Author Topic: DIY Metal Roof  (Read 3333 times)

Lan Mandragoran

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DIY Metal Roof
« on: April 21, 2017, 04:47:06 PM »
Hello! :).

We just bought a house and were given a credit to replace the roof(6k~ for an asphalt replacement, but a metal roof quote in the midwest looks to be about 10k(or more if you do hidden screws)). Wife and I would like to do a metal roof but I we have never put one up.  I'd have some help from my brother and a friend, and we will hopefully be re-doing the shed with a metal roof before the main house as a bit of a test run.

Guessing I was just wanting to see if anyone here has had any experience with this and has any pointers/common hang-ups for me :). Also anyone have a guess to how much the materials will be?


Cranky

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2017, 06:30:30 AM »
When I was calling around about getting a metal roof, several places asked me if I wanted installation or just the roofing material, so I'm pretty sure you should just start calling places. (I absolutely did not want to install my own roof, so I can't help you with that! I like my roof a lot, though.)

MRL

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2017, 11:06:07 AM »
I learned how and did my own - here's my write up from an earlier post. Let me know if you have any questions.

We wanted a metal roof, but I found it hard to find metal roofers here in Houston willing to do such a small job. Those I did find, quoted me $300, $380, $500 and up per square. So, I learned how to do it myself, used better materials than the roofers had quoted, and saved a bunch.

I can get unwrapped 30 yr shingles for $51 a square, add about $7 more for tar paper and nails.  Let's call the tear off and disposal $10 a square. Another dollar or two for penetrations and edge.  Let's say $75 a square before labor is the best I could hope to do. If you don't have a salvage shingle place, plan on $100 a square.

An uninsured roofer will do the job with 25 yr shingles for $130 a square or 30 yr for $155 a sq

I bought my 26 guage galvalume R panel roofing for $1.20 a linear foot. The screws cost me $20 a bag of 250, and stitch screws were $25. I went with expensive underpayment that resembles plastic tarp material mated to tyvec - that was $80 or so a roll that covers about 8 squares. I used 1x4 cedar runners to screw to, every 3 feet (horizontal) that costs about a buck each, combined with a huge box of screws $40. The roof/ridge cap was $3 a foot and valley if you need it is $5 a foot

Here's how I did it - this is an allowed (and recommended by city inspector ) in my area - it may not work as well in colder climates

First, I removed the outer 8 inches of shingles all the way around my house, then I rolled out GAF felt buster underpayment and tacked it down with cap nails. Then I layed a course of 1x6 cedar fence pickets all the way around the perimeter of the house. These are screwed down every 8-10 inches. Drip edge goes over this.
Next, using 1x4 pickets, and 3 foot long spacer boards (important) to keep parallel I progressed all the way around the house.  These are also screwed down with many 2 inch screws - through the cedar, shingle, into the wood...  This took a day, mostly by myself. Note that I did not have to remove all the shingles!  Then it's as simple as waiting for a day with almost NO wind and screwing down the panels. Panels get screwed down in 6 places at each runner. Make yourself a template so you can keep the screws in straight lines. It really looks a lot better if you keep everything in tight lines. Panels are laid out in a specific way, and must be perfectly perpendicular - otherwise you will get further and further off.  Start with 1 or 2 screws at the the panel, and lay out a few to check for square. If your first 3 panels don't take an hour, you are incredibly lucky. Once you have a side square, the panels go incredibly fast.

Cutting for me was easiest flipping the panel over, marking with a sharpee and cutting with an angle grinder. I tried circular saw blades and other things, but grinder worked best for me. Many of your cuts will be under the roof cap anyway. There will be lots of waste - the pros seem to be able to flip longer panels over, and use for opposite corners - but we aren't looking to become pros here, just save some dough, right? I found it easiest to do most cutting on the ground on sawhorses. These panels have a lip that overlaps the previous panel, so there is only one correct bottom on any given piece. Even though you measure twice, visualize things, and try to be careful, you will cut the wrong corner off a few times - these pieces ended up leaning against what I called the wall of shame, and were used as shorter pieces when I got to where I needed them.

Moving along, on each line where you have your fasteners, you will use stitch screws to connect each panel to the next one. Then a roof cap is stitch screwed to each of the raised parts of panels it overlaps.

Any penetrations require special boots - I found a few standard sizes at a steel shop, but Amazon prime was my friend here - cheaper, and they actually had everything I needed 2 days later.  The boots get a lot of stitch screws all the way around.

