Author Topic: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?  (Read 8878 times)

Bearded Man

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Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« on: November 17, 2015, 04:42:17 PM »
I have two rental properties that I'm not sure I will keep forever, though I would like to. Both of them will be needing a new roof soon. I intend to get them both done next year when the weather is better.

What I'm not sure about is whether to go with a metal roof or the traditional asphalt shingle. If either were what I would consider to be forever homes that I would keep, I'd spring for metal, because although expensive, they last near a lifetime.

The Asphalt shingle will be cheaper though, and since roofs and things like that don't really up the value of the house, if I ever intend to sell, I'd be better off spending the least on the roofs.

Thoughts?

nereo

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2015, 05:45:31 PM »
will you be doing the work yourself or will you be hiring someone to do it for you?
What is the difference in your price estimates for your area?

Personally, I love metal roofs.  While a new roof in-and-of itself might not increase the value of the home much, I personally think the metal roofs add curb-appeal, particualrly when they are a nice color.  But those are all my opinions, not any hard facts backed up by data.

Also, did you read this post: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/03/24/how-to-install-a-metal-roof/

MDM

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2015, 05:50:07 PM »
Also, did you read this post: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/03/24/how-to-install-a-metal-roof/

Yes, this is a good post to read.  Also read the comments - it appears the price ratio between metal and asphalt varies substantially depending on location.

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2015, 06:01:54 PM »
FWIW, I was debating this four years ago and was told by a roofer and two different real estate agents that while men prefer metal roofing, women prefer the look of asphalt shingling because, as they all said, metal looks like it belongs on a farm shed not a house. Resale is about appealing to women, so...

This is only anecdotal, of course. I went with asphalt even though I suspect the dichotomy is overdrawn and probably not indisputable. But what do I know, I am just a man.

undercover

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2015, 06:14:58 PM »
I don't think there's a such thing as a beautiful roof, but at least you get to choose the color with metal. You'll never have to replace your roof again with a metal roof. Asphault is so unpredictable. Metal is defintely more expensive, but not really if you do the math. I vote metal for the zero maintenance and long lifespan. Do it once and forget about it.

Bearded Man

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2015, 06:36:13 PM »
I guess I will start by getting quotes for both, from at least three different companies and see how much more expensive a metal roof is in my area. I'm leaning toward a metal roof if the price is not that much more. My first two houses I'm likely to keep. The more I run the numbers on those, the more I realize they are golden eggs in many ways. My HOA property however, doesn't even allow a metal roof. Although they don't seem to enforce any other rules, this one I'm sure they would enforce.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2015, 06:39:26 PM »
If you go for a metal roof, it will outlast you and you'll never have to worry about it. It will also raise the value of the property, I'd guess renters would prefer to rent a place with a metal roof as well.

Bearded Man

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2015, 07:00:52 PM »
If you go for a metal roof, it will outlast you and you'll never have to worry about it. It will also raise the value of the property, I'd guess renters would prefer to rent a place with a metal roof as well.

Tile, cedar shake, PVC and asphalt roofing seem to be really flimsy. I saw a guy drop a drill two stories on a lower metal roof and it barely put a dent in it. Asphalt shingle is about as flimsy as it gets and it's hard to clean compared to a metal roof. Just need to get the price difference...

Fishindude

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2015, 07:14:16 AM »
Metal has it's advantages, but good shingle roofs last about 20 years and you can probably buy at least two shingle roofs for the price of a metal roof.
Also, there a re a lot of folks out there promoting the benefits of metal roofing while using very low quality products and doing pretty sloppy installations.  Buyer beware.

lthenderson

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2015, 07:38:23 AM »
I have two rental properties that I'm not sure I will keep forever, though I would like to. Both of them will be needing a new roof soon. I intend to get them both done next year when the weather is better.

What I'm not sure about is whether to go with a metal roof or the traditional asphalt shingle. If either were what I would consider to be forever homes that I would keep, I'd spring for metal, because although expensive, they last near a lifetime.

The Asphalt shingle will be cheaper though, and since roofs and things like that don't really up the value of the house, if I ever intend to sell, I'd be better off spending the least on the roofs.

Thoughts?

