4 min read

What is the Best Roofing Material for North Carolina?

What is the Best Roofing Material for North Carolina?

All the time, we get asked about the different roofing materials available to homeowners looking for a roof replacement in the Raleigh area.

With over 30 years of experience in replacing and repairing roofs in the Triangle, we certainly have seen our fair share of roofs, and have seen how the different materials we install have held up over the years.

So to help homeowners learn more about their options for their roof replacement in North Carolina, and make an informed decision for their home, we wrote this blog on the best roofing materials in our state!

In this blog, we’ll break down

Let’s get started!


Determining what constitutes the "best" roofing material can be a subjective matter, with various factors coming into play. For many, durability takes center stage in this assessment, while others may prioritize popularity or aesthetics. There's even the perspective that the "best" roofing material might be the most luxurious and visually appealing one.


In the realm of durability, metal roofs emerge as formidable contenders, capable of withstanding a wide range of conditions. Standing seam metal roofs, in particular, exhibit an impressive longevity, often boasting a lifespan of around fifty years. When expertly installed, they offer robust protection against even the harshest weather conditions.older metal roof_WebP-2

On the other hand, asphalt shingles, while popular and cost-effective, have varying lifespans. Three-tab shingles typically endure for 15-20 years under favorable conditions, while architectural shingles can extend that lifespan to approximately 30 years.

Not to be underestimated, slate and ceramic tiles possess the potential for lifespans equal to or even exceeding that of metal roofs. However, their ability to reach such extended ages often hinges on the presence of favorable conditions.

In the context of North Carolina's fluctuating weather patterns, metal roofs emerge as the durability champions, offering steadfast protection and longevity. Their ability to endure diverse climate conditions makes them a preferred choice for those seeking roofing materials that stand the test of time.


When it comes to upfront cost, asphalt shingles unequivocally take the lead. Among these, Three-Tab asphalt shingles are the most budget-friendly, with a price tag that typically hovers around $90 per square in 2022. Even the more premium architectural shingles remain cost-effective, generally priced just above $100 per square. Luxury shingles, while a bit pricier, can still be obtained for around $180 per square.Three-Tab Shingles_WebP-3

If you're unfamiliar with the term "square" as a unit of measurement in roofing, we've got you covered. Check out our blog that provides a detailed explanation of roofing squares and guidance on measuring your roof, offering valuable insights into estimating the cost of your specific roof replacement project. For a more accurate estimate, you can also reach out to us for a complimentary inspection and estimate service.

In contrast, roofing materials beyond asphalt tend to command a higher price point. Standing seam metal roofs, for instance, are measured in linear feet rather than square feet, with costs ranging from approximately $10 to $12 per linear foot. The upfront expense of these materials often reflects their exceptional durability and longevity.


In today's roofing landscape, the architectural asphalt shingle reigns supreme as the most popular choice, primarily due to its excellent value proposition. This variety of asphalt shingles has gained widespread acceptance, not only in North Carolina but throughout North America. As architectural shingles have become increasingly cost-effective and durable, they have captured the preference of most homeowners seeking a roof replacement.architectural shingles_WebP-1

It's worth noting that in certain locales, Homeowner's Associations (HOAs) may exert influence over the choice of roofing materials to maintain a consistent neighborhood aesthetic and uphold property values. Typically, HOAs favor architectural or luxury-level asphalt shingles, as they offer an appealing blend of durability and aesthetics.

In contrast, rural areas of North Carolina often witness a higher prevalence of metal roofs. Homeowners in these regions frequently gravitate towards metal due to its perceived durability and distinct aesthetic appeal, which sets it apart from traditional asphalt roofing options. The choice between architectural shingles and metal roofs often hinges on individual preferences and the specific demands of the property and its location.


Indeed, roofing aesthetics are inherently subjective, and personal preferences play a significant role in the decision-making process. As for me, I share your admiration for the textured charm of designer or architectural asphalt roofs. However, when delving into the realm of distinctive roofing appearances, it's impossible to overlook wood, slate, and ceramic roofing materials.cedar shake dormers_WebP-1

Wood, slate, and ceramic roofing materials, while relatively expensive, offer timeless allure and the potential for a lifespan far exceeding that of asphalt shingles. Their true appeal lies in their rustic and old-fashioned aesthetics. Wood shake, for instance, harmonizes beautifully with wood siding, creating a coastal or cabin vibe. Slate, when suitable for the structure, effortlessly captures the essence of a classic manor. Ceramic tiles, on the other hand, infuse a Mediterranean charm into a home's exterior.

Standing seam metal roofs may exhibit a certain uniformity, yet they shine through the vast array of colors available to homeowners. This versatility allows individuals to tailor their metal roof's appearance to seamlessly match their house and its surroundings, thereby expressing their unique style.

Similarly, architectural asphalt shingles distinguish themselves with their textured look, setting them apart from flat three-tab varieties. The extensive range of colors available further enables homeowners to personalize their roofing aesthetics. Luxury shingles take this a step further, offering a diverse array of textures and styles, even emulating the appearance of slate roofs. Ultimately, the roofing material that resonates most with homeowners reflects their personal taste and the character they wish to impart to their dwelling.


Determining the unequivocal "best" roofing material for North Carolina proves to be a nuanced endeavor. Asphalt shingles, notably popular and cost-effective, stand as the prevalent choice due to their commendable balance of durability and affordability. On the flip side, metal roofs boast an extended lifespan, though they do come with a more substantial initial cost.

In the end, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. The best roofing material for North Carolina hinges on an array of factors, including budget, aesthetic preferences, climate considerations, and maintenance capacity. It's a matter of aligning your priorities and circumstances with the material that best suits your specific needs and vision for your home.

On Tops Roofing has been replacing and repairing roofs in Raleigh for over 30 years, so whatever your roofing project requires, We’re on it!

The 5 Best Roofing Companies in Fayetteville, NC for 2024

The 5 Best Roofing Companies in Fayetteville, NC for 2024

How do you find the best roofers? Ask an experienced roofing contractor who knows all the other roofing contractors in Fayetteville NC!

Read More
Benefits of a Project Manager for Your Roof Replacement

Benefits of a Project Manager for Your Roof Replacement

A roof replacement is a substantial undertaking, and the key to a successful project often lies in the hands of the project manager. This individual...

Read More
Signs Your Roof Has Storm Damage

Signs Your Roof Has Storm Damage

If you’ve recently experienced a storm, you should probably take some time to investigate your roof for signs of damage left by that storm.

Read More