Clay Tile Roof

What do you put under roof tiles?

What is a Roof Underlay?

The practice of lining roofs with a permanent sheet roofing underlay has become a universally accepted practice in the UK over the last fifty years and people are now asking: “Is roofing felt waterproof?” The sheeting or sarking felt, is laid over the supporting rafters or counter battens, and beneath the tile or slate battens. Previously it had been standard practice to underline slate or tile roofs with a mortar filling consisting of sand-lime mortar and reinforced with animal hair.

The secondary purpose of sarking felt is to provide a waterproof barrier and allow for the safe disposal of water that has collected on the upper surface of the underlay. This prevents damage to the internal spaces of the roof and building and creates an effective barrier against rain ingress as a result of damaged and cracked tiles/slates. So is roofing felt waterproof? Yes.

The third benefit of roofing underlay is that it provides an extra layer of insulation to prevent heat from escaping the building.

What type of roofing underlay should I use?

Roofing underlays are one of the most important elements of a roofing specification, and choosing the right product is essential to ensuring the finished structure is weather-resistant and provides years of trouble-free service. But there are many different types of roofing underlays on the market – so how do you know which product is the right choice for your project?

The first step to selecting a roofing underlay is to understand the available types, and what’s right for your project. Then you can narrow your selection by considering installation requirements and building regulations, as well as the unique features and benefits that certain products offer.

The different types of roof underlays

According to BS 5534, the British Standard for slating and tiling, and BS 5250, the code of practice for the control of condensation, there are two main types of roofing underlays: high resistance (non-breathable underlays) and low resistance (breathable or vapour-permeable membranes). Let’s look at these in more detail:

Non Breathable Underlays

These include both traditional bituminous products, as well as impermeable roofing membranes made from modern materials like polypropylene. They are often perceived as the affordable and functional option and are designed to provide an effective secondary barrier against wind pressure and water penetration.

Breathable Underlays

This is a newer type of product, and low-resistance underlays are generally more expensive than their non-breathable counterparts. However, they offer several benefits in addition to their breathability. For example, they’re lightweight, durable and easy to install, and they also provide some advantages when it comes to roof ventilation.

The basics of fitting

The felt is held to the rafters by first nailing direct and then by the wooden battens which are used for fixing the slates or for locating the nibs on the back of tiles.

The fascia board of most roofs stands above the level of the rafters so before laying the underfelt, you may want to cut and fix filler wedges to each rafter, or alternatively nail narrow strips of sheet material (such as exterior grade plywood) across the gaps between the rafters and the top of the fascia (see diagram below) – either method supports the underfelt otherwise there is a tendency for the felt to sag behind the fascia allowing water to collect which will eventually rot the felt and cause dampness to the soffit or wall below.

Fitting the felt

Starting at the bottom, run the felt along the roof and align the felt so that the lower edge extents over the fascia board by enough to reach the middle of the gutter. Starting at one end, nail the felt to the rafters using galvanised 25mm (1 inch) clout nails, put a nail in the middle of the width, and about 250mm (10 inches) in from the fascia on every other rafter (leave the top of the felt unsecured at this point). Work along the roof taking out any excess slack in the felt, but do not pull it tight; a slight sag between rafters is ideal as it will allow any water to drain down the felt.

When the first length is complete, lay the next layer of felt on top of the first so that it overlaps by at least 100mm (4 inches) – horizontal overlaps (where one roll ends, and the next one is started) should be at least 150mm (6 inches). Nail the second strip of underfelt to the rafters in the same manner as the first, with the lower nails positioned about 50mm (2 inches) from the edge so that it secures both this strip and the previously laid one.

Repeat this sequence with further strips of felt up to the top of the roof.

  • At the ridge, take the underlay over the top of the ridge by at least 150mm (6 inches), then, when installing the top run of felt on the second side of a pitch roof, take the felt over the felt from the first side and nail it through to the top of the rafters on the first side.
  • At a verge, lay the underlay about half way over the outer wall skin (or the outer rafter on an overhanging verge).
  • Where the roof abuts to a wall, either at the side or top, trim the underfelt to allow about 50mm (2 inches) onto the wall.
  • At a hip, take the underlay from the first side around the corner, and overlap from the second side by at least 150mm (6 inches). Make sure that all folds are done so that no pockets are left where would could collect.

