Finding the best roofing materials for your project is tough. In Vancouver, whether you are building a totally new roof or patching up your existing one, there are a wide range of materials to choose from. Finding the best among all the options can get confusing. How do you choose the one for you?

There are many types of materials to choose from including asphalt, wood, and clay. Cost is an important factor, but it’s not the only one. Style, material weight, and installation requirements should also factor into your decision-making process. Lastly, you want your roof to blend in well with the neighbourhood. There are so many varied styles of house and roof in Vancouver. However, if you build a flat roof in a neighbourhood of cedar roofs, it can cause your house to stick out like a sore thumb and not to mention your neighbours will be upset. Consider the following options, then talk with your roofer and get an estimate for the job.

The Cost of Roofing Materials

A number of considerations will affect the cost of a new roof, but of course the first question everybody asks is “how much will it cost?” The price of the material is the starting point, but other factors must also be considered. One is the condition of the existing roof.  Do the old materials need to be stripped off? Or, if the supporting structure needs repair, what will that cost? The shape of the roof is another contributing factor. A gable roof with few or no breaks in its planes makes for a simple roofing job. A house with multiple chimneys, turrets, or skylights will cost significantly more to roof.


Asphalt Shingles

This is the most commonly used roof material, probably because it’s the least expensive and requires a minimum of skill to install. It’s made of a combination of fiberglass with asphalt and then a surface of sand-like granules. There are two basic configurations.  The first type is a single-thickness and a second one that is thicker and is laminated. The standard type costs roughly half as much, but laminated shingles have an appealing textured appearance and last roughly half as long.


Wood was the main choice for centuries and it’s still a beautiful choice, especially on the West Coast. Wooden roofs are usually made with cedar, redwood, or pine and they have a life expectancy of about 25-years but cost an average twice as much as asphalt.


Aluminum, steel, copper, copper-and-asphalt, and lead are all durable, but the downside is they are expensive. Lead and copper roofs are typically installed as shingles, but others are manufactured for seamed roofs consisting of vertical lengths of metal that are joined with solder.


Slate is not very common in Vancouver but it is among the most durable of all roofing materials. Not all slate is the same but the best of it will outlast the fasteners that hold it in place. In fact, hundred-year-old slate is often recycled for reinstallation, with the expectation it will last another century. The downside is slate is expensive and heavy so it’s not a good option for a lot of homes.

Choosing the Right Roof

More often than not if you are remodelling, the existing roof of your house will determine your choice of roofing material. Should you be considering other options you’ll want to consider not only the cost but the colour, texture, weight, and durability of your alternatives, as well as what traditionally has been used on houses like yours. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at Height Roofing. We can take care of all types of roofing for you and all our estimates are free.