A number of factors should be considered when selecting the roofing material for your home. These include the local availability of materials, their climatic suitability, and whether they are suitable for installation on the particular shape of roof you're planning to build.
In some circumstances however, society’s tastes and fashions will have final say over which roof materials are selected. For many houses, a variety of materials will be suitable and the choice will come down to longevity, cost and tastes.
Steel is the most popular roofing material in Australia. As well as being very durable, it's also lightweight, requires little maintenance and can be used for many different roof styles.
Terracotta roof tiles (also known as ceramic shingles) offer attractive, well-insulated roof surfaces that suit almost any climate. Tiles come in many different shapes and colours.
Similar to terracotta roof tiles, concrete tiles can also be designed to mimic wooden shingles, slate and stone, among other things - and offer a variety of advantages over each.
Roof shingles, while similar to roof tiles, are normally flat and much thinner. Roof shingles can be made from all kinds of materials, including wood, slate, concrete, and fibre cement.
Thatched roofs are made from dried plant stalks. While extremely uncommon in modern house roofs, thatch is a popular choice for outdoor structures like pergolas.
A roofing membrane is a plastic seal that's wrapped around a roof for weatherproofing. Membranes are becoming more popular on homes these days, particularly those with flat roofs.
Polyester is a lightweight, easily maintained roofing surface for things like pergolas, tents and shades, which are held in shape using tension.
They're not particularly common, but it's possible these days to build part or all of a roof using shingles with solar photovoltaic panels built into them. Learn more about this enticing new technology.
Slate has been used on roofs for hundreds of years, and offers an attractive, traditional and natural-looking finish.
Stone slab roofs, which are very uncommon in most parts of the world these days. While they offer excellent strength, they also weigh heavily on the rest of the house.