Roofs are more than the first layer of defense against sun, rain, snow and any other weather event. A roof can be a statement, a detail of your house and it should not be overlooked.

Roofs are something that you think about three times a decade.

  1. After a hail storm
  2. When you build a house
  3. After you get a leak in your existing roof

After a hail storm, you need to be very careful in these situations as you’ll get salespeople using “tactics” to get you a free roof… what happens is you get a knock on the door and they ask “have you had your roof inspected since that May hail storm”. Seemingly, no you haven’t. They get on the roof, take pictures and come down to tell you that they believe you have an insurance claim and they will take care of all of it for you, “how does that sound, sign here, press hard – three copies”.

What you don’t realize is that they are covering all of your bases, but they are not doing anything for less than grabbing massive profit, an unfair profit, at your insurances cost. My roof bill in this scenario was $18k by one estimate and I ended up paying $12k for the job when my roofer honestly walked my roof and didn’t want to gouge my insurer. My opinion is that you shouldn’t pay those the most possible, but you should pay those who you’d like to do the work. Do not let a traveling sales person or high pressure pitch go away from your relationship with your roofer.

When you’re building a house, you have endless opportunities within the architectural process to identify qualities or performance gains and your roof can say ALOT about the place you call home. Ask questions of your architect, your builder, or your owners representative (Realtor).

The third time is when your existing roof starts to leak. Unfortunately, this position is terrible because if you see water inside, you’ve missed several signs leading up to this fate. Rust in your metal valleys, asphalt shingle nail pops, tears or blown off shingles can all contribute to future leaks. Call a roofer and get a quote with sample colors so that you can make a decision that will make you happy for years to come!

Asphalt Shinges

Dimensional shingle with snow tabs

This is likely the most common roofing material and pattern. It is made from asphalt which is likely what your 3-tab shingle was from 1980… the pattern is called “dimensional” and comes in many colors and patterns of “dimensional”.

Older 3-tab

This is the workhorse of roofs, still made but this particular one is older based on the lichen staining. These roofs are very easy to maintain and most commonly show nail pops which need serviced by a qualified roofer. Otherwise, just forget about them. Low on the architectural value scale.

Simulated Slate

This is called a simulated slate asphalt shingle and provides the look of slate. This is a product which I appreciate, but dont love, but I dont love when my wife who usually wears light makeup goes “all out” and paints it on. It not natural slate and you can tell, its not fooling anyone.

It usually is a high end asphalt shingle which means that it is thicker, has more warranty years (over 25 years) and is more expensive. Very easy to service as its a “normal product” once its installed. If you have a steep pitch roof that requires more visual interest and your not willing to put massive amounts of money out- this is a great option!

Clay and Concrete

Red Clay Tile

Traditional Mission style red clay tile is a fantastic modular roof material. The roof needs to be surveyed annually and tiles replaced when they crack, but overall a very simple roof to own. The only issue I have heard on these is getting qualified tradespeople to service them can leave you only 1-2 options. Its a niche roof for sure!

Green Concrete tile

This roof is absolutely gorgeous and within an area of Oakley where I would expect old quality, but this roof looks like its a replacement. This is a precast concrete tile roof which has green pigment imbedded in the tile. Its a very rich look and compliments this cape cod very well as understated quality oozes…

Picture coming soon...

Trying to locate a different style of clay or concrete to show. If you know of one, please call me at 513-500-7474

Asbestos and Slate


Asbestos is a material which is no longer used in roofing products as its a known carcinogen but when these are stable, they are incredible. As an insulator, a fire retardant and a material with longevity, this is a roof which you want to make sure no overhead limbs can drop sticks onto, and youll want to make sure you get it surveyed annually to keep all tiles tight.


Slate is a fantastic natural stone which you’ll find within pockets of Cincinnati. Only the highest end properties put them on as new roofs and many of those are “synthetic” which is a concrete style. The slates have holes on the top tab which are drilled, those have copper nails in them which when they fail they drop and youll see a blank on a roof. A roof which needs annual review and maintenance.

Standing seam Tin

This is a tin roof, which is quite old. Youll see modern standing seam roofs made from galvanized metal, from copper or aluminum. They are very durable until the material gets pin holes at which time you remove a section and flat seam in a new section. This picture shows an unprofessional patch and you should be weary if this is the quality which you have or are looking to purchase as restoration is required.

Trades people you should call

Roofers are a trade which I pay great attention to because they manage water around the house. From the counterflashings at your chimney, to the drip edge at the gutterline- they have insight and skill which you need to appreciate when selecting yours!

I work extensively with McKay Roofing on the typical projects, but need to use other roofers for very steep, highly specialized roofs as features in this section.

This link will take you to a Google Sheet of Vendors. Look at details of Roofers.