6 Los Angeles Roofing Options to Meet Every Budget

Angi Staff
Written by Angi Staff
Updated August 12, 2011
man on roof with hammer
Asphalt shingles remain a popular roofing option because of low cost, ease of installation and color options. (Photo by Katelin Kinney)

Homeowners in L.A. need a quality roof to keep things cool and comfortable. See what materials work best.

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As a California homeowner, establishing a good roof over your head is one of the most important investments you will ever make. Not only does it protect you from the rays of the hot California sun, but it also helps your air conditioning run more efficiently by insulating your home.

If you’re in the market for a new roof, consider the advantages of these six top material choices among Los Angeles homeowners:

Asphalt Shingle

This is the most widely used shingle type because of its low cost, ease of installation and color options. These roofs appear on about 80 percent of Los Angeles homes. The cost to remove old roofing materials and install new asphalt shingles can range from $1 to $4 per square foot.

Spanish Tile

Also known as mission tile because of its association with the Spanish missions that located in California, these clay tiles are made through traditional methods of drying them over a log and curing them in the sun as well as using modern technologies.

Though tiles usually are terra cotta in color, there also is a green variety and other custom colors. Because of the weight of these tiles, it would be best to consult an engineer to ensure the structure can support them. One of the more expensive options, these can run between $10 and $30 per square foot.

Concrete Tile

This is one of the most durable options that roofers often recommend because of its ability to resist wildfires. Concrete tile is no heavier than Spanish tile; however, it also may require consultation with an engineer to ensure it can be supported by the structure.

It can be made to look like most other types of tile, including Spanish tile, slate and wood shake. Like the other options, it comes in a wide variety of colors. Cost ranges between $4.50 and $9 per square foot.

Quarry Slate

Its history stems from residential construction in Europe. This is a natural, durable choice that often outlives the life of a building. Historically, this type of roofing has had the reputation for coming loose and sliding off, but several technologies — including new underlayments — help keep it in place.

A labor-intensive option requiring hand cutting by specially trained craftsmen, this can be a more expensive option at $9 to $40 per square foot, depending on the type of slate.

Wood Shake

In an area known to be vulnerable to wildfires, this may not seem like the best option. But with proper treatment, wood shake can resist the fires and other threats, such as insect infestations. California and local building codes regulate the use of untreated wood shakes.

Though installation is cost-effective at $4 to $7 per square foot, there is continuing maintenance that will add up in the long run.

Sheet Metal

Resistant to fire and wind damage, this is a cost-effective option that comes in a variety of colors, patterns and metals, including aluminum, steel and tin. Though it may seem to conduct heat, many roofs are coated so they reflect heat away from the structure and reduce the cost of utilities. Average price varies from $3 to $7.50 per square foot.

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