If you are building a new home or discover it is time to replace your aging roof, you will find a wide variety of roofing materials in today’s market.

Choosing the appropriate roof depends on several factors, including your home’s style and, of course, cost. Asphalt shingles remain the most common roofing material, available in various grades that offer warranties from 15 to 50 years. Laminated asphalt shingles, also known as architectural shingles, create an illusion of wood shingles or slate. Because their construction plies two or three layers of shingles, they are more durable than the traditional three-tab product. But laminated shingles have been more expensive until recently.

“Manufacturers have broadened their market by introducing a laminated shingle with a thinner profile, making the product more affordable,” says Jeff Siems, operations manager for Elliott Roofing, with five locations throughout the state.

Impact-resistant shingles can lower homeowner’s insurance because of Oklahoma’s hail-prone weather. Siems recommends checking with your insurance company to get a list of approved products. For additional tax advantages and lower energy bills, check out Energy Star rated lighter-colored reflective shingles.

Wood shingles and shakes offer a luxurious esthetic appeal but cost two to three times as much as asphalt. Because of past fire problems in older wood shingled neighborhoods, some homeowners’ associations and local jurisdictions have restrictions on acceptable roofing materials. Today, wood shingle and shake options include products manufactured from pressure-treated wood impregnated with fire-resistant material, offering Class B or C fire resistant ratings with a typical 30-year life. A long-lasting faux shake shingle created from polymer resins offers a Class A fire rating.

Slate, cement and clay tile roofs are among the highest quality roofing materials on the market, often lasting 100 years, but these products run up to five times the cost of conventional roofing. For homeowners wanting the unique architectural look when it is not in the budget, manufacturers have introduced synthetic alternatives at about half the cost.

Stone-covered steel roofing technology is becoming a popular alternative to traditional materials available with the look of architectural shingles, clay tile, shakes or slate. The product weighs less, making it safer in case of an Oklahoma earthquake. And it is energy efficient, fire-resistant, hailstone and wind rated with warranties of at least 50 years.

Research First

Fraudulent roofing contractors prey on vulnerable homeowners, especially after a region experiences extensive storm damage. That’s why Basey’s Roofing, with locations in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City, offers a series of questions you always want to ask any roofing contractor, including how long the company has been in business and if they are insured.

Oklahoma enacted the Roofing Contractor Registration Act in 2010, and a list of registered roofing contractors who meet certain standards is available on the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board website at www.ok.gov/cib/.

The Oklahoma Roofing Contractor Association provides a member directory at www.orcagroup.org. And finally check the company’s standing with the Better Business Bureau.

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