If you've been told that your roof needs to be replaced, it is best not to delay. Leaky, damaged roofs can get worse quickly, and if you wait too long, you may be faced with replacing some attic materials in addition to your actual roof. But what if your budget is tight and you can't afford the high-end tile or 50-year shingles that were put on your roof last time? Well, buying a cheaper roof is better than nothing in this case, and there are actually three more affordable roofing materials that you might find are a good fit for your roof.
Standard, 3-Tab Shingles
These are the shingles that you often see on homes. Each one has three equally-sized flaps. These 3-tab shingles have somewhat fallen out of fashion as people have begun to prefer architectural shingles for their longer lifespan and more unique look. But many roofing materials companies do still make 3-tab shingles. While they may not be the first thing your roofing company recommends, most roofers will gladly install them because they are easy to install. 3-tab shingles won't last as long as the higher-end shingles on the market today, but you can still get a good 20 years out of them — maybe 30 in a good climate — and they're very affordable.
Another option is to have your home roofed in cedar shakes. These are basically little shingle-shaped pieces of wood that are attached to the roof with nails. While the idea of a wooden roof may sound a bit strange, cedar has some unique qualities that enable it to be used as a roofing material with few difficulties. It's resistant to moisture, so it won't rot as other woods would under these conditions. It's also not appealing to termites or carpenter ants. Since it's just wood, cedar roofing is quite affordable and can last about 20 years. It's a good choice if you like a more rustic, country look.
You can find some really expensive, high-end metal roofing that is insulated and treated to prevent rust for the next 100 years. However, there are also more affordable, basic steel sheets that can make for a completely functional, durable roof when you're on a budget. They're easy to install, less prone to leaks than most other roofing materials, and while they may not look as classy as some roofing options, they do come in practically any color you can imagine.
If you're on a tight budget, don't delay your roof replacement — choose a different material. Talk to your roofing company for more information and for some guidance as to which material is best for your roofing needs.