I often have homeowners ask me whether a metal roof would work on their home. Fact is, metal roofs can be a great addition to just about any home. The key considerations in making a decision, though, are what the homeowner’s goals are with a new roof and also what special considerations there may be with their roof. Let’s take a look at both of these things.
First, here are the goals that typically will prompt a homeowner to buy a metal roof:
1) They intend to stay in the same home through at least one re-roofing cycle. In most areas, that is from 12 – 20 years. Because residential roofing prices seem to double about every ten years, the financial benefits of metal roofing really kick in once the homeowner has gone through one re-roofing cycle.
2) The homeowner cares about the aesthetics and value of their home. The top of a house is not a real friendly place to spend your time and most roofing materials show their age rather quickly. Installing a roof that will keep a fresh look over the long term will make your home more beautiful, and also more valuable if you choose to sell it.
3) The homeowner wants to do the right thing for the environment. The recycled content, sustainability, recyclability, and energy efficiency offered by metal roofing products are unmatched by other roofing materials. Hands down, the green benefits of metal, as well as the ongoing energy savings, put it far ahead of other roofing material choices.
4) The home is located in an area prone to weather extremes. Metal roofing has a great track record and specific benefits such as low weight and interlocking panels to make it be very lasting in severe weather areas. So, if you live in an area prone to high winds, hurricanes, hail, blazing sun, ice, snow, earthquakes, or firestorms, metal roofing can offer great protection.
Next, let’s look at Special Considerations to keep in mind if you’re considering a metal roof:
1) It is important to know the pitch of your roof. Most metal roofs work very well on roofs of 3:12 or greater pitch. For lower pitch roofs, there are great metal options but they are more limited in number. Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you’d like to discuss the pitch of your roof. Never install a metal roof that is not appropriate for your home.
2) Existing leaks should be addressed. If you have any problems with your current roof, those should be tracked down and addressed appropriately before installing any new roof.
3) Think about increasing your attic ventilation. Good ventilation can make your home healthier, avoid winter ice damming in snowy areas, and save your energy dollars. Roofing is the perfect time to enhance the ventilation in your attic.
4) Complex roof lines are ideal for metal. If your roof is complicated or steep, there is a lot of labor involved in re-roofing no matter what product you’re installing. The permanence of metal roofing means it makes sense to do it once, do it right … and not have to spend those labor dollars again.
5) Skylights, chimneys, and other protrusions. Even though they are intentional, these are still holes in your roof and, to some degree, a hole in your roof never makes sense. However, metal roofs can be flashed around these things. Having a caring and experienced installer is critical. Feel free to email me anytime to see if I know of any good installers in your area – firstname.lastname@example.org
6) Flared gables. This is one of my favorites – it is when the ridge of your roof is wider than the bottom of your roof. This is done on some log homes as well as other home designs from time to time. While this architecture looks great, it also can be difficult for metal roofs. To some degree, metal shingles are easier to properly install in this situation that are standing seam and other vertical roofing panels.
While these lists are by no means exhaustive, I hope they provide some glimpse at whether a metal roof might be right for you and your home. Please contact me anytime you’d like to discuss your roofing situation in greater detail.
Todd's expertise comes from his years of experience in metal roofing manufacturing. As president of Isaiah Industries, based in Piqua Ohio, Todd runs a several of the world’s leading manufacturers of residential metal roofing; Classic Metal Roofing Systems, Kassel & Irons, and Green American Home. His personal goal is to educate homeowners of the long-life benefits of metal roofing.
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