Closeup of two uneven metal roof sections on a home, one red the other orange

If you’re wondering about the feasibility and benefits of a metal roof, you’re not alone. 

The market value for metal roof installations has skyrocketed recently, with a CAGR of 4.24% in the previous few years. These statistics demonstrate an increased interest in green roofing structures. 

Modern metal roofs are considered an excellent option for replacements and new installations. That’s because they are energy-efficient, weather-resistant, and highly durable.

Plus, their sleek design and colorful surfaces boost your curbside appeal. So it’s a win-win solution for residential homes. 

Continue reading this guide to learn the benefits of green roof investments and how to install a metal roof. 

The Benefits: Is Metal Roofing Installation Worth the Effort?

Yes, going green with a metal roof can prove advantageous for your home or commercial property. These roofing systems are energy-efficient, look great, and have extended service life. 

Moreover, when you calculate the expenses, you’ll find that metallic roofs have a higher investment return. Even with the slightly heftier installation price, they save enough on energy bills to pay back the cost within a few years. 

In contrast, asphalt shingles and other roofing materials often create maintenance problems in the long run. They are also less effective in countering harsh environmental elements like heavy rain, snow, and rough winds.

That’s why many property owners are swapping traditional roofing formats for eco-safe metallic systems.

Here’s a closer look at why you should opt for a metal roof:

Reason #1 – A Sustainable Roofing System

Metallic roofs provide maximum sustainability compared to other roofing materials. Your roof panels are recyclable, unlike broken asphalt shingles.

In addition, you can dispose of metal roofs at a waste management facility for metal scraps. 

As a result, you can reduce your carbon footprint by using predominantly eco-friendly, reusable roofing materials. 

Reason #2 – Maximum Energy Efficiency 

Also, metal roofing systems are considered energy efficient because they reflect the harsh sunlight during the summer season.

Since they don’t absorb a high amount of heat, residential HVAC systems maintain the internal temperature at home. That means you won’t have to run your AC system at a higher setting like you typically do with other roofing materials. 

Likewise, metal roofs lose a smaller fraction of heat in the winters. They have reflecting surfaces, and the underlayment layer operates as an insulating system.

These elements keep the heat radiating from your HVAC unit inside and create a cozy environment for you and your family. In addition, they can save up to 40% on HVAC utility costs. 

In both cases, homeowners with metal roofs observe a significant decrease in energy bills after installation. 

a half-built house in a field using a  white metal roof installed for energy efficiency
Using a light-colored metal roof can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the life of the home in terms of lower utility bills and roof replacement costs, since they can last decades.

Reason #3 – Extended Lifespan and Higher Durability 

With minimum maintenance, a premium-quality metal roof can survive 40-70 years.

In contrast, conventional asphalt roofing systems only last two decades or even less. Therefore, asphalt roofs will need an immediate replacement much sooner than solid, weather-proof metal roofs when you consider this. 

Keep in mind that these are tentative timelines—the quality of your roofing materials and your geo-location are also factors to consider. For instance, low-quality products and environmental elements can accelerate the disintegration of both roofing systems. 

Additionally, proper maintenance also affects longevity. You can’t expect your roofing systems to survive without addressing potential problems promptly and preventing clutter. 

Reason #4 – Better Return-on-Investment 

Metal roofs cost between $2,000-$12,000 depending on whether you hire a contractor or install the paneling yourself. That’s relatively more than traditional shingles and is why many property owners hesitate to switch to eco-centric roofing systems. 

However, if you look at the long-term advantages, you’ll notice that metal roofs manage to pay back the initial costs after a couple of years. 

The metallic surface reflects UV radiation, rarely decks when it rains heavily, and won’t topple over when snow begins to collect on the eaves.

In comparison, flimsy shingles perform rather poorly because they don’t have the strength to endure extreme weather conditions. That’s because they can get blown away during rough weather and erode faster than metal panels. 

Moreover, green metal roofs have an aesthetic appeal and customizable design formats. These two factors make it a worthwhile investment for homeowners who don’t want to compromise on style while investing in a practical roofing system. 

A row of sheet metal buildings with metal roofs in Denmark

Lastly, having a sturdy, weather-defying roof shields your home from harsh climates. In turn, you reduce the cost required for fixing asphalt shingles regularly. 

For this reason, your residential property will have a higher resale value when you put it on the market. 

Metal Roof Installation Plan: 7 Steps You Must Follow 

Are you planning a DIY project for metal roofing? Experienced homeowners that are good at installations can give this one a try.

However, we recommend hiring a trained professional for large-scale projects to minimize risks associated with this tricky task. Plus, you need to know about building codes and limitations to ensure your eco-efficient roof design doesn’t violate any laws.

Therefore, understanding how to go green with a metal roof can be valuable whether you hire pros or take the DIY route. That’s because it helps you understand the logistics behind an energy-efficient installation.

Apart from the cost, you need to assess which design elements work and which don’t. An early assessment will reduce costly home maintenance risks.

So without further ado, here are the steps for proper metal roofing installation. 

Step 1: Create a Budget for Metal Roofing Materials 

Home improvement warehouses and local shops sell various metal roofing materials. Each type serves a purpose while aligning with your budget and aesthetic goals.

