Few homeowners give roofing the respect and thought it deserves. As the crown to any good house, the roof performs functions both aesthetic and practical, not to be ignored for the benefit of other, less important matters. While the biggest aspects of roofing are always best left to the professionals, that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a hand in the decision making process. If you are thinking of buying a new home or doing a roof replacement, here are some things you should know about some of the biggest trends in the industry.

While it has been around for many years, the popularity of the built-up roof cannot be overstated. It was first developed over a hundred years ago and because it has such a sterling reputation in the roofing industry, many contractors and professionals consider it the default option. Because it makes use of several layers, including gravel surfacing, it is typically one of the strongest choices you can make. If you expect the top of your house will be taking a beating from weather and climate, it might be the way to go.

Another form of roofing material that has been growing in popularity for some time is the single ply system. With this system, only a single layer of plastic material is used to form the basis for the structure. Naturally, because it still needs to protect the house from weather and other forms of contaminants, this type of material is generally quite thick in nature. While not the cheapest form of work you can get, single ply is on the inexpensive side and can thus be a good choice for those on a limited budget.

Of course, many people choose to go with that old standby: metal roofing. While typically not the choice for those looking for an aesthetically pleasing solution, it is still popular for many businesses and warehouses for its ability to last for a long time, provide terrific protection against the weather, and its predisposition to favorable warranties. On the other hand, there are few materials more susceptible to small leaks, which means some maintenance will almost certainly be required.

When it comes to choosing your system, take a look at the other examples in the neighborhood. This will not only give you some ideas to choose from, but can probably give you a chance to tailor your house to meet the area aesthetic. Choose a good contractor and you can elicit his opinion as well on which direction you should go.

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