What type of roofing material is the best investment?

Dear Dave,


We will be needing a new roof in the next year or so and I wanted to get your opinion on different materials and options that may be available. We typically see shingles, but more and more we are seeing metal roofs and understand that is a more recent trend. Do you have an opinion on which of these choices may be best? Are there any other materials that you would recommend that might be better?

We will be retiring and selling our house in a few years, so we want to get our money’s worth.

John and Kate, Grand Junction, CO

John and Kate,

When making home improvements it is always wise to consider your return on investment prior to making any selections or firm decisions.  However, selecting a new roof and basing your decision on return on investment can be a tricky proposition. One thing I have learned over the years is, there are a few basic characteristics every home buyer expects as a given when purchasing their home and having a “decent” roof is one of those expectations. Buyers expect, and rightly so, that the roof to be in good condition with a minimum of 3 years remaining on the anticipated life expectancy.

Because it is a basic expectation for any buyer that the roof be in good repair, you can assume that very few, if any, buyers are going to be willing to pay significantly more for the home because the roof is new or newer. They will appreciate that your roof is in better condition and it may help sell your home faster or help it beat out another competing house, but long as the life expectancy is more than 3-5 years don’t expect to reap any real tangible monetary benefits. That being said, you do have the opportunity to impact the price of your home, monetarily, by replacing your roof with a different material or texture that will impact your home's appearance.  

Buying a home is an emotional experience and homes that have a unique appearance or unique characteristics certainly can get a leg up on the competition during the sales process. Consider using a standing seam metal roof or a thicker architectural shingle for your next roof!   Metal roofs provide a fresh look and are becoming very popular. If your home lends itself to mixing the surfaces, you can create wonderful street presence that will help you stand out from the other homes that are for sale and even other homes in your neighborhood. You can also provide a pop of color, but don’t go too crazy with the color. A thicker architectural shingle can also look wonderful and provide some depth where none previously existed. These thicker shingles generally are used when replacing shake shingles, as they help maintain some of the original look. You can also go the way of a tile roof, but be careful that you do not over build your neighborhood or over improve your property. 

There are options out there to dabble with some new looks, however note that these options will be more expensive and less budget friendly than a standard 30 year architectural shingle. Be mindful of your budget and anticipated return and don’t be afraid to ask for other professional opinions prior to making the leap on your next roof. Hope this helps and I bet it turns out great!                                                            

Dave Kimbrough
The Kimbrough Team