By Tresa Erickson
Depending upon where you live and the style of your house, your old roof could be made of various materials. Asphalt is the most common and can be found on roofs all over the country. Older, more rustic homes may have wood shakes, while Spanish- and Italian-style homes may have clay tiles. If you live on the East Coast in a historic home, your roof may be slate. If you live in a Victorian or contemporary-style home, your roof may be metal. If you live on the beach, you may have a fiber cement roof, which can withstand the salty air and winds.
In the majority of cases, homeowners select the same material for their new roof as before. That way, they can stay true to the style of their home. Sometimes, however, it may make better sense to switch materials. Although cheaper, asphalt would not look right on a Spanish-style house with an original tile roof. However, if you live in an older home with a slate roof, you may want to go for a less expensive asphalt roof, which is lighter and easier to maintain.
To determine the route you should go, speak to your roofer. They should be able to advise you on the best choice of roofing material for your area and style of home.
If you're handy, you may be able to replace your roof yourself. Most homeowners, however, find that it is easier to hire a roofer. If you choose this option, make sure you shop around. Don't select the first roofer you speak to. Get estimates and references and check them out. Find out exactly what is included in the estimate, how long the job will take and what you can expect. Select a roofer with experience who will do a quality job. Having a new roof installed can be expensive, so make sure you choose someone who will do it right the first time around. You don't want to have to pay for additional repairs.
You want your new roof to last a long time. Select the right roofing material for your home and the right professional for the job.