Shakes and Fakes: Everything You Need to Know About Alternatives to Asphalt Shingles

Posted on: 26 October 2018

Asphalt shingles are ubiquitous. Across much of America, homes are protected by asphalt shingles and there is nothing wrong with that; they are durable, effective, and inexpensive. Sometimes, however, you want a different look for your home. From cedar shakes to faux products, there are choices out there to fit every style and budget. 

1. Metal Roofing: While traditional, standing seam metal roofs in a silver-tone are what comes to mind when someone mentions installing a metal roof on their home, the options available today in metal roofing are almost limitless. Not only do standing seam metal roofs come in a variety of enviable colors, but they also are now available in tiles designed to mimic everything from cedar shakes to—you guessed it—asphalt shingles. With metal roofs lasting over 50 years, its no wonder that they are a popular choice. 

2. Cedar Shakes: Cedar shakes are so beautiful that they inspired an entire style of American architecture, Shingle Style, which evolved out of Victorian at the end of the nineteenth century and is still popular today. Used as both a siding and a roofing material, cedar shakes start out a natural, blondish wood tone and weather to a silvery-gray. If you prefer the natural wood, you can seal the shakes prior to installation to preserve that look. 

3. Slate: The National Park Service calls slate roofing the "most aesthetically pleasing" roofing material on the market and you'd be hard-pressed to disagree. While valued for its durability, the beautiful gray tones punctuated with shades of green, red, and even purple are what homeowners have been falling in love with for hundreds of years. While costly, there are versions available on the market today that are made from recycled rubber and other materials.  

4. Cement: Manufacturers are using cement to mimic the look of slate and cedar. These new tiles are great at faking the style of the originals while adding fire-resistance and reducing costs. If you thought a stone or cedar roof was out of your budget, try one of the great cement fakes on the market. You may be pleasantly surprised. 

5. Clay Tiles: While more common in the desert Southwest, clay tiles can be used in other parts of the country. If you love the look of them, talk to your roofing contractor about the options available where you live. There are even metal roofs designed to look like clay tiles for people that live in areas with heavy snow loads. 

6. Copper: More often than not, copper has been used as an accent detail, covering bay windows and cupolas in traditional homes. This is because it was extremely expensive to use. There is a newer alternative, however, that allows more homeowners to afford the beauty of copper for less. Copper shingles make this look more affordable and can be seal coated if you do not like the look of verdigris, the greenish color copper turns as it ages.  

If you are looking to stand out from the crowd, the alternatives to asphalt shingles available on the market today can help you do just that. Contact a roofing company, such as Title Roofing, for more information.