Basic Types of Roofing, Benefits, and Costs

Your roof has an expected lifespan and there will come a time when it will have to be replaced. Yet roofing is not one of the most attractive remodeling projects. It can also be quite expensive to replace your existing roof, most homeowners look forward to doing it within budget and with as little hassles as possible.

There are many roofing options that come with varying price tags; some are pricey while others some are quite affordable. If you eliminate factors such as labor, location, and season, you can get to understand the full implications and cost of materials.

Asphalt roof shingles are the most common in the market. They are more affordable than most options you can find today. However, the prices of asphalt roofing tend to fluctuate with the price of oil since they are made from materials derived from petroleum. This article sheds light on different roof material types, cost and durability of these materials, as well as any information that will allow you to pick the best roofing for your home.

When Choosing From Area Roofing Services Companies, Choose Stay Dry Roofing

roofing servicesWhen it is time for replacing your roof, look to Stay Dry Roofing, one of the oldest and best roofing companies in the Greater Indianapolis area. We’ve served Indianapolis and the surrounding communities for over 30 years. Our pros are experts in every type of roof material, and are uniquely qualified to help you choose the best roofing material for your home, whether shingle, metal, the latest energy-efficient products, including Asphalt ShinglesEnergy Efficient ShinglesMetal Roofing, And More!

The pros at Stay Dry Roofing help you in evaluating your roof and what it may need, then get to work on a quality installation. Call us today at (317) 308-7773 or use our Contact Page to schedule a FREE ESTIMATE on any of our superior roofing services: roof repair, replacement, installation and maintenance.

Types of Roofs and Cost

Low-cost Roofing

  • Asphalt Shingles
  • Rolled roofing

Medium Cost Roofing

  • Metal
  • Wood Shake
  • Clay Roofing
  • Synthetic Slate

High-Cost Roofing

  • Green Roof
  • Slate
  • Copper

Low-Cost Residential Roof Type

Asphalt Shingles

asphalt shingles installationAsphalt is the most common roofing material that is used in approximately 70% to 80% of American homes. It is readily available and inexpensive and they are the material most homeowners think of first when they are looking for roofing materials.

Not only are composite shingles affordable, they are also easy and less costly to install. They can also be quickly removed making replacement of these shingles easy and affordable. You can also add a layer of shingles instead of tearing down your roof.

The shingles are made of base materials such as fiber glass with a layer of granules to cover it. These granules can deflect UV rays which reduce the heat burden on your home. They come in a wide variety of styles and you can always find something to boost your curb appeal based on your preferences.

The main disadvantage with this type of roof is that it cannot handle an impact very well. If a tree or branch falls on it, they will crack and cause leaks. This also happens in case there are strong winds or hail stones.

You can get different roof shingle types with 20 to 30-year warranty which is the life expectancy of this roof style. It is ideal for most residential applications. If you intend to stay in your house for longer than two decades you should consider factoring in a replacement for your roof when the time comes.

The average cost of installing asphalt roofing in a house of 2500-square-feet is between $2,000 and $6,000. The cost may vary depending on the number of layers you have. Your roofer will charge you for removing the old roof and this could be between $100 to $150 for a single layer and between $120 to $170 for two layers.

Mineral Surfaced Roll (MSR) Roofing

Roll roofing is one of the best options when you are looking for something that is easy to install and also affordable. It is one of the roof styles that can be installed by homeowners and DIY enthusiasts. Asphalt shingles can be difficult to transfer from the ground to the roof because it is dangerous and you risk damaging the materials. Roofing professionals have tools like cranes that allow them to easily lift the materials. With MSR homeowners can easily lift the rolls without using these machines.

It is suitable for a low pitched but not a flat roof. Homeowners often do not use roll roofing on their primary home choosing to use them on garages, sheds, and other surrounding buildings instead. They are not very durable and they respond poorly to stress or temperature fluctuations. It has a lifespan of between 5 and 8 years.

