If the easiest way to give yourself a new look is to cut your hair, then the easiest way to give your home a new look is by giving it a new roof. Of course, re-roofing is somewhat more expensive than a haircut, and it won't grow out if you're not satisfied with the end result. The end result of a roof upgrade depends largely on the materials used, which depend primarily on your budget.
Having said that, the most expensive materials aren't necessarily the best choice for your local weather conditions, and of course - Australian weather can be rather dramatic sometimes. So what are some of the most popular roofing materials available, and what are their advantages (or disadvantages)?
Easy to install, durable and inexpensive, metal has many benefits as a roofing material. Having said that, you probably don't want simple corrugated iron to crown your home, since this sort of roof makes it look like you live in a shed. A colorbond roof replacement for your existing roofing is a pragmatic choice. Most suppliers carry it, it's available in a wide variety of colours, and it's quick to install. Its design also allows it to efficiently drain water off the roof, even when installed at a minimum pitch (which is the angle of the roof). Metal roofing has the downside of being loud in certain weather conditions, so if you're prone to a lot of rain, you might want to think of adding sound insulating underlay during the installation process. It's a little more expensive, but is really worth it.
A wooden roof results in a classic look which doesn't necessarily work well with all types of homes. If you think it will give your home just the look you're going for, there are a few things you need to know. Your roofing company will offer you a variety of different types of wood, which can be treated in a number of different colours. Pine is most common, and is generally the least expensive. This pine will have been treated with an alkaline copper quaternary solution (ACQ) to make it resistant to bacteria and fungus (ensuring that your roof won't be covered in moss), and ACQ is a perfectly safe compound in these circumstances. You will also be offered the choice between having wooden shingles or splits. Splits (which are literally split pieces of wood) offer a stylish, rough look as opposed to the symmetry of cut shingles, and are usually more expensive. It's vital to ask your roofing company about the average shelf life of a wooden roof in your area, since you don't want to have to replace it after just seven years. Humidity and heavy rainfall can significantly decrease the life expectancy of wooden roofing.
Tiles are perhaps the most popular roofing material in Australia, and these concrete or clay beauties don't have to be boring. Depending on the supplier, they might even be cheaper than some types of metal roofing, and their composition offers amazing sound insulation without the need for any type of underlay. They're not available in as wide a range of colours as metal roofing, but you're bound to find a shade you love. They also require a little more maintenance than metal roofing, and an annual cleaning with soap and a high pressure cleaner is essential for the longevity of your roof.
Deciding on the best new roof for your home is a big decision. Given the high cost of any kind of new roof, you probably won't have the budget to change it again anytime soon. Don't rush into anything, and be sure to talk to your roofing supplier such as The Roof & Wall Doctor about your options. The end decision is always yours, but it's important to speak to experts about such a big project. After all, you would listen when your hairdresser tells you why a bleached mohawk might not work for you.