As a roofing contractor, helping your customers understand the most popular roofing materials should be a consistent part of your sales process. Being prepared to answer questions on material longevity and price is just the first step. Depending on where your customer lives, educating them on materials that offer protection from specific weather conditions like fire, or hurricanes should be a part of your conversation. On top of the practical applications, you will also want to ensure that the roof matches the look and feel of their house, making color availability and aesthetic another important consideration.
With all of these factors and tons of roofing materials to choose from, selecting a roof with your customer can be a large task. Make sure you have a basic understanding of the top five most popular roofing materials and be prepared to discuss the pros and cons of each with your customers.
Asphalt shingles are the most popular and most common roofing material in the United States. They are easy to install, widely available, and come in a variety of colors to match your home. At a price of $70-120 per square, asphalt shingles are also the least expensive roofing material, providing many homeowners with an affordable roof option. One drawback of asphalt shingles, however, is that they only have a lifespan of 20 to 25 years if maintained properly. While this may seem like a long time at first, when compared to other roofing materials it is quite short.
Metal roofing is a more expensive option, with its cost ranging from $100 to $800 per square; however it lasts for 40-75 years. This trade off in price and life span means that the more expensive upfront cost can be worth it in the long run. Metal roofing is also highly reflective and so can help keep homes cool and lower air conditioning bills. The popularity of metal roofing has increased dramatically thanks in part to the recent wildfires on the West Coast, creating higher demand for fire-resistant roofing. Metal roofing is not only fire resistant, but it can also withstand many other types of extreme weather, such as high winds or heavy rain, making it a very popular choice wherever weather can be severe. The recent rise in metal roofing popularity has also caused many companies to release new metal roofing lines with a variety of new colors and styles, meaning homeowners will be able to choose the perfect roof for their house.
Clay and Concrete Tiles
Clay and concrete tiles produce a very stylized type roof. Popular with Mediterranean, Mission, Southwestern and Spanish-style homes, clay and concrete tiles have many benefits other than their look. Like metal roofing, clay and concrete tiles are fire resistant, making them a great option for areas with higher temperatures or at risk for wildfires. Clay and concrete tiles are another more expensive roofing option, with a cost of about $300 to $500 dollars per square. Additional costs may also come from their installation, as they have to be installed by a professional and their heavy weight most likely requires extra framing to be added to the roof.
Slate roofs also require extra framing due to their heavy weight and professional installation. In addition to this, slate costs more than any of the other roofing materials, making them the most expensive roof option at $600+ per square. However, what they lack in affordability they make up for in longevity and aesthetic. The lifetime of a slate roof is 50 to 100+ years, easily making them the longest lasting roofing material. Slate roofs are often chosen by homeowners because of their beauty and elegant appearance. They now come in a variety of colors, including gray, black, red, green, and purple. They also offer a very eco-friendly choice, as the slate tiles can be recycled, reused, and have a fairly low manufacturing footprint.
Wood Shingles and Shake
Wood shingles and shake are another roofing material that is often chosen for the aesthetic it produces. However, compared to slate tiles wood shingles and shake are a much less expensive option, costing only $100 to $150 per square. The downside to wood shingles and shake however, is that they are not fire resistant. While a fire resistant coating can be applied to the material, they are simply not allowed as an option in some areas across the country because of the fire hazard they pose. Wood shingles and shake roofs typically last 25 to 30 years, making them similar in both price and lifespan to asphalt shingles.
Helping your customers understand their roofing options can go a long way in ensuring they make the right choice for their home. As the subject matter expert, they will look to you so be prepared!