I laugh whenever I hear someone mention the phrases metal roofs and lasting lifetimes in the same sentence. I come from a farming background and we have a dozen metal roofed buildings all installed brand new around the farm some approaching 40 years old. They all leak. Metal roofs are essentially flat pieces of steel with EXPOSED fasteners covering holes all over the place. These fasteners count on rubber compounds and pressure to seal up the holes they make to fasten the metal to the roof. Rubber when exposed to sunlight and with time, get brittle and crack and eventually leak. The wood that it attaches too shrinks with age as it looses moisture but the screw remains the same length. This causes the rubber grommet to loose pressure with time and leak. To "correctly" install a metal roof, the fasteners are places in the flat spots where all the moisture runs. An incorrectly installed roof has the fasteners installed in the ribs where loss of pressure used to hold the rubber grommet to the metal is exacerbated.

I've spent more hours than I care to remember up on a roof periodically tightening all the screws and replacing the ones where the rubber grommets have been destroyed by sunlight and time. I have also used car loads of silicone sealing over the tops of screws that I'm pretty sure are good but the roof still leaks. With asphalt, you can get 50 year shingles these days and all fasteners are covered up and sealed from the weather. Sure fasteners can get damaged in wind and hail storms but have you seen metal roofs that hold up any better? All this time you spend up on your roof fixing leaks and doing normal maintenance things like cleaning gutters or such also induce scratches which then form rust. I'm not sure any metal roof 50 years old looks any better than a shingle roof of the same age.

I can think of no advantage to installing a metal roof other than aesthetics if that is your thing or draining excess money away from your bank account so you don't have to personally spend it.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 07:40:46 AM by lthenderson »

Bearded Man

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2015, 07:40:43 AM »
I have two rental properties that I'm not sure I will keep forever, though I would like to. Both of them will be needing a new roof soon. I intend to get them both done next year when the weather is better.

What I'm not sure about is whether to go with a metal roof or the traditional asphalt shingle. If either were what I would consider to be forever homes that I would keep, I'd spring for metal, because although expensive, they last near a lifetime.

The Asphalt shingle will be cheaper though, and since roofs and things like that don't really up the value of the house, if I ever intend to sell, I'd be better off spending the least on the roofs.

Thoughts?

I laugh whenever I hear someone mention the phrases metal roofs and lasting lifetimes in the same sentence. I come from a farming background and we have a dozen metal roofed buildings all installed brand new around the farm. They all leak. Thing about things here. Metal roofs are essentially flat pieces of steel with EXPOSED fasteners covering holes all over the place. These fasteners count on rubber compounds and pressure to seal up the holes they make to fasten the metal to the roof. Rubber when exposed to sunlight and with time, get brittle and crack and eventually leak. The wood that it attaches too shrinks with age as it looses moisture but the screw remains the same length. This causes the rubber grommet to loose pressure with time and leak. To "correctly" install a metal roof, the fasteners are places in the flat spots where all the moisture runs. An incorrectly installed roof has the fasteners installed in the ribs where loss of pressure used to hold the rubber grommet to the metal is exacerbated.

I've spent more hours than I care to remember up on a roof periodically tightening all the screws and replacing the ones where the rubber grommets have been destroyed by sunlight and time. I have also used car loads of silicone sealing over the tops of screws that I'm pretty sure are good but the roof still leaks. With asphalt, you can get 50 year shingles these days and all fasteners are covered up and sealed from the weather. Sure fasteners can get damaged in wind and hail storms but have you seen metal roofs that hold up any better? All this time you spend up on your roof fixing leaks and doing normal maintenance things like cleaning gutters or such also induce scratches which then form rust. I'm not sure any metal roof 50 years old looks any better than a shingle roof of the same age.

I can think of no advantage to installing a metal roof other than aesthetics if that is your thing or draining excess money away from your bank account so you don't have to personally spend it.
Interesting points. Very interesting, thank you.

Jack

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2015, 08:20:04 AM »
I don't think there's a such thing as a beautiful roof

Sure there is: Spanish tile, slate, green roof with a garden on top...

I think metal roofs can look nice under the right circumstances (certain architectural styles), but a neighborhood where all the surrounding houses are a similar style (and have asphalt roofs) is not the right circumstances. (I'd still pick a metal roof in that situation anyway, because for me cost over the long term is more important than aesthetics.)

I saw a guy drop a drill two stories on a lower metal roof and it barely put a dent in it.

