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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 what makes a roofing material “the best” as well as what materials excel in each category, and what material might be best for your specific situation.

Let’s get started!

What makes a roofing material “the best?”

There are a few different ways that you might define what “the best” roofing material is.

  • By how durable the material is
  • By how expensive it is
  • How popular it is
  • And by how good it looks!

Let’s start off by talking about the durability of most roofing materials, as that’s likely what most people will consider to be “the best.”


Rain on a metal roof_WebP

When it comes to durability, it's hard to beat a metal roof for most any conditions. Standing seam metal roofs tend to last around fifty years, and if installed correctly, will stand up strong against any weather. 

Asphalt shingles on the other hand, can last anywhere from 15-30 years, depending on which kind of shingle you get. Three-tab shingles can make it 15-20 years in good conditions, while the next step up for architectural shingles can last up to 30 years.

Slate and ceramic tiles would also typically have a lifespan as long, if not longer, than metal, but they usually only reach that age in good conditions. Since the weather here in North Carolina fluctuates a bit more than in other places, we’re going to give the durability category to the metal roofs.


For the cost section, the clear winner up front are asphalt shingles. Three-Tab asphalt shingles are by far the least expensive shingles, and even the higher end architectural shingles are not as expensive as other roofing materials. Three-tab shingles typically cost around $90 per square in 2022, while architectural shingles cost just over $100 per square, and luxury shingles can get up to $180 per square.

Shingle Comparison

If you’re not sure what a “square” is, be sure to check out our blog defining roofing squares as a unit of measurement, and how to measure your own roof so you can get a better idea of how much your specific roof replacement would cost. You could also reach out to us for a free inspection and estimate!

The rest of the roofing materials are more expensive than asphalt. Because of their structure, standing seam metal roofs are measured in linear feet instead of square feet, and end up at around $10-$12 per linear foot.


Again, in large part because of their value, the most popular roofing material these days is going to be the architectural asphalt shingles. Most roofs in North Carolina, and North America, are going to be made of asphalt shingles, and as the architectural shingle variety has gotten more cost effective and more durable, they have become the material of choice for most homeowners getting a roof replacement.

In some places, Homeowner’s Associations may regulate what kind of roofing materials are allowed, so that all of the homes in the neighborhood maintain a similar look to preserve home values. Usually, these are going to be architectural or luxury level asphalt shingles.

Very often in the more rural areas of North Carolina, we’ve seen metal being a more popular option. Often these homeowners prefer the durability and look of a metal roof to a traditional asphalt roof.


This section is of course going to be subjective, and everyone brings their own opinion to the table. For me personally, I love the textured look of a designer or architectural asphalt roof. But when discussing about the roofs that are going to have the most unique look, you have to talk about wood, slate, and ceramic roof materials.

All three are pretty expensive, and have the potential to last well past the life of an asphalt shingle roof, but what they really bring to the table is their rustic, old-fashioned looks. Wood shake matches well with wood siding on a beach house or cabin. On a roof that can support it, slate will really nail an older manor look. Ceramic tiles will give a home a Mediterranean appearance.

wood cedar shake_WebPceramic roof shingles_WebP

Standing seam metal roofs tend to look fairly similar, but there are plenty of different colors available for homeowners to choose to match their house and surroundings, so that's how they showcase their individuality.

The same thing goes for architectural asphalt shingles. They provide a more textured look than flat three-tabs, and the colors go a long way toward differentiating them from other roofs. Luxury shingles come in a variety of textures and styles, even simulating the look of some slate roofs.

What is the best roofing material in NC?

Ultimately, you can’t 100% nail down one material as the “best” for North Carolina. Asphalt Shingles are by far the most common, and most cost-effective option for their durability, while metal roofs are going to last longer, they also carry a heavier price tag. Ceramic, wood, and slate roofs can all survive a long time in good conditions, and they typically will have the most unique and classic look to them, but they also are pretty expensive and can be difficult to maintain.

If you want to learn more about what roofing material might be best for your roof, get in touch with us using the “Contact Us” button below!

On Tops Roofing has been replacing and repairing roofs in Raleigh for over 30 years, so whatever your roofing project requires, we have the experience to help!

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