Residential Building News

Northern Michigan Roofing Materials

When building a custom home in Northern Michigan, you’re faced with selecting from many roofing options. Style matters but so does selecting the right roofing materials that will protect your investment.

Beyond materials alone, the proper usage of the material along with appropriate design is critical. We always discuss with our clients the different options in both design and materials so that you can rest easy knowing you made the right choice.

Our climate presents challenges and selecting materials that can hold up to and protect your home from harsh winters, heat, direct sunlight, and moisture is an important decision. Luckily there are many options for a roof that is both attractive and protective.

Roofing Materials for Northern Michigan

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular choice due to lower initial cost and are available in a wide array of colors. Asphalt shingles are versatile and work well with complicated rooflines. In the extreme weather conditions that Northern Michigan poses, the average lifespan of asphalt shingles is 15-20 years.  Some manufacturers offer premium grades that can extend the lifespan.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs not only come in a variety of colors, but also a variety of appearances. Metal roofs often look like other materials. While standing ridge roofs are common, you can also choose from shake, shingles, slate, or even classic Mediterranean tile.

Metal roofs are a popular choice in Northern Michigan. They tend to be better at shedding snow, leaves, and pine needles than traditional asphalt or fiberglass shingles.

Metal roofs are actually lighter in weight than many other materials. This means there is less total weight on your roofing trusses. This is beneficial considering Northern Michigan’s snowfall. Of course, all of our homes are built to withstand heavy snow loads. Snow shields help prevent large sections of snow from falling like an avalanche and are strategically placed to protect walkways and doorways.

Metal roofs are also energy efficient and can help reduce heating and cooling costs. Another big plus in Northern Michigan!

Metal roofs do have a few downsides. They can be noisier in rainstorms although insulation helps make this less noticeable. While their initial cost is higher, the long-term or total cost of ownership is often lower than other roofing choices.

Slate or Concrete Tile Roofing

Slate and concrete tile makes for a gorgeous roof but, is considerably heavier than metal or asphalt shingle roofing. This means that the extra reinforcement is necessary to accommodate the added weight of our Northern Michigan snowfalls. Durability is excellent but costs tend to run higher than other choices.

Roof Care and Maintenance

No matter what material you choose, all roofs need care and maintenance. Cleaning gutters, removing any tree branches or debris, and inspecting flashing should be done annually to prevent problems.

Factors that affect roofing material choices and longevity include:

  • Roof pitch; steeper pitches tend to shed rain, snow and debris better prolonging the lifespan of the roofing material. Complicated pitches and gables can add to material and labor costs as well.
  • Surrounding environmental factors like the amount of direct sunlight or shade, nearby trees that can shed leaves or pine needles or other debris. Mold, moss, and algae can affect the integrity of your roof as well.
  • A well-designed roof includes proper insulation and ventilation so that icicles and ice dams are mitigated.

Lakeshore Custom Homes will consult with you and help you make an educated decision. We can guide you through the multitude of choices and help you choose the best options based on your home design, site selection, budget, as well as local factors.  We are committed to providing the best quality construction so you can enjoy your custom home.

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