Does metal roofing make you think of rusty corrugated roofs in an old seaport or the title of an old Liz Taylor film? Then you have apparently missed out on what is happening in the world of roofing these days. When it comes to long-lasting, energy-efficient, stylish roofing, metal turns out to be a top contender in every category.
Although you may think of metal roofing in terms of utilitarian commercial buildings, today's metal roofs are attractive and practical, with an almost endless variety of styles, colors, and textures to resemble nearly every other type of roofing material. And they will last a lifetime, add to your home's value, and save on energy costs.
Metal roofing costs
While the initial cost of premium metal roofing can be higher than many other materials and two to three times the cost of asphalt shingles, this cost is offset by several factors. For one, metal roofing lasts longer than nearly any other material. For another, it can decrease your home's energy consumption by up to 40 percent. And because of all of its advantages, it can add to your home's resale value. Not only that, it can reduce your home insurance premiums, and may also qualify for a tax rebate.
There are so many options to metal roofing materials that it is difficult to quantify costs here. The cheapest material is galvanized steel, which will run in the neighborhood of $600 to $750 per square (a square will cover 100 square feet of roof). Aluminum roofing installed costs between $700 and $1,200 per square, and copper--the most expensive--in the neighborhood of $1,100 to $1,500 per square. The good news is that nationally over 85 percent of this cost is recouped in your home's resale value.
Popular brands and styles
Metal roofing can be found in any style and color to suit your taste. Found not only in continuous metal panels and metal shingles, metal roofing can be made to mimic shakes, tile, slate, and shiplap siding. Just a few of the many metal roofing manufacturers are Atlas Metal Roofing, Fabral Metal Roofing, Follansbee Steel Metal Roofing, Gerard Roofing Technologies, MCBI Metal Roofing, Metro Roofing Products, Pac Clad Aluminum Metal Roofing, Revere Copper Products, and Zappone Copper Roofing.
Durability and fire resistance
For durability, metal roofing can't be beat. Most metal roofs have a 50-year warranty, and some are warrantied for 75 years. Although no material is absolutely fireproof, they perform very well when exposed to fire. Most metal roofing materials are rated Class A (severe) for fire-resistance.
Energy efficiency and the environment
Metal is outstanding in reducing heating and cooling costs. Metal roofs reflect heat and block heat transfer into the home. According to a study by the Florida Solar Energy Center, metal absorbs 34 percent less heat than asphalt shingles, and reduces energy bills by as much as 20 percent. Metal roofs typically contain a minimum of 25 percent recycled content, with steel roofs using 60 to 65 percent recyclable material. Metal roofing can also be installed over existing roofs, reducing landfill impact. Many metal roofing materials qualify for Energy Star tax rebates as well.
How to get started
Use the form on this page to begin your search for the steel roof that best meets your needs. You can also get information from the Metal Roofing Alliance or by visiting manufacturers' websites, showrooms, and home improvement stores. When you have selected the metal roofing material that you want, get at least three bids from licensed contractors experienced in installing that particular type of roofing.