Installing a roof is a significant investment, and often takes careful consideration to make a decision. Choosing roof materials for your home is an exciting task, but it is equally vital to ensure that your home will last for decades. Your roof is in charge of keeping your family safe and secure while having the potential to boost curb appeal! Here are the pros and cons of the four most common roofing materials when choosing your home. 

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt is the most popular roofing material in the country. It offers a wide variety of different colors and styles fit for every home. Three-tab and architectural asphalt roofs are the two most common types.


  • Three-tab shingles are one of the most affordable options, costing an average of $159 per 100 square feet. 

  • Asphalt shingles are easy to install and can even be installed over old shingles if the roof deck is in good shape. 

  • Asphalt shingles are considered Class A fire-resistant. They can withstand a fire burning for up to two hours.


  • Asphalt shingles have the shortest lifespan of all materials listed in this blog. The lifespan ranges from 15-30 years.

  • Asphalt shingles can be vulnerable to strong winds, storm damage, and heat. 

  • Asphalt shingles aren’t very environmentally friendly. Although they are recyclable for things like pavement, producing these shingles creates a lot of greenhouse gas emissions.


Metal roofing is a broad term that encompasses different materials, including steel, aluminum, and copper. Most maintenance is virtually eliminated with a metal roof, resulting in significant savings for homeowners. 


  • Metal materials are available in many styles and over 100 colors that complement almost any architectural style. 

  • Metal roofs are known for their extended lifespan of 60 years.

  • Metal roofs are completely fire resistant.


  • Metal roofs are costly. The average price for a new metal roof is $11,000.

  • Homeowners must find a highly qualified, experienced contractor specializing in metal roofing.

  • Metal roofs may dent from hail.


Slate is known for high-end architectural designs and traditional homes. There are three quality ratings for natural slate roofing—S1, S2, and S3. An S1 rating offers the highest resistance to water absorption and weathering. Slate roofing has a distinct attractiveness and also provides durability.


  • Slate roofs are long-lasting. It’s hard to put an exact number on the lifespan, but there’s no reason a slate roof shouldn’t live 50 years or even close to 100 years. 

  • Slate roofs are beautiful and eye-catching at every angle. 

  • Because slate is typically not susceptible to the damaging effects that cause traditional shingles to wear, you won’t have to worry about having to repair or replace loose or damaged shingles.


  • When getting a slate roof, every single individual slate tile must be handled carefully during the entire process because of how fragile they are.

  • Your home has to be able to hold the weight of your new slate roof. On average, a square (or 100 square feet) of asphalt shingles weighs about 250 pounds.

  • You can expect to pay at least four times more for a slate roof than you would for an asphalt roof. 


Clay tiles are one of the oldest roofing materials used today due to their durability and strength. Clay tiles come in a range of colors and designs. Clay roof tiles are commonly associated with Southwestern and Mediterranean-style homes.


  • Clay roofing is highly fire-resistant and is non-combustible. They are also resistant to rotting and insects.

  • Clay roofs have a lifespan of 100 years. 

  • Clay shingles are one of the only roofing materials with inherent energy-reduction qualities.


  • Clay tiles can be hefty and may put considerable strain on the structure of your home.

  • The average cost of installing a clay tile roof is around $14,000.

  • Clay tile roofs can be fragile. If you ever need to walk on a clay tile roof, you should be careful and know where to step to avoid breaking or cracking tiles.

How We Can Help

At XL Contracting, roofing is our specialty. We are a family-run, locally based business company that makes one promise to our customers: quality craftsmanship at a fair price. To book a FREE roof inspection with us today, visit our website through this link!