Author Topic: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?  (Read 2051 times)

TheGadfly

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How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« on: June 06, 2019, 08:32:22 AM »
After reading MMM's article on his DIY metal roof and combing through the forums, I see a lot of pro-metal sentiment on this site. I also see the benefits of a metal roof and would REALLY like to replace my spent shingles with a beautiful standing seam.

I'm just wondering how anyone can justify the enormous cost of a metal roof? After getting a few quotes from contractors I have a choice between getting metal for $36k or SBS asphalt shingles for $12k. The SBS shingles are expected to last 30 years (comes with a 50 year warranty but that seems like bullshit). Since I expect to be in my house for the next 25 years (maximum), getting the asphalt roof seems like a no-brainier.

What am I missing here? I can see how installing a metal roof myself might justify the higher cost of materials since I think labor accounts for about a third of the total. Unfortunately, a DIY installation is not in the cards for me. I don't have the skills, equipment or brave friends to do the job correctly.

So since DIY is out of the question is there a way to justify spending 3x more for a metal roof? Will I get at least a $24k return over 25 years on my metal roof in the form of utility savings, insurance premium reductions and re-sale value?

Dave1442397

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2019, 08:55:18 AM »
Not worth it as far as I can see. Even at $12k a shot, you're getting 90 years worth of shingles for the same price as metal roof.

There's also the noise factor, which may be an issue depending on your house layout. Rain/hail hitting metal will be louder.



John Galt incarnate!

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2019, 10:18:31 AM »
After reading MMM's article on his DIY metal roof and combing through the forums, I see a lot of pro-metal sentiment on this site. I also see the benefits of a metal roof and would REALLY like to replace my spent shingles with a beautiful standing seam.


I enjoy modern architecture and beautiful buildings.

Building aesthetics are important to me so I didn't care about the cost of  the beautiful metal roof on my house.

I bought the finest available that has an overlap feature where the panels meet. The overlap covers the fasteners so there are no exposed fastener heads or rubber sealing washers that may leak in the future.

The only way this roof could ever leak is if it got punctured.

Where I live a wildfire may occur during "fire season" so I bought the metal roof for fire protection from flying embers.


thd7t

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2019, 10:43:17 AM »
Your insurance company may decrease your insurance costs with a metal roof, but I don't think it will offset the cost entirely, even amortized.

Cranky

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2019, 10:44:21 AM »
I'd get another estimate, but I guess it depends a lot on where you are.

My metal roof + all new gutters was $11k, but my house is smallish and the roof is "walkable".

Also - and people ask me this alllll the time - a metal roof is not noisy. It is better insulated and actually quieter.

bacchi

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2019, 10:52:33 AM »
Wow, that is a hefty price. Do you have a large and complicated roof?

I paid less than $12k for metal for both the house and ADU. It makes the choice easier when the multiplier is still 3x but from a much lower number.

- Metal roofs are reflective, which helps with heat (the attic was 10s of degrees cooler after the metal roof went up).

- When 30 year shingles are lucky to last 15 years due to heat and hail, it made perfect sense.

- Insurance discount. If hail makes dings, there's no replacement cost.


As an aside, the metal roof on the house isn't noisy. It sits on sheathing over open attic.

The metal roof on the ADU sits on purlins over rigid foam, leaving an air gap. It's noisier. We don't mind but I expect others would.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 10:54:40 AM by bacchi »

LifeHappens

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2019, 10:57:14 AM »
In some places metal isn't truly worthwhile yet. The market hasn't caught on and installers can charge a premium.

In storm prone places the cost differential is a lot less than 3x. It might be 2x. With an insurance discount, better insulating and longer life span the delta is even lower, maybe 1.5x depending on your use case.

Also standing seam costs quite a bit more than standard fasteners. It's a Top Top of the Line product.

ysette9

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2019, 10:58:48 AM »
When we priced out roofs two year ago the metal one cost about 3x asphalt shingles and were expected to last 3x as long. So it didn’t make sense for us.

TheGadfly

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2019, 11:04:48 AM »
Wow, that is a hefty price. Do you have a large and complicated roof?

