You want to protect your home – it is one of the largest investments that most people make. And a roof is the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your home from water and weather damage. With that in mind, you will want to make sure that you are using the right kind of shingle to get the level of protection that you want at a budget that you feel comfortable with.

Of course, like anything else, quality comes at a price. And generally, the higher the quality, the better the protection afforded to your home. So you will want to do your homework so that you get the best protection for your home (and all of its contents). There are many different kinds of shingles, so I will go over some of the more popular options below, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses.


Slate is known as one of the most beautiful and the highest quality options that you can choose for roofing your home. The beautiful stone look is timeless, and the roofs last between 50 to 80 years so it is a great option if you have a large budget. However, it is a very large investment and many people simply cannot (or choose not to) afford  a slate roof. Of course, if you want the slate look at a much lower cost, you can get slate look shingles. They do not last nearly as long as genuine slate, but they do offer a similar look and are generally a high quality shingle.


Metal roof systems (or metal shingles) are generally low cost and can last a long time if they are properly maintained (some systems are rated at 50 years). However, they are generally not considered in most residential applications because they do not look like what most people think a roof should look like (though they have come a long way recently as you can see here). Many metal roofing systems are quite attractive, but they do not have the traditional roof look that most other shingles offer. But, metal roofs are a good budget alternative in many situations.


One of the most affordable alternatives, asphalt shingles are a very popular option. These shingles are much thinner than slate shingles or clay tile, but they do offer good protection for your home. They do not last nearly as long either, with most asphalt shingles rated at 20-30 years.


Wood shingles offer a beautiful look, though they are more expensive than asphalt shingles. Wood roofs also are generally easier to repair (we have done a lot of wood roof repairs throughout Orange County) than other types of roofs which allows them to last a long time with proper maintenance. In dry areas, like Orange County, wood shingles are not a good alternative because of the risk of fire.


Tile roofs are usually the most expensive to purchase and install, but they are also the longest lasting alternative, with some roofs rated for 100 years. Tile roofs are also very heavy, which means that your home’s structure will need to be strong in order to hold up the weight of the roof, so always have your home’s structure checked out before you opt for a tile roof.

As you can see, there are many different choices when it comes to the shingles that you use to cover your house. And there is no right choice – it is all down to the look that you want, budget constraints, and the durability that you are after. At Orange County Roofing Contractors, we always talk our clients through all of their options to help them to make the right choice for their unique situation.