Do you want to know what question I really get asked the most when I'm out showing houses? It comes in a few different variations...
- How old is the roof?
- How much life is left in that roof?
- Do you know how much it costs for a new roof?
When it comes to the "red flag" items, I have found that the biggest turn off for my buyers is an old shabby roof that clearly needs to be replaced.
It often begs the question, "If they neglected the roof for so long, what else has been neglected?"
In a world where curb appeal is everything, an old roof is a real killer.
Recently I had the chance to meet with Alex Prothmann, owner of Alpro Sheet Metal. They specialize in metal roofing for both residential and commercial clients. I asked Alex a few questions about metal roofing from a residential perspective. Here is what he had to say:
Q: What is the expected difference in upfront costs when putting on a metal roof vs. an asphalt shingle?
A: Typically there is a considerable cost difference from shingle to metal roofing. There are a couple reasons for this: First, the steel roofing material and accessories needed cost much more than for shingles. Second, there is a higher level of skill and time it takes to install a metal roof, leading to slightly higher labour costs.
Q: What is the general difference in life expectancy between asphalt shingles and steel roofing?
A: In my experience, even though shingle manufacturers say their shingles last 25-35 years, we are consistently seeing 10-13 years maximum life expectancy out of shingles. With a metal roof you can anticipate a much longer life span. The type of material used can have an impact as well. Steel roofs come with a 40-year transferable warranty which can give buyers a greater piece of mind. Materials like zinc and copper, if properly installed can last up to 80 years and even longer!
Q: What are the major advantages to installing a metal roof?
A: First and foremost is the return on investment you receive with a metal roof. If you are replacing your shingles every 12 years, you will not only be burdened with the frequency of the costs, but each year prices seem to rise. Being the last roof you'll ever put on you will avoid the cost of inflation with a metal roof. Another advantage to metal roofing is its durability against the elements. An example of this is wind. Often times shingles will blow off in high winds, whereas metal will not.
Q: What are some common myths or misunderstandings that people have when it comes to metal roofing?
A: The most common myth about metal roofing is that it is fairly noisy during the rain. The myth comes from Farmers installing roofs on their hollow barn roofs. When a metal roof is installed on a normal residential house it is not as hollow as a barn, in fact, it has 18 to 30 inches of insulation in the attic. Another major myth is that rusting will occur with the metal roofs. Today the paint quality is much higher and the cutting tools are far more advanced. Only bare, exposed metal will rust but since the paint systems are so advanced this does not occur anymore.
Q: How much selection in style and colour can people expect when they order a metal roof?
A: We have access to over a hundred different colors to choose from for steel roofing.
Although metal roofing is certainly not cheap, I highly recommend it. Remember that part at the beginning of this article when I spoke about curb appeal? Metal roofing has the exact opposite psychological impact of an old asphalt shingle roof on buyers. When you pull up to a house with a nice, new metal roof, you know that this home has been taken care of and that no expense has been overlooked at in exchange for quality.
From an ROI perspective, you can see that over a 12+ year timeframe metal roofing, on average, is actually less expensive!
If you're thinking of taking your home's value to the next level, metal roofing is an upgrade you should consider!