Roof Materials That Work Well On Older, Vintage Homes

These days, most homes are roofed with asphalt shingles or metal panels. Concrete tiles are common in some beachy areas that receive a lot of wind activity. These modern roof materials are awesome. They're durable, long-lasting, and easy for roofers to repair. However, they have one downfall: they look a bit out of place on vintage, authentic, historic homes. Some people just put a modern-looking roof on these homes and forget about it. But if you'd rather not go this route, here are some more historic roofing materials to consider.


Back in the day, slate roofs were all the rage. These roofs were and are made from actual, chiseled-off pieces of slate stone. Slate comes apart naturally in sheet, and so it lends itself well to this application. 

The primary advantage of slate is that it's really, really durable. While you may need to have a few pieces of slate replaced over the years, the roof should outlive you without needing a replacement. After all, it's made from real stone. Slate also looks very authentic since many homes built a century ago actually had slate roofs. 

The downfall of slate roofing is its price. These roofs are laborious to install, largely because of the weight of the slate and how hard that makes it to get onto the roof. Over time, the roof will likely pay for itself since it will last so long and withstand such harsh weather, but it's still a big initial investment.

Cedar Shakes

Before asphalt shingles became so popular, cedar shakes were a common choice for those who needed more affordable, yet attractive roofing. They, therefore, look right at home on many older houses, but especially those with a more cottage or rustic look.

Cedar shakes are surprisingly durable, considering the fact that they're made from wood. The wood is cut with the grain, which makes it far less prone to swelling and contraction. Termites don't eat cedar because of the strong odor of its oils. Cedar shakes are also relatively affordable and easy for roofers to install.

Of course, cedar roofs are not the best choice in areas where wildfires are a concern, and you won't want one if your roof has a lot of shade from nearby trees.

If you want to preserve the look of your vintage home, slate and cedar are both good options. Talk to your roofer for more information about each of these materials. 

For more information about roofing, click here or contact a local company.