The average cost of materials for the 1200-square-foot area is approximately $970. They are suitable for any homeowner looking for a short term low-cost roofing option or for the low pitched buildings around the home.

Medium-Cost Residential Roof Type

Metal Roofing

metal roofingThere are many different metal roofing materials for you to choose from. They range from zinc, aluminum, and tin, to copper and galvanized steel. The different metal roof types available today can be two or three times more expensive than the more popular options such as asphalt shingles. However, they have many advantages such as durability, energy efficiency, and longevity.

Asphalt is a cheap option but metal roofing materials can last between 40 and 70 years. They perform very well against strong winds and can withstand stress from gusts moving at 140 miles per hour. They are also durable because they don’t provide food for pests and insects.

Metal roof types are also one of the best options if you are looking for materials that are energy efficient and eco-friendly. They reflect light and statistics show that they can reduce your home’s energy cost by up to 25%.

Many manufacturers still do not have the capacity to recycle asphalt shingles despite some recent technological advances. On the other hand, metal roofs last two or three times longer and are 100% recyclable.

Since there are many options available from copper to zinc the prices may vary considerably. For installed metal roof you can expect to pay between $5 and $12 per square-foot. However, the type of metal used and your location are some of the things that may influence metal roofing material costs.

Wood Shake

wood shake roofingWood shake is another roofing type that is beautiful and each unique. The patterns and colors on this types of roof are so distinct that you can be sure that it won’t be similar to your neighbor’s with the same type of material. If you want to boost yur curb appeal with a roofing type that is not costly, wood shakes are amongst the best option.

The other advantage is that they are durable. They have a lifespan of between 30 to 40 years which is a decade or two more than the average asphalt roof shingles. Wood is more eco-friendly; it can be easily recycled and requires a smaller carbon footprint to manufacture.

Despite these advantages, there are a number of drawbacks that homeowners need to note. It is three or five times more expensive than asphalt but lasts 10 to 20 years longer. They require regular maintenance to prevent pests and insects. If you replace some of the wooden shakes, the new ones may not much the color of the old ones and this may have a considerable impact on its aesthetic value.

You can expect to pay between $6 and $9 for wood shakes. Wood shingles are slightly cheaper at between $4 and $8. The price includes installation.

Clay Roofing

If you are looking for a very durable roof that is also visually appealing you should consider clay tiles. They have a life expectancy of 100 years which is four to five times longer than that of asphalt or wood shingles.

Clay tiles used for roofing today are fired in a kiln. This helps to make it stronger and make their colors permanent. They have a smooth surface and you can find a wide variety of styles to boost your curb appeal. Unlike most other materials it does not crack due to temperature fluctuations.

Another advantage of clay is that it is non-porous and self-cleaning. It requires little maintenance. Its surface is smooth and can reflect UV rays more effectively than both wood shakes and asphalt roof shingles. It can help cut down energy costs considerably.

Clay has a number of draw backs. The first is that it is expensive and difficult to install. It is heavy and requires expertise to handle which raises the installation costs.  It costs between $5 and $10 per square foot.

Concrete Tiles

If you are looking for an affordable and durable alternative to your asphalt shingles concrete tiles are the amongst best roofing materials. Concrete is very strong and has a high impact resistance rating. It can withstand strong gushes of winds and hail stones. If a tree or shrub falls on the roof it won’t do as much damage as other types of roof shingles.

Concrete is also one of the best roofing materials if you are living in an area that is susceptible to high-temperature fluctuations. They pass the freeze-thaw test which means that they won’t develop cracks when subjected to extreme weather conditions.

Modern concrete roofs are designed to reflect light back into the atmosphere and can perform better than most shingles when it comes to energy efficiency. Additionally, concrete also absorbs heat. They are not installed directly onto the roof and therefore can provide more insulation to your house or other outbuildings.

However, there are several things you need to note about this type of roof. While it is relatively affordable, it is heavy and this may increase the cost of installation. You need to consult a roofer to ensure that the structure of your home can support it. Concrete is porous and for roofing purposes, it needs to be sealed.

