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.
Metal Roofs Vs. Asphalt Shingles
These are two of the most popular roofing styles in America. Metal roofs and asphalt shingles. They are both solid options, hence their popularity. But how do they fair in choice categories? Let’s find out.
Shingles are a very versatile roofing material. While metal roofs can also be versatile, shingles come in many different textures and not just colors. Metal roofs tend to stick to solid colors without much texture.
Upkeep: Metal Roof
Metal roofs are quite a bit easier to do maintenance on than asphalt because metal roofs hardly ever need any upkeep aside from sweeping them off. But shingles on the other hand tend to break away and cause problems.
Shingles are quite a bit cheaper than metal roofs, to begin with. But this is only true if you get average metal roofs and average shingles. Because you can get cheap metal roofs and expensive shingles.
Mold-Resistance: Metal Roof
Shingles are simply not mold-resistant but metal roofs very rarely mold. So if this is a concern for you then your choice is already made. However, having something inspect your roof regularly can also prevent mold.
Installing shingles is usually fairly simple. While it isn’t difficult to install metal roofs, you do need special tools. But these days, shingles come with kits that are usually easy to install, especially by a professional.
Durability: Metal Roof
Metal roofs are more durable than shingles and they usually last quite a bit longer too. So in this way, the metal roof is cheaper because it won’t have to be replaced as often and can last a lifetime whereas shingles cannot.
Metal Roof Vs. Slate
Slate is another common, though not as common as asphalt shingles, roof material. Most of the time slate roofs are in shingle form but they can also be in tile form. The shingle form is simply better for drainage.
Mold-Resistance: Metal Roof
Sadly, slate shingles are also not mold-resistant. So you will have to inspect it for mold on a regular basis if you choose to get slate. But metal roofs, as mentioned earlier, are almost completely mold-proof.
Slate is definitely more natural than metal roofs. While many metal roofs are made with natural minerals, slate is almost always completely natural, making it more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Installation: Metal Roof
Metal roofs may be more difficult to install than asphalt shingles but they are easier to install than slate. This is because slate is heavy and difficult to move around, requiring heavy-duty adhesive and care not to crack.
Both metal roofs and slate have great warranties but the warranty for slate is usually a bit better. This is because the wrong metal roof can rust and erode while slate is naturally a strong material that can last a lifetime.
Hail-Resistance: Metal Roof
Metal roofs may dent if not strong enough but this is rarer than you’d think. However, hail cannot puncture a metal roof. What it can do to slate is break the slate right in two or crack it, making a mess and endangering the structure.
Both slate and metal roofs are waterproof. So you don’t have to worry about either of them in the rain. But of course, any good roof material will be waterproof, and these two roofs are no exception to the rule.
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.
Metal Roof FAQs
Before we wrap things up, it’s important to take some of the most frequently asked questions and answer them. These questions about metal roofs are summed up answers to what we’ve previously discussed paired with new questions.
What Are The Disadvantages Of A Metal Roof?
The disadvantages of metal roofs are that they are expensive, they are loud in bad weather, and they can rust. The other disadvantages are quite small and usually aren’t a cause for concern. These are the primary three.
Is A Metal Roof Cost-Effective?
Metal roofs can be cost-effective. Although the initial cost can be quite expensive, the fact that they don’t need any maintenance and that they rarely ever need to be replaced will save you money in the end.
Is It OK To Put A Metal Roof Over Shingles?
In general, no, it is best not to put one roof over another. It is much better to remove the old roof and replace it with the new one. You can hire someone to remove the shingles for a reasonable price.
How Much Does It Cost To Put A Metal Roof On A 2000 Sq Ft House?
It will usually cost somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000 for a new 2,000 sq. ft. This is because the average cost for a metal roof is around $12 per square foot. This can vary greatly, but this is a good average.
Does A Metal Roof Lower your Insurance?
Sometimes! There’s a good chance that if you have shingles and are switching to a metal roof, you can reduce your insurance. This is because metal roofs are generally more durable and resistant to bad weather.
How Long Does A Metal Roof Last?
Sometimes, a metal roof can last multiple lifetimes. But on average, you can expect yours to last 50 years. The earliest a metal roof will need to be replaced is about 40 years while other times the can last over 100.
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.