Choosing a roofing material is a major decision in the life of any homeowner. It’s a decision that will determine what your home looks like, what kind of thermal properties it has, and the amount of money you’ll spend on heating.
A roof protects your home from rain and snow, and if you’re living in a particularly snowy area, it needs to withstand the extra pressure caused by snow. In modern day and age, more and more people are installing solar panels on their roofs.
In other words, a roof needs to be able to do all of that, which is why many people choose metal roofing. Still, how do you assess the full cost of a metal roofing project? Let’s check it out!
Three components will affect the cost of the roof:
- The cost of the material
- The size of the roof
- The cost of labor
Now, the cost per size is only important for the material. If your roof is 100 square feet and the cost of materials is $10, you’ll have to spend $1,000 for materials. If the cost of materials is $15 per square foot, you’ll have to spend $1,500.
This is why it’s important to compare the cost of metal to the alternatives like ceramic shingles, wood shingles, and asphalt tiles. On average, metal is more expensive than other roofing materials; however, even just saying metal is misleading and restricting. After all, there are various metals used for roofing. Most commonly, however, we’re talking about the:
Aluminum (in the vast majority of cases)
- Stainless steel
The costs of these types of metal may also greatly vary. Do some research and make plans.
One more thing: the type of materials used will also affect the labor cost. Speaking of which…
While metal roofs are hardly something out of the ordinary, the bottom line is that these types of roofs are less common than traditional shingle roofs. This means there are fewer handyman specializing in these works, which is why their rate is somewhat more expensive.
Even if you decide to shop around, the fact that fewer people are specializing in these roofs means that they have more leverage. At the same time, just because metal roofing specialists are in demand, this doesn’t mean they’re out there setting unfair prices. The bottom line is that, at the end of the day, the costs might not be much higher than those of conventional roof installations.
At the same time, you need to look at the hidden discounts. You see, metal roofs usually consist of large sheets instead of tiny shingles. This means that the installation is much quicker than if you were to install a conventional roof. If the roofing company decides to charge you by the hour, even with a higher hourly rate, you may pay less.
Compared to some roofing materials, metal roofs are pretty good insulators. This is important if you don’t plan to sell the property immediately but live there. It means that your heating/cooling bill will be lower each year, which means that the ROI of the roof will be relatively high. At the same time, you can also improve the resale value of the home with a new metal roof.
This is very important since heating/cooling is one of your highest monthly expenses, and about 30% of all the heat leaves your home via the roof. In other words, you’re making a decision that will affect your monthly household budget.
You could make several investments to make your metal roof even more insulated, and these works are best handled immediately. They do, however, come with an extra cost. For instance, add a thick insulation layer beneath the roofing panels. Better roof ventilation is also a great way to improve insulation, yet not many people think about it. After all, mold won’t be a big concern, so why worry about the insulation? Well, not really, no.
Another thing you need to remember is the longevity of a metal roof. A metal roof can last you anywhere between 40 and 70 years. At the same time, you have historic roofs made of copper that date back 100 years and are still fully functional.
At the same time, the most common option, asphalt roof, is expected to last 15 to thirty years. Now, if we compare the averages, it’s clear that a metal roof is expected to last 2.5x the lifetime of an asphalt roof. This is very important to remember when considering the cost of a metal roof. It means that to be equal in value; an asphalt roof would have to be 2.5x less expensive (which is never the case).
At the same time, you need to consider a few additional factors, which will slightly offset your equation. For instance:
- A new roof and a roof that is a few decades old are not the same (even if it’s made out of durable material like metal).
- You might choose to change the roof (for stylistic reasons) anyway. In that scenario, paying more for a roof that will last longer wouldn’t make sense.
- Paying more money right now but saving money five decades down the line is not what most people would consider a great saving plan.
Consider these three things before assuming it’s a good deal.
Metal roofs are incredibly simple to maintain and repair. Replacing metal sheets is incredibly easy and cost-effective. It’s much simpler since you won’t have to disassemble the entire roof.
Also, since it’s metal that we’re talking about, it will resist all sorts of weather occurrences, scratching, denting, and flying debris. It is also resistant to mold and termite damage.
In other words, all that’s left for you to worry about is a regular gutter cleanup and some inspections (that you can also afford to conduct less frequently).
At the end of the day, even if there are better choices out there (potentially), going for a metal roof is not a decision you’ll ever regret. The cost-efficiency is amazing; they’ll outlast any other roofing material, and the aesthetics are decent. All in all, you’re getting great value for your money.