I spent about $4500 for everything I needed to do our bungalow and garage apartment. About 30 squares, but remember there is more waste.  Have a trailer handy if you have a hip roof, because you will end up with 100 3 foot triangles of metal. If it were a pro doing it, there might be savings of $500 or so on the materials with the lower amount of waste he would have created. On simple roofs, you could have almost no cutting or waste as many of the rolling mills can cut to order size.

Buy a few extras for fuck ups. I sold my extras on Craigslist for $1 a ft, and they were out of my yard an hour after posting

If you measure everything, Mueller will make a diagram for you for free...then you can shop around and discover that they are not the best price. (My materials were over 11k there, and that leaves out wood, penetrations and a few other things. but that little map was very very helpful)

So - about $150 a square done my way, not including labor.

The 5/8 thick space between the old roof and the new roof provides some insulation. Our electric has been lower, but I'm unsure by exactly how much.

P.s. Gloves - every time you touch the edge of the metal, wear them. I can't stress this enough.
Safety Glasses - always a good idea
Slightest threat of moisture - get down, or you'll slide off

I may have bored or lost yall, but I'd be happy to try and answer any questions you might have.
Reply


Lan Mandragoran

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2017, 11:48:32 AM »
Ok thanks. That's a lot of good info.

I'll have to see how the test run goes and go from there.

lthenderson

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2017, 07:48:21 AM »
I would never install a metal roof with exposed fasteners. I've spent more days of my life replacing sun checked rubber grommets, tightening, siliconing,  replacing fasteners on roofs to prevent leaks... and they all do eventually. Even worse, metal roofs with exposed fasteners can sometimes just start leaking and it is impossible to know where so you end up covering large areas guessing and are never sure you got it fixed until the next rain. With asphalt, I can generally narrow it down to the edges unless there has been shingle damage in an area.

FLBiker

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2017, 07:56:11 AM »
I would never install a metal roof with exposed fasteners. I've spent more days of my life replacing sun checked rubber grommets, tightening, siliconing,  replacing fasteners on roofs to prevent leaks... and they all do eventually. Even worse, metal roofs with exposed fasteners can sometimes just start leaking and it is impossible to know where so you end up covering large areas guessing and are never sure you got it fixed until the next rain. With asphalt, I can generally narrow it down to the edges unless there has been shingle damage in an area.

Sorry, roof n00b question - does this mean you wouldn't install a metal roof (because they all have exposed fasteners) or that you wouldn't install a metal roof with exposed fasteners, but you would install it another way?  We're a few years away from a roof replacement, but I'm definitely leaning towards metal at this point.

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2017, 11:33:17 AM »
Hmmmm ok, what about if we just installed over the single layer of asphalt we currently have down(as a way to prevent leakage problems)? Several of our contracter's have recommended that when we were getting quotes.

bacchi

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2017, 12:02:01 PM »
I would never install a metal roof with exposed fasteners. I've spent more days of my life replacing sun checked rubber grommets, tightening, siliconing,  replacing fasteners on roofs to prevent leaks... and they all do eventually. Even worse, metal roofs with exposed fasteners can sometimes just start leaking and it is impossible to know where so you end up covering large areas guessing and are never sure you got it fixed until the next rain. With asphalt, I can generally narrow it down to the edges unless there has been shingle damage in an area.

Sorry, roof n00b question - does this mean you wouldn't install a metal roof (because they all have exposed fasteners) or that you wouldn't install a metal roof with exposed fasteners, but you would install it another way?  We're a few years away from a roof replacement, but I'm definitely leaning towards metal at this point.

Metal roof with exposed fasteners -- BAD

Metal roof with unexposed fasteners (aka, standing seam) -- MUCH BETTER


Lan Mandragoran

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2017, 12:40:37 PM »
Well it also appears to be a good amount more in either labor or $$. So that's why I leaning towards just installing it over our single layer of asphalt.

From reading people's preference it seems to be

Hidden fasteners metal roof > Non Hidden Metal roof > Asphalt > Tent ;P.


lthenderson

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2017, 07:30:09 AM »
I would never install a metal roof with exposed fasteners. I've spent more days of my life replacing sun checked rubber grommets, tightening, siliconing,  replacing fasteners on roofs to prevent leaks... and they all do eventually. Even worse, metal roofs with exposed fasteners can sometimes just start leaking and it is impossible to know where so you end up covering large areas guessing and are never sure you got it fixed until the next rain. With asphalt, I can generally narrow it down to the edges unless there has been shingle damage in an area.

