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Roofing Buyer's Guide (page 9 of 10)

Learn how to tell if it's time to replace your roof, and get information on the latest roofing materials and approximate costs.

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faux slate roof

These interlocking metal shingles are made to resemble slate roofing. Photo courtesy Atlas International Metal Shingles.

Metal roofing (continued)
Interlocking steel and aluminum shingles mimic the textural look of wood shakes and slate roofing. They are lightweight, strong, fireproof and resist rot. Metal shingles can be recycled and are one of the more environmentally friendly roofing materials.

Metal roofs are especially durable, too, and last 50-75 years. Metal shingles cost $300-$700 per square, installed. Standing-seam metal roofs cost $7-$15, depending on the complexity of the roof design and the number of roof features, such as skylights and chimneys. Installing a metal roof takes specialty tools and know-how, and is a job for a professional roofing contractor.

Clay tiles with their distinctive barrel shape and reddish-brown color, often are associated with classic Spanish-style architecture of the American Southwest. Flat, glazed clay tiles are reminiscent of French farmhouses and come in many colors. These tiles are made from a mixture of pulverized clay and water, and are extremely heavy -- a square can weigh half a ton or more. If you're considering having your roofing replaced with clay tiles, it's a good idea to first have your roof structure evaluated by a structural engineer to see if reinforcement is necessary.

Clay tile roofing is extremely durable and may last 75 years or more. Although strong, clay tiles may break if walked on. Occasionally, chipping or breaking occurs and tiles must be replaced. Expect to pay $300 to $1,100 per square, installed.