metal roof before and after

Metal roof installation: Why I chose metal over asphalt

I’m flashing some new metal these days and it’s not around my neck or on my fingers. No, I’m talking about the new metal roof on my house and garage. And I love telling people about it. Sounds kind of weird, huh? But any time I can add value to my house and save money, that makes me very happy.

The first question everyone asks me is, “does it sound like a tin can when it rains?” And the answer to that is “no.”

But let’s back up a bit. I think most people around here don’t realize that metal roofing is an option. And I’m not talking about the standing seam roofs found on many commercial buildings. I’m talking about metal shingles that look just like asphalt, or even better in my opinion.

I’m going to give the lowdown on the money saving benefits, what options you may or may not need and what the installation process was like.

smart roofs for smart people

MetroShingles: smart roofs for smart people

How metal roofs save money

How can a metal roof save money when it costs more to install? If you think about how much money you would have to spend now and 20 years from now, it’s a huge savings.

For example, my old asphalt roof was installed in the early 90s and cost about $2,500. That same roof in 2017 was going to cost $10,000, four times more. Twenty years later it would need replacing again and it definitely would cost a lot more. If that cost quadruples again, a new roof would be $40,000. That means in 20 years I would have spent $50,000 for two roofs.

A metal roof costs about one-third more than asphalt. Instead of paying $10,000, I paid $13,000 for a roof guaranteed to last at least 50 years and will probably last much longer than that.

You will also get a discount on homeowners insurance with a metal roof. Not a large discount but it adds up over 50+ years.

Even if you don’t intend to stay in the house forever, a metal roof adds value to the house. The 50 year warranty is transferable and is a good selling point.

Will a metal roof make my house hotter

No, it shouldn’t. This article says that heavier materials like slate or concrete hold heat longer than lighter ones. And metal is the lightest roofing material and will cool down the fastest.

However, I think attic ventilation and insulation are more important factors in keeping the house cooler.

Types of metal shingles

I got MetroShingles which are made out of steel for durability, rust and dent resistance. Shingles come in either high or low profile. High profile is raised up on the side about an inch and would be suitable for a cottage style house. I went with the low profile, flatter shingles.

The shingles have a stone coating and I think that’s one reason why they’re not noisy in the rain.

They come in many colors. I chose charcoal which is a classic black roof. The dark color could make things hotter but I actually haven’t noticed any difference.

Options when installing a metal roof

Removing the old asphalt shingles. I don’t think it will make any difference in regards to keeping the house cooler. So if you only have one layer of shingles, save some money and put the metal shingles over it.

Installing a radiant barrier. Do you really need this? The theory is that installing a reflective radiant barrier in between the shingles and the roof will keep it cooler. There has to be a little air space above the barrier for it to work. Sounds good…or does it.

The reflective material is supposed to reflect heat away from the attic to keep the house cooler. But once that material gets covered with dust, which will inevitably happen even if it’s installed inside the attic, it will no longer be reflective.

The title of this article says it all: Radiant barriers: a solution in search of a problem. It really breaks the whole thing down. I urge you to read it and pass on a radiant barrier as I did.

Adding more vents to the attic. I decided to add one more vent to hopefully cool off the attic. It’s really hard to tell how much difference it might be making. But it didn’t cost that much so I took a chance.

My attic would probably benefit from a fan to draw out the hot air but the high cost didn’t make sense. It would be cheaper just to run the air conditioner when it gets too hot.

MetroShingle facts, benefits and installation demo

Here’s a short video showing typical installation.

What happened during my metal roof installation

First they tore off the old asphalt roof. There was only one layer of shingles but the roof had been leaking so the shingles were removed and rotten wood was replaced.

Roof torn off to bare wood

Roof torn off to bare wood

Next the underlayment was installed (plastic sheeting).

Then the metal shingles went on top. My satellite dish was disconnected for a few hours at one point during installation.

Roof with some metal shingles installed

Roof with some metal shingles installed

Vents were installed. I decluttered the roof by replacing replacing the old mushroom shaped turbine fans with low profile vents. I also added an extra vent as I said before.

The garage has a small addition in the back which was considered a flat roof. That area was given a different underlayment. It was self-adhesive for the purpose of creating a seal around the screws used to attach the shingles.

"Flat roof" area of my garage before demo

“Flat roof” area of my garage before demo

The whole project took five days. And here is the before and after. It looks so sharp!

Finally, I’d like to give a shout out to Western Roofing for the great job they did installing my new roof! Anyone in the SoCal area should give them a call. They’re #1 in roofs! And I don’t get anything for saying that except satisfaction for helping someone find a good roofing contractor.