This is a function of having well-installed (solid and true) roof sheathing, which is more important for metal roofs than it is for asphalt. If there's space for the metal roof to deflect, it'll dent easily.

I laugh whenever I hear someone mention the phrases metal roofs and lasting lifetimes in the same sentence. I come from a farming background and we have a dozen metal roofed buildings all installed brand new around the farm some approaching 40 years old. They all leak. Metal roofs are essentially flat pieces of steel with EXPOSED fasteners covering holes all over the place. These fasteners count on rubber compounds and pressure to seal up the holes they make to fasten the metal to the roof. Rubber when exposed to sunlight and with time, get brittle and crack and eventually leak. The wood that it attaches too shrinks with age as it looses moisture but the screw remains the same length. This causes the rubber grommet to loose pressure with time and leak. To "correctly" install a metal roof, the fasteners are places in the flat spots where all the moisture runs. An incorrectly installed roof has the fasteners installed in the ribs where loss of pressure used to hold the rubber grommet to the metal is exacerbated.

You're talking about an entirely different kind of thing. The (residential) metal roofs we're discussing here are standing seam roofs, with no exposed fasteners. That makes all the difference in the world.

gillstone

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2015, 08:22:56 AM »
Malarkey does a 50-year shingle that is ASTM Fire-Rated A, and cheaper than metal.  Depending on your location you may even be able to get the white Energy Star approved shingles

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2015, 08:39:08 AM »
Malarkey does a 50-year shingle that is ASTM Fire-Rated A, and cheaper than metal.  Depending on your location you may even be able to get the white Energy Star approved shingles

Speaking of malarkey, "50-year" on the package doesn't mean it will last 50 years. I don't think it has been 50 years since the 50 year shingles were introduced, but I do know that 30 year shingles do not last that long depending on where and how they were installed. Variables like heat, hail, slope, freeze/thaw, etc. will all impact the life of the shingle.

I am not saying these roofs can't make it to 50, but a lot can change in 50 years. I have a t-loc roof installed 15 years ago that is no longer manufactured so when I installed a new vent I had to piece it back together with the brittle shingles and silicone. Build a shed and want the roof to match? Too bad.

I don't think anyone has mentioned how ice damming is rarely a problem with steel roofing, but that is more of an insulation problem than a roofing problem.

Fishindude

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2015, 09:15:40 AM »
You're talking about an entirely different kind of thing. The (residential) metal roofs we're discussing here are standing seam roofs, with no exposed fasteners. That makes all the difference in the world.

Unfortunately lthenderson is correct.  90% Of the metal roofs being installed on homes that I see are cheap, screw down, painted pole barn roofing.
Very darned few use a good standing seam system.  I see a little bit of lightweight standing seam on some high end residential new construction, but very little.

I'm a huge proponent of metal roofing and my company has installed acres and acres of of both screw down and standing seam metal roofing on commercial and industrial buildings.  The right products, properly installed in the right applications do last an incredibly long time.   We have metal roofs still in service that my dad installed in the 60's (50 years) that have required only minimal maintenance.   30 to 40 Years out of a good metal system is no problem, and we warranty some systems for 25 years, 100%, if it leaks we fix it no charge.

Trouble is, the stuff we sell is expensive.  Most homeowners won't pay that much or can't afford to pay that much. $8.00 Per square foot and upwards is not unheard of for replacement with a quality standing seam roof system.

I just tore off and re-roofed my home with a good quality shingle system for about $9000.   I'm sure I'd have had at least $25000 in a good standing seam system, and I wouldn't even consider a cheap screw down "pole barn" panel because the multiple hips and valleys would be a flashing nightmare.

« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 05:30:31 AM by Fishindude »

tweezers

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2015, 09:31:37 AM »
FWIW, I was debating this four years ago and was told by a roofer and two different real estate agents that while men prefer metal roofing, women prefer the look of asphalt shingling because, as they all said, metal looks like it belongs on a farm shed not a house. Resale is about appealing to women, so...

This is only anecdotal, of course. I went with asphalt even though I suspect the dichotomy is overdrawn and probably not indisputable. But what do I know, I am just a man.

