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What Factors Go Into Metal Roofing Prices?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Replacing the roof of a home is one of the most expensive residential improvement projects. However, the cost to repair the home if the roof is not replaced will be much more expensive. Once the homeowner is aware that roof replacement is needed, the different kinds of roofing should be explored.

Metal roofing is becoming more popular and though metal roofing prices are often three times higher than the costs of conventional asphalt roofs, some consumers find them the preferred alternative. While prices vary, for residential metal roofing you can expect to pay anywhere from $350 to $650 per roofing square. A roofing square is equal to 100 sq. ft.

These current prices include materials but not installation. A metal roof is constructed from metal tiles or pieces and is preferred by some consumers due to its lightweight and durable nature. Materials like copper, aluminum, zinc, and stainless steel are used in metal roofs. At the lowest end, metal roofing panels will last between 20 and 30 years, close to two times longer than a traditional asphalt roof. Some steel roofing is coated with an aluminum-zinc alloy, providing the roof with a lifespan of up to 100 years.

The warranties on most metal roofing material range from 25 to 50 years. Resistance to hail, wind, flame sparks, and fire makes metal roofs a preferred alternative to asphalt for some people. When a metal roof is painted, it usually sheds snow once the ambient temperature increases a few degrees. This makes the material particularly attractive to homeowners in the mountainous or northern regions.

Eco-friendly consumers have started to take notice of metal roofing because metal can be recycled. Copper and aluminum roofing materials containing over 95 percent recycled content can be found. In addition, most metals can be recycled more than once without losing their most valuable properties. Creating a recycled aluminum roof requires just five percent of the energy needed to produce a roof made of new aluminum. Some people feel this in itself more than justifies higher metal roofing prices. In addition to requiring little to no maintenance, metal roofs have been shown to be very energy efficient. Coatings that feature high reflectivity turn away heat from the sun, commonly reducing air conditioning costs by 20 to 30 percent. This is the reason these roofs are used in many climates characterized by high temperatures. Temperature differences can result in noises on curved roofing surfaces, but these are usually not noticeable.

On an existing home, the metal roof can be applied over the existing roof. The metal roofing prices are reduced because the homeowner does not need to have the current roofing material removed, a time-consuming and often expensive project. The lightweight nature of metal makes it easily portable, reducing transportation costs. When metal roofs are used on new construction, they are ordered by the piece, cutting back on waste material and allowing sheets to be cut to exact lengths. One of the reasons that metal roofing prices are higher is because the materials cost more to obtain. In addition, the installation process is very technically involved. Installers must possess special skills and have undergone training specific to the type of metal roofing system that is being used. Many more hours of tedious work are required to install a metal roof than are needed for an asphalt roof. It takes between two and three times longer to install a roof made from metal.

The cost of a metal roof is comparable to the price for a tile or cedar shake roof. In most cases, a correctly installed metal roof will outlast either of these other materials. In addition, cedar shakes and tile are not as energy efficient as metal roofs. Some consumers justify the added cost to install a metal roof by the value that is added to the building, the protective and low-maintenance qualities, and the energy savings. When comparing metal roofing prices to those of cedar shake or tile roofing, some differences come to light. A metal roof lasts about as long as a tile roof and both of these last longer than a cedar shake roof.

When comparing metal to tile, metal is lighter and does not need reinforcement. The heavy nature of tile roofs requires many of them to be reinforced in order to avoid structural issues. Solar heat is reflected by metal, but not tile, roofs. Of all roofing materials available, the lowest lifetime cost will be incurred by a metal roof, as long as it is properly installed. In some cases, the metal roof can outlast the building it is protecting. When homeowners go to sell their properties, they can often command a higher price because the buyer will never need to replace the roof.

These roofs are also much more attractive than  the visual conveyed when thinking about a sheet of metal used on the top of the home. Homeowners may also be able to obtain financial benefits when re-roofing their homes with various materials. States like Texas offer reduced homeowner’s insurance premiums to individuals who have metal roofs installed on their homes. The discount is substantial, ranging up to 35 percent. In addition, a federal tax credit is available for homeowners who install qualifying metal roofs. A federal tax deduction is offered to those who install a certain type of energy-efficient asphalt roof.

One thing that many people do not consider is the overall expense to maintain their roofs. In the most optimistic cases, an asphalt roof may last for 15 years before it experiences leaks. If a roofer is hired to patch the roof, this will incur additional expense. It may be only a few years before the roof again begins leaking. The homeowner may decide to purchase an inexpensive roof that is likely to last an additional 15 years. If the individual remains in the home for more than 30 years, two roof replacements are likely.

Metal roofing prices account for factors like the expense of the material and the time and effort it takes to install the roof. Though the prices are often three times those of an asphalt roof, they rival tile and cedar shake roofing prices. Since metal roofs can last a lifetime, are resistant to many factors, and require little to no maintenance, some consumers feel the extra expense is justified.

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