Fixing the battens

Start at the lower edge of the roof and position the first batten so that the slates/tiles give the required overhang over the fascia – set the distance at both ends of the roof and run a string line between, check along the line to make sure that the distance is fairly consistent and satisfactory (fascia boards may sometimes wonder a little bit, but this can be checked by eye looking along the front face).

Cut the first batten to length, if one length will not cover the full roof length, cut is so that it is half way across the rafter where the next batten needs to meet it.

Nail the lower batten in place using the string line as a guide, use galvanised wire nails (60 mm ( 2½ inch) are normally adequate) to secure to each rafter – ideally the nails should penetrate the rafter timber by at least 40mm.

Once the lower batten is fixed, use the two ‘gauge’ spacers to position the next batten, again measure the length and cut before nailing.

  • At verges, take the battens to within about 25mm (1 inch) of the end of the underfelt.
  • At hips, allow enough space between the battens from the two sides so that a batten can be fixed along the top of the hip board.

Repeat this sequence for each batten up to the top of the roof.

Should any of the horizontal felt overlaps not coincide with a batten, fix an intermediate batten just to hold down the overlap, but ensure that if using tiles, there is enough room next to the primary batten for the tile nib.

You may need to slightly deviate from using the gauge for the top batten (any minor cutting errors in your gauges may add up over the height of the roof), adjust it as necessary.

Roof Installation Tips

Factors To Consider Before Selecting Roofing Material


The architectural style of your home or commercial building may dictate what type of roofing materials need to be used. For example, while asphalt shingles are compatible with most styles of homes, tile roofing may be more suitable for the style of historic homes. The style of a commercial property is extremely important when selecting its roof covering. Some buildings may need a built-up roof, while metal roofs might suit the style of other commercial buildings.


Whether the new roof is being applied to a brand new structure, as a replacement roof, or as an addition to a home or building makes a big difference in your roofing material selection. With new roofs, you have more choices because you’re not limited to existing components, such as roof materials currently on the roof, the underlying roof structure composition, roof pitch, etc., as you are with replacement roofs. Adding an addition to a home or building also limits your roofing material choices because the roof addition needs to function and blend in with the existing roof structure to which it is being attached.


Roofing is a cost that will give you a return on your investment if you’re staying in your home for most of your life, or remaining as the owner of a commercial building long term. If you’re not planning to own the property for at least 20 or more years, it might be best to install a roof with a shorter lifespan that is less costly.


Some states have building codes or other restrictions that may prevent you from installing a certain type of roofing. For instance, some states at risk for hurricanes, tornadoes, or forest fires may prohibit certain types of roof shingles.


In addition to state building codes, many municipalities may have their own building requirements that dictate the types and grades of roofing that must be used. If you live in a private or gated community, you may need to adhere to building covenants that outline acceptable types of roofing shingles and roofing material restrictions.

Guide to Roofing Costs & Estimates

You may not think about your roof that much, but as soon as it needs repair it will be impossible to ignore. Even just one leak can cause significant damage to the rest of your home. By properly maintaining your roof and replacing it at the end of its lifespan, you will ensure it does its job of protecting all that lies underneath it. Plus, replacing your roof will increase your property’s value, since potential buyers will have the peace of mind knowing that they’re not going to need to take this project on themselves.

Choosing a Roofing Material

There are several roofing materials to choose from, which will significantly impact how much your roof will cost.

As a general rule of thumb, the more you spend upfront, the longer your roof will last. Depending on your current budget and the amount of time you intend on staying in your home will naturally sway you towards favouring budget or longevity. If you have a particular look in mind, this will sway you more towards style being an important consideration


Asphalt shingles will typically last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. Mileage will vary depending on many factors, including weather (the warmer the climate, the sooner they’ll need to be replaced) and pests. Depending on the last time the roof was replaced and how long you plan on staying in your home, if your home has asphalt shingles then it is most likely that you will need to replace them at some point.

Advantages of Asphalt Roofs

Perhaps the biggest advantages is that asphalt has lower shingle prices, which is why so many homeowners opt for this roofing material. Asphalt shingles are also highly versatile in their appearance and can be made to look like other materials like slate, wood or tile, and also come in a wide variety of colours, giving your home many customization options.

Metal Roof vs Shingles in Cold Climate – Which Should I Choose?

Although, Huntsville Alabama is known for its warm climate temperatures typically decline during the winter months. The average temperature in AL in January and February ranges between 30-40 degrees. While snowfall varies each year in Huntsville the winter often brings rainy condition. That’s why it’s important to make sure your home’s roof is in optimal condition. Therefore you’ll want to invest in quality roofing materials that can accommodate the weather.

