Roofing Installation Guide Using Different Materials

Roofing Installation Guide Using Different Materials

If you are planning a roofing installation job to lay down some architectural roofing on your house, there are many factors to consider before beginning. You need to decide what your priorities are when choosing the best material for you, since there are different options for style, durability and cost efficiency. Moreover, you also need to figure out which materials are the easiest to install if you want to take on the project yourself, or if you are willing to hire contractors to complete larger, more complicated projects. Weigh your options and choose the best method for you.

Let’s get started with the materials:

Top Materials for Roofing

There are so many roofing types to consider that it is best to list the pros and cons of each to know which is the most suitable for you.

  • Rolled Roofing

For one of the cheapest options, you can choose rolled roofing. This comes in fiberglass or felt panels covered in asphalt that you can literally roll over the length of your roof. It is also a great choice for flat roofs, but it doesn’t last long, with a shelf life of about 6-12 years before you will need to consider roofing replacement. For a more durable variation, you can go with torch down roofing, which uses the same basic materials but incorporates a hot flame torch to melt the asphalt on the overlaps.

  • Wood

Wood shake or cedar roofing is a popular choice since it is both durable and rustic in appeal. You can get cedar in shakes or shingles to create different effects, and the result can last about 30-40 years.

  • Tiles

There are many different tile options that each add different measures of durability and style. You can get clay roofing, which is reminiscent of old Spanish style homes. They can be pricey though, so for a cheaper option with the same appeal, you can choose concrete roof tiles, which will save you money but still give you durability and style. You can also choose slate roof tiles for a very elegant impression that is long-lasting.

  • Metal

If you want metal roofing installation, there are a variety of choices, from tin to zinc and steel to aluminum. Each adds a different appeal, since the colors vary, and they are all very durable and efficient.

  • Asphalt

Asphalt itself is actually a thick, sticky component of petroleum, or oil, products which can mainly be seen in road construction and is also a major sealant of traditional shingles. This covering can be applied to two different types of material:

  • Organic – pieces of thick paper dipped in asphalt to make them stronger and waterproof. Although the term organic suggests more environmentally friendly, these shingles tend to need more of the asphalt covering than the other type, so technically they really aren’t any greener.
  • Fiberglass – basically a small fiberglass and resin mixture hardens into the shingle, which like the organic paper, is then coated in asphalt to seal them and make them waterproof.    

These types of shingle do tend to last a little longer at around 20-30 years, but will often require updated maintenance. Suited better for cooler climates, the heat from direct sunlight can cause them to crack while rainwater can wash away at the shingles, exposing the nail heads and eventually seeping its way into the roof.

Now, let’s discuss some installation tips for a perfect roof installation, some of which are:

Roof Installation Tips:

Although each roof has a different method of installation, there are some basic tips for do it yourself roofing.

1. For heavier materials like slate or concrete, place down a layer of plywood first.

2. Make sure to lay down tar paper as underlayment before you place the roof.

3. Make sure to put flashing around all hardware and pipes to avoid leakage.

4. Look into easier to install options, like shingles with interlocking connection, or tiles with nubs instead of nails.

5. Get additional tips specific to your project when buying your supplies from the manufacturer. They can give you good advice on installation methods.


For repairs, decide if the job is feasible on your own or if you will need professional help on a complete overhaul. Simple repairs, like changing roofing tiles can be done easily, but don’t be afraid to get free estimates and seek help from installers. Cutting roofing costs is important but not at the expense of quality. Roofing installation may seem easy, but some projects are best left to the professionals.

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