I don't like being a stereotype, but I don't like the look of metal roofs because it's too shed/barn-like while my husband does.  Even if it lasts longer than asphalt I don't know that would sway me.  Just another bit of anecdata for you.  :)

Jack

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2015, 09:37:17 AM »
You're talking about an entirely different kind of thing. The (residential) metal roofs we're discussing here are standing seam roofs, with no exposed fasteners. That makes all the difference in the world.

Unfortunately lthenderson is correct.  90% Of the metal roofs being installed on homes that I see are cheap, screw down, painted pole barn roofing.
Very darned few use a good standing seam system.  I see a little bit of lightweight standing seam on some high end residential new construction, but very little.

Really? That's crazy! Maybe it's because I'm in an urban area, but out of all the metal roofs I've seen around here literally 100% of them were standing-seam. (Well, there might have been a corrugated roof on some hipster's urban chicken coop or something.) People who want to cheap out just use asphalt instead.

nereo

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2015, 01:13:17 PM »
You're talking about an entirely different kind of thing. The (residential) metal roofs we're discussing here are standing seam roofs, with no exposed fasteners. That makes all the difference in the world.

Unfortunately lthenderson is correct.  90% Of the metal roofs being installed on homes that I see are cheap, screw down, painted pole barn roofing.
Very darned few use a good standing seam system.  I see a little bit of lightweight standing seam on some high end residential new construction, but very little.

Perhaps there are strong regional differences at play here.  I'd guestimate that about 50% of all new roofs being put up around here are metal, and virtually 100% of those are standing seam, no exposed fasteners.  It's super-rare to see one of ones with exposed fasteners, and those seem to all be on farm buildings not meant for habitation (e.g. tractor sheds and the like). 
Perhaps it's the snow and the ice up here?

Advisor just had his roof redone and said it cost about 70% more than the asphalt shingles, but carried a 30 vs 20 year warranty.  ::shrug::

lthenderson

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2015, 04:05:39 PM »
You're talking about an entirely different kind of thing. The (residential) metal roofs we're discussing here are standing seam roofs, with no exposed fasteners. That makes all the difference in the world.

Unfortunately lthenderson is correct.  90% Of the metal roofs being installed on homes that I see are cheap, screw down, painted pole barn roofing.
Very darned few use a good standing seam system.  I see a little bit of lightweight standing seam on some high end residential new construction, but very little.

Really? That's crazy! Maybe it's because I'm in an urban area, but out of all the metal roofs I've seen around here literally 100% of them were standing-seam. (Well, there might have been a corrugated roof on some hipster's urban chicken coop or something.) People who want to cheap out just use asphalt instead.

It must be the area because all the ones in our neighborhood are the screw down kind. I would definitely consider a standing seam one if that were an option. The one big drawback I would still have with any metal roof is the ability to work on your roof unless it was fairly shallow pitched. On one end of my house, it was pitched enough that I could only go up there on hot days and with good sticky soled shoes along with a safety harness. Another drawback is that as metal roofs have caught on, the metal thickness has gone down and the paint quality is not as good. I've seen lots of them with rusty scratches less than ten years after they were installed.  I spent a lot of time touching up scratches on my metal roof to prevent this.

Bearded Man

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2015, 06:56:38 PM »
Sounds like metal roofs are not all that much better than asphalt shingles. If the cost of asphalt is significantly less at least, since even metal roofs have issues such as rust, leaks, etc.

Today I learned that roofing over existing shingle is very bad. The house I looked at had this, and it apparently decreases the life span of the top layer. Plus you will not know about any damaged OSB that needs to be replaced.

December I'm off from grad school so I'm going to be getting quotes.

Jack

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2015, 07:39:52 PM »
Sounds like metal roofs are not all that much better than asphalt shingles. If the cost of asphalt is significantly less at least, since even metal roofs have issues such as rust, leaks, etc.

No, that's over-simplifying. Barn-style cheap metal roofing with exposed fasteners suck. Standing seam roofing is generally excellent.* From MMM's article (with emphasis added):

Quote
But note that all metal is not created equal. The rusty corrugated stuff that you see on old barns and chicken coops is in a different category than the architectural standing seam panels we use today. While even a corrugated steel roof can work well, the modern stuff is better in almost every way.

Generalizing from lthenderson's anecdote to conclude that all metal roofs aren't better than asphalt is as silly as generalizing that all cars made by Toyota are incredibly expensive based on looking at the Lexus LFA.

