4 Alternative Roofing Solutions to Consider in 2021

Alternative Roofing Solutions

If you are staring down a re-roof project, you probably have many questions about what your alternative roofing solutions might be. Of course, your budget, aesthetic inclinations, and where you live in the US will all play a big part in what type of roof you ultimately decide on. 

Before you pull the trigger on any roofing material, though, do yourself a favor and give the following post a good read. Today Roofer’s Guild will take a look at some viable alternative roofing solutions. 

1) Go Solar

Did you know that 75% of US households have shingle roofing? Shingle roofs are popular because they are affordable and offer a decent degree of durability. Most people choose asphalt shingles in particular because they are so cheap. 

However, if you are looking to save money in the long run, consider solar shingles. Solar shingles have come a long way over the years. High installation prices or the bulky looks may have turned you off previously, but things have changed recently.

Most solar shingles are now made of tempered glass and can be installed relatively easily. That means you won’t have to pay through the nose for a specialist to come out and install your solar shingles. Plus, they have a much cleaner, streamlined appearance and are made to look more like traditional shingles.

Of course, solar shingles generate usable energy for your home. A single solar shingle can produce up to 63 watts of electricity per day. Modern solar shingles are also very lightweight and are rated to withstand wind and water. As a result, you don’t have to worry about excess stress on your home from heavy roofing materials or inadequate roof protection. 


  • They can help you save money on electricity
  • They provide a sleek look to your roofline
  • They are lightweight


  • Depending on its orientation to the sun, your roof may not be a good candidate for solar shingles
  • They don’t provide energy at night or when the sun is obscured

2) Build Up

Built-up roofing is a viable option for commercial and residential low-slope roofs. Layers of bitumen are piled on top of each other, with layers of fiber in between them. It imparts impact resistance to the roofing system. 

On the top and final layer, tar and gravel are usually laid down. You can also have layers of special insulation installed with your built-up roof to improve efficiency. Built-up roofs can also have a white or light-colored finish to reflect more of the sun’s rays and keep your building cooler in hot weather. 


  • Built-up roofing systems are fire retardant
  • They provide a high degree of impact-resistance
  • They are typically easy to maintain


  • Many people don’t like the way they look
  • Depending on the installation, built-up roofs may have weak points where they meet breaks in the roofline (vents, chimneys, walls, etc.)

3) Metal Roofing

Metal roofing isn’t just for commercial properties anymore. Like solar shingles, they have come a long way in terms of style and function. For instance, roofers can install standing seam metal roofs over a traditional plywood roof deck. The panels run parallel to one another and stand over the decking. The seam floats over that actual roof hence the name standing seam. 

You can also choose metal shingles. Metal shingles can be made to look like a variety of more traditional types of roof shingles. They come in a wide array of colors and styles, and they typically outperform tile and asphalt shingles in terms of durability. 

Metal roofing is one of the best alternative roofing solutions because they typically outlast other roofs. In some cases, you can even get a more extended warranty on a metal roof than you could with other materials. 


  • Metal roofs can be made to mimic a wide variety of traditional roofing materials
  • Some metal roof systems can last up to 70 years
  • You can easily recycle metal roof materials


  • When it rains or hails, metal roofs are typically noisier than other types

4) Go With a Combo

Sometimes two roofing materials are better than one. That’s the case with the last entry in our list of the best alternative roofing solutions. Stone-coated metal roofing provides the strength and lightness of metal with the corrosion-resistance of metal. 

You have probably heard of slate roofing tiles. You have probably heard about how long they last. You have probably also heard about how costly they are. While stone-coated roofing won’t typically last for 200 years, it provides a friendly, affordable middle ground.

Stone-coated metal roofing is usually made from rolled steel sheets and then coated with crushed granite. Finally, the granite is permanently adhered to the steel to wash away like the gravel material that usually covers asphalt shingles. 

Plus, they add a layer of insulation to your home. Stone-coated metal roofs are usually installed over battens, leaving a gap between the shingles themselves and the roof decking. These pockets of air help keep the cold and the heat away from your home. 


  • They can be made to mimic premium roofing materials
  • They typically have a high wind-resistance rating


  • They can cost up to $400 per square foot

Get the Resources you Need

Whether you want to know about all the roofing alternatives, you can present them to your customers, or you need help marketing your roofing business. We’re here for you. Here at Roofer’s Guild, we pride ourselves on helping our clients in the roofing industry reach their business goals. So to find out about all the fantastic resources we offer, give us a call.