Finding the right roof for your West Michigan home isn’t always easy. A new roof is a major investment and a major decision. It’s likely to last you at least the next few decades, so it’s probably important to you that you choose a roof that you like, and that looks great on your home. If you’ve finally decided it’s time for a new roof, you won’t want to rush into your decision. In case you’re feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of making that purchase, we’ve put together this blog to help you narrow down your choices and make that final decision a little easier. First, let’s start with what type of roof you want to buy:

ASPHALT VS. METAL

In Michigan, you have two main options for roofing materials – asphalt and metal. They’re both great choices, but each has its benefits and its downfalls:

Asphalt

Asphalt roofs are one of the most popular choices on the market because of their durability and low cost. When you choose an asphalt roof, you’ll have a great variety of options available to you, as asphalt comes in all kinds of colors and textures to best suit your home. It’s also excellent at keeping in heat in the winter and muffling sound, providing you with a well-insulated, quiet home. The best part: since asphalt roofs are one of the easiest to install, and are made from affordable materials, they’re one of the cheapest roofing options on the market.

While asphalt is an excellent roofing option, it’s important to note that there are a few downfalls. An asphalt roof will last you about 12-20 years, which is good, but not the same as a 50-year metal roof. Additionally, asphalt roofs are more prone to lost and broken shingles in the event of high winds.

Metal

Another popular roofing option, metal is one of the most durable materials on the market. It stands up against virtually every weather condition and will last you anywhere from 40 to 70 years. Metal is also very energy efficient. It’s one of the best materials out there for keeping your home cool in the summer, and it also works to keep in heat during the winter. An added bonus? Metal is ultra-lightweight compared to other materials, which means that if you need to reroof, you can place a new metal roof right over an old asphalt roof. The light construction means that the additional roof won’t damage your home’s structure, and you’ll save money by not having to strip the old one.

Like asphalt roofing, metal roofing also has some drawbacks. The biggest is the cost of a metal roof. You’re likely to pay a hefty upfront cost when you opt for a metal roof. In the end, the cost is almost always worth it, since metal roofs are so durable, but it can be a steep price when you’re putting it on. Additionally, metal roofs don’t always have the same style options as asphalt. When you choose a metal roof, you’ll likely be able to choose from just solid colors, instead of the varieties offered by asphalt options.

Energy Efficient Roofing?

When you install a new roof, you also have the option to choose one that’s energy efficient. Both asphalt and metal roofing come in energy efficient options, usually called “cool roofs.” This type of roof works to keep heat in during the winter, and heat out during the summer. While most standard roofing options – metal and asphalt – are pretty good at keeping your home toasty in the winter, the issue comes during the summer. Standard roofs are more apt to absorb heat from the sun’s rays, transferring that into your home, and forcing your air conditioning unit to work harder. This costs energy, and it can be inconvenient as your home continues to heat up, rather than cool down.

Cool roofs, alternatively, feature a special coating that works to reflect the sun’s rays, bouncing that heat off rather than absorbing it. While cool roofs do tend to cost more upfront, you’ll typically save money in the long run by increasing your energy efficiency and potentially extending the life of your roof.

Choosing A Color

Finally, we’ve come to the last, and perhaps most important decision of choosing a new roof. The color. You’ll want a color that’s beautiful and that goes with your home, but doesn’t stand out too much either. Here are a few tips to consider when you’re trying to figure out the right roof color:

  • Consider the style of your home
    The last thing you want to do is mess up the architectural integrity of your home’s design. For instance, if you have a classic white farmhouse, it will probably make sense for you to go with a darker roof color. If you designed your home with a specific style in mind, you’ll want to stick with that when you choose your roof color.
  • Think about unchangeable elements of your home
    If your home has some bold design elements, like a chimney, stone façade, or even a brick exterior, these colors are the ones that will dictate the color of your roof. You’ll want to choose a roof that complements these, so they stand out the way you originally intended. By contrasting with some of those major elements, you’ll end up with a lot of competing colors, ruining your overall design. In this situation, it’s best to go with a complementary color.
  • Consider the illusion
    Remember that darker colors tend to make your home seem smaller, while lighter colors will do the opposite.
  • Don’t forget your neighbors
    If you live in a subdivision, or if your neighbors are close by, you’ll want to ensure that your new roof doesn’t clash with their homes. If you have a neighborhood association, they may have stipulations on which colors you can choose from, which will affect your end choice. Even if you don’t have any rules to follow, you don’t want your home to look just like your neighbors, but you don’t want it to clash either. The way your home looks next to your neighbor’s can have a major effect on the overall aesthetic of your community.
  • If no other rules apply, remember the color wheel
    Your best bet is to choose a color that either contrasts, complements, or matches the overall color of your home. Contrast a light home with a dark roof for an eye-popping combination. For a more subtle look, complement a sage green house with a warm brown roof. And if neither of those options seem right, you can always match the color of your roof to the color of your home for a unified look.

In the end, the right roof for your West Michigan home is the roof you think will look the best and stand up to the elements for years to come. If you’re still struggling with all of the options out there, or if you just have a few questions before you make your final decision, make sure to give the experts at Werner Roofing a call. We’re one of West Michigan’s foremost roofers, installing both asphalt and standing seam metal roofs, and we’re here to answer any questions you might have. Give our office a call at 616-844-5382, or request your free roofing estimate online today!

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