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:

Choosing your home’s roof based on your climate & geographical region

Depending on where you live certain roof styles may be a better option for you and your home. Often the biggest decision is going to be personal preference. But the weather is something to consider and can play a role in your decision on which type of roof to choose.

Different roof styles for your home

As most homeowners are aware there are a variety of roof styles to choose. First and foremost, it’s important to know if you want a flat or pitched roof? A pitched roof is going to be more aesthetically pleasing but the higher the slope (the pitch) the most expensive the home can get. These types in most cases are quite common as it maximizes the amount of space, adds a more open concept and allows for more storage.

There is also another style that homeowners look at, is a flat roof. Although flat roofs may not have the same curb appeal it is one of the more ‘affordable’ options when it comes to a roof style. This is because the labor is cheaper due to less risk while installing the roof, and the upkeep and maintenance is more manageable. Another perk to this style is the added living space this gives a home. You can design an outdoor lounge area, a rooftop garden, really the possibilities are endless.

The one major downside with this type of roof style is drainage. Due to the pitched roofs allowing water the flow down and off them, a flat roof is going to hold a lot more of that water and form puddles. During installation, a contractor should install the proper drainage systems to ensure your roof is well taken care of and saves you from some costly expenses.

Choosing the right material to build your home’s roof

After you have selected the type of roof you’re wanting, the next step is selecting the preferred material. 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 home, location and ultimately your budget.

We suggest speaking with your 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 home building:

Metal Roofs

Metal sheeting or roofing which is more commonly used in industrial buildings is starting to become a more popular type of roofing right now on the market for custom home builders. You may hear different terms for this type of roofing—cladding, galvanized or steel—but all are the same product.

Metal sheeting is great in rainy climates as the water just beads right off. The metal used for the roofs comes from the factory in a wide range of colours from dull grey to bright fire engine red and because they are factory colours you can usually match the roofing for a shed or barn years down the road. 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.

In the long run, 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 tabs) cover 32 square feet per bundle making it easy to determine the of shingles you’ll need (a 2500 square foot roof would require around 80 bundles). These shingles come in many different earthy colours, so some shingles would suit a home better in terms of the whole appeal and appearance of the home. Typically, the warranty on an asphalt shingled roof is commonly 20–35 years depending on the shingle company.

Cedar shake or wood shingle roofs

If you have just built a custom Timber Frame or Post and Beam 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. This is probably why it is one of the most aesthetically pleasing options to roof your custom home.

Unless you have 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 if properly cared for.

Copper Roofs

This little gem of a roofing product is by far the most expensive but is the most unique around. Over time the copper will weather naturally and develop a green hue. Repairs are simple, often done with solder. This type of roofing could easily last longer than the home itself.

Normally 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 more minimal cost.

Green Roofs

The name goes without saying; this roof type is by far the most environmentally friendly and can be very aesthetically pleasing if done correctly. It is not the cheapest option for a custom home and there are a few more concerns and things to note when choosing this type of roof design. The structure of the home and roof needs to be carefully considered due to soil and grass/sod being placed on it. Not to mention if you have a flat green roof take into consideration the amount of rain your area gets. The cost of a green roof varies greatly depending on the types of plants and the area in which you live in. Make sure to talk with your builder if this is the option you’re considering.

At the end of the day, 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.

If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about custom homes, feel free to contact us at info@artisanlog.com and we would be able to answer any you may have.