Buying A New Roof Part 1 – Choosing Your Criteria

August 14, 2013 | Filed under: Buying A New Roof series, Roofing Help, Roofing Help Videos

Hi I’m Todd Miller. I’ve been blessed over the years to have been able to spend a great deal of time in the residential metal roofing industry. In fact, I’ve been involved in the industry on the manufacturing end for over 30 years at this point. Because I love sharing information, and I love sharing what I’ve been blessed to learn over the years, I have an educational website at, where I have all kinds of information about residential metal roofing. I have articles, I have questions I’ve answered for others, I’ve got podcasts, a lot of great information where you can learn about metal roofing for your home.

I want to start this series of videos and these are going to be quick and informal. I really just want to make these short and simple on how to choose a roof for your home. Now, because my background is is in metal roofing, I’m gonna talk a lot about metal. But I will also be talking about other materials as well and trying to provide good useful information.

In this first video, I want to talk about setting your criteria for a roof. No one likes to have to go out and buy a new roof for their house. It’s not something that any of us look forward to having to do, but the reality is… every year here in the United States, about five or six percent of us have to replace our roofs. Whether that’s because the roof is simply worn out, or because they were storm-damaged, the fact is, every year between five, six, maybe even as many as seven percent of all American homeowners have to replace their roof. So it’s a lot of us having to face this every year.

One of the important things is when you’re thinking about new roof for your home, think real hard about what you want to accomplish with your new roof. The fact is that the roofing industry is pretty ingrained, whether that’s manufacturers, whether it’s contractors, whether its distributors, the roofing industry is pretty ingrained to providing the same old stuff to most homeowners year after year after year.

Think about it. The average roof gets replaced every 16 or 17 years. Manufacturers…they kinda like that! There’s not a lot of desire to to put products out there that are going to last longer and not have to be replaced as often, because roof replacement frankly for most of the roofing industry is a stream of recurring income. And everyone likes that, so there’s not a lot of impetus out there for folks to really push you toward longer-term roofing choices.

But as you think about a new roof for your home, give some thought to what your criteria are. If you’ve been frustrated because your last roof didn’t last long enough, then then maybe one of your criteria is to find a roof that truly is going to last longer. If you’re in an area that is prone to severe weather, whether that’s windstorms; whether it’s firestorms; whether it’s hailstorms; whether it’s just ice and cold and an extreme temperatures; if you’re in an area that’s this prone to those weather extremes, you may want to seek out a product that is going to be more resistant to whatever that predominant weather extreme is that affects your area.

On the other hand, if you look around at all the houses in your neighborhood and you see black streaks (you know, that’s actually algae growing on the roof), but you see these black streaks and stains on the roofs and you say “Gee whiz, if my roof didn’t have those, my house would really stand out, and if my house stood out, it would have more value.” In today’s day and age, were all thinking about how we regain some of that value that we’ve lost in our homes the last few years. So if you’re looking around and seeing everybody else’s roofs are streaked and stained, you know one of your criteria may very well be “Hey I want to have a roof that that isn’t gonna streak and stain, that’s going to keep looking nice and and increase the value of my home.”

On the other hand, if you’re in an area that’s very very hot and you’ve got high air conditioning costs,  every year you you poke your head up in your attic in the summer and you realize how beastly hot it is up there you may be thinking about “Okay, how can I put on a roof system that’s going to keep my attic cooler?”

The same thing exists in some of the northern climates where folks deal with ventilation issues. Maybe they get condensation in their attics. Maybe they have problems with ice damming in the winter (which really is related to ventilation problems in most cases) and so folks in those areas may look and say “You know, one of my criteria for my new roof is is going to be to have a roof that’s going to resist ice damming, and a roof that has some ventilation features that are going to help make my attic healthier, avoid moisture condensation,” and in the process a well-ventilated attic also helps with with energy efficiency.

So in this first clip that’s really my encouragement. When you think about getting an new roof for your house, don’t just immediately go out start contacting your roofing guy and saying “I need a new roof” because the industry is pretty ingrained. You’re going to get the same ol same ol if you do that. You’re not going to get something different, and you’re going to find yourself in a few years right back in the situation that you’re in today.

When you’re thinking about a roof, think about your criteria. Think about what’s frustrated you with the roof that you have now, and think about what you would really like to to gain or achieve with a new roof for your home. Now I also invite you to visit my personal website. You can also visit our company’s corporate website if you’d like to see more information on the metal roofing products that we manufacture.

todd Miller

has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.

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