Regardless of where you currently live, you've probably thought about what your dream home would be like if you won the lottery and and price was not an issue. If you're like most homeowners, you live in a house which you like and it suits the needs of your family, but you have some renovations or upgrades you hope to conduct at some point in time. Whether your roof needs to be replaced or you just don't like the appearance, there are options which use traditional shingles while creating an interesting effect.
Installation and Initial Expense
The first consideration is whether you want cedar or asphalt shingles. Cedar shingles are going to be more expensive because the material costs more and the installation is more labor intensive, but for all practical purposes they will last forever if properly maintained over the years. Asphalt shingles in shades of tan or brown can simulate the look of cedar shingles, or they can come in gray, black or green tones according to your design preference. Asphalt is considered the standard paradigm for modern roofing as it is rugged, durable, and does its job well.
Every roof is going to require maintenance over time in order to maintain its beauty. You're going to have to reseal around the chimney and vent pipes, and you may have to pressure wash mold and mildew depending on where you live. A heavy storm may blow a shingle off the roof, and it needs to be replaced. Such a repair is easier with cedar shingles. On the other hand, cedar shingles need to be varnished, or sealed, every few years in order to maintain their proper function.
Lifetime Expectation Before Replacement
Although shingles come with a warranty which is typically 20-40 years, that's really just an arbitrary figure based on the law of averages. The roof will generally last until something happens to it. If you live in an area prone to have heavy storms, or if you live on a wooded lot with branches falling on your roof throughout the year, it's obvious you can't expect your roof to last as long as one in a place which has moderate weather and little or no exposure to outside elements which can cause damage. If you take good care of your roof and repair minor problems immediately as they occur, the system will hold itself together and provide its function much better over an extended time frame.
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