When it comes to installing a residential roof, you should look at it as one of the most important decisions in protecting your most valuable asset, your home. The typical home owner should only have to make this tough decision 2-3 times in their life time. This is why finding the right contractor who is willing to educate you on the right roof system for you is key. Especially because not every part of the country experiences 3 foot snow storms and 95 degree summer days like we do.
Metal or Shingles?
There are many types of roofing but the 2 most popular are screw down Metal Roofing and Asphalt Shingles. Metal has been on the rise in the last 15 years and is often popular on barns and garages. You can install metal on the roof and for siding as well, bringing a sleek look to the structure and making it weather tight.
Asphalt shingles have been the number one choice for residential roofing for the past 60 years. The creation of the Architectural Shingle has made roofing more durable, wind resistant, and attractive. The easy installation and versatility to this product have made shingles the number one choice among homeowners. However, in the 90s shingle manufactures were often trying to make shingles lighter and cheaper which often affected longevity. The changes only worked for a couple companies and left a sour taste in a lot of homeowners when their roofs were only lasting 10-15 years. The result was metal roofing becoming more popular.
So What's Best for Your Home?
So overall, there are pros and cons for each product. For metal, snow and ice are often found to fly off in large pieces which can be a safety hazard and water can be found shooting over your gutters with a heavy rain. For shingles, the bad rep from the 90s has homeowners thinking they don’t last long and overall just filling landfills. What you need to ask your self is, how is my home going to function with metal or shingles?
In our opinion, not every home should have a metal roof. If your house has many valleys, dormers, multi level roofs, or a roof that pitches toward your main entrance, you should consider a different roof system. It’s best to be educated and talk to your roof contractors about your options and beware of contractors who try to heavily push you toward metal roofing. You will find roofing contractors who like installing metal roofs because they don’t have to tare off existing shingles. The result can be finding homeowners that say they didn’t realize what the metal roof was going to do to their home.
Shingle Manufactures are now training trusted and insured contractors to be professional installers. Major shingle manufactures like GAF have “Master Elite” contractors who are able to offer warranties on both materials and the labor to install and these warranties which can last around 40 years. The warranties are offered through the manufacturer so your roofing contractor can sell it to you, and even if they retire or go out of business, your warranty is still valid. These warranties typically cost an additional $200-$2,000 but can be transferable if you decided to sell your home. Currently there are no metal roofing manufacturers offering similar warranties which have homeowners finding more value in going the shingle route. There are also products available to choose from such as high temperature ice and water shield which can be installed underneath the shingles to protect against ice build up. Ice and water shield should never be installed on the entire house as this cuts down on ventilation and can limit the lifetime of your shingles.
Overall, do research on your contractor before they come to meet you, check reviews and even ask for a free roof inspection. If they don’t have any reviews or can’t secure you in your decision, then don’t be their first review! Lets face it, no one should be excited to spend $10-$20k on a roof. New countertops or a boat sounds way better! But knowing that there are options to upgrade, having the ability to hire a contractor that offers a warranty, and choosing a proven roofing material will leave you knowing you are protecting what matters most.