How to Choose A New Roof

Whether you are building from scratch or choosing a new roof for your existing home, choosing the right type of roof can be more complicated than you think, and you may be wondering how to do it! As one of the essential parts of any home, a roof is a big commitment. When thinking about choosing a new roof, and there is indeed a wide range of materials that are readily available and worthy of consideration. These include asphalt, wood, composite shingles, and slate, concrete, and clay tiles. 

Materials aren’t the only consideration you have to make. There are many other factors to consider when selecting a roof, including:

  • How long will it last?
  • Does it hold up during natural disasters such as wildfires or hurricanes?
  • Is it too heavy for the existing roof framing?
  • Does the roof have enough slope?
  • Will the look complement the style of the house?
  • Are the materials eco-friendly and recyclable?
  • Is the type of roofing allowed by local building codes?
  • And finally, how much does it cost?

The right roof system for your home or building is one that balances all of these considerations. 

Consider the Cost 

There are a lot of factors that must be considered regarding the cost of a new roof. The price of the materials is obviously a significant factor, but it’s not the only one! For instance, if you’re remodeling your home, the condition of your existing roof and support structure has to be evaluated – do old materials need to be stripped or the structure repaired? All of this will add to the cost. The shape of the roof is another contributing factor. A gable roof with few or no breaks in its planes (like chimneys, vent pipes, or dormers) makes for a simple roofing job. A house with multiple chimneys, intersecting rooflines (the points of intersection are called valleys), turrets, skylights, or other elements will cost significantly more to roof.

Choose Your Roofing Materials 

If you’re remodeling your home, the existing roof will determine your roof material options. For a roof on a new home, you’ll have your pick of any of the many options available

You’ll want to consider not only the cost but the color, texture, weight, and durability of your alternatives, as well as what traditionally has been used on houses like yours.

  • Asphalt. This is the most commonly used roofing material and requires the least amount of special skill to install, meaning it’s ofter more affordable. It’s made of a fiberglass medium that’s been impregnated with asphalt and then given a surface of sand-like granules. 
  • Wood. Wood was the primary choice for centuries, and it’s still a good option, though, in some areas, fire codes don’t allow wooden roofs. Usually made of cedar, redwood, or southern pine, shingles are sawn or split. They have a life expectancy in the 25-year range (like asphalt shingles) but cost an average of twice as much.
  • Metal. Aluminum, steel, copper, copper-and-asphalt, and lead are all durable—and expensive—roofing surfaces. Lead, and the copper/asphalt varieties are typically installed as shingles. Still, others are manufactured for seamed roofs consisting of vertical lengths of metal joined with solder. 
  • Tile and Cement. The half cylinders of tile roofing are conventional on Spanish Colonial and Mission styles; cement and some metal roofs imitate tile’s wavy effect. All are expensive, very durable, and tend to be very heavy.
  • Slate. Slate is among the most durable of all roofing materials. Not all slate is the same—some come from quarries in Vermont, some from Pennsylvania and other states—but the best of it will outlast the fasteners that hold it in place. Hundred-year-old slate is often recycled for reinstallation, with the expectation it will last another century.
how to choose a new roof

Style Matters 

The style of your home will affect how you choose a new roof. To have a truly beautiful home, all of the pieces should work together and complement each other. Additionally, not every roof style will be best in all weather conditions and environments. 


Though you may not know the name, you’ll recognize the look. Also known as pitched or peaked roof, gable roofs are some of the most popular roof styles in the US. Their triangular shape easily recognizes them. The simple design makes them easier to build than more complex designs, saving you money, and is well suited to areas with heavy precipitation, since it easily sheds rain and snow. They do not stand up to high winds as well as other styles, so if this is a concern for you, ask your Mid-South roofing experts about other options. 

Gambrel or “barn” 

A spacious option inspired by Dutch-style homes, gambrel roofs are easily constructed. They offer a ton of additional space, providing room for anything from an extra floor to an attic or loft. This is another style of roof that is not recommended for high wind areas, however, or those that receive heavy snowfall because the design of these roofs can’t withstand significant pressure. 


The flat roof has a striking architectural style and offers many unique possibilities. For those who lack space for a patio, a flat roof can easily double up as a deck or garden. Flat roofs are dramatic, different, and quickly built, but they require quite a bit of upkeep. Because there is very little pitch, flat roofs can gather debris and heavy precipitation like snow quickly.


Pyramid roofs are generally used for smaller homes and structures. This style is very resilient, thanks to its sturdy construction. All four sides of the roof come to a point, so the sides are slanted equally. A pyramid roof is great in all types of weather, and even wind and precipitation cannot do much damage to it. 


Mansard roofs are a borrowed French design and are usually attributed to larger, more stately homes. A mansard roof is easily added, so it is an excellent option for those who may want to expand later. Although it is more expensive to construct, this roof style has the potential to add enough space for an entire extra floor. Low pitched mansard roofs are not conducive to areas with heavy snowfall.

Choosing the right roof for you with help from Pinnacle Roofing & Restoration

Our professional team can use their many years of experience providing high-quality residential roofing solutions that can help you choose a roof that will fit your home and budget, survive Mid-South weather, and last many years, as long as you keep it maintained. If you are in Memphis or the Mid-South area and are building or renovating a home or replacing your roof, why not call today for a free residential roofing quote? We want to help you choose your new roof.