I don't think so? It's a two story colonial with 2-foot overhangs, no valleys, one chimney, not super steep. It is quite large: ~2700 sq ft.

I should also add that these quotes might seem a little high because the replacement required a complete tear-off. There are currently two layers. I'm pretty sure the first layer is 42 years old.

LifeHappens

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2019, 11:09:05 AM »
Well, that's a large roof. Material costs have probably gone up due to tariffs and the general building boom. Unless you're in a climate where metal is highly preferred, I would go with asphalt in your situation.

NV Teacher

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2019, 11:12:48 AM »
My dad was the first to put on a metal roof in our area well over 30 years ago to replace cedar shingles.  I have no idea of the materials cost and he installed it with help from my teenage brothers.  Not having to have someone climb up on the roof in the dead of winter and shovel the snow off has been worth every penny of the cost. 

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2019, 11:21:14 AM »
Wow, that is a hefty price. Do you have a large and complicated roof?

I paid less than $12k for metal for both the house and ADU. It makes the choice easier when the multiplier is still 3x but from a much lower number.

- Metal roofs are reflective, which helps with heat (the attic was 10s of degrees cooler after the metal roof went up).

- When 30 year shingles are lucky to last 15 years due to heat and hail, it made perfect sense.


A few miles from my house a house was reroofed w/ asphalt shingles.

After ~8 years they were starting to curl from summer's typically intense heat.


John Galt incarnate!

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2019, 11:27:53 AM »
My dad was the first to put on a metal roof in our area well over 30 years ago to replace cedar shingles.  I have no idea of the materials cost and he installed it with help from my teenage brothers.  Not having to have someone climb up on the roof in the dead of winter and shovel the snow off has been worth every penny of the cost.

My father is a ME.

When I was a young boy he taught me that "there are two ways to do a job, a wrong way and a right way."

When choosing which type of  metal roof   I did think of his teaching.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 11:30:42 AM by John Galt incarnate! »

Fishindude

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2019, 11:29:17 AM »
After reading MMM's article on his DIY metal roof and combing through the forums, I see a lot of pro-metal sentiment on this site. I also see the benefits of a metal roof and would REALLY like to replace my spent shingles with a beautiful standing seam.

I'm just wondering how anyone can justify the enormous cost of a metal roof? After getting a few quotes from contractors I have a choice between getting metal for $36k or SBS asphalt shingles for $12k. The SBS shingles are expected to last 30 years (comes with a 50 year warranty but that seems like bullshit). Since I expect to be in my house for the next 25 years (maximum), getting the asphalt roof seems like a no-brainier.

What am I missing here? I can see how installing a metal roof myself might justify the higher cost of materials since I think labor accounts for about a third of the total. Unfortunately, a DIY installation is not in the cards for me. I don't have the skills, equipment or brave friends to do the job correctly.

So since DIY is out of the question is there a way to justify spending 3x more for a metal roof? Will I get at least a $24k return over 25 years on my metal roof in the form of utility savings, insurance premium reductions and re-sale value?

I think you are being very reasonable in your assessment.  I was a builder for 40 years and installed acres and acres of standing seam metal roofs, they are awesome roofs and will outlast and outperform anything else on the market, but they are very expensive.   Your prices are not ridiculous at all, a good standing seam roof should be 3X cost of a shingle roof.

The main reason to spend the money and install a standing seam metal roof is to protect a building that you intend to use and occupy for 40 years or more.   This is a very long term investment and most homeowners don't stay in a house that long.   If you are buying or building a home you intend to stay in forever standing seam metal makes a lot of sense because you will never have to re-roof and maintenance will be near zero.   Expect to replace shingle roofs every 15-20 years, the warranties are hogwash.

Having said the above, there is a big difference in metal roofs.   A concealed fastener standing seam roof held in place by concealed clips is the premium product referred to above, 40+ years of service.   We've got some out there my dad did 50+ years ago still performing well, they might last 75 years or more?   

