Your country cottage looks so quaint and cozy—until you look up at that dark shingle roof! Replacing your shingle roof with a more natural-looking roof can give the whole cottage a more unified appearance, allowing it to more closely resemble the little country homes you see in fairy tales and movies. Here's a look at three natural roofing choices for cottages.
Wood is about as natural as you can get when it comes to roofing materials. This is also the most affordable option in most cases. You can expect to pay about $6 to $9 per square foot for a cedar shake roof. Wooden roofs won't last forever. (The average life expectancy is around 30 years.) However, they are a very low-maintenance option. Cedar is naturally resistant to rot and its scent makes it unappealing to insects, so you don't have to worry about waterproofing it or spraying it with pesticides as some homeowners assume would be required for a wooden roof. Cedar roofing is also quite lightweight, making it a good choice for older cottages whose structures may not support the other, heavier roofing materials discussed in this piece.
If you never want to worry about replacing your cottage roof again, a slate roof is a great choice. When installed properly, slate roofs can last for 100 years. At $9 - $10 per square foot for basic slate, this roofing option is not as expensive as you may have heard. Surely, there are more pricey slate roofing options, but they tend to be specialty materials that you'd see on a luxury home rather than a country cottage. Slate is heavy so it won't blow off in a storm. You'll find all sorts of natural colors, from bluish-gray to pale tan, so you can create a look you love.
If you're really dedicated to creating that country cottage look, consider thatched roofing. Made from water reeds or straw, this traditional roofing should be applied by an experienced thatcher—most standard roofing companies don't offer thatching. When installed properly, the thatching is incredibly waterproof and also serves as an excellent insulator, keeping your cottage cooler in the summer months and cozier in the winter. A thatched roof will last around 70 years and will need professional maintenance about once a decade. The challenge will be finding a qualified thatcher in your area as this is a bit of a dying craft.
For more information about roofing materials that will fit your country cottage, talk to a contractor like JC Roofing & Insulating.