Metal Roofing, a Viable Option for Homeowners

by Jane VanOsdol on September 28, 2011

Most homeowners dread the thought of having to replace a roof. As the odds go, if you’re a homeowner, you’re probably going to have to replace a roof at least two times in your life. Many options exist today for roofing. One choice that we’ll look at today is a roof that dates back to the late 1700s:  sheet-metal roofing.

In the late 1700s, the most popular roofing materials were zinc, copper and lead. On an interesting historical note, the Washington Monument and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello have metal roofs.

As so often happens, what’s old is new again, and metal roofs are once again becoming a viable option for homeowners to consider when installing a new roof. Lap-joint-  and standing-seam metal roofing are the two most common types of sheet-metal roofing. Let’s consider the pros and cons of this type of roofing to see if it’s a good option for you.

Pros and Cons of Sheet Metal Roofing


  • Installation. This is often best left to roofing contractors. It’s an intricate process in which complex roof designs increase labor time and, consequently, the cost. A metal roof can also be a slippery surface to work on, depending upon the type of metal materials you’re using. During installation, workers must also be careful not to scratch the metal.
  • Noise. Metal roofs are not the quietest of roofs. Some people love hearing the pitter-patter of rain, but during large storms, the noise can be substantial. Nuts dropping onto your roof from an overhead tree can also be disturbing. Be sure you have enough insulation, which helps to reduce the noise.
  • Expense. The initial cost of a metal roof is usually higher than other roofing materials. Consider the length of time you will be in your home to decide if it’s a wise choice for you.


  • Versatility. Metal roofing comes in a variety of designs, including the obvious look of lap joint and standing seam, but the metal can also be formed to look like shingles that resemble wood shakes, clay tiles, shingles and Victorian metal tiles.

    Metal tile roof

  • Durability. Metal roofs have a long life, are fire retardant and almost maintenance free.
  • Lightweight. They are so lightweight that they can usually be installed over an existing roof, and they can be installed quickly.
  • Recyclable. They are made from 60 to 65 percent recyclable material.
  • Energy efficient. Metal reflects heat and blocks the transfer of heat to the attic.
  • High wind/ tear resistance.

Indeed, sheet-metal roofs are becoming a “green” home improvement choice among homeowners who like sheet metal for its environmentally friendly characteristics, as well as for its esthetic charm and durability.

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