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Which roofing materials can be used with an ADU, and what are their costs?

The five types of roofing materials best suited for Southern California's climate are asphalt shingles, metal roofing, clay tile or concrete tile, and slate roofing. These materials differ in many ways, such as protection, cost, lifespan, and style.

Roofing contractors working on covering ADU unit's roof with tiles

Asphalt shingles are the most effective and durable roofing material. There are rarely high winds in southern California, so asphalt shingles work best for most cases. However, mildew is a common problem, and there are more energy-efficient options.

Metal roofing is far more energy-efficient than asphalt shingles. They have interlocking panels for maximum wind resistance, fire resistance, and energy efficiency by keeping homes cooler. Its disadvantages are its noisiness, affordability, and inconsistency of color matching.

Clay tiles are a better material than others and offer a better build quality overall as they're more robust and durable. These factors give clay roof tiles a longer lifespan. They will help insulate the house cool and warm throughout the season. Its disadvantages are that they are expensive, super heavy, challenging to install, and can be as brittle as they are durable.

Slate is very resistant to fire and can withstand higher temperatures than many metals. It's excellent for enduring severe temperature changes, which is why it makes an ideal choice for the likes of roofs and floors. Just like clay tiles, slate roofing is expensive and heavy.

The average labor cost for roofing is about $80 an hour. Below is a chart that better explains these materials' cost and lifespan. These numbers are based on projects completed in 2022 and may not apply to your project. Please consult a roofing contractor for an up-to-date quote.

Roof TypeLifespan (years)Material Cost / 1000 sq ft
Asphalt 3-Tab Shingles15 - 20$1,000 - $3,000
Metal30 - 80+$1,000 - $8,000
Tile30 - 100+$3,000 - $25,000
Slate / Stone50 - 200+$6,000 - $16,000

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