Jack Arnold
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Choose authentic roofing materials for best look

Today there are an abundance of roofing materials available on the market. At my office, roofing choices are probably the number one question we’re asked by clients. No surprise, as a roof is one of the most important and most costly exterior features on a home. Choosing materials wisely is key. Building codes in many areas often dictate what’s acceptable overhead–for example, wood shake is often prohibited because of fire hazards. Weight of the roofing material must also be considered from an engineering perspective, as slate, concrete or clay roofs weigh nearly five times more than a wood shake or composite roof. Many imitation materials are available today, but I have not found an imitation shake or slate that I think is an acceptable substitute. Clients consider them because they weigh less, cost less and look pretty good. However, in my opinion, these synthetic materials can detract from the look of the home rather than enhancing it. And many of the higher end imitation materials cost as much as the real thing. When choosing roofing materials for your home, choose the authentic product–don’t settle for impostors.

One Response to “Choose authentic roofing materials for best look”

  1. Cris Says:

    Do you still have the opinion you did when this was written in 2007 that there are no imitation slate roofs that are acceptable? We are replacing our roof and are looking for the best option. Any suggestions? Our home is a Country French Classic…grey stone with red brick accents. I would really appreciate your opinion! We used Certainteed Independence Shingles when we built 18 years ago. I am not opposed to another comp roof but want the best look i can find. I can’t afford a true slate or tile roof. Thanks!

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Jack Arnold, AIA