How to Choose the Right Roofing Material for Your New Construction Home

By Brian Baber, Franchise Owner at AR Homes® Panama City (BCB Construction)

What Roof Material is Right for Me?

There are two main factors to consider when choosing a roofing material. The first is, what do you like? The second is, where do you live? 

The roofing material you choose should be a style that fits your home and personal preferences. Go a little deeper than surface level, and that’s where your choice gets more technical. The truth is, you can make any look and style work, provided you have the appropriate underlayment and installation for your climate. As a builder who has experienced a category 5 hurricane in a home I built, I speak from experience. 

What is underlayment?

Underlayment is the material sandwiched between the shingles and the roof decking. It provides a layer of protection from the elements and helps keep wind, rain, and snow from causing damage. The least expensive form of underlayment is felt. That’s what you’re going to see in most older homes and it’s what many production builders use. 

The next step up is a synthetic underlayment. This provides better protection from the elements, is easier to walk on during installation, and doesn’t tear easily. However, it has similar properties to felt underlayment when faced with wind. Again, it comes down to where you live and what type of weather you’ll encounter. 

The best underlayment is peel and stick. So, when strong winds blow and the top layer roofing material blows away, peel and stick is still there protecting your home and keeping it dry. Metal roofs most often have peel and stick type underlayment and are screwed in place, unlike asphalt shingles which are nailed down, usually over felt. Both can be great options depending on the elements. 

So, back to the question: which roof material is right for you? Make your choice based on what you want your home to look like and then, if you live in an environment that is set susceptible to high windstorms or excessive moisture, go with a peel and stick underlayment. You can even find homeowners insurance rebates with this type of underlayment, so it may even pay for itself over time. 

Any good builder will offer a variety of roofing and underlayment options. And with this bit of knowledge, you can make an informed decision based on budget, style, and weather.