Metal and shingle are the most common roofing materials that are presented to homeowners. These days metal isn’t only reserved for warehouses and industrial properties. A lot of our residential clients have some form of metal roofing. However, shingle roofs are traditional and you can find them on thousands of houses throughout Huntsville. Which material is able to best withstand the colder climate?

How Metal Roof Systems Perform In The Winter

The cold climate and its harsh elements can wear down on your roof decreasing its lifespan and performance. Fortunately, metal is a material that is ultra durable and is effective at withstanding the elements

Reduces Heating Costs

It’s no secret that residential home owners in the U.S spend so much more money heating than cooling during the summer months. Metal functions as an insulator preventing both cold or warm air from escaping. Thus results in significantly lowered energy bills. In fact, the surface temperature of a metal roof tends to stay warmer than the outside temperature while an asphalt shingle roof can be a few degrees cooler.

Less Susceptible to Snow and Ice Damage

Yea, snow, and ice can cause major structural damage to a roof which is why it’s considered to be an enemy to most type of roofing materials. However, a metal roof can provide much more protection. Snow m and doesn’t accumulate on a metal roof. Instead, it literally slides off preventing ice dams and damage to the gutters.

Residential Roofing Best Practices

Asphalt shingles, which cover 80 to 90% of residential roofs, have undergone much change in the last 20 to 30 years. Until the late 1970s, all asphalt shingles were manufactured from a heavy organic felt mat that had established a reputation for both strength and flexibility and generally outlasted their 15- to 20-year life expectancy.

Since their introduction in the late 1970s, fiberglass shingles have come to dominate the market, accounting for over 90% of shingles sold today. However, premature failure of some fiberglass shingles in the 1980s and 1990s tarnished the product’s reputation and spawned a number of lawsuits and resulted in a toughening of standards and a general improvement in fiberglass shingle quality.

Shingle styles have changed as well. The common three-tab shingles of the 1950s and 1960s are now joined by no-cutout shingles, multitab shingles, and laminated “architectural” shingles.

Asphalt Roof Shingle Quality

Shingle quality is often difficult to determine visually since it is based largely on hidden factors such as the strength of the reinforcing mat (organic felt or fiberglass), the strength and flexibility of the asphalt, and the amount and type of fillers used. In most cases, however, the guidelines outlined below can help to select shingles that perform as promised.

Organic Felt vs. Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles

Organic shingles are built around a thick inner mat made from wood fibers or recycled paper saturated with soft asphalt. Fiberglass shingles, on the other hand, use a lightweight nonwoven fiberglass held together with phenolic resin.


There’s no more denying it or putting it off. There are water stains on the ceiling. You’ve found a few shingles in your yard. There are birds, squirrels or raccoons in your attic (or maybe all three, yikes!). Whatever the case may be, the signs are clear: it’s time for a new roof.

Where can I find the best, certified roofing contractors in my area?

Getting a new roof or a roof repair starts with finding the right roofing contractor for the job. You can find the best, certified roofers in your area by checking out our network of independent roofing contractors in the Owens Corning Roofing Contractor Network

Roofing companies and contractors in our Owens Corning Roofing Contractor Network are selected for their commitment to customer service, reliability, and professional craftsmanship. Additionally, they must meet high standards and satisfy strict requirements

But, Do I Really Need a Roofing Contractor?

Installing a new roof, or repairing an existing roof, is a big job and a big investment for your home. Working with a qualified and trusted roofer who understands roofing materials, safety, and building codes and requirements will ensure the job is done right. You’ll also have warranty options offering peace of mind that the roofing contractor will stand behind their work for years to come.

Okay. I Want to Hire a Roofing Contractor, But How Can I Tell Who Is Qualified and Who Isn’t?

Most homeowners start with a list of about two to five roofing contractors, and meet with about two to three, before making their final decision on who to hire for the job. Searching for qualified roofers online, or getting recommendations from friends and family, are two ways to get started on creating a shortlist of roofing contractors to consider, but may not give you all the information you need to tell who is qualified and who is not.

