The Sound Of Rain On A Tin Roof: What You Need To Know About Installing A Metal Roof

Whether you're maintaining or remodeling your home, you may be considering metal roofing, from a company like First Choice Exteriors, as an option in your next step of upgrades. After all, you work hard to keep a roof over your head, and you want to ensure you keep your hard-earned buck at the end of the day. 

Here's the skinny:

Benefits of Metal Roofing

  • Longevity: Lasts 40 to 70 years as opposed to 12 to 20 of traditional asphalt.
  • Durability: Will not ignite during a wild fire or if struck by lightening. Metal roofs can hold up to winds of 140 mph.
  • Green: Most materials come from recycled sources and can be recycled after its life-cycle. Because of their radiant heat, metal roofs help with cooling of the home, lowering energy usage.
  • Tax Credit: Depending on coating choice, you may be eligible to receive an energy efficiency tax credit.
  • Decor: Materials are crafted in a myriad of styles and can be painted to improve energy efficiency.

Disadvantages

  • Denting/Rusting: Lower quality materials are thin enough to be dented by hail and may rust if not coated properly.
  • Severe Damage: If installed incorrectly, serious (read 'costly') home damage and roof damage may result.

Cost

The cost of metal roofing can run you $125 to $1100 per square (100 square feet). Many factors can determine this including your current roof's size, shape, state, and choice of materials. The most popular materials for residential roofing are steel and aluminum although copper and other metals are also available. Using a roofing cost calculator, a 1500 square foot roof with a moderate pitch would have you spending anywhere from $3,750-$33,000 or more for a professional job. These numbers may seem daunting, but consider the aforementioned benefits.

Say a contractor installed a traditional asphalt roof and a metal roof at the same date, in the 40 year life span of the metal roof, the asphalt roof will need to be replaced at least three times! Using the same calculator and home example, that will run you a whopping $11,250 which you might get stuck with before paying off your 30 year home loan. Also, consider that the average U.S. residential electricity bill for the summer of 2013 was $395. The cooling benefit of a metal roof can reduce these numbers by 10%-25% annually.

Maintenance

Too often, signs of a faulty roof appear only after costly damage has occurred. Be sure to inspect your roof twice a year and after heavy storms as a preventative measure. Appropriate maintenance for metal roofs include, paint upkeep to prevent rust, checking for holes, loose seems and corrosion, and inspecting sealants. If you do not feel comfortable performing these tasks, do not hesitate to contact a qualified roofing professional.

Choosing a Qualified Contractor

Choosing the wrong person for the job can be detrimental to your finances and sanity. The National Roofing Contractors Association provides an exhaustive list on choosing the correct professional. Some guidelines include:

  • Check for permanent place of business, telephone, and tax ID number.
  • Ask for proof of insurance.
  • Check your state's Department of Professional Regulation or Licensing Board to ensure the contractor is properly licensed.
  • Obtain a list of client references and call to see if they were satisfied.

Among the various costs of owning a home, installing metal roofing can mean more money in your pocket at the end of the year and less gray hair over a lifetime.

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