Synthetic Slate

Many homeowners love the exquisite natural look of slate. However slate is heavy, difficult to install, and expensive. Synthetic slate is designed to provide the same beauty without these disadvantages. Synthetic slate can be made of a number of different materials.

Synthetic Slate Roofing Type:


  • Plastic polymer: These are made from plastic material


    • Clay: Similar to clay tiles but are designed to look like slate
    • Rubber: Made from recycled rubber and plastic


  • Steel: Steel manufacturers sometimes make steel tiles designed to mimic slate
  • Asphalt composition: Though not durable they can mimic slate tiles more convincingly with their unique color and texture


One of the advantages of synthetic slate is that it gives you the visual appeal of slate and is more durable. They have a high impact resistant rated at class 4 and can protect your home in case of storms and hail stones. It is also designed to be fire resistant.

Synthetic slate also solves some of the problems associated with traditional slate. It is lightweight and therefore easy to install. It also makes it easier to install an additional layer of tiles without straining the underlying structure.

You can expect to pay between $7 and $9 per square-foot for a synthetic slate roof. Some materials may not look exactly like slate, but you can still boost your home’s curb appeal at a fraction of the cost without the disadvantages that come with a traditional slate roofing.

High-Cost Residential Roofing Type

Green Roof

A green roof is a roof covered with vegetation. It is effectively a raised bed designed to prevent the roots from getting to the underlying structure. It must also have the capacity to drain water away in the case of rainfall or after watering the plants.

This roofing option is expensive but it has many advantages that homeowners may want to consider. It can provide great insulation during both cold and hot seasons. A green roof also absorbs sound and is suitable for homes that are in busy areas such as the city or next to a highway. The plants can also clean up the air around your home.

If you are a homeowner but you have no place to grow plants like herbs and even shrubs, a green roof provides the space. The type of plant you choose to grow will depend on the type of green roof you plan to install.

A green roofing type can be:

  • Extensive: Designed for shallow soils and suitable for growing small plants, herbs, and grass.
  • Semi-extensive: Designed for deeper soils and roots. You can grow average sized plants such as shrubs.
  • Intensive: Intensive green roofs have soils deep enough to support shrubs, large perennial plants, and even trees.

One of the biggest disadvantages with green roofs is that they are difficult and expensive to install. The house needs a strong structure to support the plants. The cost will depend on your location and which type of roof you want. Consult a professional roofer to advise you on the best plants and type of green roofing to install in your area.

Slate Roofing

If you are looking for roofing options with great aesthetic value and durability slate may be the best material for your home. Slate has been around for some time and is known for its beauty which can boost your home’s value. However, it also has a number of disadvantages such as a high price and is difficult to install.

Slate roofing is made of natural stone which is durable and strong. Some slate tile roofing materials can last for up to 150 years. They are excellent at resisting fire. They don’t need additional coatings like wood shakes or some roofing shingles.

The natural stone has an exquisite gray appearance that is celebrated worldwide. They come in a wide variety of choices to choose from. You can find slates in different colors such as purple, red or black.

One of the biggest problems with slate is that it is heavy. A square foot can be more than 1000 pounds per square. Homeowners will need to consult a professional to determine if the structure of their homes can support slate.

Professional roofers, rather than general contractors, need to be consulted when installing the roof because it requires expertise and special equipment. You can expect to pay about $235 per square minus installation costs.

Copper Roofing

Copper is one of the oldest materials used for roofing residential homes. It has been used in Europe and the United States since the 18th century. For a long time, homeowners and manufacturers had ignored this roofing material until recently when they started getting popular again thanks to their numerous benefits.

One of the advantages of copper is that it is long lasting. It has a lifespan of about 100 years. However, there are buildings from the 18th century which still have this type of roofing intact. It is resistant to high winds, pest and insect infestations, as well as mildew and fire.  