Sorry, roof n00b question - does this mean you wouldn't install a metal roof (because they all have exposed fasteners) or that you wouldn't install a metal roof with exposed fasteners, but you would install it another way?  We're a few years away from a roof replacement, but I'm definitely leaning towards metal at this point.

Yes standing seam roofs with the fasteners hidden are much better. I'm still leery about metal roofs in general. I've installed a lot of them over the years and they have their own set of problems. Many use light gauge materials that dent easily with hail, falling tree branches, etc. If the top coating of paint is scratched, you have to be diligent about touching up the paint or you get rust problems. A previous poster talked about cutting to size using a grinder. All those edges need touched up or they start rusting. Even with unscratched/uncut surfaces, I've seen some metal roofs begin rusting within 15  years of installation. Not all, but enough to worry me if I were buying a metal roof, how do I go about ensuring that the paint process is sufficient with this manufacturer and not the other. There is a entire cottage industry out in rural America where metal roofed buildings have replaced barns since the 80's where people go around door to door painting metal roofs that have failed. Every single metal roof on my parent's farm has been repainted at least once. With shingles now available with 50 year warranties, I have yet to see a metal roof that will last that long without a lot of upkeep or looking terrible. But they are cheap and fast to install, which is why they continue to be popular.

All this goes out the window if you are referring to a copper metal roof, other than the denting easily part.

paddedhat

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2017, 09:48:31 AM »

Yes standing seam roofs with the fasteners hidden are much better. I'm still leery about metal roofs in general. I've installed a lot of them over the years and they have their own set of problems. Many use light gauge materials that dent easily with hail, falling tree branches, etc. If the top coating of paint is scratched, you have to be diligent about touching up the paint or you get rust problems. A previous poster talked about cutting to size using a grinder. All those edges need touched up or they start rusting. Even with unscratched/uncut surfaces, I've seen some metal roofs begin rusting within 15  years of installation. Not all, but enough to worry me if I were buying a metal roof, how do I go about ensuring that the paint process is sufficient with this manufacturer and not the other. There is a entire cottage industry out in rural America where metal roofed buildings have replaced barns since the 80's where people go around door to door painting metal roofs that have failed. Every single metal roof on my parent's farm has been repainted at least once. With shingles now available with 50 year warranties, I have yet to see a metal roof that will last that long without a lot of upkeep or looking terrible. But they are cheap and fast to install, which is why they continue to be popular.

All this goes out the window if you are referring to a copper metal roof, other than the denting easily part.

The one thing that is becoming pretty noticable in my area is extreme fading of metal roof finishes. As you correctly noted, the earliest of the current crop of metal "agricultural panel" roofs are heading into their third and forth decades. As a result, probably the most popular color in this area, forest green, is often fading into a really sickly looking green, kind of a pale, ugly color. The brighter blue colors fare even worse, reds are probably the best, as they just seem to fade into less offensive shades as they age.  I agree with your thinking. I put my first "thirty year" architectural shingles on roughly 25 years ago, and they look like they might last well past the 30 year mark.  Compared to a sickly looking, faded. leaky ag. metal roof at the thirty year mark, they are IMHO, a better choice.  I also believe that a lot of the "quick and dirty" lack of detailing, when it comes to tossing ag. panels over existing, worn out asphalt will lead to a lot of hidden issues down the road. Particularly when it comes to trapped condensation and panels that fail by rotting from the underside. I would only do it with two layers of strapping and proper ventilation screening. Face screwing panels to existing asphalt shingles isn't best practice by a long shot.

kendallf

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2017, 11:27:06 AM »
I will throw in a moderate dissent in favor of metal roofs, and even exposed fasteners.  :-)  I grew up roofing in south FL, my brother's a roofing contractor there, and shingles typically last less than 20 years and are prone to heavy damage in storms (i.e. hurricanes).  The modern metal 5v and standing seam roofs are performing much better.  Yes, the brighter colors do fade.

My current house and the one I sold last year, we put "mill finish" 5v on with a 50 year warranty.  The screws have a neoprene washer and are installed on the 'v', not on the flat (there are screws in the flat around pipe boots and at the eaves).  The silver mill finish weathers gracefully; it is clear coated and the gloss goes away and turns flat silver, but it looks good for a long time. 

I got an insurance break for wind mitigation, a tax credit for energy star rating (light colors only) and I'd never go back to shingles.

