Residential roofing differs from the roofing materials and techniques employed in larger flat-roof commercial buildings, which are a separate specialty. While the vast majority of shingles used in residential roofing are the three-tab shingles made of asphalt, grit and fiberglass, and the next most popular seems to be Architectural Shingles made of the same materials, there are alternatives.
Other types of residential materials include clay, wood (also called “shake”), metal and slate. Additionally, roofs which have a very low pitch (under 1:12 ratio) may use an asphalt roofing that is applied by heat, melded to the roof as well as to the other pieces of the roofing material. (This is sometimes referring to as Rolled Roofing.)
In recent times, Architectural metal roofing has become extremely popular, for that they require virtually no maintenance, look clean, and are far more easily applied to high pitch roofs where climbing would prove difficult.
With the exception of low-pitch roof installations, the choice is largely a matter of personal taste. Most any type of roofing can be installed on the average home. Slate and wood shake are not recommended for high pitch roofs, but since such roof lines are relatively uncommon, that’s generally not a concern.
Professional residential roofing companies usually provide free local estimates and are happy to share their expertise and help you to decide which of the possibilities is best for your home.