(*unless maybe you cheap out on the gauge or finish, I guess. "Economical" (i.e., substandard) standing-seam roofing is apparently a thing now per lthenderson's latest comment, but it didn't used to be -- and you can, of course, still get the good stuff.)

MayDay

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2015, 07:11:05 AM »
2 things:

1.  We had "20 year warranty" asphalt shingles.  H works in the industry, we were having a very particular kind of failure, H knew exactly why- it was some kind of manufacturing defect.  We were on year 13 of 20.  We went through the rigmarole to do a warranty claim.  We got less than 500$.  Total joke.  DO NOT count on any kind of warranty from any kind of roof.  Assume you will get zero if the roof fails early.  This is typical because they prorate where the problem is, how much life is left, etc, and they pay nothing for the labor costs of re-roofing or the other components like underlayment.  All the companies do this.  Ours were Certainteed but it doesn't even matter.

2.  Light colored shingles are better for energy efficiency, but the colored coating make the gravel harder to get to stick to the shingle, which means you have more granule loss, which means your shingles don't last as long.  Weigh your preference for the energy advantages with a shorter lifespan of the shingles.  Personally, we will go with a medium color and put more insulation in the attic.

Fishindude

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2015, 08:30:01 AM »
Good point on the warranties.   Most aren't worth much, it just provides the roofer with a "feel good" document to give to the client and allows him to say ... "We offer a XX year warranty".

If a warranty is a concern, read the details.   Many are for the material only, no labor, and are pro-rated based on age of the roof.
They might reimburse you 75% of the material cost in first year, then after that it gradually decreases.

bacchi

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2015, 08:47:04 AM »
Metal roofs also often have high solar reflectivity. My attic temps went down 20 degrees after the installation. As far as curb appeal, appraisers seem to like them.

The major disadvantage is that they get f'ing hot in the summer. If you need to look at pipe flashing, you'll need to wear gloves or wait for cooler temps.

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2015, 09:14:13 AM »
I love standing seam metal... but when we built the estimates around here were 4x the cost of architectural asphalt shingles.  It was enough that it would really have blown the budget on the house.  Maybe we'll go metal in 20 years when we re-shingle.  (My roof is complicated and a 10/12 pitch.  It is not DIY friendly.)

Jack

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2015, 09:21:50 AM »
The major disadvantage is that they get f'ing hot in the summer. If you need to look at pipe flashing, you'll need to wear gloves or wait for cooler temps.

So do asphalt roofs. Maybe not as hot as metal, but you'll need to wear gloves regardless.

partgypsy

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2015, 09:46:49 AM »
We had our house re-roofed. We really wanted to do (standing seam) metal roof. The quote for us was 9-12K for 30 year asphalt, around 12K for the cheaper metal roof, and 19.5K for the standing seam. I think they are awesome but most do not have that kind of budget. They would be an investment, and don't know if you want to invest that much in a rental property.
 
The other type of metal roof (ribbed) was competitive in price, but personally it would be easier for us to repair an asphalt roof than a metal roof with fasteners.
The standing seam roofs are not DIY. They require specialized tools and experience to do correctly, and if you don't it correctly it can cause problems that are difficult to fix (other than tearing your roof off).

In the end, our roof remodel for asphalt cost almost 15K, because of additional layers and also parts of the roof and fascia needed to be replaced/repaired. 

nereo

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2015, 11:39:02 AM »

The standing seam roofs are not DIY. They require specialized tools and experience to do correctly, and if you don't it correctly it can cause problems that are difficult to fix (other than tearing your roof off).

Beg to differ about standing seam roofs not being DIY.  The 'specialized tools' you speak of are peanuts when purchasing a few $k in parts.  As long as your roof isn't particularly complex or has a really steep pitch roofing (asphalt or standing seam) isn't terribly difficult.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/03/24/how-to-install-a-metal-roof/


Spork

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2015, 12:36:29 PM »
The major disadvantage is that they get f'ing hot in the summer. If you need to look at pipe flashing, you'll need to wear gloves or wait for cooler temps.

So do asphalt roofs. Maybe not as hot as metal, but you'll need to wear gloves regardless.

