Recognizing The Right Roofing

3 Alternative Roofing Materials To Consider For A Rustic Home

Shingles are so common in the United States that in many circles, they've become synonymous with roofing. Say the word "roof," and most people will picture shingles. And indeed, shingles do have a lot going for them. They're inexpensive, they are easy to install and repair, and they come in a range of colors. However, they are not the only roofing material out there, and if you're about to put a new roof on a rustic home, there are some alternative roofing choices that really do deserve some contemplation.

1. Thatched Roofing

If you like the idea of going old-school, it really does not get more old-school than a thatched roof. This type of roofing is made from water reeds or straw that is packed into bundles and then secured on top of the home. Thatched roofing sheds water really well, and it's a great insulator, which means you can save money in insulation elsewhere. (There's no need to also pack fiberglass into your attic.) 

If you're a fan of green building materials, it really doesn't get any greener than thatching. When the roof is at the end of its lifespan, it will decompose like any other plant matter. Thatched roofing also has a cozy, cottage look that is perfect out in the country. Its main downfall is that, because it's not too popular, it can be tough to find someone who installs it. But if you can manage to find a roofing company in your area that offers thatching, it's a viable option.

2. Cedar Shakes

A few decades ago, you would see a lot of homes roofed in cedar shakes. They're not nearly as common these days. People started steering away from cedar and towards asphalt shingles because cedar can be a bit tricky to install, and also because cedar shakes have a very specific, weathered look that not everyone likes. If you enjoy a rustic appearance, however, you'll probably find cedar shakes attractive.

Don't let the idea that this roofing material is made from wood throw you off. Cedar is not a typical wood. It's really weather-resistant, insects won't eat it, and it's almost fire-proof. Many roofers know how to install cedar shakes, although they may charge you a bit more than they would for shingles because the installation takes longer. Cedar is a natural building material that will break down when you're done with it.

3. Concrete Tiles

When you hear of tile roofs, people are usually referring to the clay tiles that are so popular on coastal homes. But tiles made from concrete are also available, and they can be a good choice for a country home. They come in all sorts of natural colors and can even be stained to look like wood. Concrete roofs are heavy, so you will need to make sure your structure is strong enough to support the tiles before you dive in. However, once installed, concrete tiles are there to stay. Most come with a 50-year warranty and may well last even longer. This makes concrete a good choice if you're really keen on the low-maintenance route.

Concrete roofs shed water well, so you won't have to worry about leaks. They're also fire-proof, insect-proof, and they won't blow off in stormy weather. There are plenty of roofing companies that install and work on concrete roofs, too.

If you need to put a roof on a rustic home, make sure you think outside the box. Shingles can be great, but you're really limiting yourself if they are the only roofing material you consider. One of these alternative roofing materials may be better suited to your needs.

Contact a local roofing company for more information.