By David in Ocoee, FL on 8/24/2006
Some folks have been kicking around the idea of using a metal roof on their home as opposed to the traditional fiberglass (asphalt) 3 tab shingle. Those who have considered it tend to be OBers who will be living in their homes for a long time as opposed to those who are building as an investment.
A few advantages to metal roofing: If installed properly by a qualified metal roofer, you will have a trouble free roof for many, many years to come. While the upfront cost is double the cost of a premium fiberglass shingle, the longevity is also double, at least. Where the two systems (fiberglass vs metal) differ is in the way they are "locked down" to the roof deck, something that is very important when a hurricane approaches.
The fiberglass shingle uses a strip of adhesive on its leading edge that is heat activated. The wind rating of the shingle is heavily dependent upon the quality of that bond. The metal roof is physically locked in place by means of fasteners (screws). Most metal roofs use a concealed fastener, whereas the leading or loose edge of one metal tile or section (in the case of standing seam) is locked into the spot where the adjacent tile or section is fastened to the roof deck. (see illustration)
Another advantage is that metal roofs reflect heat better than fiberglass shingles. If battens are used to fasten the roof panels, the airspace below the metal becomes an insulator. Or rigid foam insulation can be installed between the battens for even greater insulating value.
One more feature of metal roofs is that they add aesthetic value to a home in a way that fiberglass shingles can not. For example, a Key West style home done in the traditional manner looks great with standing seam metal roofing. I am considering building an authentic Cape Cod with metal roof tiles that simulate cedar shakes. I know, I have changed my mind several times on my choice of design and roofing, but hey, its fun! Anyway, the point is that metal roofs have something to offer that fiberglass shingles do not. Unfortunately, economy is not one of them.
Here are a few links to some metal roof manufacturers. The manufacturer will be more than happy to provide you with a list of installers in your area:
This last link is a sort of gathering place for many metal roof manufacturers. You may be able to find more useful links there.