Are you looking to install a new roof this year? Jumpstart the project – prepare yourself with the facts on roofing materials before you even hire a contractor. Here’s a guide to pros and cons of 10 popular roof types. ABOUT: Most common of all roof types in the U.S. today, asphalt shingles are the roofing material on almost 80 percent of American homes. Asphalt saturates both sides of their paper or fiberglass base, which is then topped with a layer of mineral granules. Choose between the popular 3-tab asphalt shingle and the longer-lasting architectural shingle (also called “laminate shingles”). CONS: Only suitable for steeply sloping roofs. Don’t hold up well to severe temperature changes or intense, direct sunlight. Relatively short lifespan of about 20 years. PROS: Natural material. Has an attractive orange-brown color or may be dyed. Can be formed into a variety of decorative shapes. Relatively long lifespan of 40-plus years. CONS: Fire–resistant but not totally fireproof. Consider whether your building structure can bear the weight; you may need to have additional framing added. ABOUT: In the form of a single flat panel or shingles. Materials include al...