What Type of Roof is Right for My House? A Guide

At some point, many NJ homeowners face the important question, “What type of roof should I put on my house?” In response, many people look for an attractive, long-lasting roof that fits their budget.

Roofing Materials: Your Options

Although most northern NJ roofs are covered with asphalt shingles, some homeowners consider other roofing materials. Perhaps the architect designed the home with a slate, tile or metal roof, and there’s a desire to maintain the same look. Sometimes, the type of roof is governed by a homeowners’ association. Your options for roofing materials include the following.


Metal roofs are fabricated from a variety of different materials, including copper, zinc, aluminum, galvalume steel and galvanized steel. There are also different kinds of metal roofs, including standing seam, tile, shake and vertical panels. Higher material and labor costs combine to make metal roofs more expensive than asphalt shingle roofs.

Cedar shakes

Some homeowners like the rustic, textured look of a cedar shake roof. There are variations like hand-split shakes. There are also rough-sawn cedar shingles. Today’s cedar shakes and shingles are treated with chemicals so they meet NJ fire codes.

Natural and synthetic slate

Although slate is significantly more expensive than asphalt shingles, some homeowners choose them because they are attractive, long-lasting and exceptionally fire-resistant.


While barrel-style clay and concrete tiles are most common, other styles emulate wood shakes or slate. Although the cost of tile roofs is substantial, total lifecycle costs are competitive.

Asphalt shingles

It is estimated that asphalt shingles cover about four of five NJ residential roofs. Since high-quality asphalt shingles are better than ever, the normal lifespan of asphalt shingle roofs is closer to that of the specialty roofs noted above.

In fact, many Tri-state homeowners who choose a properly installed architectural shingle roof will not need to replace it for as long as they live in their homes. Modern, well-maintained asphalt shingle roofs can last 30, 40 or even 50 years.

There are three basic types.

Three-tab: Contractors have installed traditional three-tab shingles on NJ roofs for decades. Each shingle consists of three “tabs” that are each about 12 inches long. They are separated by grooves about one-quarter-inch wide. During the manufacturing process, a tough fiberglass mat is embedded in asphalt. The outer surface is covered by protective granules.

Architectural: Architectural shingles are also called compositional or dimensional shingles. They consist of a tough fiberglass mat laminated between two layers of asphalt. Again, the exposed surface of the shingle is covered with protective granules. In general, they are thicker and more durable than three-tab shingles. GAF’s Timberline series is the #1 selling architectural shingle in the country.

Premium architectural: Premium-grade architectural shingles are thick enough to mimic materials like shakes and slate. They deliver a highly textured aesthetic that enhances many home designs. GAF’sDesigner series is a good example.

Selecting a Type of Roof: Factors to Consider

type of roofMany homeowners living in the Tri-state area try to strike a balance between the upfront expense of a new roof and its total lifecycle costs. The right decision will provide peace of mind for many years to come.

Here are some important factors to think about as you decide on the type of roof that’s right for you.

Maintenance costs

Many of the best roofs will lower your maintenance costs. Some roofs better resist the impact of large hail or falling branches. Roofs rated for 130 mph winds will resist shingle loss. Algae-resistant shingles eliminate the cost of removing those dark streaks that plague some roofs in northern NJ.

Cool roof savings

One new development is the “cool roof.” Manufacturers like GAF have developed asphalt shingles with highly reflective granules that can keep a roof cooler. This reduces long-term heat-related stress on roofing materials. A cooler roof often means a cooler attic during the hot summer months. This may translate into lower cooling costs.


type of roofYour home’s distinctive architecture may influence your roof selection. A roof that’s harmonious with the rest of your home’s exterior is a source of pride, and it may even enhance the value of your property in the eyes of a prospective buyer.

Resale value

If you plan to live in your home for many years, consider high-quality roofing materials that deliver relatively carefree living for decades. If you think you might sell in the years to come, consider how your new roof might enhance resale value. For example, Remodeling Magazine estimates that a homeowner will recoup 68.4 percent of the cost of a “midrange” roof replacement, on average.

How to Choose a Helpful Roofing Contractor

Arranging for the right type of roof starts with a thorough inspection by a highly experienced, certified roof inspector.

Naturally, you want to find an inspector affiliated with a contractor who can help you assess your project. A helpful contractor will highlight the pluses and minuses of your various options so you can make an informed decision that achieves your goals. The right contractor will also answer any and all questions that you may have.

Many NJ homeowners choose a reputable local roofing contractor that is factory-certified by one or more major roofing manufacturers.

Contact Us for Friendly, Professional Assistance

At CRS, we understand that an investment in a new roof is not to be taken lightly. Since 1977, we have helped homeowners in New Jersey sort through their roofing options. We are proud to be a GAF Master Elite Contractor.

CRS is a full-service roofing company offering inspections, routine maintenance, emergency work, minor and major repairs, re-roofing and full roof replacements. To arrange for a visit by our certified roof inspector, please contact us today!New Call-to-action

CRS provides full-service roofing including residential roof repair and replacement services, siding installation and replacement, regular roof maintenance, solar shingle installation, and more to homeowners in northern New Jersey from Bergen County to Somerset and Hunterdon Counties. We are local, experienced, and factory-certified by trusted industry names like GAF and Owens Corning. The experienced team at CRS would welcome the opportunity to serve you with the same level of customer service we’ve provided to thousands of other New Jersey homeowners since 1977. We also offer commercial roofing services to the tri-state area and have been trusted by local business owners to keep their employees and businesses safe through all seasons. 



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