I was on my asphalt roof today.  It's a cool 70 degrees out.  I was burning my ass through my jeans sitting on the ridge. YES, they get hot.

partgypsy

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2015, 01:53:44 PM »

The standing seam roofs are not DIY. They require specialized tools and experience to do correctly, and if you don't it correctly it can cause problems that are difficult to fix (other than tearing your roof off).

Beg to differ about standing seam roofs not being DIY.  The 'specialized tools' you speak of are peanuts when purchasing a few $k in parts.  As long as your roof isn't particularly complex or has a really steep pitch roofing (asphalt or standing seam) isn't terribly difficult.

Ihttp://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/03/24/how-to-install-a-metal-roof/

All the power to you that you were able to install one yourself! Everyone's idea of DIY is different.  Plus our house has a much more complex roofline than MMM (and my husband is not an engineer : ))
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 01:59:13 PM by partgypsy »

Jeremy E.

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2015, 12:42:57 PM »
Metal is not that much more expensive if you do it yourself, but it greatly increases the value of the house and will last MUCH longer than shingles. Anyone that doesn't have issues can DIY any part of their house, some things are easier than others, most places have a place where you can rent specialty tools. With youtube videos and the internet at your disposal, there's nothing you can't do! Unless you are lazy and have excusitis.

Spork

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2015, 12:57:17 PM »
Metal is not that much more expensive if you do it yourself, but it greatly increases the value of the house and will last MUCH longer than shingles. Anyone that doesn't have issues can DIY any part of their house, some things are easier than others, most places have a place where you can rent specialty tools. With youtube videos and the internet at your disposal, there's nothing you can't do! Unless you are lazy and have excusitis.

While I generally agree with the tone of this... Some roofs are just f'in impossible to work on for me.  Unless you have some really awesome ideas on dealing with 10/12 and greater pitches...and if you do, I'm all ears.  I have put in D ring fall arresters just for doing stupid things like cleaning chimneys and putting up christmas lights... but even with those, it's REALLY SLOW GOING for me on that steep pitch.

Bearded Man

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2015, 04:19:24 PM »
Metal is not that much more expensive if you do it yourself, but it greatly increases the value of the house and will last MUCH longer than shingles. Anyone that doesn't have issues can DIY any part of their house, some things are easier than others, most places have a place where you can rent specialty tools. With youtube videos and the internet at your disposal, there's nothing you can't do! Unless you are lazy and have excusitis.

While I generally agree with the tone of this... Some roofs are just f'in impossible to work on for me.  Unless you have some really awesome ideas on dealing with 10/12 and greater pitches...and if you do, I'm all ears.  I have put in D ring fall arresters just for doing stupid things like cleaning chimneys and putting up christmas lights... but even with those, it's REALLY SLOW GOING for me on that steep pitch.

I did a brief apprenticeship for roofing in my late teens and learned how to shingle, yet I still wouldn't recommend DIY roof jobs. I want the risk transferred to a vendor. Also, I try not to do things that could result in me being injured or maimed, such as falling off a roof. I don't want to be the guy who just became a millionaire but fell off his roof trying to do a DIY job to save a few bucks and ended up paralyzed for life.

DragonSlayer

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2015, 05:17:05 PM »
My in-laws had a metal roof and when their house burned down, the fire chief told us 2 interesting things that he wished people understood about metal roofing. (Too late for my in-law, of course.)

1) it's a nightmare for firefighters. They can't just hack into it with an axe and fight the fire from above. In fact, there's little they can do with a metal roof. The fire will have to be fought from the ground, limiting their options.

2) Firefighters are reluctant to spend too much time inside a metal roofed home. As the structure weakens, the roof weight can easily cause the entire structure to buckle and trap them inside. This happens with regular roofs, as well, but not as quickly and not all at once. A metal roof tends to come down all at once.

Related to number 2: When the structure buckles, the roof will "pancake" your house to the ground, meaning that anything that might have been recoverable will now sit underneath that roof and bake for days. When a regular house burns, you'll often see part of the structure still standing, and maybe some things are still salvageable. But by the time that roof sits on top of the flattened pile of debris for several days, all you've got is ash.

He said that doesn't mean that people shouldn't get metal roofing, he just wished people better understood that if it comes to a fire, the fire dept. is limited in what they can do and you will likely have nothing left.

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2015, 10:07:12 AM »
My in-laws had a metal roof and when their house burned down, the fire chief told us 2 interesting things that he wished people understood about metal roofing. (Too late for my in-law, of course.)

