So it's finally time to replace your roof!
You may be wondering whether it's worth it to pay for an upgrade. In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of different types of upgraded roofing materials and help guide your decision.
Consider Your Goals
Before you make a decision on upgrading your roof, it's important to consider your goals. Consider whether you're upgrading for aesthetic purposes, durability, energy efficiency, or something else entirely.
Your goal may be to avoid damage from future hail storms. That may require you to upgrade your roofing materials.
Your goal may be to install the last roof in your life. That will definitely require upgraded material!
But, if you're upgrading because of a roofing salesman's pitch, make sure you understand their motivations and that the recommended upgrade aligns with your goals.
Types of Upgraded Roofing Materials
Now let's discuss the different upgraded materials that may be worth considering, and the disadvantages and advantages of each.
Standard Asphalt Shingle To A "Better" Asphalt Shingle
Upgrading from a standard asphalt shingle to a better standard asphalt shingle is a relatively minor upgrade. You'll get a slightly better quality shingle that may have a longer lifespan, but the cost increase may not be worth it.
Shingle manufacturers often produce a "good" shingle and then a "better" shingle. This gives roofers a way to upsell homeowners, but the difference in the shingles are, in my opinion, not worth paying extra for.
I normally would never recommend that a homeowner consider an upgrade like this.
A Luxury Asphalt Shingle
Upgrading to a luxury asphalt shingle will give your roof a more "showcase" appearance. These shingles may have a longer lifespan and be more durable, but they are also more expensive.
In my opinion, about the only benefit of a shingle like this would be the more luxury look, as well as they oftentimes fulfill the requirements of HOA's. If you live in an HOA-controlled neighborhood, you may have to install a shingle like this.
Impact Resistant Shingles
Upgrading to an impact-resistant asphalt shingle is a good idea if you live in an area prone to hailstorms. These shingles are designed to withstand hail damage, but they are also more expensive than standard asphalt shingles.
There are a lot of advantages to an impact resistant (I.R.) shingle:
- You can qualify for discounts on your insurance premiums if you have an I.R. shingle. Some companies give up to a 40% discount, so be sure to ask your insurance agent about that before you commit to buying an I.R. shingle upgrade.
- If the I.R. shingle doesn't get damaged in a future hail storm, you just avoided having to file a claim. It's always a good idea to try to keep your claim record clean, so this is a definite advantage.
- Avoiding future claims means you also avoid having to pay future deductible payments.
The major disadvantage is that these shingles are normally more expensive, however, that expense can be offset by avoiding just one future deductible payment.
Also, some companies make I.R. shingles that aren't very good at actually resistant damage. If you choose the wrong product, you could still end up with future claims.
Metal Roof Upgrades
Upgrading from asphalt shingles to a metal roof can be a significant investment, but it may have advantages. Metal roofs are durable, long-lasting, and can improve your home's energy efficiency.
Some metal products have a very appealing look, but some don't. They can make your house look like a barn.
There are 3 main types of metal roofing: Exposed fastener, Standing seam, and metal tiles (stone coated steel). In my opinion, the stone coated steel tiles are not worth the price. They're very expensive and don't hold up to hail damage at all.
The exposed fastener products are generally made for agricultural buildings and don't look very good on homes.
The standing seam products look great, but they are expensive and can still get damaged by hail.
Synthetic Composite Roofing Material Upgrades
In my opinion, the synthetic, composite roofing materials are what I would put on my own house, if I could afford them (more about that in a moment). My favorite product is Brava Roof Tile.
They're a great option if you're looking for a long-lasting, low-maintenance roof. They're light, beautiful, and virtually indestructible! They won't bruise like an asphalt shingle, won't dent like metal, and won't break like concrete or clay tiles.
These materials are often made from recycled products and can be recycled if you ever need to replace your roof. They're also designed to mimic the appearance of other roofing materials like tile, wood or slate. They are also resistant to weather damage and can improve your home's energy efficiency.
The big (and I do mean BIG) drawback is their cost. Since they're designed for more showcase homes, and not intended for mass installation on whole neighborhoods of homes, they're expensive. REALLY expensive.
Upgrading your roof can be a significant investment, but it can also add value to your home and improve its appearance and energy efficiency. Before you decide to upgrade, consider the advantages and disadvantages of different materials and how they align with your goals.