I worked for a custom homebuilder just prior to my present occupation. There are various types of metal roofs. A "standing seam, raised ridge" type, also called seamless is the only way to go. There are others that are secured with exposed screws and rubber grommets. They were originally designed for things like storage buildings and barns. Some in the industry pass this type off as suitable for residential construction because they are far lower cost. Be careful, they have gimmicks to sell them. They'll advertise a "Lifetime Guarantee". Then when you read the fine print, they're guaranteeing the metal sheeting. The neoprene or rubber grommets usually have a 5 or 10 year warranty and that's about how long they last. When they go, you have hundreds of points of entry for water when they fail. You call to collect on the warranty and they send you an envelope full of little rubber things. They don't replace them under the warranty. It's now up to you to figure out which ones are failing (wise to replace them all at this point) and basically re-install your roof.
A good metal roof will provide you a lifetime of pretty close to maintenence free living. The energy savings are often somewhat exagerated but there is a small amount of savings. May take 30 years or more to recoup the difference in cost for the little bit of savings but it eventually will. Metal and tile roofs will also dramatically enhance resale value of your home, should you ever decide to sell. Spend what it takes to get a very good metal roof, this is not an area where the lowest bidder should get your business. Use someone with years of experience in installing metal roofs and with a good reputation in your area. Check the BBB and if there is a Builder Association where you live, talk with them too. The trades are not regulated in most states and there are two kinds... Really good and really bad ones.
If someone goes with a shingle roof, I would only recommend architectural shingles. Clearly superior in both wear and appearance to standard three-tab shingles. Our original roof was three tab and they simply don't hold up to the severe weather winds in this region. We replaced it with the architectural shingles three years ago and it still looks new. In this case the cost difference isn't too bad - it was about a grand more. I wanted metal but at the time couldn't afford it. Now that I can afford it, I don't need it (at least not for a while).
Dave, I agree. The old three tab also had that flat, bland look to them. Technology has changed and the newer three dimentional look is much more appealing in addition to the other benefits. I know pricing varies throughout the country but here in Houston a good metal roof is over three times the cost of of a good architectural shingle roof.
My metal roof is so much better for the winter weather, the snow just slides off of it, except on the one side which has a low slope. It takes a little longer. However, it was on that low slope that the snow used to build up and leak under the shingles. At least with the metal roof, no leaks, and little maintenance.
The metal is about 3 times as much as the architectural shingles, so that was why I was questioning whether it was worth it. I am hoping that the maintenance free part and the energy saving part will actually make up the difference. At least in my lifetime.
The shingles will have to be replaced in 15 to 20 years (depends on weather or type of shingles). Then the cost will be twice as much as now so you will have then paid the same price as the metal roof now. The metal roof will still be in good shape in 40 years when you have replace the shingles yet again. So the money is worth it in the long term.
Well, the deed is done. Looks really nice. We'll get to find out what it's like when it rains. It's supposed to start raining tomorrow and then a possibility of snow on Saturday. I couldn't believe they finished the job in one day.