Here's a simple breakdown of the major roof types you see in typical residential roofing. Hopefully this can be a starting point for you learn your options for your roof installation or replacement.
Composition Shingle vs Metal
Your first choice is metal or composition shingle, usually metal is going to cost you more but last longer.
3 Tab - Is the most basic composition shingle, it's the most inexpensive but has a thin appearance and doesn't hold up as well in our Texas windstorms. We don't recommend 3 tab on our projects.
Architectural Shingles - These hold up better than 3 tab and have a dimensional appearance. Upgrading from 3 tab to architectural will improve the look of your home instantly. The price difference is minimal for the benefits, that's why this is our go to. There are many choices when it comes to colors, brands, and styles.
Class 4/Impact Resistant/Hail Resistant - You hear these referred to by all these names, usually they look just like architectural shingles but they are made to handle hail of larger sizes.
Designer/Specialty Shingles - There is a vast world of specialty shingles out there with many different shapes and looks, the price of these will definitely run higher than your typical architectural shingle but you get a one of a kind look.
R-Panel - Your cheaper metal option, the raise lines are wider and the fasteners are exposed, installation is faster.
Standing Seam - With thin, raised, crimped seams and hidden fasteners the installation is more skilled for Standing Seam but you get a really sleek look and you remove the weakest point of R-Panel (the exposed fasteners).
Metal Shingles - Much like the specialty shingles of the composition shingle category this is going to be your most expensive option with many choices. Stone coated steel shingles are high end and extremely durable. Some are even made to look like natural materials like slate.