Metal roof?

livingreen2013December 20, 2012

Have any of you had experience with or are using metal roofs in your homes? I was curious if it was worth the increased cost? My thought was that we could have our front and partial wrap-around porch be metal, but am questioning if that is worth the almost $4,000 increase in cost? Any opinions regarding our plan or if you yourselves have considered using or are using metal roofs? Any thoughts would be great! Thanks in advance!

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Beth Parsons

We were going to do a standing seam metal roof on our wrap around porch and gable returns but decided to spend that $4000 elsewhere. I personally think they look great and would have done it in a heartbeat if we didn't have a budget to stick to. :)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 4:08PM
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We have a standing seam roof on our barn, installed ~ 15 yrs ago, and it is in perfect condition. Has survived a couple of hurricanes even (Irene and Sandy) where we lost multiple shingles on both house and corn crib. I love it and would do it again in a heartbeat. Of course, it's the barn and not my house so I'll let others talk about what it's like on a house.

That being said, I think it takes a very specific type of architecture for a standing seam roof to look correct, and IMHO, I can't see this type of roof on the style of house you posted. I think it would would look very out of place.

This post was edited by jenswrens on Thu, Dec 20, 12 at 18:23

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 6:22PM
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That's what we're wondering. I've googled and "Houzz'd" so many images and seen metal roofs in a variety of styles. But, I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing?? I appreciate the feedback!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 6:50PM
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Where i live in S. Florida metal roofs have become very popular since the major hurricanes a few years ago. The most popular kind is sheets of steel with ribs that give a look similar to standing seam but more subtle. I think the material and installation is a lot cheaper than standing seam. It comes in an endless series of colors and I think it would look great on your porch roof. I haven't lived with it but I don't imagine it's louder and it certainly lasts longer than shingles. Plain unpainted metal is the most popular color here. Most others seem to fade in the constant sun.

Here is a link that might be useful: Steel roof link

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 7:14PM
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In the Deep South, shingles curl up and die in about 15 years or less. We're going metal for that reason, plus appearance and fire resistance (we are building in the woods). Whether the look of tin matches your house or area is something you'll have to determine. In rural SC, where we are building, it is ubiquitous.

The belief that metal roofs are noisy stems from the old days, when 'tin' was attached to open purlins with no plywood sheathing. Those roofs are LOUD! They also drip condensation in certain weather conditions. But with plywood sheathing and a well-insulated attic, they aren't much noisier than anything else.

Metal roofing is also totally recyclable, which makes it a 'greener' choice, if that's important to you.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 7:32PM
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My friend who has a metal roof loves its ability to shed snow BUT has serious problems with cell phone reception in the house.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 11:19PM
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We have a metal roof, but our house has a very simple roof line. I agonized over the decision of shingles vs metal, but we love it. We have discovered that we will need to get ice cleats (?) - metal that runs perpendicular to the grooves of the roof so that we don't get any snow avalanches or our gutters ripped off. I am a little disappointed since I liked the clean look without it. I don't feel like rain is too loud...we enjoy it. That was one of the reasons people gave us that we shouldn't get it. Also, we haven't been through the summer to see if the house feels warmer since we did get a darker color. I like the idea that we won't need to replace it as often, although someone did mention that insurance companies may not cover certain types of damage to metal roofs.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:29AM
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In addition to the basic standing seam, they also make metal roofing that looks like ordinary shingles and even some that looks like spanish tile, so it shouldn't be difficult to get the aestetics you desire.

In addition to offering fire protection, if a metal roof is properly grounded as suggested by the manufacturers, it also offers lightning protection.

Metal roofing comes with a 50 to 75yr warranty as opposed to 25 to 35yr for shingles.

Most insurance companies offer a subtantial reduction in your fire insurance rate.

Personally I can't see a down side.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 2:39AM
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Sophie Wheeler

The only down sides to metal is that it's not a material suited to thousands of hips and dormers that typical neo ecclectic homes come with. It's suited to a much more simple roofline. But, it's probably the last roof your house will ever need applied if it's done correctly.

I'd simplify the roofline on that house by de-hipping and de-gabling it some more and use metal in a heartbeat. Not only would it be a cost effective choice for long term, it'd make the house look tons better if it were simplified. Look at the evolution of CamG's plans to see how a home can transition to something beautifully basic.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:04AM
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We have a standing seam metal roof and love it. Ours is not nosey when it rains--would do it again in a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:08AM
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I think it would look great! We used metal roofing on our front porch and the eyebrow over the garage. We used timberline's weathered wood shingles and a dark brown metal. Using shingles and adding metal roofing as accents is becoming very popular in the South.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:21AM
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buildinginal- I would love to see your house! Do you have any pictures available? I, too, am drawn to the metal as an accent,but don't know if our house can "pull it off" yeet. I appreciate the feedback everyone. It sounds like the metal roof verdict in terms of durability is great, although I do worry about the fading aspect and if it would be too "trendy" to do part roof one way, part the other. The roof is being built as we speak, so we can't make any more structural changes, but we have yet to order shingles, so the time to think about such options is now. Any other thoughts on if we should just stick with regular shingles or do the porch in a metal accent? Thanks once again everyone!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 10:00AM
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We chose a standing seam metal roof. Our roof line isn't super simple either. We live in an area that gets substantial snow in the winter, so we have gables so that the snow doesn't pile up over walkways and entrances.We aren't putting gutters around our house because of the force of the snow sliding off our roof.

Oh and we live in Canada, but bought our roofing materials in the US. We saved upwards of 50% that way.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:25AM
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Beautiful, Laurajane!

