Roofing Materials – A Complete Guide

Not all roofs are asphalt shingles. In fact, you’ll find that there’s a wide range of roofing materials available to homeowners, and that they each have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. So which is the right choice for your home? At West Texas Exteriors, we tend to stand by metal roofing, but to give each roofing material a fair shake, let’s break down a complete guide to the roofing materials you’ll find in your search.

Asphalt Shingle

The vast majority of roofs that you’ll see are asphalt shingles. Like vinyl siding, asphalt shingle roofs are the most affordable option and they come in a variety of colors. They’re one of the more walkable roofs when it comes to maintenance, as well. On the other hand, they tend to have one of the shorter lifespans, only lasting 5-15 years in West Texas. Shingles tend to break off, curl, or chip, meaning that these roofs need frequent maintenance, so you may end up saddled with long term costs that you might not have with a more reliable roofing material.

Wood Shake

Shakes and shingles have a similar look, but wood shakes have the beauty and texture of wood that goes a step above asphalt shingles. Unfortunately, other than the elegance of natural wood, this roofing material has little to offer. It is not particularly durable or affordable. Color options are limited, and it requires regular maintenance to keep the shakes from swelling or rotting. Because of this, you’ll likely pay quite a bit upfront and quite a bit in the long term with this type of roof.

Clay Tile

You may see clay tile roofs, especially red terracotta clay tile, in classic Southwest style homes. They have a bold, vintage style and they’re remarkably durable, so they tend to have a long lifespan, though the underlayment may need to be replaced a few times within that lifespan. They are fire resistant, wind resistant, and impact resistant. They can even help keep the home cool in the summer. However, they’re also heavy and fragile, which makes them difficult to install, and the upfront cost is quite steep.

Slate Tile

Slate tile is typically a flat tile, and like clay, it’s remarkably durable. Slate can last over 100 years after it’s installed. It is reasonably low maintenance, water resistant, and fire resistant. Also like clay, however, it is costly and difficult to install. It also doesn’t offer much in the way of energy efficiency.


Finally, there’s metal roofing. Metal roofing is more expensive than asphalt shingles upfront, but less so than clay, slate, or wood. It’s also long-lasting, which means that the long-term costs will stay low and make it well worth the investment. Metal roofing comes in a variety of vibrant colors and has a sleek, modern look, coming in both tile options or vertical panels. It helps to keep the home cool during the summer, saving you money on cooling costs. It resists fire, hail, storms, and water leakage. And it’s remarkably light, which makes for an easy installation and repair.

At the end of the day, we still feel that metal roofing is the best option for West Texas homes. Want to learn more? Contact West Texas Exteriors today for more information or for a free estimate.