what is the best residential roofing material

How To Pick The Best Residential Material For Your Roof

What are your residential roofing material options for your Grand Rapids home’s new roof? You will probably buy one new roof in your lifetime, so how can you know what to look for or what questions to ask?

What is the best residential roofing material?

No one material is “best” for all roofs. Your residential roof may lend itself to composite-asphalt shingles, metal panels, or some other material. Many factors affect the ideal roofing choice for your Grand Rapids home:

  • Expected life span
  • Color and style requirements
  • Easy maintenance
  • Cost

Rather than viewing the selection of roofing materials as a winner-take-all competition, work with your roofer to see which choice — shingle or metal — solves the most challenges for your home. You could even do a blend of both!

Let’s compare three types of shingles and metal roofing, so you can better understand your options. 


Composite-asphalt shingles (they are made either from fiberglass or cellulose blended with asphalt) are sturdy, economical, and reliable. Shingles are America’s #1 residential roofing material, more popular by far than any other material. 

Shingles generally are available in three pricing lines: 

  • Three-tab or strip shingles
  • Architectural
  • Designer

Every pricing line offers strong warranties, dependable service, and many choices in shingle colors. As you move into thicker and more expensive shingles, you have more options on longer warranties, greater variations in design, and longer life spans. 

If you plan to sell your Grand Rapids home within the next five to ten years, you will enjoy the economy and speedy installation of three-tab shingles. Expect this pricing line, in its rainbow of colors, to last around a decade. 

If you have plans to stay settled in your home for several decades, architectural shingles offer a dramatic alternative to the simple, sleek appearance of strip shingles. Architectural shingles feature deeper cuts, more variations in granule color, and longer warranties. 

At the top of most shingle manufacturers’ lines are designer shingles. These use interesting tab cuts, very deep shadowing profiles, and subtle, beautiful varieties in granule color. They generally have the same long warranties as architectural shingles. 


Metal roofing is an excellent option for homeowners who want a roof which could outlast them. Metal roofs typically last upwards of 50 years, but that life span very much depends on the excellence of the installation. 

A good roofer can install a modestly priced metal panel, standing seam roof for less money than an inferior roofer can install a very high-quality metal roof. The modest roof installed by a good contractor could easily outlast the poorly installed roof, too!

Metal roofing for residential use has boomed recently, so you have just as many options with colors and styles as you have with shingle roofing. Most metal roofing is sold in panels, but metal shingles and shakes are available, too. Talk to your local, dependable roofer about your metal roofing options. 

Metal roofing is inherently fire resistant. Properly installed, metal roofing offers superior wind resistance, transmits almost no noise, and can be extremely energy efficient. 

No roofing material is perfect, of course: a metal roof is significantly more expensive at installation than a shingle roof. The cost-per-year price of a metal roof drops sharply once you realize it can replace three shingle roofs. 

If you plan to stay in your home for at least the next two decades, or pass your family home on to your children, a metal roof is a superb, long-wearing option which will boost curb appeal and preserve your home’s value. 

More to It Than Materials

Nobody can tell you which roof is best. And there’s more to your Grand Rapids roof than just the materials you select. Almost every roofing manufacturer warrants (insures) its products against factory defects. You need a strong, local roofer to balance the equation, though, by offering a highly trained crew, proper tools and techniques, and great customer service. 

The way any roof is installed factors into its longevity and energy efficiency. A shingle roof in Arctic White can help you save on your cooling costs. A well-installed metal roof using battens beneath the metal will provide an insulating air pocket. The tiny details matter, too: proper drip edge, well-fastened flashing, and correct mechanical fasteners on standing-seam metal. 

A roof is an integrated system. You will get the greatest life span from a roof which properly connects rafters to the sheathing to underlayment to water and ice shield even before your choice of roofing material goes down. 

You may only purchase one new roof in your lifetime, but Moore & Sons installs new roofs every week. Contact us today for help selecting the best residential roofing material for your budget, needs, and design. 

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