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How to Choose the Right Roof for an Older Home

November , 2023 | 6 min. read

By Joe Martinez

blue victorian home

Selecting the perfect roof for an older home is a decision that blends the art of preservation with the science of modern construction. These historic treasures come in various architectural styles, each with its unique character and charm, making the choice of roofing material and design a crucial aspect of maintaining their authenticity and structural integrity.

Okay, so, where do I start? At RoofCrafters, we’ve got you covered. Based in Savannah, Georgia, we’ve had the opportunity to repair and replace the roofs of beautiful, seasoned, and historic homes over several years, and when it comes to working with these delicate structures, we understand all of the quirks and necessities that come along with choosing the perfect roof for older homes.

The last thing anyone with an older home wants is for their roof to fail before its lifespan is up. That being said, if you’re curious about how to choose the right roof for your older home, you’re in the right place! In just a few short moments, you’ll learn how to do just that, as well as why choosing the right roof for your aging home is of the utmost importance. Let’s jump right in!

How to Choose the Right Roof for an Older Home



Choosing the right roof for an older home requires careful consideration of several factors, including the home's architectural style, the climate in your area, your budget, and your personal preferences. Here are some steps to help you make the right choice:

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Assess the existing roof: Start by inspecting the current roof to determine its condition and what type of materials it's made of. Consider whether the existing roof can be repaired or if a full replacement is necessary.

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Architectural style: Consider the architectural style of your older home. Some roofing materials may be better suited to certain styles. For example, asphalt shingles might be appropriate for a traditional colonial, while clay or slate tiles could be a better match for a Spanish Revival home.

Local climate: Your location's climate plays a significant role in choosing the right roof. Consider factors like rainfall, snow, wind, and sun exposure. Some roofing materials are better equipped to handle specific weather conditions. For example, metal roofs are durable in areas with heavy snowfall, while clay tiles are ideal for warm, dry climates.

Building codes and historic preservation: Check local building codes and any historic preservation regulations that may apply to your area. These regulations can dictate the types of roofing materials you can use and may even require you to match the original roof as closely as possible.

Budget: Determine your budget for the roofing project. Different roofing materials come with varying price points. Keep in mind that while some materials may have a higher upfront cost, they can be more cost-effective in the long run due to their durability and energy efficiency.

Durability and longevity: Consider the lifespan of the roofing materials. Some materials, like metal or slate, can last for several decades, while others, like asphalt shingles, may need replacement sooner. Think about how long you plan to stay in the home and whether you want a long-term or short-term roofing solution.

Energy efficiency: Evaluate the energy efficiency of different roofing materials. Some materials, such as cool roofs or reflective coatings, can help reduce your energy bills by reflecting more sunlight and heat away from your home. This is especially important in regions with extreme temperatures.

Maintenance: Consider the maintenance requirements of the roofing material you choose. Some materials are low maintenance, while others may require periodic inspections and repairs. Make sure you're willing to invest the time and effort required for upkeep.

Aesthetics: The appearance of your roof is an important factor. Choose a roofing material and color that complements the overall look of your home. Take into account your personal taste and the surrounding neighborhood.

Consult with professionals: Seek advice from roofing contractors and architects who specialize in historic homes. They can provide valuable insights and help you make informed decisions about the right roofing material, installation, and preservation techniques.

Ultimately, the choice of the right roof for your older home should balance aesthetics, functionality, durability, and budget. Taking these factors into account will help you make an informed decision that enhances both the beauty and functionality of your historic property.

Is Choosing the Right Roof for an Older Home Important?


white home with green vines

Choosing the right roof for an older home is important for several reasons:

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Preservation of Historical Character: Older homes often have unique architectural styles and historical significance. The roof is a prominent feature that can greatly impact the overall appearance of the home. Choosing a roof that complements the home's style helps preserve its historical character and can enhance its curb appeal.

Structural Integrity: The roof is a critical part of the home's structure. It provides protection against the elements and helps maintain the integrity of the building. Well-chosen roof material and installation can prevent water infiltration, structural damage, and other issues that can compromise the home's longevity.

Energy Efficiency: Upgrading to the right roofing materials can improve the energy efficiency of an older home. Energy-efficient roofing materials can help regulate indoor temperatures, reduce heating and cooling costs, and contribute to a more comfortable living environment.

Long-Term Durability: The right roofing material can provide long-term durability, reducing the need for frequent replacements and repairs. This can save you money over time and reduce the maintenance burden on your older home.

Compliance with Regulations: In many cases, there may be local building codes and historic preservation regulations that dictate the type of roofing materials and design that can be used on an older home. Compliance with these regulations is essential to avoid legal issues and maintain the home's historical integrity.

Property Value: A well-maintained and thoughtfully designed roof can increase the property value of your older home. It can be an attractive feature for potential buyers who appreciate the authenticity and charm of historic properties.

Comfort and Livability: The right roofing materials can contribute to a more comfortable living environment by minimizing noise, improving insulation, and reducing the risk of leaks and drafts.

Cost Savings: While the initial cost of high-quality roofing materials may be higher, they can lead to cost savings over time due to their longevity and energy efficiency. Choosing the wrong roofing material may result in frequent repairs and replacements, which can be more expensive in the long run.

Choosing the Perfect Roof for Your Seasoned Home


Selecting the perfect roof for an older home is a decision of paramount importance. It encompasses not only aesthetics but also the structural integrity, historical preservation, energy efficiency, and overall functionality of the home. The choice of roofing material and design should be carefully considered, taking into account the home's architectural style, local climate, budget constraints, and any relevant regulations.

A well-chosen roof can preserve the historical character of the home, improve its structural soundness, enhance its energy efficiency, and ultimately increase its property value. It's an investment in the past and future of the home, offering both aesthetic appeal and practical benefits.

When made with care and consideration, the right roof can help ensure the continued beauty, durability, and functionality of older homes for generations to come. If you’re interested in replacing the roof of your seasoned home, but you’re not sure where to start, be sure to hit the “Schedule an Inspection” button down below, and one of our experts will carefully examine the current condition of your roof in-depth, and explain all of your options!

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Joe Martinez

At RoofCrafters, our mission is to provide job opportunities for others to thrive and grow while making a meaningful impact within our communities.