RESIDENTIAL ROOFING DESIGN, MATERIAL ANALYSIS
In residential roofing and construction, we have found a special membrane in lieu of the more traditional roofing underlayment that adds about $1,800 to the initial cost of the roof, but that the manufacturer indicates will render the roof waterproof, even if water occasionally gets through some of the roof shingles. All of our residential roofing clients want a roof that doesn’t leak. This should save homeowners water damage and roofing replacement cost for several years, allowing greater time between roof replacements, which on a conventional roof could extend your waterproof performance possibly by several years.
Residential Roofing RESULTING SAVINGS: $18,400. Most clients would regard this as excellent home value engineering and one of the reasons why people might wish to hire a luxury residential architect to design their home. There is quality and value built into their specifications and design drawings that pays them back over the years with less problems and fewer replacements and lower maintenance for homes.
Residential roofing involves many choices. Architects and clients can select a variety of materials and systems for the roof on their home. Bottom end choices would be 215 psf (pounds per square foot) asphaltic fiberglass roof shingles. These may not last even a decade and will probably not look very nice by that time, due to mold, mildew and general ravages of wind, rain, ice and snow, depending on your climate.
Some people like cedar roof shingles for their residential roofing option, and while they initially look very nice and rustic, they are wood. Having wood exposed for your roof and made of thousands of little pieces of wood, to boot, may not be the most water-resistive system to select. Still, many people like the appearance. We have seen some roofs like this have significant repairs made necessary within 5 years. The overall roof may or may not last 7 to15 years. Shingles are defined by cedar grading agencies, as thinner material. Shakes are thicker and should last longer. There is a fairly new choice of p.t. (pressure-treated) SYP (Southern Yellow Pine) for roof shingles, and this is the same wood of which the majority of exterior decks are made. In our opinion, this is probably a better choice than the thinner cedar and should last longer. We have heard 15+ years.
A thicker asphaltic fiberglass roof shingle in the 300 psf range should last 20 to 25 years, or even “lifetime” (which I doubt) according to their manufacturer’s literature and should be more watertight than their thinner options. They should look better, too, as the thicker profiles provide more shade and shadow lines, which are a major contributor to more aesthetic roof shingle appearance. This costs more than the thinner asphaltic roof shingles, but in our opinion, the increase in well worth the price, as this choice should last much longer and avoid the problems of the thinner choices.
Metal roofs are another viable choice for residential roofing. Copper in a standing seam configuration is probably the gold standard here and some of these are still on medieval buildings, so just above forever is what you should be able to expect from this choice. Factory painted galvanized steel standing seam roofing panels are another reasonable choice and cost much less than copper, but are subject to paint fading and scratching, which could ultimately allow environmental corrosion of the steel. Factory paint on aluminum standing seam roof panels is better, but is more expensive. Aluminum can corrode, but not as severely as steel.
There are a variety of factory paints for metal residential roofing. For instance factory enamel at the low end. Not recommended by us. This may chalk, fade, chip and peel after just a few years and be more susceptible to hail, snow and ice damage. There are siliconized polyesters that are a step up and some choose this as a reasonably economical option. The architect’s favorite is a fluoropolymer paint called Kynar. It is flexible, which means it is soft and you have to be careful during installation (it does not appreciate rough handling). The nice thing about it is that it can “go along for the ride” as metal roofing panels expand and contract, which they do quite a lot during a year. Having a high-quality paint coating that is flexible helps keep that protection in place.
Residential roofing options also include concrete roof tiles manufactured to look like cedar roof shingles, slate and other materials. They can last a very long time under the right circumstances and are considered one of the higher quality choices.
There are recycled rubber and plastic roof tiles resembling slate for residential roofing. This is one of our favorites, because it comes with a gold-warrantee from tne manufacturer for 50 years (a half-century). They are somewhat flexible, which means they don’t seem to be brittle for hail attack, and they are heavy and thick and look pretty much like real slate, for a lot less money. They still have a premium over lower quality roofs, however and can add to your bottom line.
There are fiberglass reinforced lightweight concrete roofing tiles that look like slate and other materials and they look very realistic and cost less than the real thing for lower weight penalty to your structural system and should last an extremely long time.
Head spinning? We suggest that you involve your architect in your residential roofing choice, to help guide you in the right direction for your desired quality and cost.