This is certainly a hard question to answer as each house is unique and everyone’s needs vary. However, for most houses in DC there is a most common answer. However, before we dive right in we need to take a step back to talk about why.
When was the last time you bought some new technology? Whether it was a TV or a new iPhone you probably looked at reviews, factored in the price, determined its value for you and made a decision. A new roof is an identical buying decision – with a bit of extra urgency thrown in if your existing roof is leaking. For every technology there exists a sweet spot. It usually lies where several things overlap.
For most row houses in DC those metrics will point to one correct roof technology. TPO. It has a long life, is economical to install, is well supported, and it is efficient and because of that it is the choice of many LEED Certified buildings.
If price is a bigger factor and value/reliability/efficiency are smaller factors then EPDM roofs are often the homeowners choice. The downside is they need maintenance every 6-9 years by way of a new coating. Otherwise, the rubber can dry out, crack and fail.
If the homeowner wants a warranty longer than the 20 years available with EPDM, or 25 years available with TPO, a standing seam metal roof is a great option. However, it is a more expensive option and isn’t right for all situations.