metal roofing installation guide  

Metal Roofing
By Gary Ng
When people think of metal they think of the corrugated “tin barn” look. But metal has come a long way. Today metal includes a variety of styles and materials so that the roof can look good, while retaining the qualities of durability, longevity, fire resistance and easy maintenance. Metal roofs are made from a variety of metals. These include the traditional aluminum and steel, as well as copper and a variety of alloys. Modern metal roofs can be formed into shapes that imitate Spanish tiles, wood shakes, and even slate. They can be given a variety of finishes such as granulated stone topcoats to complete a realistic imitation of almost any other material. There are some negatives to a metal roof. One is cost, with a typical square running from $150 to $600. Another is the necessity of professional installation and maintenance, both again adding to the overall cost of a metal roof. But even with these negatives many people feel that metal roofs have benefits that make them worthwhile. Speaking of cost, a properly installed and maintained metal roof can last as long as the house. That means, over a typical home's life time, the cost of a metal roof is low compared to the cost of other materials that might require replacement after 15 to 20 years. Metal roofs are very light, 50 to 150 pounds per square compared to 750 pounds per square foot for tile or 900 pounds per square foot for concrete tile. Metal roofs can also be installed right over existing roofs without installing additional support. Metal roofs withstand high winds, snow slides off them, and they are resistant to mildew, insects and rot. Another major concern with a roof is roof pitch. Many materials require a steep pitch to ensure water flows off the roof so that the roof won't leak. Metal roofs require a less steep pitch, with a typical recommended minimum being 3-in-12, which is three inches of height for every

horizontal foot. Consider the benefit of a less steep roof next time you have to climb onto it to clean the gutters, or retrieve a ball or Frisbee thrown there by a child. Just as with other home projects that require a professional, the best way to find a metal roof contractor is through word of mouth. Talk to friends and neighbors, or look for metal roofs around the neighborhood and ask the home owners who installed them. The Internet is a good source to find pre-screened metal contractors, as are architects who design homes with metal roofs. The National Contractors Association can also help. Their number is 1-800-USA-ROOF. You may not be ready for a cat on a hot tin roof. But if you want a long lasting roof for your home, consider that traditional wood and shingles are good, but metal may be better.
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