We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Best Materials for a Porch Roof?

By Melissa King
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

When building or making improvements to a house, particular attention is often paid to the construction of the porch roof. The appearance of the roof is usually a concern, as well as the amount of protection it can offer against extreme temperatures, rain, or snow. Many types of building material may be adequate for a porch roof, but some may be better suited for specific climates. Among the materials that may be considered include wooden shingles and shakes, asphalt shingles, thatch, metal, slate, and ceramics.

Wooden shingles and shakes are often valued as porch roof materials because of their appearance. Several types of wood can be used for making shingles or shakes, including wood from the Eastern White Cedar, Western Red Cedar, and Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Shingles and shakes differ from one another in their thickness. Shingles are cut to a uniform size and are traditionally smooth, whereas shakes are split from logs, making them thicker and a bit more uneven. This type of material is usually expensive to install, and may not be allowed in some areas due to fire codes.

Asphalt shingles are possibly the most common kind of porch roof material. This is also considered one of most inexpensive roofing materials. Additionally, the quality of most asphalt shingles may be guaranteed for up to 30 years. This type of shingle can be purchased in a wide variety of colors and is available in either a three-tab or architectural design. Three-tab shingles are usually very flat; architectural shingles are made to appear thicker.

Thatch porch roofs are often used in warmer or tropical climates, although there are also many thatch roofs in colder areas. This type of roof is usually made from local vegetation, which might include water reed, heather, or straw. When properly built, a thatch porch roof may last up to 50 years, and has good wind and water resistance. It also has natural insulation properties, keeping homes warm in winter and cooler in the summer. Due to the intensive labor involved in building them, thatch roofs can be very expensive. It can also be difficult to put out a fire on a thatch roof.

Metal porch roofs are typically inexpensive and very weather resistant. They may be especially installed in areas that receive a lot of snowfall. Galvanized metal sheets are possibly the cheapest possible material, whereas copper is a more expensive choice for a metal roof that is often valued for its appearance. A properly installed metal roof can last approximately 50 years.

Slate is snow and ice resistant and considered very attractive, but it is also usually expensive. Slate shingles are heavy; because of this and their cost, they are seldom used in porch roofs today. Engineered, synthetic slate — often made of recycled rubber or plastic — can be substituted.

Ceramic tile porch roofs are most commonly found in the Mediterranean. The process of making and installing ceramic tiles is very time consuming, so the cost of such a roof is likely to be high. Quality tiles must be used to ensure that no cracks appear, which would cause the tiles to absorb moisture and shatter during a freeze. Although these materials are expensive, ceramic tile roofs, if installed correctly, can last between 60 and 80 years.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Drentel — On Oct 25, 2014

@mobilian33 - I agree with you about the tin roofs being good for listening to rain showers, but most people today don't remember the traditional tin roofs. However, you should pay attention to what the article says about the new metal roofs.

They are long lasting, and they have the look of the traditional tin without the rust. The new metals roofs come in a variety of great colors, but they are quieter than the old tin, so you probably won't hear the relaxing beat of the rain drops like you mentioned. I think they are a good choice for a porch roof or for the entire house.

By Laotionne — On Oct 25, 2014

When I think of tin roofs I associate them with rust. I can remember going to visit my great grandmother in the country when I was younger. So many of the old houses we drove past had tin roofs on them, and they were rusted, or at least partially rusted.

This is not the most attractive sight on a house. I can't imagine anyone would want to buy one of those houses with the roof in that condition.For this reason, I think tin roofs are not a good idea if you are planning to sell your home at any point in the future. A traditional asphalt shingle would be a much more attractive roofing material I think.

By mobilian33 — On Oct 24, 2014

I know they are out of date, and most people don't want them, but I still like tin roofs in place of roof tiles. Even if you don't want tin on the entire roof of your house you can still use it only on the porch, especially if it is a flat porch roof because the different look won't be as noticeable with a flat roof.

What I like about the tin is it will last for a long time, and I love the sound the tin makes when rain drops fall on it. I can still remember sitting on our back porch when I was a kid and listening to the rain drops. There is nothing more relaxing than that.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.