Going Tiny | 5 Roofing Options For Tiny House Living

The tiny house movement is gaining steam as people move away from McMansions and towards both manageable square footage and mortgage payments. Living in less than 500 square feet not only helps you focus on what is important to your life, but it also frees up additional money in your budget to do the things you really love, from traveling to volunteering. Ironically, building a tiny home actually requires more decisions than building a McMansion. While you still have color choices for siding, flooring, and bathroom tile, you also have to decide how to creatively fit everything you hold dear into the space—or not. 

Roofing material is one of the many decisions required of tiny home owners. Price, professional vs. DIY installation, and weight (important for mobile tiny houses) are all things to consider. While the prices per square foot vary widely, you don't need nearly as much of the material as you do for a typical 2,600 square foot home. 

1. Asphalt Shingles: Undoubtedly, asphalt shingles are the easiest and least expensive option for your tiny home. Anyone can install them with just a hammer after watching an online video or two, and they last an average of 15 to 30 years

2. Metal Roofing: Another great option gaining in popularity is metal roofing. While the traditional standing seam look appeals to many tiny home builders and complements a wide variety of architectural styles, there are other options. Metal roofing is also available in shingles designed to look like rustic shakes, Mediterranean tiles, or even textural, faux-slate tiles. With the required professional installation, the investment of metal roofing can be higher than average, but it's more than worth it. It is also important to note that many insurance companies offer discounts for metal roofing, as it is non-flammable. Contact companies like Premium Panels Inc to learn more about metal roofing options.

3. Slate: Another long-lived selection is natural slate. The beautiful gray color with nearly iridescent hints of green, burgundy, and purple of slate adds a stately persona to any home, regardless of size. This material has been used for centuries and is a durable, albeit expensive, option for tiny homes built on a foundation. The weight of the stone, however, makes it prohibitive for mobile tiny houses. If your heart is set on slate, but the weight or cost make this selection prohibitive for you, consider either cement versions or synthetic slate roofing tiles. Both choices look incredibly realistic and could be a successful compromise. 

4. Wood Shakes: Many tiny homes opt for wood shakes as siding, but this material works great as roofing as well. Natural cedar shingles can be stained any color under the rainbow prior to installation or left to weather into the lovely silver color that cedar is known for. While slightly more expensive than asphalt shingles, wood shakes are a definite DIY project for anyone that can swing a hammer. As an added benefit, wood shingles come in many shapes, from fish scales to v-cut. 

5. Copper: Another roofing material designed to stand the test of time is copper. The verdigris patina that copper roofing develops is highly desirable and is one of the reasons people choose copper shingles for their roofing material. The streaky, aged green color can give a tiny home a timeless look and is actually the longest lasting of all roofing material choices. If you prefer the shiny, copper penny appearance, don't worry. You can have a clear finish applied to keep that brand-new feeling forever. 

Your roofing choice is personal, just like your choice to go tiny. Select the product that works with your budget, skill set, and sense of style.