Prepare a proper estimate of how much you can invest in your eco-friendly roofing installation before initiating the actual work. 

Common design choices for homeowners include:

  • Metal shingles are a standard substitute for asphalt shingles because of their high durability and familiar design. 
  • Corrugated metal panels with ridges are suitable for outbuildings, barns, and sustainable sheds. 
  • Modular metal panels garner attention because of their versatile construction materials and maximum durability. 

Regarding the actual roofing material, steel appeases budget-focused property owners. It can withstand challenging climates and environmental elements with rust-resistant paint.

Aluminum works well for homes near the sea because it doesn’t rust easily. However, it has a higher market value, making the expenses steeper than steel panels. 

Zinc and copper are attractive options if you’re willing to make a more extensive investment. These metal materials can shield your house from rough weather conditions.

Plus, you can mold zinc into customized designs. First-time buyers should compare market prices and each roofing material’s unique benefits. It’ll help you make an informed decision. 

What else do you need?

DIYers need to stock up on handyman tools (like nuts, bolts, screws, and drill bits), a power drill, and protective clothing. Ladder and fall prevention harness are other essentials for this project.

Step 2: Take Accurate Measurements 

Measure your roof before purchasing the materials to ensure you don’t run short of metal sheets midway through the project. Begin by calculating the square footage of your roof. Measurements include length, width, and rise of the slope. 

Repeat measurements for all roof sections before adding the total. Moreover, you might need to extend the total size if your house features tiny dormers or skylights.

Add 10% extra for the metal wastage that might occur when you tailor your installation techniques to fit your vision and roof dimensions. 

Once you have an accurate reading, you can shop for supplies. Consider architectural design details to ensure you have sufficient roofing material. 

Step 3: Prepare Your Roof for a New Installation

In most places, you can only install two roofing layers. Everything else must get stripped off before you add your metal roofing panels. Additionally, you might need an expert assessment from a building officer to maintain legal compliance. 

Property owners planning to replace old worn-out roofs should remove the extra layers. These can include old shingles, vents, and underlayment.

A property owner removes the shingles on his roof in preparation for a metal roof installation

Moreover, survey the bottom layer for signs of water damage or potential threats. Then, address those problem areas before placing the new energy-efficient metal roof. 

Additionally, you might need an expert assessment from a building officer to maintain legal compliance. 

Step 4: Build a Moisture Barrier

Install premium-grade underlayment over roof sheathing to create a moisture barrier and insulation layer. An effective barrier can prevent your roof from heavy decking when it rains (or snows).

It acts as a weather-resistant layer that shields your home from rough weather. Underlayment comes in a variety of different materials and sizes.

You can purchase a professionally-designed option or merely use felt paper for moisture blockage. However, this cannot serve as a long-term option. 

Step 5: Place Your Trim Eaves (or Drip Edges) 

Install a drip edge across the edges of your roof eaves to redirect water and prevent it from accumulating on top of the roof.

You can secure the drip edges with galvanized nails to prevent your fasteners from rusting. Drill or hammer the nails approximately sixteen inches apart across the surface of your eaves. 

Ensure that the drip flashing overhangs above the mouth of your gutter. In this way, rainwater and melted snow will slide off your metal roofing relatively easily. 

 carpenter screws the drip edge into a metal roof

Step 6: Assemble and Install Metal Roof Panels 

Once your drip edges are secured, you can install your metal roof shingles or panels. Start from the eaves and then move upwards during installation.

Your panels should overlap with the edging by half or a quarter inch. Pay attention to the alignment to ensure the panels are installed according to the roofline. 

Here are some tips and tricks to optimize installation:

  • Use a circular saw or snipping tool to cut the metal panels to better fit. 
  • Don’t over-tighten the screws as this will create undue pressure and cause the fasteners to break quickly. 
  • Use silicone caulk and sealants to bind the roofing materials.

Survey all the sections of your roof after completing these steps. Ensure that there are no visible gaps or improperly aligned panels. A thorough check helps you counter rookie mistakes before they become costly maintenance problems. 

Step 7: Place Closure Strips and Ridge Caps on Your Metal Roofing

Closure strips and ridge caps add the final seal to your energy-efficient metal roof. Determine whether your roof requires vented strips or solid ones before placement.

Vented strips are excellent for promoting air circulation throughout your metallic roofing system.

Next, draw a chalk line to mark the position for installing ridge caps. Finally, run sealant tape across the closure strip to fasten your eco-efficient roofing system. 

How Long Does It Take to Install a Metal Roof? 

It can take 3-5 days or a week to complete your metal roof installation in good weather. If the weather conditions are unfavorable, it can take over a week.

We recommend checking the weather forecast before starting step three. This way, you are less likely to experience delays when you begin the work. 

Conclusion

Whether replacing a damaged roof or renovating your new home with a sustainable one, learning how to go green with a metal roof has become necessary.

It can help you save a significant amount of money by reducing maintenance costs and saving energy. In addition, after installation, you’ll have a higher resale value for your eco-friendly residential property. 

We recommend hiring a professional for roof installation. However, if you plan to handle the home improvement project yourself, use our handy guide as a reference to ensure quality and safety.

Once you put up the new roof, you will experience more security against the weather and costly energy bills.

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