1) it's a nightmare for firefighters. They can't just hack into it with an axe and fight the fire from above. In fact, there's little they can do with a metal roof. The fire will have to be fought from the ground, limiting their options.

2) Firefighters are reluctant to spend too much time inside a metal roofed home. As the structure weakens, the roof weight can easily cause the entire structure to buckle and trap them inside. This happens with regular roofs, as well, but not as quickly and not all at once. A metal roof tends to come down all at once.

Related to number 2: When the structure buckles, the roof will "pancake" your house to the ground, meaning that anything that might have been recoverable will now sit underneath that roof and bake for days. When a regular house burns, you'll often see part of the structure still standing, and maybe some things are still salvageable. But by the time that roof sits on top of the flattened pile of debris for several days, all you've got is ash.

He said that doesn't mean that people shouldn't get metal roofing, he just wished people better understood that if it comes to a fire, the fire dept. is limited in what they can do and you will likely have nothing left.

Seems like nonsense to me. I think steel roofing would cut easier with an ax than three layers of tar shingles. Even so, I don't think they are hacking into roofs with axes anymore anyway. If fire risk mitigation is your justification for using shingles, then you have to also weigh in the benefits gained in having a steel roof against embers from a fire outside the house.

Followup: I just spoke with a local firefighter and he responded that the roofing composition didn't matter. They use a saw called a K-12 that, according to him, will cut through just about anything. Additionally, he said that they try to cut in through gable ends if possible to save the home owner some grief repairing the mess. Maybe your local jurisdiction is different, or maybe your story is slightly dated? It was pretty straightforward two minutes for me to find out that a steel roof will not drastically increase the possibility of a catastrophic loss due to fire. I didn't ask about your pancake scenario, so maybe that part is warranted.

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2015, 10:43:04 AM »
I didn't ask about your pancake scenario, so maybe that part is warranted.

This is not professional advice, but my unofficial opinion as an engineer is that the only reason a metal roof would collapse all at once while an equivalent asphalt roof would collapse in sections would be because the metal roof held parts of itself up longer -- in other words, I'd expect both roofs to fully finish collapsing at about the same time, but the asphalt roof to start collapsing sooner. Other than having less warning, I don't see how that would be a bad thing (for the metal roof).

Not to mention, I suspect the "pancake" scenario would have a lot more to do with the loss of the vertical structural elements holding up the roof than with the roof materials themselves anyway.

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2015, 11:09:56 AM »
I didn't ask about your pancake scenario, so maybe that part is warranted.

This is not professional advice, but my unofficial opinion as an engineer is that the only reason a metal roof would collapse all at once while an equivalent asphalt roof would collapse in sections would be because the metal roof held parts of itself up longer -- in other words, I'd expect both roofs to fully finish collapsing at about the same time, but the asphalt roof to start collapsing sooner. Other than having less warning, I don't see how that would be a bad thing (for the metal roof).

Not to mention, I suspect the "pancake" scenario would have a lot more to do with the loss of the vertical structural elements holding up the roof than with the roof materials themselves anyway.
My thoughts too... not to mention that standing seam metal roofs have a class A (highest) fire rating.  Asphalt shingles have fire ratings ranging from C to A (with corresponding prices last time I checked).  As for the weight of a metal roof causing the entire structure to buckle - a standing seam metal roof actually weights about half as much as asphalt shingles.  Ever carry a box of asphalt shingles?  Those suckers are heavy.

Also, I think firefighters would be reluctant to enter and spend any amount of time in any structure fire unless there are people trapped inside. 

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2015, 11:48:17 AM »
Ever carry a box of asphalt shingles?  Those suckers are heavy.

I've carried hundreds of them up ladders.  Not fun.

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2015, 01:55:19 PM »
Why in the heck would you base the selection of your house roofing materials on their performance when on fire?
Do you have plans to burn your home?

Jack

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Re: Metal or Asphalt Shingle Roof?
« Reply #39 on: November 24, 2015, 02:16:50 PM »
Why in the heck would you base the selection of your house roofing materials on their performance when on fire?
Do you have plans to burn your home?

Insurance costs. Insurers will sometimes give a discount for houses with metal roofs, and a (very large) surcharge for houses with cedar shingles (which are even more flammable than asphalt).