What to Expect From A Roof Inspection

Roof Inspection Safety Tips You Should Know

Have The Right Tools For Roof Inspection Safety

Using the right tools for a roof inspection is easy enough. But how about roof inspection safety? Sure these tools are optional, but one of them could easily just save you from a nasty fall from the roof. These tools make sure that you’re either firmly planted on the roof, safely get up to your roof or safely get off of your roof. These tools include:

  • Safety Boots. If you were to choose footwear with roof inspection safety in mind, you should choose shoes with rubber soles. Hiking boots or military boots come to mind here as these are made to provide unmatched traction on most surfaces. This is especially useful when your roof is slanting or it’s raining. 
  • A Safety Harness. Slips can sometimes be unavoidable. So having a second line of defense from falling off of your roof is a good investment. One other thing is to make sure that the harness is attached to a stable anchor point. Because you could still end up on the ground, no matter how good your harness is if the anchor point comes loose during the slip.
  • A Stable Ladder. Ladders are what can get you to your roof in the first place unless you have roof access through your attic. Make sure that your ladder is free from any loose parts or rusting components as it could end up failing while you’re climbing up or down.

Never Work Alone During a Roof Inspection

This is one job where having friends matters. A companion is not a second set of hands helping you plug up that hole in the roof, but also another safety net. Having someone back you up in case something wrong happens can be a lifesaver. They can grab you in case you slip, make an already stable ladder even more stable by bracing it into the ground as you climb, and even call for help if something goes wrong. Having a friend just makes your roof inspections safer.  

Avoid Inspections During Harsh Weather

It can be very tempting to go up on your roof during rain to seal up the leak that’s been dripping into your living room. However, many accidents happen during unstable weather. This is because not only is your visibility hampered, but your roof also becomes more slippery because of the rain. You could also get blown off of your roof because of strong winds or because of the debris flying around in strong winds. Regardless of the reason you want to go up on your roof in that weather, you should just wait out the storm and put a bucket under those leaks.

Consider the many risks workers are exposed to while on the roof:

  • Ladders – If your building doesn’t have interior stairs and a doorway to the roof, workers must use caution when using ladders. These can become unstable if they aren’t properly secured or tied off to the building, notes Brian Impellizeri, senior product manager with GAF, a roofing manufacturer.
  • Exterior Egress – Beyond ladders, staff should exercise situation awareness when accessing the roof via hatches, elevators, penthouse doors, scaffolding, or power equipment such as scissor lifts and aerial work platforms, says Brad Richardson, a certified safety professional and director of environmental health and safety for D. C. Taylor Company, a roofing contractor.
  • Skylights – While great for natural light, these fixtures can give way if too much weight is put on them. A worker may accidentally step on them or trip on the edges.
  • Parapet Walls – Buildings that have no barrier on the roof ledge pose an immediate risk and others may have walls that are too short to prevent someone from tumbling over.
  • Loose Debris – Tree branches, leaves, construction materials, and tools can all pose a tripping hazard. In windy conditions, they may also become flying debris.
  • Extreme Heat – A cool roof can be a hot place for workers surrounded by reflected heat. Roofing repairs and renovations are also a tiring activity and technicians are susceptible to something as simple as dehydration when performing tasks for hours under the sun, reminds Impellizeri.

Up On The Roof: Rules And Safety

On the roof. Those inspectors who do are usually trying to get up close and personal with any issues they believe are affecting the roof. It’s a personal decision, and it’s rare to see any home inspector walk roofs that are steeper than a 6-in-12 slope.

Staying off the Roof Keeps Home Inspectors Safe and Out of Trouble

Walking the roof can involve insurance and legal issues if the inspector has employees or permits the customer or realtor to climb onto the roof. Anyone could get hurt. OSHA (the federal job safety agency) rules clearly state that the home inspector is not to work at more than 6 feet off grade without a proper harness installed by a trained technician. Insurance companies support the criteria of OSHA, so in the event of an accident to a customer or realtor, it would be very unlikely that an insurer would pay a claim.

If They Don’t Go Up, How Do They Inspect?

Inspection from the ground using binoculars is very effective. The type and condition of the roof surface can largely be seen from the ground. A good pair of binoculars helps inspectors get a close look at details, such as the flashing around chimneys and the use of chimney crickets.

Inspecting the roof from a ladder is another effective way to judge its condition. Gutters, the life expectancy of the roof, number of layers, and condition and location of fasteners can all be seen from a ladder. Number of layers can also be assessed by examining the shingles on the rake edge. One of the newest and increasingly popular methods for inspecting a roof  is by drone.

Home inspectors simply need to make sure their report on the roof is accurate and clear, and they’ll have no need to walk a roof—even if they think the homeowner is expecting it.

