Friday, December 12, 2014

How to Choose Roofing Materials To Suit Your Home

While a roof protects one of your largest investments—your home—from the elements, it also serves as a design statement. If you’re building a home or having your roof redone, just know there are many material options out there. Here are some tips on how you can make the right choice for you and your home.

Your location and climate

The location of your home and the climate have as much to do with the materials available as your personal preferences. For instance, a wood shingle would not survive in a hot, humid climate, as it’s prone to rot. However, if you’re set on a specific look, but the materials aren’t suited to your area, there are other options. Concrete tiles are now being made that resemble wood shakes but without the rot, insect, and fire risk.

Your home’s structure

If you are replacing your existing asphalt roof and want to upgrade to something like a clay tile or slate, you must take your home’s structure into account. Tile is wonderfully weather resistant but heavier than asphalt shingles. The roofing company will need to assess your home’s ability to support a tile roof.
The pitch of your roof also affects your roofing material choices. A flat roof and the sharp pitch of an A-frame may require different materials.

Style preference

A roof can be as unique as the homeowner. There are many materials, and colors, to choose from and they can radically alter the look of a home. For instance, clay tile provides a distinct finishing touch to a Spanish-style home, and a tin roof can add just the right rustic feel to a cabin.
A Craftsman-style bungalow looks much more authentic with a cedar wooden shake and shingle roof. Think about your home’s design and use roofing materials as a final design element—the cherry on top of your beautiful sundae.

Environmental concerns

A roof protects from the elements, and it can also hold in heat and moisture in your home,  keeping things warm in the winter and cool in the summer. A living, sod roof  or green roof is a particularly attractive option for those who want a more environmentally friendly choice, particularly when you’ve got a viable flat roof surface.
A metal shingle roof is also a good option, built from post-consumer recycled materials and is lightweight, and with long life expectancy. This means that you will retain your roof, getting good value and keeping lesser materials out of landfill at the same time.


High-end materials, such as clay tiles, slate, and cedar shakes are beautiful design statements, but if you don’t have that kind of money in your budget, there are options that can give you a similar look. Cement can be fashioned into all sorts of shapes for tiles. Slate-like materials made of rubber and plastic are not only cheaper, but also less fragile.
If you’re thinking about a new roof or are building a home, consider the roofing materials available. The color and texture of the materials can drastically change the look of your home. It may also improve your home’s value and energy usage.

Brugmansia suaveolens

Common Names: angel trumpet, brugmansia, angel-star
Family: Solanaceae (nightshade Family)

Brugmansia suaveolens is a semi-woody shrub or small tree that gets 6-15 ft (1.8-4.6 m) tall, usually with a many-branched single trunk. The leaves are generally oval in shape, up to 10 in (25.4 cm) long and 6 in (15.2 cm) wide, and even larger when grown in the shade. The overall plant has a coarse texture but the flowers are remarkably beautiful. They are sweetly fragrant, about 12 in (30.5 cm) long and shaped like trumpets. The corolla has five points that are slightly recurved. The flowers are usually white but may be yellow or pink and are pendulous, hanging almost straight down.
The cultivar, 'Plena' (which may or may not be this species) has double flowers: a trumpet within a trumpet. B. X insignis is a second generation hybrid created by back-crossing B. suaveolens with a B. suaveolens - B. versicolor hybrid. It has huge, sometimes six-pointed, bell-shaped flowers to 15 in (38.1 cm) long. These may be yellow, orange, white, pink or multi-colored and are more prone to hang straight down. This popular hybrid blooms year-round and often is offered incorrectly as B. suaveolens. There are several other presumed hybrids, including 'Dr. Seuss', 'Frosty Pink' and 'Charles Grimaldi' whose parentages may include B. suaveolens, but this is not certain.

This angel trumpet occurs naturally in SE Brazil. It is widely grown as an ornamental everywhere it is hardy and has escaped cultivation and established in residential areas throughout much of South and Central America, Mexico, and even in parts of south-central Florida.

Light: Brugmansia suaveolens does best in full sun. In partially shaded situations it may grow vigorously but flower sparingly or not at all.
Moisture: Angel trumpet requires regular watering for best growth and flowering. It wilts terribly, but usually survives through droughts.
Propagation: Brugmansias usually are propagated from seed. They also may be started from semi-ripe heeled cuttings taken in summer and rooted with bottom heat. A heeled cutting is one that includes a small piece of the older stem still attached to the tip cutting.

Brugmansia suaveolens can be pruned to a small tree with a single trunk, or allowed to grow in a clump with several erect and spreading stems. This is a very popular lawn specimen plant throughout the New World tropics and subtropics, and when in bloom it never fails to attract attention. Use it where you want to make a bold statement. Its large, coarse leaves and huge drooping flowers will be the center of attention. Use it in mixed shrub borders for contrast, or as an accent plant on the patio. As a specimen, position Brugmansia suaveolens in an open area where it can have center stage for maximum impact.

Angel trumpet is an exotic and tropical-looking shrub that makes a striking specimen in the landscape or a prized container plant on the patio.

The five species of Brugmansia formerly were included in the genus Datura, which now includes only the angel trumpets that are annuals or short-lived perennials; herbaceous as opposed to woody; and have erect rather than pendent flowers. Jimsonweed (D. stramonium) is a North American native and D. inoxia a popular ornamental from Mexico.