This is one of the most beautiful metallic materials used for roofing. Other types of metals tend to have a bland look. It does not require an extra coating. Its natural color can get better with time as the color changes through several shades of gray and brown. It has an antibacterial effect which kills bacteria and saps their energy which is what is responsible for the color changes.

Like most metals, it reflects light back into the atmosphere and reduces energy costs. Copper can be recycled which makes it an eco-friendly option.

You’ll need a professional roofer to install this roof. One of its drawbacks is that it expands and contracts more than most other types of roofs. It can cause the nails to loosen. It requires proper maintenance and installation. Ideally, it should be installed on a proper frame with the necessary underlayment to buffer it. Otherwise copper causes a lot of noise when it’s raining. Copper is slippery and allows snow to slide down its side. Consult your roofer about installing snow guards on the edges to prevent hazards.

Flat Roof versus Sloped Roof

A flat roof is one that is laid horizontally but can have a slight slope. More homeowners are now considering flat roofs for their homes due to a number of important benefits.

Flat roofs are easier to install because they do not complicate roofing tasks. It is also considered to be safer and it is also easier to ensure this type of roofing. They do not rafters and trusses you’ll need in a typical sloped roof. The total area is less than a sloped roof and therefore require less material.

There are also a number of significant disadvantages. They take a lot of beating from heavy rains, winds, hail storms. If you are using flat roofing materials such as asphalt you cannot expect it to last more than 10 years. Because of these disadvantages, it could also have an impact on your home’s resale value.

Factors to Consider When Replacing Your Roof

Installing a new roof can be expensive. You need to determine if your roof needs repairs or it needs to be replaced. If you replace the roof too soon, you could be losing money while simple repairs could have adequately addressed the problem. On the other hand, if you fail to repair a roof that has come to the end of its lifespan, it could cost you a lot in damages to the roof as well as the underlying structure.

The age of the roof is one of the factors you need to consider. Asphalt lasts for about 20 years. When the time comes do not wait for damages, consult a professional roofer and consider having it replaced. You also have to remember other factors such as the number of layers you have on the roof will determine when you’ll require a replacement. If you have more than one layer, the lifespan of the roof is likely to be significantly shortened.

Before picking the best roofing materials for your home, determine if they are suitable for the structure of your house and the climate. Some materials such as slate and concrete can be heavy and complicated to install. They require a house with a strong structure to support it. Some materials tend to crack when exposed to temperature fluctuations.

You need to start with a plan. Determine if you can pay the initial cost as well as the maintenance costs that are necessary to keep the roof in its tip-top condition throughout your life and the life of the roof itself. It is equally important to ensure that the roof is installed properly to ensure it lasts and prevent additional expenses needed for maintenance down the road due to poor installation.

Why Choose Us Over Other Roofing Services Companies

Unlike some roofing companies, Stay Dry Roofing is a full-service roofing contractor. We have specialists in every aspect of roofing services, including new roof installation, roof repairing, maintenance and full roof replacement. No matter the kind of roofing material or system, our quality workmanship is 100% satisfaction guaranteed. We have a long-standing reputation of excellence when it comes to customer service, and we maintain that reputation with long-lasting, quality roofing services.

Sure, we’re in the roofing services business. But we never forget the reason why we’ve outlasted so many other roofing companies: You! We value our long lasting relationships with our customers, not just because it’s good for business, but because it’s the right way to do business. Our 100% satisfaction guarantee keeps us on our toes. Our experts listen to you first before crafting solutions that fit your specific roofing needs, using the best products and systems, all while respecting your budget.

With over 30 years’ experience, we know every kind of roof and roof material, including asphalt & asphalt fiber glass shingles, composite, metal or rubber roofing, and every type of pitched roofing and flat roofs. Making the right choice among roofing companies is every bit as crucial as making sure quality materials are used for your roofing services.

We proudly serve everywhere in Indianapolis and the surrounding communities. Call us today or click on Request A Quote and find out why Stay Dry Roofing’s roofing services stand out among Indy roofing companies.