However ..... Many roofers and builders are simply slapping down corrugated metal panels that are thru fastened with screws, which is a much cheaper and not nearly as good of a roof.  The screw fastened roofs have an opportunity for leakage everywhere a screw punches through the metal and over time they will have a few leaks.   They will probably outlast a shingle roof, but won't come anywhere near the performance of a concealed fastener standing seam roof.   If you are thinking metal roofing, take the time to learn about the different products and how they install, huge differences.

jps

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2019, 11:38:01 AM »
I'd get another estimate, but I guess it depends a lot on where you are.

My metal roof + all new gutters was $11k, but my house is smallish and the roof is "walkable".

Also - and people ask me this alllll the time - a metal roof is not noisy. It is better insulated and actually quieter.

How many sq. ft is your roof?

jps

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2019, 11:38:43 AM »
After reading MMM's article on his DIY metal roof and combing through the forums, I see a lot of pro-metal sentiment on this site. I also see the benefits of a metal roof and would REALLY like to replace my spent shingles with a beautiful standing seam.

I'm just wondering how anyone can justify the enormous cost of a metal roof? After getting a few quotes from contractors I have a choice between getting metal for $36k or SBS asphalt shingles for $12k. The SBS shingles are expected to last 30 years (comes with a 50 year warranty but that seems like bullshit). Since I expect to be in my house for the next 25 years (maximum), getting the asphalt roof seems like a no-brainier.

What am I missing here? I can see how installing a metal roof myself might justify the higher cost of materials since I think labor accounts for about a third of the total. Unfortunately, a DIY installation is not in the cards for me. I don't have the skills, equipment or brave friends to do the job correctly.

So since DIY is out of the question is there a way to justify spending 3x more for a metal roof? Will I get at least a $24k return over 25 years on my metal roof in the form of utility savings, insurance premium reductions and re-sale value?

I think you are being very reasonable in your assessment.  I was a builder for 40 years and installed acres and acres of standing seam metal roofs, they are awesome roofs and will outlast and outperform anything else on the market, but they are very expensive.   Your prices are not ridiculous at all, a good standing seam roof should be 3X cost of a shingle roof.

The main reason to spend the money and install a standing seam metal roof is to protect a building that you intend to use and occupy for 40 years or more.   This is a very long term investment and most homeowners don't stay in a house that long.   If you are buying or building a home you intend to stay in forever standing seam metal makes a lot of sense because you will never have to re-roof and maintenance will be near zero.   Expect to replace shingle roofs every 15-20 years, the warranties are hogwash.

Having said the above, there is a big difference in metal roofs.   A concealed fastener standing seam roof held in place by concealed clips is the premium product referred to above, 40+ years of service.   We've got some out there my dad did 50+ years ago still performing well, they might last 75 years or more?   

However ..... Many roofers and builders are simply slapping down corrugated metal panels that are thru fastened with screws, which is a much cheaper and not nearly as good of a roof.  The screw fastened roofs have an opportunity for leakage everywhere a screw punches through the metal and over time they will have a few leaks.   They will probably outlast a shingle roof, but won't come anywhere near the performance of a concealed fastener standing seam roof.   If you are thinking metal roofing, take the time to learn about the different products and how they install, huge differences.

What can you say about the difference between standing seam metal roof and a metal tile roof? I've seen many installers for metal tiles in my area and not as many for standing seam.

Cranky

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2019, 11:43:08 AM »
I'd get another estimate, but I guess it depends a lot on where you are.

My metal roof + all new gutters was $11k, but my house is smallish and the roof is "walkable".

Also - and people ask me this alllll the time - a metal roof is not noisy. It is better insulated and actually quieter.

How many sq. ft is your roof?

Beats me. It's not a very big house - 1960 3 bedroom basic house. It did include the roof for the detached garage, though.

My roof is so unusual for our area that every few months someone pulls into the driveway and asks me about it.

GuitarStv

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2019, 11:44:11 AM »
We live at the top of a large hill and I've got an asphalt shingled roof that's still relatively new and in pretty good shape ("40 year" fiberglass shingles).  In the past five years, we've had two extremely high wind events in our neighbourhood that caused damage to our roof and required replacement of shingles after the winds stopped.  If every couple years you have to keep replacing shingles on a roof, I'm not sure that an asphalt roof is actually a better buy .  . . even at 1/3 the price.

