Angie's List: Metal Roof

Published 05/27 2014 12:39PM

Updated 05/27 2014 08:00PM

Putting a new roof on your home is a big investment.
If you want one that’s really going to last, you might want to consider metal roofing.
It’s available in numerous styles and colors and can look like wood, slate or even asphalt shingles.
How it compares to traditional materials in today’s Angie’s List report.

When it’s time for a new roof, homeowners opt for asphalt shingles, the most common type of roofing material, but many roofing contractors also offer durable metal roofs.

Angie’s List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews, asked highly rated roofing contractors how metal roofs compared to the popular asphalt shingle and other varieties.

Contemplate the pros and cons of rocking the metal option the next time you’re in the market for a new roof.
Consider the cost: Metal roofs can cost two to three times as much as asphalt shingles. The cost for metal roofing ranges from about $6 per square foot for a painted, steel covering to as high as $20 per square foot for a copper roof.
Look at the lifespan: Asphalt roofs need replaced every 15 to 20 years; whereas a metal roof, properly installed, can offer a 30- to 50-year life span.
Installation: Installing a metal roof is much easier than laying down asphalt shingles, and replacing panels is quick and simple. Most metal roofing materials are formed into panels or sheets which are laid on the roof structure and then fastened.
Durability: Water won't damage metal in the same way it does asphalt. Standing seam metal roofs, one of many varieties, use screws and gaskets to secure the roof to the structure, and they’re not exposed to the elements, which helps prevents leaking and damage during storms.
Know the rules: Homeowners associations and local laws can limit residential installations of metal roofs. Look in your neighborhood covenants or city ordinances to find out if they’re allowed on your house.

Angie’s List Tips: Hiring a contractor to install a metal roof
1. Get multiple, written bids from reliable, local roofers. Ask them for a cost-benefit analysis of traditional roofs, as well as metal ones and then carefully evaluate that information to make the right choice for you.
2. Make sure that roofer has plenty of experience working with metal roofs. A metal roof system is all interlocked and screwed down, as opposed to being nailed, and typically takes about twice the time to install.
3. Roofing is a dangerous job and homeowners should ask for proof of insurance when hiring. If the contractor cannot provide this documentation, that’s a red flag. Highly rated insurance agents on Angie’s List recommend contractors hold at least one million dollars in both liability and worker’s compensation insurance coverage. You can also ask to be added to the contractor’s policy as “additional insured.”
4. As with any large purchase, weigh the pros and cons of a metal roof for your family’s individual circumstances.

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