If you’ve never had a custom home built, you probably haven’t put much thought towards what type of material you want on your roof. Your home already has a roof, and you simply go with what’s there. If it needs repairing or replacing, you repair it or replace it with the material already present. 

But building a custom home comes with a lot of choices, and one of those choices is what type of material you want on your roof. In the US, asphalt shingles are far and away the most common, but they’re certainly not the only choice.  

Here are the roofing materials you’ll typically have to choose from, along with their advantages and disadvantages: 

Asphalt Shingles 

Drive through a neighborhood in the United States, and you’ll see asphalt shingles of all different cuts and colors. In fact, 70% of US homes have asphalt shingles. 

They’re affordable, varied, and they offer great protection. Quality asphalt shingles can last 20-30 years, and they don’t require any type of regular maintenance. Should you need them repaired at some point, it’s simple to do so. 

That said, they’re not perfect. For starters, though they last a fair length of time, they’re hardly the longest lasting option. Also, if applied improperly, they can crack and wear much quicker. If you live north, they’re more susceptible to ice-dams in the winter. 

And for those trying to live “green”, asphalt shingles aren’t a particularly eco-friendly solution.  

That said, they’re still a great choice for many. If you want the best asphalt shingles, consider architectural shingles. They last the longest and generally look the best. 

Clay or Concrete Tiles 

Looking to add a little Spanish flair in your home’s appearance? Clay and concrete tiles are more common in south western states, but you can use them wherever you’d like. They generally last a decade or two longer than asphalt shingles, and they’re energy efficient. 

One thing to be aware of is their weight. Especially with concrete tiles. However, with a new custom home, your roof can be built to handle the extra pressure, no problem. 


Metal roofing offers some distinct advantages that have helped it gain serious traction over the years on residential homes. For starters, it’s possibly the longest lasting option available. In some cases, metal roofing can last for over a century. 

While you may imagine metal roofs to all look the same, they definitely don’t have to. Not only can you select different types of metal to vary the appearance, but they can actually be painted or coated to resemble different materials.  

If that weren’t enough, they’re also fire resistant, and they reflect heat in the summer, making your home cooler. They do a much better job at shedding ice and rain than traditional asphalt too.  

They do have a higher upfront cost (especially if you choose copper), but even then, the cost evens out over time. 

Depending on the construction of your home and whether or not you have an attic, they can be louder during rain. Though they’re strong, they can be dented by heavier objects.  

They generally withstand hail just fine, though. 


Want a distinct roof that’s as strong as it is beautiful? Then slate might be for you. With it’s unashamedly European look, slate leaves your roof looking like it’s etched out of stone. That does mean that slate is heavy (and pricey), but with modern innovations like synthetic slate tiles, both of these drawbacks can be overcome. 

As for life expectancy, slate can last from 40-60 years, as long as it’s installed properly. 

Whatever Your Roofing Material, You Need a Trusted Builder 

A roof is only as good as the house it’s put on. If you’re looking for a beautiful, well-built, new home construction in the Dayton, Ohio area, look no further. Astelier Fine Homes has an extensive portfolio of custom luxury homes throughout the Miami Valley. 

We work side-by-side with our customers through the home building process to ensure it’s exactly what they want, from the roof to the foundation. 

Contact us today to get started.