We are thinking about a metal roof on our home (still in the eaaaaaaaaarly planning phase). Interesting about the cell-phone reception issue, though -- that would be a big problem for us, as my husband is on-call for work pretty much all the time.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 3:32PM
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Sanveann, I'll try to find out from my friend her solution to the cell-phone issue. She was trying to do away with her landline, but could not find a cell provider who could get service into her house. I think she tried the additional nano-cell as well, with poor results.

It was actually one of the cell servicemen who alerted her to this issue, after she had spent several frustrating months trying to figure out what the problem was.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 4:08PM
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I happen to love metal roofs and know many who are thrilled with theirs, but the style of your house does not call for one in my opinion.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 6:48PM
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Thanks Sanveann!

We have a metal roof on our current house (old style with exposed screws) and cell reception is not a problem. Plenty of cell phones have been used in our new house since the roof was installed, and again, no issue with cell reception.

Are you sure that the cell reception issue is relevant to the house, and not the area in general?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 6:58PM
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Laurajean, the roof seems to be the issue. She's in an area with good coverage and got reception in the garden and the driveway and next to certain windows inside the house. They eliminated every other cause, and she's pretty tech-savvy. It may be that because of the metals used, certain roofs cause a problem and others don't.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:29PM
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The idea of cell phone usage is definitely something I never thought of! Thanks for the honest thoughts everyone. Like I said, I needed the outside opinions as to whether or not a metal roof would work with our house. Thanks for the feedback!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:01PM
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My barn has a metal roof, and I get good cell signal (5 bars) in there. I have noticed it is weak in the house, though, and there isn't even a roof on it yet! My walls are concrete and re-bar, which I think is the problem. I'm not sure yet if it will be a problem, but we don't plan on having a land-line at all.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 9:44AM
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You can get a cell signal booster that you plug in in your house that should give you good reception inside flgargoyle . . .

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 10:29AM
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flgargoyle - you are probably correct that the problem is the concrete and rebar. We live in a concrete house and in some parts of the house the cell signal strength is nonexistent. My husband still needs to call T-Mobile with regard to a Cel-Fi Signal Booster.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 7:16PM
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Very interested to hear other's input about cell phones in a cement home with a metal roof--any one have both and your cell phone works?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 3:20PM
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Why not use WI-FI?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 3:44PM
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dreambuilder - Our house is made from precast concrete and we have a metal roof. My cell phone signal strength depends on where I am in the house. It is not a problem though because we have a land line.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 5:38PM
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I built myself, on a very remote island in the southern bahamas. Some neighbors decided on standing seam. My argument, and decision against and in favor of very high-quality asphalt shingles was, the metal roof has to be installed and repaired by a tradesman. And, if the integrity of one panel is compromised, you often lose a considerable portion of the whole. Since we are already waaay out there, and in the event of a damaging storm firstly logistics will be a major issue not to mention the probability that the very same tradesmen will have their own homes to tend with, then priority #2 would be damaged homes in Florida, then perhaps nassau, THEN us, I opted for a material I can repair/replace my oneself.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:44PM
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I agree metal roofing is great but you need to consider the costs. I dont think $4k is that much more, but if you were to do a full metal roof, it would be very expensive. Quotes for my existing house were 50-60% more. When a roof already costs $20k, we are talking big money.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 2:14AM
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There's no way that a metal roof should be costing 50% more than a good dimensional shingle. 50% more than the cheapest asphalt, maybe. But most wouldn't put that crappy of a roof on their house in the first place when building.

And metal is a pretty DIY friendly substance if you've got a couple of additional hands to handle long pieces, or if you're willing to have a lap seam and work with shorter pieces. It goes up a LOT quicker than asphalt shingles because you're working with 30 square feet+ at a time.

When our 40 year old asphalt roof (yes, 40) needed replacing, we chose metal and DIYed it. Logistically, the 28 foot length sections were the most difficult to deal with, but a simple scrap lumber ramp to slide them up to the roof was the solution for that.

We didn't have a ton of valleys and intersections though, which made the prospect much easier for DIY. Those type of trim pieces, and the ridge cap and edge pieces are where the expenses lie in a metal roof. The actual metal itself was the same cost as a premium asphalt shingle.

Adding in the trim pieces needed made the material costs maybe 10% more than an asphalt shingle roof. The labor was free. :) And the labor should be pretty much a wash to maybe a little bit more costly. Depends on who's giving the quote.

If you've got a roofer skilled at doing both, the labor will be about the same to slightly higher. If you've got a roofer who specializes in metal, it's probably more. Or if you have a conventional shingle roofer who hasn't dealt with metal before, it's probably more from him too, to pay for his learning curve. But, if you can find a guy like that, that's who would benefit from knocking his price down a bit just to get the experience under his belt. That would be the guy who would end up doing a good job and not costing quite so much as a metal specialist.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 8:58AM
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A metal roof is the one thing we had to give up with our house. :( It would have looked so cute but it was just too much money at the end of the day. Jealous of those that are able to use one!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 6:15PM
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PLEASE help me. We are building a 3K sqft home and I had a standing seam metal roof quoted by 4 different builders in the area. The total add to the cost is about 85,000.00~

The same roof in cheap shingles is 8K.I am not sure what to do or where to turn or why this is. Anyone have any advice?

Many thanks,

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 5:54PM
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bdslack, you might get more replies if you post your question in a new thread. By the way your photo is not accessible.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 5:07PM
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85000 ? For a 3000 sf house
How about some real figures.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 8:02AM
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Standing seam metal roofing could be any one of a dozen residential grade materials/alloys/coatings. From the price it appears it might be commercial grade metal roofing. It would help if you described what you are doing in detail.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 1:33PM
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We have a standing seam metal roof. One thing I miss is I can't hear the sound of rain because it's insulated so well! Also have AT & T cell phone and got a Cell-Booster and we have perfect reception. (before no reception)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 4:20PM
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