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Residential Metal Roofing: The Good, the Bad, and the Gorgeous

Residential metal roofing has been a topic of discussion for many residential home owners most especially in the past decade. It’s always fun to see interests and trends come back to the forefront when you take into consideration that metal roofing has actually been around since the 1700s! I guess there’s an irony to people calling it a modern look. What can be said is that since those early times and especially in the past 20 years, a new variety of materials, styles, shapes and colors have arisen that cater to those who wish to emphasize a chic design for their homes.

installing a metal roof

Types of Metal Roofing

  • Galvalume coated steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Galvanized steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Zinc

When you look at the above metals, you may automatically assume that your home would be forced to adhere to the metal’s natural colors. Luckily, metal roofs offer a variety of finishes, such as granulated stone top coats, or they can be painted over in various colors in accordance to the home owner’s preferences. As far as styles, metal roofs for homes are usually divided into to two of them, metal shingles or metal panels.

Metal Panels
Metal panels are the most common type of metal roofing. The most known is the standing seam metal roof, this type of metal roof has concealed fasteners with vertical legs and a flat area in between the two legs. This type of panel can be requested in different thickness, length, width, shape and profile. The shape and way the two seams are connected together vary depending on what environment you live in, the steepness and type of your roof in addition to many other factors.

Metal Shingles
Metal roofing shingles are manufactured in a variety of styles and shapes that mimic Spanish or Victorian tile, slate or wood shakes. The second most popular type of overall metal roofing after standing seam is interlocking metal shingle roofing which features interlocking on all four edges. Most metal shingle roofing installation is applied from the bottom up, making it easier and faster to install as well as for you or workers to walk on.

Which is better a metal roof or a shingle roof?

That all narrows down to individual preferences on short term and long term savings as well as energy efficiency benefits. Here are a few points in each category to consider.

Metal Roofing: Average lifespan of 50+ years, cost of materials $800-$1500 per square. Has good insulation that keeps attic cooler. lowers surface temperatures and reflects the sun’s rays thereby reducing ambient air temperatures. There would be lower energy costs and HVAC wear and tears.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing: Average lifespan of 15-20 years, cost of materials $300-900 per square. More susceptible to damage but easily replaceable. Improvements have been made for solar reflection, but that is dependent on light pigment options.

Metal roofing is economical and long lasting. It can save you on costs and are energy efficient to boot! There are many pros and cons that can influence your decision for metal roof installation.

Metal Roofing Pros and Cons


  • Metal roofing is non-combustible and usually have a Class A fire resistance rating. (This rating is also dependent on the materials below the surface, for example: if metal roofs are applied over wood shingles than the rating would lower to Class C as they would ignite more easily.)
  • Metal roofing is composed of lighter materials which makes the process of roll forming and installing easier.
  • It’s resistant to both the minor and severe elements of weather (from a light rain to a hurricane) and is resistant against heavy damages that may come with it. Replacement of material or repair are minimal to nonexistent for many years.

Does a metal roof add value to a home?
Yes! Metal roofs not only cut back on costs, in the long term they greatly benefit the marketability.

  • Reduces cost of homeowners insurance
  • Lowers energy costs by 25%-40%
  • Eliminates need to replace roof and maintenance costs
  • Metal roofs are sustainable and 100% recyclable which increase resale value


  • Cost of materials can be pricey.
  • Noise during rain/hail can be a nuisance if you don’t like the ambiance. (However, noise can easily be remedied with noise-deadening insulation and/or sheathing with solid-plywood.)
  • Avoid walking on them: Installations/roof maintenance must be done carefully as it is prone to dents and slippery when wet.
  • Susceptible to denting, minimize walking on the roof or be careful when repairs are needed.  (You can minimize damage from walking by choosing the correct profile of your metal panel/shingle.)
  • If installed incorrectly, metal roofing can be prone to leaking and dents.
  • If installed in large panels instead of individual shingles, replacement may be more difficult to place. If you are planning on remodeling 10-20 years down the line, matching material may be an obstacle.
  • If a serious fire were to occur, firemen would need to cut through the roof.

Do Metal Roofs interfere with cell phone reception?
Yes, signal reception would go down. A solution to this may be installing cellular signal boosters to your home.

Although some of these cons can be alarming, please remember that most potential issues can be fixed or avoided altogether with proper installation.

Contact the professional roofers at Superior Roofing, LLC today for a free estimate!