Sloped roof options

Since no roofing system is suitable for all buildings and all needs, it is advisable to hire an expert to evaluate all the issues. The list below summarizes the major recognized systems available and proven in Quebec.

See also below our COMPARATIVE TABLE of major conventional flat roof systems.

Prepainted steel (standing seam, casing style, Canadian style or tiles)

Prepainted steel is an extremely durable, reliable and waterproof material. Its great versatility makes it possible to fit any design. The steel can be installed in a multitude of configurations, from single standing seam pans to a great variety of tiles and shingles. The choice of color is also very interesting.


Aluminum, Copper, Zinc

Aluminum, copper and zinc shingles are an excellent alternative to asphalt shingles or steel because they are much more durable than asphalt, more resistant to rust than steel and they have an unmatched look. The cost is however higher than steel, and copper is even more expensive.

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Modified bitumen SBS (low slopes)

Bitumen modified with polymers to improve their properties. Reliable, attractive and very popular in Canada for cathedral and low sloped roofs. The granulated finish (similar to asphalt shingles) is available in a wide color palette and serves to protect bitumen against UV rays but also to prevent ice and snow from falling off the roof. Installed in two layers which are fused with torches, the first layer is glued or mechanically fixed to the roof. 

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Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most economical alternative of roofing if we consider only the buying price. Countless possibilities of colors and styles are available, not to mention the various guarantees for each product category.

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Cedar shingles

Cedar shingles are perfectly suited to face our harsh climate. Indeed, cedar shingles are highly resistant to high winds, are mold resistant and have an outstanding durability. Cedar shingles have insulating properties and requires very little maintenance, not to mention their unique look.

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Coatings and other roofing options

Many products are available on the market to extend the life of an existing roofing but very few are thoroughly tested and standardized by the industry. Few specialized labor and installation standards bring the risk of losing local expertise by using a method which is too marginal.

Comparative table of major slope roofing options

This table shows an overall view presented for information purposes only. Endless variables can substantially modify the information it contains; use with caution and discernment.

Roofing type Average product life (1) Annual cost (2) Purchase price (2) Reliability (3) Versatility (4)Environmentally friendly (5)
Prepainted steelvery goodvery lowhighvery reliablepoorvery good
Aluminum copperexcellentvery lowvery highreliablepoorgood
Modified bitumengoodaverageaveragereliablevery goodlow
Asphalt shingles average to goodhighlowmediumgoodlow
Cedar shingles*goodlowvery highmediummediumexcellent
Applied coatingslowvery highvery lowlowgoodlow

*Western red or blue cedar, installed according to the state of the art.

  1. Product life is not only based on the sustainability of the material itself but also on its seams.

  2. Cost classification is based on a small area (less than 200 square meters or 2000 square feet).

  3. Reliability includes resistance to fire, impacts, punctures and natural elements.

  4. Versatility considers ease of installation in all circumstances and the ease of modification and repair.

  5. Classification of the ecological value of a system is not only based on its recyclability since some materials are recyclable but not recycled, such as modified bitumen in Quebec. This value is greatly affected by sustainability but also by the amount of energy required in the material’s life cycle.