Roof Types Comparison: Which Option is Best For You?

Choosing the Right Type of Roof

premier restoration service for terracotta roofsRegardless of its type, the roofing of your home is the first line of defence against the vagaries of the elements and it will also define your home in multiple ways. Roof types can affect the look, value and even the harmony between you and your neighbours if you are living in a development or gated community.

The roof occupies a massive surface area of your home so even design perspective, it has to look right. It has to not only complement the architectural style of the home but also the streetscape and the communal style. It will go a long way in defining the aesthetics of your premises. That is why serious thought most go into choosing the right roof types for your home.

In Australia, there are four main types of roofing that you can install on residential premises:

For most Australians, the choice of roofing is simply a no-brainer. They will simply go with whatever they like. They are likely to rely on their gut feeling when choosing their roofing.

However, by knowing the distinctions between the various kinds of roof types, it is possible for you to narrow down on a “precise” choice that will just feel right for your home and create a sense of continuity with the prevailing style in your locality.

Comparing Roofing Materials

Here is a comparison of the main roofing materials used in Australia that will help you make a more prudent choice when you are shopping for roofing material:-

Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles have been used in Australia for more than decades and are a top roofing material choice for most homeowners. The manufacturing techniques have been refined over the years and today you can find premium quality concrete tiles that are durable, non-combustible and with great aesthetic appeal. Modern concrete tiles are resistant to corrosion, cracking or chipping. They also do not peel off easily so they are likely to last on your roofing for generations.

Below is a look at the pros and cons of concrete tiles:


  • They have good thermal and acoustic insulation
  • They have great aesthetic appeal and will look good on your roofing
  • They are highly energy efficient and will cut down on your energy costs attributed to heating and cooling during the winters and summers respectively.
  • Have excellent weather resistance
  • Come with very long warranties with a minimum of 20 years depending on the manufacturer, a testament to their quality and durability.


  • They can chip or crack and this will require prompt repairs otherwise they are likely to undergo extensive damage.
  • Generally affected by moss or algae growth as they absorb a considerable amount of moisture.
  • May need occasional re-bedding in the ridge caps which drives up the maintenance costs.
  • They are very heavy, especially when soaked in moisture so you have to build a robust structure when installing concrete tiles. This is likely to increase the cost of installing the concrete tiles.


Terracotta as a roofing material has been used for generations. Terracotta has been used in roofing since 3BC. That is more than 2000 years back. It is made from heating and glazing clay in kiln. Over the millennia, these particular roof type have undergone several refinements and are still well adapted for modern use. They are the most durable roofing materials with a typical minimum warranty of up to 50 years.

Here is an overview of the pros and cons of terracotta roofing:


  • They have excellent resilience. They will not warp or even decompose like other roofing types such as asphalt tiles.
  • Terracotta roofing tiles are fade proof. They will retain their colour for generations.
  • They have superb resistance against the elements including rain, heat, UV rays from the sun, wind or snow.
  • Terracotta tiles have a high level of energy efficiency which will help you save on power bills.
  • Require very low maintenance
  • Have a very long span- a minimum of 50 years


  • They are very expensive. Terracotta tiles cost, on average, two and a half times the cost of concrete tiles.
  • They are brittle so they can easily break when hit by hard objects such as falling tree branches during storms.
  • Installation of terracotta tiles requires very specialized hands otherwise they are going to leak leading to the deterioration or rot of the underlying structures.
  • They are very heavy and require a more robust support structure which drives up the cost of installation.
  • To repel water, you should use a sealant on the terracotta tiles which increases the cost of installation and maintenance.

Colorbond Roofing

Colorbond roofing materials are the second most popular roof type after concrete tiles. They are a fairly recent addition but their popularity in residential construction use is growing exponentially. Colorbond roofing are affordable, durable, available in an array of colours and are fully recyclable. They also have good thermal properties.


  • Colorbond roofing is very light in weight so the supporting roof structure will also be lighter, requiring less material. This cuts down the cost of roof installation.
  • Colorbond material also has good spanning which allows you to install roofing over a large surface area without the need for extra support columns.
  • Low cost of maintenance
  • Colorbond roofing material is very resilient and will weather all the elements for decades.
  • Less susceptible to cracks and leaks
  • The material is non-combustible
  • Colorbond material has excellent thermal properties which is rare in a lot of steel roofing materials. Good temperature regulation means lower heating and cooling costs.


  • Colorbond roofing is not very flexible because they are not easy to cut through so they are likely to create a lot of headache if you want to carry out installations later on.
  • They are not quiet. The metallic roofing amplifies the sound of the rain. However, this can be dampened with the ceiling board.
  • Water generally condenses beneath the colorbond roofing and this could damage the underlying structures.

Metallic Roofing

This type of roof has been used in Australia for decades and they are still quite popular. The main advantage is the affordability and durability. Improvements in manufacturing processes means you now have excellent choices of various designs, profiles and colours. You can find the right metallic roof that will suit your aesthetic taste.


  • Offers a great selection so you can easily find what you are looking for.
  • Good resistance against the weather elements
  • It is fire-safe: metal roofing is non-combustible
  • It is sustainable as metal is fully recyclable


  • Metal roofing is susceptible to corrosion
  • Metal roofing magnifies the sound of the falling rain. It can be a very noisy affair when it rains

When picking a suitable roofing material for your home, it is important to square your expectations with the unique properties of the material. If you are building in a development, the communal style may sometimes trump your own individual preferences. Work with a professional roofing contractor to help you choose the best roof type suited for your home and architectural style.

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