2021 Steel Roof Costs, Pros & Cons – Steel Roofs vs. Asphalt Shingles

For many decades, composition shingle roofs have been the overwhelmingly popular choice for new roof installations and re-roofing applications.

However, thanks to the rapidly growing consumer awareness of all the benefits of modern residential metal roofing, many savvy homeowners are now considering steel sheet panels and stamped tiles as a viable alternative to asphalt shingle roofs. Hence, it is hardly a surprise that metal, which is by and large steel, has become the fastest growing segment in the residential roofing market.

Why Steel Roofs?

Many homeowners concerned with aesthetic appeal are often positively impressed with the wide variety of contemporary styles, profiles, and vibrant colors available in modern steel roofing. Other benefits that help make steel roofs stand out among other roofing products, include low life-cycle cost, superior energy efficiency, and sustainability.

New Shingle Roof

$7,500
Average price
New Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
New Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

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For anyone who wants their roof to be an asset for years to come, rather than it being a constant source of problems, steel roofing can be a wise choice.

Steel is Exceptionally Strong and Durable

Steel is one of the strongest, most durable building materials, which is why it is so widely used in commercial and industrial construction. Your home can benefit from superior durability of steel in several different ways; The inherent material properties of steel make it highly resistant to cracking, warping, curling, or peeling — all of these are common problems associated with asphalt shingles.

Did you know? A steel roof will not be susceptible to rot, decay, discoloration, mold growth or termite infestation. The superior durability of steel will free you from the expensive and time consuming maintenance and repair issues that are often a necessary part of owning most other types of roofing systems.

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Metal Roofing Buying Guide 2021: Facts, Myths, Prices, FAQ – Metal Roofs

If you are looking to replace that old asphalt roof on your home with a metal roof this Summer or Fall, but still have a few lingering questions or concerns, then here are the top 70 metal roofing facts, myth-busters, FAQs, plus an overview of costs and pros and cons to consider before making your buying decision.

A Rustic House with a Multi-Level Standing Seam Metal Roof Designed to Shed Ice and Snow Build-up

via Birdseye Design

Did you know? A metal roof can be a sensible way to protect your home, especially if you happen to live in an area that experiences a lot of storms, rapid temperature changes, beaming sun that melts asphalt, large hail, or heavy snowfall. — Just ask any homeowner in Florida, Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, upstate New York, Northern New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and they will readily attest to this! 😉

New Shingle Roof

$7,500
Average price
New Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
New Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

See costs in your area Enter Your Zip Code

To help you navigate this long list, we broke it down into the following categories:

Materials Pros & Cons Standing Seam Metal Roof Galvalume Color
Cost of Materials
Installation
Cost of Installation
Colors & Styles
Longevity
Weather Protection
Durability
Maintenance
Energy Efficiency
Environmental Impact
ROI
10 Bonus Facts

Metal Roofing Materials Pros & Cons:

  • standing-seam Metal roofs can be made from a variety of metals and alloys including
    — Galvanized G-90 steel (hot-dip zinc galvanized high-end steel), and G-60 steel (a less expensive, thinner-gauge steel, often used in low-end, lower-cost corrugated and ribbed metal panels)
    Galvalume steel (zinc and aluminum coated steel) has a more expensive and longer-lasting coating compared to G-90 galvanized steel.
    — stone-coated steel (G-90 galvanized steel), aluminum, copper, zinc, terne (zinc-tin alloy), and stainless steel.

  • The downside of galvanized steel (G-90, and especially G-60) is that it can corrode, eventually, especially when exposed to moist, salt-spray environment such as when your home is situated in a close proximity to the ocean near the coastal areas.

  • Steel is the most frequently used material in both residential and commercial applications, mainly due to its lower cost.

  • Aluminum is the second most popular material. It is more durable and longer-lasting than steel, but only costs a fraction of the price of premium metals, such as copper or zinc.

  • Aluminum is also one of the best metals to use for roofs located in coastal areas (think those beach homes), where there is a heavy presence of salt spray in the environment.

  • Copper roofs are the most durable and can last for hundreds of years. However, due to prohibitively high cost, few people choose to install an entire roof made from copper. Instead, home and business-owners choose copper for architectural details/accents on the roof (bay windows, towers, porches, low slope roof sections, Etc).

copper standing seam bay windows

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The Ultimate Guide to Getting a New Roof in 2021 – Homeowner’s Guide

A new roof is a costly investment with practical and aesthetic implications – the roof is your home’s most important protection against rain, snow, and nature’s elements. The roof can also significantly impact the appeal of your home in the eyes of potential buyers.

GAF Timberline HD Shingles Roof

This guide will help you make an informed decision when it comes to re-roofing, whether it’s adding a new layer of roofing to the existing roof, or tearing off and replacing the old roof.

Seven Signs You Need a New Roof

Here are the indicators that your roof should be re-shingled or replaced to maintain your home’s defense against the elements:

  • Shingles are visibly worn: Are there so many of the colored granules gone that your roof looks like it has bald spots? While the shingles might still be keeping moisture out, a lack of reflective granules allows excess heat into your home, raising the temperature inside your house and increasing your air conditioning costs. Furthermore, once exposed, the underlying asphalt will soon dry out and crack, and then your roof will be susceptible to leaks.

  • Shingles are cupped and curled:

    Curled-up old shingles

    This issue looks bad, but more importantly, it means wind-driven water and moisture can easily get under the shingles and into your roof deck where it might cause leaks and rot.

  • Shingles are cracked: The cracked areas aren’t keeping moisture off the deck, and the risk of leaks goes way up.

    Cracks or thermal splitting in asphalt shingles
    via Structure Tech

  • Your neighbors are getting new roofs: This is more than “keeping up with the Joneses.” When homes built about the same time as yours are being re-roofed, your roof is probably about due.

  • You’ve experienced multiple leaks: Your roof is an entire structure, not just the shingles. Deck paper, flashing, moisture barrier in valleys, starter shingles, vent stack boots and other components are part of an entire roofing system. As the roof ages and several of its components or locations fail, the roof should be replaced.

  • The roof has experienced major damage:

    hail damaged roof shingles

    If more than about 35% of the roof is going to need a repair due to wind or hail damage, then the most cost-effective decision might be to replace it altogether.

    Repair is costlier on a per square foot basis because it is more time-consuming to integrate new shingles into the existing roof “here and there” than to install them over the entire roof. Plus, a mix of old shingles and new just won’t look very good.

  • Your roof looks bad: Cosmetics and aesthetics do matter to homeowners and potential buyers. If your roof is worn, has algae staining that won’t clean up or has patches of moss on it, boosting its appearance with a new layer of shingles will make a very nice difference.

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If none of these reasons to get a new roof apply, then you’re probably done here! If you’re not sure about your roof’s condition, hiring a home inspector or roofing contractor to inspect it can be a preventative measure before a roof failure and the extensive and expensive damage it can cause.

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