The best materials for your home

Your roof is one of the most dominant features of your home, seen from both close and afar, it can be the first thing that any guests will notice, setting the tone for what your house says about you. Indeed, it accounts for up to 30% of the visible area of your house, and therefore choosing the right material to make it look as good as possible is a big decision.

From roofers in Sussex to roofers in Bath, roofers take into account numerous different considerations before choosing your home’s roofing material, including the style of your home, local planning guidelines, and your own budget. On top of that is how long the material will last and how much weight your roof can withstand. You don’t want to overburden your support, so choose carefully.

Asphalt roll

Made from large rolls of the same material used in asphalt shingle, Asphalt roll roofing is used for fairly flat pitches and small projects such as shed roofs. Installed by laying overlapping strips lengthwise across the roof it’s incredibly easy to install and as such is much loved by DIYers.

If using, stay clear of house roofs and stick to sheds, garages, porches or outdoor bars. In order to give it the longest possible lifespan then you need to keep it clear of any debris and check it for damage on a monthly basis. If you find a puncture or rip, then it’s absolutely imperative you fix or patch it up immediately. Even with the best care, you can expect your asphalt roll roof to keep out the elements for no longer than 10 years and should contemplate replacing after five.

Clay tiles

Clay tiles come in a range of colours and styles and include specially designed tiles for the more intricate parts of the roof like gullies and ridges. They also have a wonderfully long lifespan, as one refurbishment in Lincolnshire found out. Whilst working on the roof of Boston Guild Hall, workers were amazed to find some of the tiles dated back to the 14th century. However, that isn’t granted, as British winters, with their constant freeze-thaw cycles, can take a significant toll on clay tiles. That is why any clay tiles sold in the UK have to meet the UK’s frost requirements. Clay tiles are around 25% more expensive than their concrete counterparts, mainly due to the manufacturing process, so that is something that will have to be taken into account if clay is something you desire.


This easily splittable stone rose to dominance in Wales, Cornwall and the north of England due to its plentiful supply. Slate provides a smart and traditional looking roofing material, often in grey, but it must be significantly overlapped on several sides if you are to ensure complete water resistance. You can get composite or concrete versions which are often interlocking, making them an easier choice for many. Slate roofs also require a pitch of 30 degrees and need to be finished with metal at the edges, so whilst they look great and are culturally traditionally, they do come with a lot of work.


The archetypal roofing material of the British countryside. Roofers have used Thatch for generations due to its great insulation properties and its wonderful organic shape. Traditional and sustainable, it should be more common than it is. However, it can take a lot of work to mount and needs to be replaced every 25 years with maintenance every three or four years. The drier the climate, the longer it lasts, so with the UK having wetter winters than ever before, don’t be surprised to see less thatch around. Not only that, but the best material, water reed, is in short supply, as are traditional thatchers, leading to an overall decrease in this terrific roofing. Always found on a steep pitch, it rarely requires guttering due to its deep overhang.


Shingles create a watertight, wind-resistant seal that protects your roof from most environmental damage. Available in wood, metal, clay, slate and asphalt, shingles are ideal for any house type. They can be left untreated, allowing the hot weather into a luscious silver or can be treated, maintaining their colour and gaining a longer life.

A more practical type are solar shingles which harness the sun’s energy and use it in your home. These panels are designed to blend in seamlessly with your existing roofing and have a watertight seal.

Metal roofing

With a lifespan of 30 to 50 years, metal roofing can be a great option for your home. Ideal for areas that experience drastic weather changes, synch as open moorland or holly, wet areas, metal roofs are made from large steel panels laid down with overlapping raised ridges. Usually steel or aluminium, copper and zinc are also options.

They do require some maintenance, and it’s important to check that the sealants haven’t failed or that any of the panels have buckled, bent or slipped.

Whatever your home type, there will be a roofing material that compliments it perfectly contacting the experts, shopping around and gathering many different quotes will allow you to make the best decision for what your home needs. From thatch to shingles, make sure your home’s health is protected from the top down with watertight, wind-resistant and quality looking roofing.