Updating Your Roof: The Newest Materials and Designs

Roofs are the unsung heroes of modern living. All year round they provide protection from rain, sun, wind and snow, but most homeowners barely notice them when times are good. The moment a leak springs, panic ensues.

Thankfully, there’s no reason to stress. When the time comes to repair or replace your roof, Pfister Roofing can help you make sense of the process. Of course, whether you need emergency roof repair or brand-new roof installation, it’s important to select the right materials.

The good news? There are plenty of great roofing materials out there. The bad news? There are no easy answers. Choosing wisely depends on what you’re looking for in a roof: durability, low maintenance, looks, energy efficiency, cost efficiency. To help you decide, here are the pros and cons of some of the newest and most interesting materials on the market today.


Cedar Shingles

With a charming look and a reputation for resilience, cedar shingles are an impressive alternative to the more common asphalt shingles.

Cedar, one of the toughest woods around, is known for being able to withstand harsh weather conditions ranging from hail storms to hurricanes. That durability means cedar also tends to last longer than its asphalt cousin (up to 10 years longer in some cases.) Who says tough things don’t come in pretty packages?


  • Long-lasting
  • Attractive
  • Weather-resistant
  • Energy-efficient


  • Expensive
  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Susceptible to mold and mildew if not treated properly


PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a sort of plastic coating that covers your roof. Often referred to as thermoplastic roofing or even simply as “vinyl,” it is probably the most popular example of single-ply roofing (i.e., roofing that comes as one single layer).

Unlike shingles, PVC is used primarily on flat roofs or roofs that slope at a low angle. Known for their durability, UV resistance, and lightweight construction, PVC membranes are great if you need maximum protection from harsh conditions.


  • Durable
  • Energy-efficient
  • Heat reflecting


  • Relatively expensive


Metal might just be the most low-maintenance roofing option on the market today. In fact, metal roofs tend to be so durable that you probably won’t even need to think of replacing them. From tin and zinc to aluminum and copper, there are a variety of custom metal roofing options from which to choose, and each one has its own unique qualities.

Metal is also popular for its cooling properties, which makes it ideal for warmer climates. By reflecting the sun’s rays, it can bring down the temperature of a house and therefore significantly reduce energy costs. Although metal roof installation can prove relatively costly, impressive energy savings balance the ledgers out over the long run.


  • Durable
  • Heat-reflective
  • Low to zero maintenance


  • Expensive
  • Noisy if not insulated properly


Solar Roof Panels

Solar is one of the newest and most talked about roofing options on the block. For good reason, too. Solar panels are leading the way toward a more sustainable future. Along with green roofs, they’re part of a movement that stresses environmental stewardship, energy efficiency, and sustainable building.

Installing a solar roof is one of the most environmentally conscious decisions any homeowner could make. That being said, there are other reasons to go solar: namely, financial benefits. Solar panels could save you thousands of dollars in energy costs over the years. Do you need another reason?


  • Energy-efficient
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Cost-efficient


  • Expensive installation
  • Ineffective in areas with low sunlight

Expert Roof Installation and Maintenance

Pfister Roofing provides expert roof installation and maintenance in the New York and New Jersey areas. Not only are we certified to use a wide range wide range of commercial roofing materials, from copper to PVC, but, unlike many roofing companies, we are properly insured up to $5 million. As one of the leading solar installers, we’re also familiar with the latest and best solar technology.

In addition to installing new roofs, we provide immediate emergency repairs to all of our customers. No matter what material you choose for your residential or commercial building, our Preventive Maintenance Programs can extend the life expectancy of your roof while saving you valuable maintenance dollars.