Close up of new asphalt roofing shingles

Are you in the market for a new roof? Not sure where to start? Consider these tips when choosing a new or replacement roof.

What type of roofing material should I choose?

Not every roofing material can be used on the roof of your home. More often than not, if you are remodeling, the existing roof and its framing will determine your choice of roofing material. Should you consider other options, you'll want to think about not only the cost, but the appearance, performance, and if it's environmentally friendly.

Consider the following and then talk with a roofing contractor like Graves Brothers Home Improvement to get an estimate:


Asphalt is the most commonly used roofing material and it's inexpensive. It's made of a fiberglass medium that's been impregnated with asphalt and then given a surface of sand-like granules. Asphalt has a life expectancy of around 25 years.


Wood was used for centuries, however, some local fire codes forbid the use of it now. Usually made of cedar, redwood or southern pine, shingles are sawn. Being sawn, shingles exhibit some cross-grain due to cutting, whereas shakes, being split, follow the grain more closely.

Like asphalt, wood generally has a life expectancy in the 25-year range, but costs twice as much.


Aluminum, steel, copper, and lead are all durable. Lead and the copper are typically installed as interlocking panels, but others are manufactured for seamed roofs consisting of vertical lengths of metal that are joined with solder. Metal roofing has a pretty wide pricing range, but you can expect a metal shingle roof to be more expensive than other roofing materials.

Tile and Cement

Both tile and cement are very heavy and durable. These two roofing materials are on the higher end of the price spectrum. Tiles and cement are incredibly resistant to fire, which makes it a safe bet for homes. The longevity of both tile and cement roofing is a little over 50 years.


Slate is high quality and among the most durable and expensive of all roofing materials. Often enough, slate is recycled for reinstallation, with the expectation it can last well over a century.

How much will a new roof cost?

Once your roofing material is picked out, other factors must be considered. If remodeling, will old materials be stripped off? Will the supporting structure need repair? Does your house have multiple chimneys, intersecting rooflines, turrets, or skylights? All of these elements will add to the cost of your new roof.

Just remember that all roofing systems require maintenance, no matter the type of roofing material you choose.

Do you have questions about roofing materials? Call Graves Brothers at 585-288-3390 in Rochester, 716-875-7663 in Buffalo, or 315-508-7663 in Syracuse.