How to Choose the Right Roof for Your Log Home

When it comes to selecting the perfect roof to complete your custom log home there are many options. Whether you’re looking for inexpensive simple roofing or an extravagant one-of-a-kind style, the choices are endless. The decision typically comes down to the style of your log home, location and budget. We suggest speaking with your log home builder or general contractor to help you make this decision so that you don’t have any surprises in the future. A leaky roof is one of the worst problems a homeowner can have so you want to make sure it’s done right the first time.

Here are some of the most common types of roofing used for custom log home building:

Metal Roofing

This is one of the most popular types of roofing right now on the market. You may hear different terms for this type of roofing—cladding, galvanized or steel—but all are the same product. The metal comes from the factory in a wide range of colors from dull grey to bright fire engine red and because they are factory colors you can usually match the roofing for a shed or barn years down the road. The sheets can be ordered and cut to the exact length needed and you can also get the screws, ridge cap and flashings to match as well. Metal roofing will outlast most other roofing products, upwards of 50 years with minimal maintenance which appeals to those who want to roof it and forget it. In many cases you can receive a 50-year warranty for your roof as well.

Asphalt shingles

Most packs of shingles (also known as 3 tab) cover 32 square feet per bundle making it easy to determine the amount you need (a 2500 square foot roof would require around 80 bundles). These shingles come in many different earthy colors so some would suit a log home better. The warranty on an asphalt shingled roof is commonly 20–35 years depending on the shingle company.

Cedar shake or wood shingle

If you have just built a custom Timber Frame or Post and Beam log home nothing is more appealing than a cedar roof for the final touch. This rustic looking roof has the highest maintenance of all the roofing but has the most authentic look. Unless you have the pressure treated shingles, you will need to treat the roof every few years with a preservative. There is also a higher chance of mildew in rainy climates as well as cracking in sunny climates. Industry standards for cedar and wood shingle roofs range from 30–50 years.


This little gem of a roofing product is by far the most expensive but is the most unique. Over time the copper will weather naturally and develop a green hue. Repairs are simple, often done with solder. This roofing could easily last longer than the home itself. We don’t see many homeowners installing copper roofs today but we have seen some projects where they have installed copper gutters which give the home a unique look for a lesser cost.

Every roofing product has its advantages and disadvantages so it’s important to make sure you choose the product that is pleasing to your budget as well as your eye. Discuss these options with your custom home builder or with your local hardware store to find out which options may be best for your area.