Roof Safety Signs: What They Mean and What to Do

According to OSHA, safety signs are generally categorized in three types—danger signs, warning signs, and caution signs. When working on rooftops, roofers will usually encounter the following examples of roof safety signs and what they should do:

Danger Sign

When there is a roof safety danger sign, there are immediate hazardous conditions that will lead to serious injury and death if not avoided. Upon seeing this sign before any roofing work, avoid it at all costs.

Warning Sign

When there is a roof safety warning sign, there are existing life-threatening hazards that can lead to serious injury or death. Accessing roofs by permit means that only authorized personnel or trained employees can be on it. Warning signs represent a hazard level between danger and caution, needing specific precautionary measures to be taken.

Caution Sign

When there is a roof safety caution sign, there are minor hazard situations where a non-immediate or potential hazard or unsafe practice presents a lesser threat of employee injury. Roofers should be mindful of caution signs and apply necessary control measures in any roofing work.

Here are the key concerns you should search for:


Look for misshapen shingles that are curling or blistering. Also, notice if there are any missing or broken shingles. All of these will need to be replaced.

Grit in the Gutters

If you find piles of grit that may be coming from your shingles, you may need to have all of your tiles replaced. The grit you see is supposed to protect your shingles from the sun’s strong rays. When it starts wearing off, your roofing may quickly become compromised.


Notice if there are any rust spots or cracked caulking surrounding your flashing. Recaulk old caulk and replace worn flashing.

Rubber Boots

Around any puncture spots on your roof such as vent pipes, there’s a rubber piece to keep water from getting in. Over time, these can age and crack, meaning they need to be replaced.

Moss or Lichen

Notice any patches of moss or lichen that could indicate moisture accumulation and even rotting just under your roof. Don’t worry about black algae, though, that’s a cosmetic issue. You can have it washed off if you like.

Make note of the damage you notice on your roof. Then, you can make plans to continue to DIY or call in the professionals to help with any repairs. Remember, be safe and know your limits!

What You Must Know About Torch Down Roof Installation

How To: Choose a New Roof for Your House

If you’re choosing a new roof for your new or existing home, aesthetics are important, but so too are the material’s cost, weight, and installation requirements.

Whether you are building from scratch or choosing a new roof for your existing home, a wide range of materials are readily available and worthy of consideration. These include asphalt, wood, and composite shingles, as well as slate, concrete, and clay tiles. Style is an important factor, but it’s not the only one. Product cost, material weight, and installation requirements should also influence your selection

Roofing Terminology

Before we talk materials, let’s talk terminology. Roofers don’t usually use the measure “square feet.” Instead, they talk in squares. A square is their basic unit of measurement—one square is 100 square feet in area, the equivalent of a 10-foot by 10-foot square. The roof of a typical two-story, 2,000-square-foot house with a gable roof will consist of less than 1,500 square feet of roofing area, or about fifteen squares.

Cost of a New Roof

A number of considerations will affect the cost of a new roof. The price of the material is the starting point, but other factors also must be considered. One is the condition of the existing roof if you are remodeling a house—if old materials must be stripped off, and if the supporting structure needs repair, that will all cost money. The shape of the roof is another contributing factor. A gable roof with few or no breaks in its planes (like chimneys, vent pipes, or dormers) makes for a simple roofing job. A house with multiple chimneys, intersecting rooflines (the points of intersection are called valleys), turrets, skylights, or other elements will cost significantly more to roof.

Roofing Materials

Not every roofing material can be used on every roof. A flat roof or one with a low slope may demand a surface different from one with a steeper pitch. Materials like slate and tile are very heavy, so the structure of many homes is inadequate to carry the load. Consider the following options, then talk with your designer and get estimates for the job.

How to choose the best roofing system?

It’s one thing to have enough covering to protect you from the weather. But, it’s another thing to have a roofing system that you can rely on. A roofing system that leaks is something you would not want to happen, for sure. It can make a flood of damage and drains your savings.

When planning to build a new house or just needing to change your roof, consider some important factors. It’s wise to be prudent as this may save you time, effort, and financial resources.

Location. Consider your area. If you are living in a place prone to wildfires, opt for a material with the highest fire rating. Or, if your house is along a hurricane path, choose a roofing system that provides good wind resistance.

Longevity. You do not want to risk your life and limb on a ladder doing repairs for cracks and curled roof shingles, do you?

