Maximum Value Home Exterior Projects: Roof

Learn how the roof of your home can attract or detract from its selling potential and how improving it can add value to your home.

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A roof’s number one duty is to protect the home beneath it. But while roofs serve the important purpose of aiding in insulation, energy circulation and temperature regulation, that doesn’t mean they have to go without style. These days there are a number of different materials and styles that can fit a wide range of budgets and offer a good return on your investment when it comes time to sell.


  • Pick a color, any color. While the mainstream pick might be to stick with basic blacks, grays and browns, newer trends are appearing that put an emphasis on color. Tones like reds, oranges and even greens are now becoming more popular in different parts of the country to add visual interest to the home’s exterior and also complement the surrounding landscaping and trees.
  • Solar roofing panels. Turn your roof into a green project. On a typical roof, solar shingles are installed every five to six rows. They can be incorporated into almost any shingle choice, so blending in is not a challenge. Solar panels might be more on the pricey side, but they pay you back with lower utility bills that over time make a huge difference.


Consider installation and maintenance costs as you weigh your roofing choices -- and how long you plan to live in your home. According to appraisal expert Leslie Sellers, president of the Appraisal Institute, if your roof has been implemented into the focus of design for your home’s exterior, then spending a little more to add dimension and color might be the best route to take. On the other hand, if your home features a lower, more simplistic roof, where strategic design is not an overwhelming feature in the exterior, then play it smart and don’t go overboard.


  • On a Budget: Composite asphalt shingles are king when it comes to replacement roofing materials. About 90 percent of homes nationwide use composite shingles. They come in a wide range of styles and colors and easily fit into a wide range of budgets. Composite asphalt is the most common material for roofing though, so if you want to be a little more creative, try upgrading to more unique materials.
  • Mid-Range: Add a touch of rustic style to your roof by implementing an increasingly popular, natural material: wood shake or wood shingle roofing. You can count on wood roofing to last 20 to 25 years. Decay resistant cedar is a common choice for wood roofs and can cost anywhere between $70 and $170 per hundred square feet.
  • High-End: For the higher-end budget that desires a higher-end look, clay or ceramic tiles, like slate, are heavy and durable. These kinds of roofs are known to last 100 years or more. However, they are heavy and require reinforcement to support all the weight. This typically means that installation will be pricey. Clay and concrete tile roofs cost about $300 to $500 per hundred square feet.

    While more expensive than composite asphalt shingles or wood shingles, these roofing materials are almost completely maintenance free. This makes for a great roofing choice if you plan on living in your home for awhile, or for a potential homebuyer looking for a unique look and a desire for a low-maintenance exterior.

Next Up

Maximum Value Home Exterior Projects: Gutters

Learn how your home's gutters can improve the quality and curb appeal of your home.

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