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When it is time to part with an old roof, most homeowners find themselves in uncharted waters. The average homeowner only has to deal with a roof replacement twice in their lifetime. Hence, people have opinions that need reinforcement via roofing contractor knowledge and knowhow to get the right product chosen and installed correctly. We’ve determined the 3 most favored and reliable roofing materials for the Midwest.

At Roofing Annex of Cincinnati, we’ve surveyed our customers to take a look at what shapes their decision/choice in reliable roofing materials. There are really only 2 groups:

  1. Price Driven – Those who want the most inexpensive yet reliable option = 82%
  2. Style focused – Those who want a roof with classic beauty but without the huge price tag = 12%
  3. Material Focused – Those who have to have a certain material = 5%

Each group has sub categories but overall they are cohesive groups except for the fact that “Style Focused” homeowners split into two groups; those who go with expensive materials versus those who find a well price yet stylish option.

Fortunately, looking for the best roofing system to suit your needs is easy and there are countless professionals to help you. However, 2 of out 3 favored and reliable roofing material options are best left in the hands of a specialty roofer rather than a general roofing contractor.

Our 2 Favored & Reliable Roofing Materials

Remember, this list applies to our Midwest clients. We’ll rap about other materials below as well.

  1. Asphalt Shingles – This cost-effective option can provide the superior weather resistance and performance you can expect from a sturdy, well-functioning roof. It’s no surprise that over the last 30 years they’ve become the dominant roofing material. Our “Price Driven” group wants reliable roofing materials more than purely cheap and asphalt fits the bill. Asphalt shingles also offer the cheapest and most unreliable shingles at the same time. Certain brands and a particular type (3-Tab shingles) are infamous for barely lasting the 20 years their warranty provides. On the flip side, dimensional asphalt shingles, like GAF’s Timberline® series, can last 50 years and cost just a little more than their poorly made counter parts.

Asphalt shingles are the easiest to install next to some flat roofing types. Because of their light weight, simple fastening (nails), and ease to cut, these shingles can be applied at almost twice the speed of slate. When you choose this option for your Cincinnati area roofing, you’ll have access to a variety of styles, colors, and thicknesses that can emulate the beauty of more premium materials like wood shakes and/or slate. Roofing Annex carries asphalt shingles from GAF, the leading roof manufacturer in North America. You can choose from three-tab, Timberline®, and Designer series—all of which can maximize your home’s look and comfort. It’s the designer shingles that take half of the “Style Focused” crowd with it.

Call on a GAF Master Elite Roofing Contractor™ for a job done right.
Contact Roofing Annex – 513.685.909


  1. Slate – This is a popular choice due to its timeless beauty and supreme strength. Tiles come in a wide selection of sizes, styles, and colors that will certainly boost a home’s curb appeal. When installed properly, a tile roof can withstand high winds and large hailstones (up to two inches). They’re also perfect for the hot and humid summers because they are able to reduce heat transfer due to air circulating under the tiles. Cedar is better year round for insulation but isn’t as good during the summer months.

Those who want the most expensive looking and luxurious roofing available always turn to slate. While it is essentially the most expensive roofing system option, there are two very acceptable options to save a few bucks. GAF produces TruSlate™, a genuine slate tile roofing system, for those who want to save on product costs. Learn more here. Then there are faux slate options, composite plastics that simulate slate. They are lighter in weight, less costly to produce, and easier to install in most cases. This equates to savings on all fronts but you’re taking a small risk with longevity because these products are vastly untested in the real world. These products are relatively new and formulas continue to change. Many of these roofs installed in the early 2000s have already failed with wind tear-offs and UV damage (cracking and discoloring).

Not so Reliable Roofing Materials

3 Not so Reliable Roofing Materials

  1. Alternative Composite Shingles – As mentioned above, older faux shingles are vastly under performing and it’s unclear what most new varieties are untested. There are a few companies who are using better polymers with known track records along with UV inhibitors to make stronger products. While there is few products on the market that look like the real thing (Faux slate is best), some manufacturers are getting good. Companies like DaVinci Roofscapes are making huge strides. Even with the best faux products you still need to be sure that the roofing company you choose is certified to install them.
  2. 3-Tab Asphalt Shingles – We mentioned above that 3-Tab are the favorite of those who want the absolute cheapest product. Sadly they are cheap for a reason; they just don’t have enough strength to last. Unfortunately, we replace many roofs each year with the best 3-Tab shingles available (from GAF). We know that if a homeowner just spent 20 to 25% more they would have been much happier with the look and longevity of a dimensional shingle. That’s a $4,000 roof job versus a $5,000 roof job that adds to a home’s value.
  3. Living roofs – They are so neat but soo impractical and impractical rather than being one of the reliable roofing materials! The sub surface alone costs more than what you see and that dirt, irrigation, and plant life is EXPENSIVE. The Midwest isn’t the best climate rage for living roofs either. From cold winters to wet springs to hot, muggy summers, it’s just too much for living roofs to handle without constant care. We call living roofs unreliable for this reason. It must also be mentioned that the costs to transform an existing roofing system into a living one is also insanely expensive. Paying for the specialists who need to help pick vegetation is also costly.

Roofing Annex specializes in the most Reliable Roofing Materials

If you’re looking for a new asphalt, shake, or slate roof call the experts at Cincinnati’s most trusted roofing company, Roofing Annex.
Call for a FREE in-home consultation with one of our hassle-free professionals – 513.685.9092