Quality vs. cost. In choosing the right roofing material, consider the quality over the cost. Although there are circumstances when cheaper materials have better quality.

If you are on a budget, asphalt shingles may appeal to you. It’s one of the most popular roofing materials among homeowners. It’s light and easy to install. It may last 30 years or more. The asphalt roofing shingles are composed of fiberglass sealed between asphalt and ceramic granules. However, this roofing material is vulnerable to high winds.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for a durable roof that can withstand wildfires, go for a metal roofing system. Many homeowners favor this type of roof due to its several benefits. Aside from its fire-resistant qualities, metal roofs are easy to install and long-lasting. The material is also lightweight and reflects heat from the sun. And because of its efficacy at reflecting the sun’s rays, you can significantly save energy on cooling bills. However, one of the handful drawbacks of a metal roofing is that it can be noisy during a rainstorm.

Guide To Choosing The Right Roof For Your Home

Does the roof of your home look worse for the wear due to the harsh weather conditions that may sometimes be experienced in Indianapolis? If you need to install a new roof, it’s important to know what kind of roof is best suited for your home—as well as how to choose the right materials, installation techniques, and roofing company that will best protect your new home investment.

There are many types of roofs, each with its own set of pros and cons, from asphalt and plastic polymer, slate, metal roof materials, and many more. In addition, there are also a number of different roof shingle types that you can choose from, which can further complicate the process for homeowners that aren’t too experienced in roofing projects.


Perhaps the most important factor in choosing between the types of roofs for your home improvement project is the cost of the materials and installation. Roofing materials and installation services vary widely in price, so it’s important to check the prices quoted by various reputable roofing companies to compare


Although there are many kinds of materials that can be used for your roof, not all are suitable for all homes. For instance, if you want to use heavy materials (for instance, tile or slate), make sure that your house can support the substantial weight of these materials, and that they’re suitable to your location’s particular weather and climate conditions.

Roof Shingle Types

There are many different roof shingle types ranging from wood or cedar shake shingles to metal shingles. The suitable type depends on your needs as well as the size and look of your home

Roofing Buying Guide

Some home repairs, you can put off indefinitely. A leaky roof is not one of them. Cracked, curled, or missing roof shingles demand immediate attention. If you neglect them, they can lead to severe water damage that can seriously drain your savings account.

At Consumer Reports, we test asphalt shingles because that’s what most folks have on their homes. Our test results show that not only does performance vary widely among brands, but also among different product lines from a single manufacturer.

Here’s how to assess whether it’s time to replace your old roof—from gauging the severity of leaks to determining when missing shingles are a problem—and what to look for when you shop for a new one. In this guide we walk you through the common roofing materials, how much they cost, and how long they’re expected to last.

Water Will Find a Way In

Water marks on a ceiling, or worse, dripping water, may have you worried that your whole roof is in tatters. But just because there’s a leak doesn’t mean your roof will require a massive amount of repairs. Sometimes stopping it is as simple as filling a crack with caulk, replacing a few shingles, or installing some flashing—a membrane or layer of metal that provides a mechanical barrier to redirect water at corners, crevices, gaps, and other spots vulnerable to leaking.

Looking for Leaks

It’s easiest to find a leak when it’s raining outside. Remember that water often accumulates at a spot that’s different from where it’s entering—it generally runs down the length of a rafter or stud and only drips once it reaches a low point

Roofing Calculator – Estimate your Roofing Costs

This comprehensive guide to roofing materials is all the research you need to evaluate the top choices for residential re-roofing and new construction projects in 2020

What to Expect: In this guide we’ll cover the following roofing options: asphalt shingles, wood shingles and shakes, metal roofing, concrete, clay, and fiber-cement tiles, natural and faux slate, and the new Tesla solar tiles that have so far proven to be more of vaporware than a real product.

For each residential roof type we cover the following topics:

An overview including how the roofing is made

Pros and cons including maintenance, repair, durability, options, home styles they work with and more

Cost for materials and installation

Choosing your roofing material/The “bottom line” summaries of each type

How to save money on a new roof

Types of Roofing Materials

These most common options cover more than 95 percent of residential roofs in the United States, so unless you’ve got something unusual in mind like solar tiles – oh, wait, we’ve included those – or a vegetative green roof, the options you’re considering are likely discussed here.

Asphalt shingles

More than 75 percent of all single-family homes in the US are roofed with asphalt shingles, though that number is slowly shrinking thanks to the more energy-efficient and durable metal roofing.