A metal roof can last 30 years or more, compared with the standard 12 to 20 years of a shingled roof. To add to their appeal, many roofs come with warranties that last up to 50 years, and some home insurance companies offer discounts as high as 35 percent to homeowners with metal roofs.
Purchasing and installing a metal roof system will save you money, but you should be prepared to spend more on the initial fees of purchasing and installing the roof system itself. While the price may be more, it will last twice as long, making it more cost-effective.
Different variations of metal roofs will also vary in price. Chose materials that are not only strong, but also will endure your local climate. For example, some metal roofs, such as the stone-coated steel variety, can withstand winds up to 120 mph, making them ideal for areas with heavy winds. Meanwhile, galvanized steel varieties offer among the highest fire safety ratings, making them ideal for places under high risk of brush or forest fires.
Installing a metal roof is not a job for a do-it-yourself beginner. It requires knowledge of the metal being worked with along with the tools and techniques necessary for installation.
Before beginning, you will need to know the square footage of your roof. Professional roofers will refer to the footage of a roof in squares; a square is equal to 100 square feet of roof.
Once you know how many squares are required for your new roof, you can purchase the desired roofing system. Metal roofing systems come with an instruction manual. The instructions will tell you whether you can install your new metal roof over the existing roof, or if the old roof needs to be torn off first. It will alert you on what to expect with temperature variations as well as ventilation requirements. It will also tell you if you need to use felt paper or a polymer underlayment beneath the metal roof. Each roofing system varies in its requirements and installation---so it is important to follow all instructions.
Also, before purchasing your new roofing system, read the fine print. Make sure that your new metal roof comes with the proper starting strips, edge pieces, caps and clips that fit. Do not mix and match metal roofing supplies or equipment to save money--be sure to get everything from the same manufacturer. This will ensure a perfect fit and will prevent you from voiding your warranty and wasting time and money.
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