Blog entry

Farmhouse: Pros and Cons of Metal Roofing

07Mar 2019

Farmhouses are one of the most popular styles for new homes. While they have always been around they have made a surge in popularity over the past few years due to the incorporation of modern elements making them relevant and new. One of these modern elements is sleek metal roofing either in accents around the home or for the entirety of the roofing system.

As you are preparing to build your home you may be considering metal roofing for some, or all, of your roof. While this does seem to be trending in most all farmhouses, it is important to weigh the pros and cons associated with metal roofing.

Over the past 2 years we have seen a steady rise in demand for metal roofing. While this still has not surpassed the traditional roofing materials, like asphalt shingles, the increase in interest is notable.

The reports of the increase in metal roofing demand is supported by the expansion of certain metal roofing company such as Central States Manufacturing Inc. who is currently adding a new 53,600 square foot manufacturing facility in St. Peters, Missouri. In a recent survey of roofing companies done by RoofingContractor.com more than half of the survey respondents stated increases in metal roofing sales in 2018 and 57 percent said they expected sales to increase in 2019.

This increase in using metal roofing for residential homes has made many curious about the advantages it can bring to their new home.

PROS OF METAL ROOFING

Longevity
A metal roof can last 40-70 (and in some cases 100) years depending on the material used, where as a traditional shingle roof typically has to be replaced in 12-20 years from installation. This means you will have to replace your shingle roof an average of 3 times as often as a metal roof. Not only is this costly when the time comes around to having to replace your roof but it can be a major inconvenience.

While metal roofs do cost more up front, they will pay for themselves in the long run. Not to mention the fact that you wont have to deal with hiring someone to come replace your roof every 15 years and deal with the noise and mess during your already hectic life.

Environmentally Friendly
Since asphalt shingles need to be replaced every 15 years or so they are not environmentally friendly. This is especially true given the fact that they are a petroleum product which increases dependency on fossil fuels. Asphalt shingles can be recycled to make roads, however a large majority of asphalt shingles end up in landfills.

In stark contrast to the non-environmentally friendly asphalt shingle, metal roofing typically consists of at least 25% recycled material. Not only is that great for the environment itself but it is still environmentally friendly when it has come to its end on your roof as it will be 100% recyclable! Steel roofing can be recycled over and over again with losing any of its strength and durability.

Energy Efficient
According to the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA):
“Metal is one of the most energy efficient roofing materials available and can save your home up to 40% in air conditioning cost as well as provide excellent insulation during the winter….The secret to metal roofing's energy savings is in its variety of finishes. The basic, unpainted metal roof will reflect more solar radiation than an asphalt roof, which typically absorbs and holds heat. But, for homes in warmer climates, pre-painted or granular coated metal roofing systems not only reflect solar energy but also cool your home by re-emitting most of what solar radiation is absorbed.”

With savings of up to 40% on cooling your home, metal roofing with a granular coat is certainly something to consider! Not only are you saving money but you are also continuing to hold up your pursuit of being environmentally friendly as you build your new home.

Fire Resistant
Metal roofing is truly the best fire resistant roofing one can get as other alternatives, such as slate and tile, weigh significantly more making them much more expensive. These heavier fire resistant roofing materials can also cause a home’s structure to become compromised much quicker and easier in the event of a fire inside the home.

Stylish
You are obviously building your own home for a reason and one of those reasons is usually style. You want this new home to perfect represent your unique style.

Metal roofing comes with more color and style options than another other type of roofing.

While bright and vibrant colors are available, the MRA (Metal Roofing Alliance) is predicting weathered and “reclaimed” looking metal roofs with dark colors will be the leading choses for residential homes in 2019.

“Homeowners have gone through significant challenges and changes this past year,” said Renee Ramey, MRA. “There’s a longing and desire for things that have a connection to the past and will stand the test of time, and that’s driving the popularity for some of the vintage looks we’re seeing for 2019.”

This weathered and “reclaimed” look is sure to be especially popular in the farmhouse market trend.

CONS OF METAL ROOFING

Now that we have explored the pros of using a metal roof for your new home you may be ready to jump the gun and chose the best color to go with your house plan design. Before you decide to do that however, you should be aware of the cons associated with using a metal roof.

Cost
On average a metal roof can cost about 2-3 times the amount that an asphalt shingle roof does. This means your upfront cost is quite a bit higher which does scare some people away from choosing it for their new home. However, since a metal roof typically lasts 2-3 times longer than an asphalt roof, you will eventually break even or save money due to the cost of labor and replacing the asphalt shingles. It all comes down to are you wanting to make the initial investment?

Denting
A metal roof can be dented by large hail. This can create quite a problem as replacing sheets of metal roofing can be difficult and expensive.
If you live in an area that tends to have storms with large enough hail to dent your car you can safely say it will probably dent your roof as well.

Expansion and Contraction
We all know that metal will expand and contract due to the temperature. This has been mostly taken care of in a lot of metal roofing due to fastening clips or accordion folds in the metal. However, some cheaper metal roofs do not give enough allowance for the expansion or contraction of the metal which can result in a great amount of pressure on the fasters thus creating wear and tear that can result in leaking.

Another element that can contribute to the damage of contracting or expanding metal roofs is inexperienced installation. Be sure that whoever you have installing your beautiful new metal roof, should you decide to go down that route, has plenty of experience in the correct methods to use.

Marring and Care
Although most metal roofs do come with a 15-30 year warranty, you do have to be sure that you read the reviews for all painted metal roofs. Some painted metal roofs can chip, scratch, peel or fade. And, as stated before, sheets of metal roofing can be very difficult to replace.

Leaking
If installed incorrectly a metal roof can leak. This can be due to several factors, the most common of these being that the fasteners have been incorrectly screwed in. A rubber washer forms the water proof seal for the fasteners between the screw head and the metal panel. When the screw is crooked, driven in too far or not driven in enough this can make for a poor seal and will result in leaking. So to state this again, be sure you hire a professional who knows what they are doing and have previously installed metal roofing.

Finding Qualified Installers
Renee Ramey, the executive director at MRA, states that the largest problem they are seeing in the growing metal roof industry is homeowners being able to find qualified local installers. This is a real problem that hopefully will have a real solution over this next year. As roofing companies are seeing this need they are working hard to get their employees trained to meet the need but as of right now they are having a difficult time keeping up with the demand.

House Fires
While a metal roof is fire resistant it can be a bit of a problem if the fire starts within the home. It is harder for a firefighter to ventilate your home through a metal roof in the case of a fire inside the home.

Noise
A metal roof will be exceeding louder than a traditional asphalt shingle roof during a rain or hail storm. While a lot of people do love to hear the rain few realize just how much louder it is when the entire house, covered in metal, is being hit by thousands of rain drops. Additional insulation can help with the noise but will add cost to your project.

Conclusion

As you can see there are definite pros and cons to metal roofing. They are all something to consider as you make your choice for roofing materials for your new home.

If you can’t seem sleep through a loud storm, or live in an area with substantial hail, a metal roof is probably not your best option. However, If you are fond of hearing the rain, have the money for the upfront investment and are able to find a skilled installer in your area, metal roofing may in fact be the right choice for your new modern farmhouse home!

 
 
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