Edited to add: don't cut them with a grinder (or any saw method that creates heat).  It specifically voids any warranty, and they will rust where the heat damages the galvanized coating.  Use metal snips or a power shear; the shear is really only necessary if you're doing a lot of angled cuts across the vees for valleys or hips.  Harbor Freight sells an inexpensive power shear now also.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 11:29:48 AM by kendallf »

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2017, 07:41:51 AM »
hmmm awesome. I'll have it in next week sometime hopefully and I can provide pics ^^. Leaning towards a red or lighter gray maybe..... hopefully something that fades less idk.

Cadman

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2017, 08:23:25 AM »
A power shear is one of the best $50 investments I've made. It attaches to the chuck of your cordless drill and will make nice, smooth cuts like butter. I can't recommend it enough.

hoosier

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2017, 08:48:58 AM »
Lots of good advice so far.  I'll add a few tips I've picked up:

1.  Measure the top and bottom edges periodically to make sure you are running perpendicular to the roof line and don't end up with a piece on the edge that needs to be 20" at the top and 24" at the bottom.  You can shrink or stretch metal roofing pretty easy as long as it is a little bit at a time (1/4" here and there).

2.  Get a good set of shears for cross-cutting.  You can rip it by scoring with a utility knife (2-3 passes) then folding it along the score.  This saves a ton of time versus using shears.

3.  Put an absurd amount of pure silicon caulk 6-8" back from the edge of any valleys.

4.  Get a good impact driver for fastening.  Drill drivers will work, but the impact is far superior for getting the screws through the metal.


Emg03063

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2017, 06:34:58 PM »
I have nothing original to add, but I wanted to be sure you'd seen this:  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/03/24/how-to-install-a-metal-roof/

Fishindude

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2017, 08:26:27 AM »
Hello! :).

We just bought a house and were given a credit to replace the roof(6k~ for an asphalt replacement, but a metal roof quote in the midwest looks to be about 10k(or more if you do hidden screws)). Wife and I would like to do a metal roof but I we have never put one up.  I'd have some help from my brother and a friend, and we will hopefully be re-doing the shed with a metal roof before the main house as a bit of a test run.

Guessing I was just wanting to see if anyone here has had any experience with this and has any pointers/common hang-ups for me :). Also anyone have a guess to how much the materials will be?

How big is the house and what is the roof shaped like?
A simple, small gabled roof wouldn't be too tough for a first timer.  If you have hips, valleys, dormers or other such challenging conditions, I'd leave it to a professional or you are about guaranteed to wind up with some problems.

A couple comments regarding metal roofs.
a. All metal roofs are not created equal, there are several types, gauges (thickness) and profiles.  The most common stuff I see used around here is basic screw down, 29ga, ribbed, painted sheets.  It's the sames stuff used for pole barn roofing or siding.  A concealed fastener standing seam roof is much better, but is also more complicated to install and typically more costly.
b. Don't try to leave the shingles in place.  Strip them off, install new underlayment and then the metal roof system right on top of the deck.   You need a substantial deck material so the screws will hold, sometimes the 7/16" OSB deck used on many shingle roofs is inadequate to hold a metal roof.
c. If you want a painted finish that won't fade, ask for Kynar paint.  The silicone polyester paints are not as good and will eventually fade.   Any touch up painting will be noticeable, the trick is to not scratch the finish during install.  If you're happy with a "silver" color, the standard aluminum zinc coated finish will last as long as any of the painted finishes and will cost less.
d. Do not cut this metal with any abrasive type tools, they will cause rusting at the cut edges.
e. Your biggest chance for leak or problem will be at panel penetrations or flashings.   Sweat the details and most importantly, read and follow all of the manufacturers instructions and details.

Installed properly a good metal roof will outlast any shingle roof by at least double.  My families business has been installing metal roofs since the 60's and 70's and we have many of those older original 50+ year old roofs still in service, doing the job, with very few problems or maintenance required.  Many of these look like they are good for another 20 years or more, I could see the better ones lasting 100 years.

Glenstache

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Re: DIY Metal Roof
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2017, 11:19:24 AM »
I installed one of the ribbed metal roofs about 5 years ago on a small cabin. It was a dead-simple install and I didn't have any real problems with it. If you want a better idea of what the details of installing a room look like, see:
http://www.ascbp.com/files/BR128_LtGaugeInstall.pdf

This will be different for standing seam roofs, but the general principles of valleys, etc will be similar.

And use the new synthetic underlayment materials instead of tar paper. Tar paper is simply not as good and the money saved in the short term (if any) is not worth it.