Metal roofs are one of the most common types of roofs in the world. While asphalt shingles still remain more popular than metal roofs, don’t be surprised if metal roof houses surpass them in popularity soon.
Metal roofs offer more benefits than disadvantages. They go well with any design style and have an array of pros we’ll talk more about later. First, let’s go over the history of metal roofs quite briefly.
History Of The Metal Roof House
The oldest known metal roofs were made of copper. In the 3rd century B.C., copper roof shingles were placed on the Lovamahapaya Temple in Sri Lanka. Even the Romans used copper roofs for the Pantheon in 27 B.C.
By the time the 1000s rolled around, copper was quite popular. St. Mary’s Cathedral, Hildesheim had a copper roof until it was destroyed in World War II. So you see, metal roofs have a longer history than you may have realized.
However, different types of metal didn’t become used widely until the 19th-century. At this time, zinc, lead, and even tin was being used on roofs. Today, nearly every type of metal is used as a roofing material.
Cost Of A Metal Roof House
Most metal roofs cost somewhere between $7 and $20 per square foot. Since an asphalt roof can cost less than $2 per square foot, you can see why it’s so much more popular than metal. It’s much cheaper.
There’s no doubt about how expensive metal roofs are. But in order to know why each roof costs what it does, it’s important to take a look at the different types of metal roofs. Some are better quality while others are better for the environment.
Types Of Metal Roof Materials
Yes, metal is a broad term used for a variety of different roofs. After all, there are many different types of metal in the world. Let’s breakdown each type of metal roof and what each of them costs, as well as how long they are expected to last.
Lifespan: 30-50 years
Cost: $3.35 – $4.50 per square foot
Steel is the most popular type of metal roof. It is one of the cheapest options, surprisingly enough, although it is also the most durable. Steel is very strong and can last through any storm. However, it doesn’t have as long of a lifespan as other metal roofs.
Lifespan: 30-50 years
Cost: $3.25 – $5.75 per square foot
Aluminum is similar to steel when it comes to roofing materials. It is slightly more expensive on average but doesn’t rust like steel can if untreated. It’s hard to tell the difference between aluminum and steel.
Lifespan: Up 200 years
Cost: $14 – $22 per square foot
There is a hefty price range for copper roofing. It is a unique and ancient roofing material that has the highest price range. While it can be found on sale, you can expect to pay a lot more for copper than other metal roofs.
Lifespan: Up to 100 years
Cost: $5.65 – $11 per square foot
Zinc weathers to a unique color, so even after decades, it is alluring. It isn’t quite as strong or expensive as copper, but it’s a great replacement for if you can’t afford copper but want something nicer than aluminum.
Lifespan: Up to 100 years
Cost: $3.25 – $14.65 per square foot
The type of tin you buy matters. Terne is only 10%-20% tin and is more durable than pure tin, but comes with a bigger price tag. Adding tin to metal makes it cheaper so finding tin components can save you money.
Types Of Metal Roof Styles
Now that we know the different types of metals used in roofing, let’s take a look at the different types of metal roofs. There are only a few main types of metal roofs still used today. Here’s what they are.
Metal Roof Shingles
Metal roof shingles are simply shingles made of metal. Sometimes they come in tiles while other times they are large panels premade to look like shingles. They are great for people who like the shingle look.
Corrugated Metal Roof
Corrugated metal is normally used for outdoor buildings, not residential buildings. It comes in simple panels that overlap each other. This kind of roofing is easy to install but doesn’t cover as well as other types of metal roofs.
Batten Metal Roof
Batten roofing comes in panels with standing metal strips that cover the seams. They are easier to use on different shaped roofs because each panel is separate. The strips connect each panel and are versatile.
Standing Seam Metal Roof
This popular type of metal roof has self-sealing, raised ribs that interlock with each other. This gives a tight seal and an easy way to lay the roofing. Each rib is around an inch tall and a little less than an inch wide.
Pros And Cons Of Metal Roofs
Every roof has its pros and cons, as does everything in life. Asphalt roofs are cheap but they don’t last very long compared to other roofs. But that’s another story. Here’s what we found out about metal roof houses.
Long-Lasting – metal roofs last anywhere from 20 to over 200 years. It depends on the quality and type of metal that is used. You can expect to replace a roof no more than once in your lifetime. If that.
Durable – metal roofs are just as durable, probably even more durable, than other roofs when it comes to bad weather. Hail won’t work its way through and debris from storms won’t normally tear holes in metal roofs.
Fireproof – most metal roofs are completely fireproof. Meaning, they won’t catch fire. The same can’t be said for other roofs. Safety should always be a priority, especially in a family home, so this is a huge plus.
Helps Cool House – metal roofs can reduce cooling costs by 10-25% by reflecting heat. So the rumor that metal roofs make a house hard to cool is a myth. They can actually make it easier to cool.
Eco-friendly – metal roofs are made from 25-95% recycled materials. And, after you’re done with them, you can recycle 100% of the roofs. So it doesn’t matter how long you keep them, you can always recycle.
Expensive – metal roofs are much more expensive than asphalt shingle roofs. You can expect to pay ten times more even for metal roofs. However, they can last ten times longer, so the investment is worth it if you can afford it.
Loud – when it storms, you’ll know it with a metal roof. Some people like the sound, but when tree branches start scratching, it can get annoying. That’s why most people consider this a con rather than a pro.
Can Dislodge – if not installed properly, a metal roof can dislodge, flip-up, or unalign itself. It’s important that it is installed by professionals with experience with metal roofs. Otherwise, you risk the hazard of your roof flying off.
Colors Fade – after time, metal roofs tend to fade. This isn’t generally a problem unless you’re trying to match it. Copper that is two years old isn’t going to look the same as copper that is twenty years old.
Can Rust – although most metal roofs are coated in an anti-rust material, some metal roofs can rust. This can ruin the expected longevity. Make sure your metal roof material has an anti-rust element to prevent this from happening.
Trusted Metal Roof Suppliers
While hiring a contractor is ideal, if you need to find supplies yourself, don’t worry. Here are some great backup companies that offer reliable metal roofing materials.
Fabral – Fabral is a great company that offers metal roofing systems. You can contact them for all sorts of information s there is always a team of experts on standby, or you can buy their products from third-party retailers.
Metal Sales – Metal Sales is very popular with third-party retailers. They are the largest producer of metal roofing and with good reason. They offer every type of metal roofing we discussed, and more.
Decra – Decra offers unique tile and shingles, along with other metal roofing options. The company has been roofing houses since the 1950s and has never stopped improving. If you want something different, keep them in mind.
Gibraltar Building Products – Gibraltar is a metal roofing company with six locations across the United States. They primarily sell through places like Home Depot, where their products are readily available.
Brava – Brava has the number one composite tiles and roofing materials in America. They offer an alternative to Spanish clay tiles with stronger metal-based tiles and shingles that will last decades.
Tuff-Rib – Tuff-Rib has affordable steel roofing in over twenty colors. If you’re working with a budget but want something special yet strong, then Tuff-Rib is a safe option that won’t disappoint you.
Boral – Boral Building Company is a great Australian company with a North American base. This large company has an array of premium brands of roofing, among other things. So they may be a great multipurpose supplier for new houses.
Should I Get A Metal Roof House?
The only thing left to decide is what type of metal you want to use, the type of metal roof pattern you want to use, and what color you will buy. Some metals can be painted while others only come in a certain selection.
All-in-all, metal roofs are a great investment. They are durable, long-lasting, and efficient in almost every way. The biggest downfall is the price. So in short, if you can afford a metal roof, there’s really no reason not to get one.