Given that climate change is real and no real steps are being taken to prevent it from increasing in the future, I expect that these high wind events will be a more and more common occurrence in the future.  This has made me a lot more interested in a metal roof simply because they're much more resistant to wind damage.

Enigma

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2019, 06:30:28 PM »
Wow, your estimate is way out of the park.  But then again sometimes you are stuck with the contractors in your area.
One area of TN that I am in, the Amish do metal roofs.  For whatever reason they can get the metal cheaper and install it for less than my father can buy the metal.

My dad slaps a metal roof on in a few hours.  Did a few last weeks on rental properties.  A couple of months ago all the supplies I need to install a roof in Covington KY cost $1,933.20 from MUELLER ROOFING COVINGTON (I just double checked the receipt).  That was installed on a 1100sqft - 3 bedroom house.  Usually my 4-plex and 3-plex units cost about $4k easier to hire those out because they are taller.

I think you are just getting ripped off, to be honest.  Shingles by the way never last as long as advertised.  IMO 15 year shingles last around 10 years...  30yr shingles you are lucky to get 25.  Then again you lose a few shingles during a large storm just results in massive water dmg.  Long term metal roofing is the way to go.  Less headache as a homeowner and a landlord.

teen persuasion

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2019, 07:03:18 PM »
Metal roofs are becoming very common in our area.  I've seen new shingle roofs losing shingles to wind damage (some repaired and kept losing shingles each winter).  After 3-5 years, the owners replaced it with metal, and I haven't seen any wind issues with metal roofs, so far.

DH replaced our detached garage roof himself with a metal roof.  It was fairly easy (the supplier sends someone out to measure, and they cut all panels to size) and faster than asphalt shingles (we've done that ourselves, too), but the metal panels are slippery and he slid off at one point.  Not injured, but when the main roof (2 storey with valleys) needed replacement I insisted we have it installed.  I think it was $6k-ish for our large farmhouse, with full tear-off and disposal of the single layer asphalt roof from ~ 20 years before.  That was maybe 4 years ago?  We priced asphalt as well, but the metal was only 1/3 more, I believe, more for materials, but less for labor as panels go up quickly.

Biggest issue we've had to adjust to is the snow slides off the roof, because we didn't have stops installed.  We wanted the snow to be free to shed, but in one spot it dumps on a walkway when it gets really deep.  Watch how your gutters are installed - if they are not at the right height, a heavy snow slide can catch the gutter edge and rip them off, or at least stretch/bend them downward and out of shape.

TheGadfly

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2019, 07:46:25 AM »
Wow, your estimate is way out of the park.  But then again sometimes you are stuck with the contractors in your area.

That's just it. There are very few contractors in Central Michigan that offer metal roofs, which leads me to believe they can get away with charging more. My quote for $36k was actually the lowest quote I found. The others were between $45-60k, which is definitely a rip-off no matter what state you live in. Short supply of contractors + increasing popularity = inflated prices
 
Anyone from Michigan out there who notices this as well?


alewpanda

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2019, 08:12:27 AM »
Tornado prone places use metal roofs all the time.

The difference in cost for us was only a grand or so....but we used Mennonite builders.  Do you have access to Mennonite contractors in your area?  They are reliable, clean, respectable, and timely from our experience.  You may have to dig a little to find them though. 

Location matters when it comes to metal roofing.  I don't have experience with them in negative 30+ degrees, but it was awesome in Missouri! 

Fishindude

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2019, 03:14:13 PM »
Wow, your estimate is way out of the park.  But then again sometimes you are stuck with the contractors in your area.
One area of TN that I am in, the Amish do metal roofs.  For whatever reason they can get the metal cheaper and install it for less than my father can buy the metal.

My dad slaps a metal roof on in a few hours.  Did a few last weeks on rental properties.  A couple of months ago all the supplies I need to install a roof in Covington KY cost $1,933.20 from MUELLER ROOFING COVINGTON (I just double checked the receipt).  That was installed on a 1100sqft - 3 bedroom house.  Usually my 4-plex and 3-plex units cost about $4k easier to hire those out because they are taller.

