is an underside element of a building structure.

Soffits serves multiple purposes for a building. It is both functional and aesthetic, and can literally be compared to the “skin” that covers a building’s eaves. If the soffit didn’t exist, you would be able to see the rafters. When covered by a soffit, the building can get a touch of color and an instant addition of aesthetic detail.

Besides it’s visual function, a soffit also protects rafters from outdoor elements, such as bad weather, and can help prevent mold and mildew. A soffit also helps air flow in a building, which is incredibly important to healthy construction of apartments for rent in Springfield MO.

There are two common types of soffits used – aluminum and vinyl. Aluminum is highly durable and good at fitting in various sized spaces. It’s also fire and water resistant. However, it is usually more expensive than vinyl. Vinyl is good for insulation, easy to clean, and will not rot. However, it is affected by heat and can have a cheaper look.

A soffit is essential to keep heat and moisture away from the interior of a building of apartments. It is the easiest and most common way to promote air circulation and protect the frame of a building.