From Shingles to Skylights: Exploring Roofing Options

When it comes to roofing, homeowners have a lot of choices. From asphalt shingles to skylights, each offers a range of benefits for homeowners.

Shingles are a great option for homes with limited budgets. They also offer a wide variety of colors to suit any home’s style. Architectural shingles provide a more textured appearance and come with the longest warranties in the industry.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing covering for residential roofs. They offer a wide range of color and style options and are suited for both traditional and modern homes. Among other things, they are lightweight and affordable. They are also known for their durability and low maintenance requirements.

There are four different types of asphalt shingle: organic, fiberglass, laminated, and premium (also called designer) shingles. The base material is either an organic, asphalt-saturated or fiberglass mat that’s coated on one or both sides with a layer of granules, such as slate, quartz, schist, stone, and ceramic, which block ultraviolet light. A layer of felt or other underlayment is placed over the granules to protect against moisture and to provide a smooth surface for fastening the shingle.

Some shingles are designed to withstand specific weather conditions, such as high winds or hail. These shingles are typically labeled as such and may come with a higher warranty than other types of shingles.

When it comes to repairing or replacing a shingle roof, it’s important to follow the shingle manufacturer’s installation instructions and local building codes. This will ensure the shingles perform as they should and allow you to claim the warranty coverage, should there be a problem.

Asphalt shingle manufacturers have designed their products to withstand varying wind speeds, with some offering Class H and Class F wind ratings that will protect your home even in extreme weather conditions. Check with your shingle supplier to determine which products will work best for your location and to learn more about the benefits of each.

Another option for a roof is tile, which is often associated with Mediterranean or Southwestern-style architecture. Tile roofs are long-lasting, with some providing superior water resistance and fire resistance ratings. However, they are heavier than asphalt shingles and must be installed over a strong supporting structure.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles are a good choice for homeowners who want to preserve the look of traditional homes, cottages and other rustic-style dwellings. These roofs are a natural insulator, keeping homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They can also add a touch of sturdiness and beauty to any building. However, a wood shingle or shake roof does require significant maintenance. If your roof is not treated and sealed annually, it will quickly succumb to algae, mildew and fungus.

When deciding on the type of shingles to use, you need to consider the specific wood species and how it is cut. For instance, red cedar (Thuja plicata), cypress and bald cypress are common choices because they contain compounds that make them more resistant to moisture and fungus. These compounds are known as extractives and they can also help the wood stay dimensionally stable, which will ensure it does not rot or become infested with insects.

There are many different styles of wood shingles, each offering its own unique look. For example, you can choose a shingle with an exposed edge grain cut or a shingle with a smooth surface. Shingles can also be enhanced with different colors and shapes, such as fish scales or diamonds, and even steam-bent to create a decorative shape.

Lastly, you can also select the thickness of your shingle, with thicker shingles creating a heavier and more textured appearance. The most common thickness for wood shingles is 3/8 inch, but you can go with a thinner option as well to give your home more of a flat appearance.

Unlike asphalt shingles, wood shingles can be coated with a cool-colored granule to reduce the amount of heat that is reflected off your home. This can be done by a professional or by you when replacing shingles on your existing home. However, you should never field-coat a shingle roof that is already in place, as this can cause moisture retention issues and may void the shingle manufacturer’s warranty. If you choose to have this treatment performed, you will need to reapply the cool-colored granules every year to maintain its effectiveness.

Metal Shingles

Many homeowners prioritize durability over aesthetics when selecting a roofing material. This is especially true if they’ve had roof repairs or replacements from storm damage, or if they’re fed up with shingles that show signs of deterioration not long after installation. Metal shingles offer robust protection from severe weather conditions and have an extended lifespan, making them a cost-effective roofing solution over time.

When it comes to the look of a metal shingle roof, there are several different options to consider. Some types of metal roof panels have a more modern, sleek appearance, while others look more traditional. It’s also important to check with your HOA or homeowner’s association to ensure that the style of roofing you choose is allowed.

Metal shingles are available in a range of colors and styles, so they can be used to complement any architectural design. They can mimic the appearance of other roofing materials, like tin or asphalt shingles, or they can have a more rustic look that is perfect for farmhouses and cottages.

Some of the most popular metal shingle options are aluminum, steel, and galvalume. Each of these materials has its own unique advantages and benefits. Aluminum is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and highly durable. Steel is a stronger material and can withstand severe weather conditions, including high winds. Galvalume is an energy-efficient material that combines the best features of aluminum and steel.

Another great feature of metal shingles is that they can be installed over most existing roofing systems without changing the roof’s pitch or profile. However, it’s always a good idea to have a professional assess the existing roof to make sure it’s structurally sound, that it’s in good condition, and that it’s safe for the new roofing system.

When paired with a skylight, metal shingles can add a beautiful focal point to the roof and bring natural cascading sunlight into the home. Increasingly, homeowners are installing skylights as an addition to their roofing system or as a way of bringing in more natural light to a room. Skylights can be paired with a variety of roofing materials, but metal is the ideal material for this application. This is because metal roofing is less likely to be damaged by water and other debris, as well as because it’s easier to work with when creating flashing details at the gable ends of the roof.


A skylight is a purpose-built opening on a roof that is covered by glass or another transparent material. Also known as a “roof window,” they are used to admit natural light into residential and commercial buildings, and may also offer other functions such as ventilation and temperature control.

They are popular among homeowners because of their versatility and ability to add an aesthetic enhancement to any home exterior. They can be purchased in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colors, which makes them an ideal fit for any architectural design. In addition, they offer a unique opportunity to increase the energy efficiency of any home, helping to lower utility bills.

However, this roofing option does have some drawbacks that need to be carefully weighed by prospective homeowners. For example, they can be more susceptible to moisture than other roof types, and they may require extra insulation to maintain a comfortable indoor climate.

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular choices among North American homeowners due to their combination of affordability, resilience and aesthetic appeal. They can be bought in a wide variety of color options and are designed to complement any type of siding or trim. They are lightweight and have an easy installation process, but they don’t provide as much insulation as other roofing materials and can be easily damaged by hail and high winds.

Clay tile and slate roofs are a more premium roofing choice that provides a timeless, classic look to any home. They are more durable than other roofing materials and provide superior insulation, allowing you to save money on your heating and cooling costs. They are also fire resistant, making them an attractive safety feature for your home. However, they can be expensive to install and may require more frequent maintenance and repairs than other roofing types.

If you are in the market for a new roof, it is important to understand your options and discuss your preferences with professionals like Buffalo roofers. Different roof materials have different cost and maintenance requirements, so it is crucial to find the perfect fit for your needs and budget.

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