I think you are just getting ripped off, to be honest.  Shingles by the way never last as long as advertised.  IMO 15 year shingles last around 10 years...  30yr shingles you are lucky to get 25.  Then again you lose a few shingles during a large storm just results in massive water dmg.  Long term metal roofing is the way to go.  Less headache as a homeowner and a landlord.

I'll bet the "metal roofs" you are referring to above are corrugated, screw down pole barn roofing, not a high quality concealed fastener standing seam roof.   Big difference in the products and a big price difference to go along with it.

gooki

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2019, 04:23:37 AM »
Quote
I'm just wondering how anyone can justify the enormous cost of a metal roof?

By understanding America is the only place where ashphalt shingles get put on roofs. There’s a reason the rest of the world doesn’t use them.

Our first home was 60 years old when we sold it. Original concrete tile roof still on it, never leaked, never needed any maintenance. I see no reason why it wouldn’t last another 60 years.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 04:33:29 AM by gooki »

JLee

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2019, 08:48:45 AM »
Quote
I'm just wondering how anyone can justify the enormous cost of a metal roof?

By understanding America is the only place where ashphalt shingles get put on roofs. There’s a reason the rest of the world doesn’t use them.

Our first home was 60 years old when we sold it. Original concrete tile roof still on it, never leaked, never needed any maintenance. I see no reason why it wouldn’t last another 60 years.

Planned obsolescence, perhaps?

MrSal

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2019, 02:35:12 PM »
Quote
I'm just wondering how anyone can justify the enormous cost of a metal roof?

By understanding America is the only place where ashphalt shingles get put on roofs. There’s a reason the rest of the world doesn’t use them.

Our first home was 60 years old when we sold it. Original concrete tile roof still on it, never leaked, never needed any maintenance. I see no reason why it wouldn’t last another 60 years.

This. My grandparents house is from the 18th century and still has the original roof - some tiles were replaced if a big storm happened and a couple had to be put back in but that's it.

Also clay roof tiles are cheap there, at around 15 cents per square foot.

pagoconcheques

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2019, 03:10:08 PM »
We just put a metal roof on our house.  It was about 2.5 times the cost of "architectural" asphalt shingle. This is our forever house, so we'll amortize the cost assuming we live to life expectancy.   

It is not noisier than a regular roof, not even in heavy rain. 

It does seem to weaken our cell phone signal inside the house.  You can read about this "Faraday box" phenomenon on the internet.  If you live in an area with weak cell phone signal, this might be a consideration. 

GuitarStv

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2019, 06:35:55 PM »
A metal roof won't act as an EM shield unless it's grounded.

kendallf

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Re: How do you justify the cost of a metal roof?
« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2019, 07:15:13 PM »
Wow, your estimate is way out of the park.  But then again sometimes you are stuck with the contractors in your area.

That's just it. There are very few contractors in Central Michigan that offer metal roofs, which leads me to believe they can get away with charging more. My quote for $36k was actually the lowest quote I found. The others were between $45-60k, which is definitely a rip-off no matter what state you live in. Short supply of contractors + increasing popularity = inflated prices
 
Anyone from Michigan out there who notices this as well?

Location matters, if nobody local is doing them there's no incentive for competitive pricing.  The metal roofs are basically taking over south FL; they have much better wind ratings and durability.  There the roofing company cost to install a metal roof is less than 2x the cost of shingles.  The irony is that metal roofs are faster to install than shingles, except perhaps if your roof is what we call "cut up" i.e. complicated.

I put metal on my last two houses (including the one I'm living in now).  I did both of them myself, and material costs were basically dead even with shingles.  I put 5v mill finish panels on; if I'd used standing seam panels the material cost would've been about 30-40% higher.  The last one I did was about 24 square and material costs were roughly $3500, including some plywood replacement and new fascia.  I did the tear off solo in about 3 days, including loading the debris into a utility trailer and hauling it to the landfill because I was too cheap to get a dumpster.  I had one friend helping and we installed all of the panels in one two day weekend (it took me another 2-3 evenings of work to finish installing screws, caps, etc.)