We replaced a shake roof with standing-seam metal about 6 years ago. Definitely mixed reviews:
1. WEIGHT. It is very light and gets rid of snow fast (either by melting or cascading).
2. LOOKS. Definitely can be a cool look depending on the style of your home.
3. SOUND....of rain, hail, etc. Very nice!
4. SQUIRRELS. Was very satisfying when the squirrels--who were used to running all over the old roof, went sliding right off!
5. FIRE RATING. If you're in fire country, it can be a great choice.
1. SNOW AVALANCHING. This has been by far the biggest problem. It's been difficult to find snow fencing that will stay up there. Either it bends or just slides right off. Of course we had a blizzard (Colorado) and it wreaked havoc on structures all around. You definitely need to take into account the features around the house--decks, walks etc--where someone could potentially be walking, etc. I've found snow fencing for sale, but it's very expensive so I've found a metal shop to make me some of my own design. So now there will be holes in the roof, where it's attached. Time will tell.
2. COST. Definitely can be an issue.
3. GUTTERS. The gutter installers definitely need to know what they're doing. They have to be installed lower than normal, and have to be heavy-gauge steel using spiral fasteners. Just something to know.
4. MAINTENANCE. Very slippery! You don't just go onto it for routine maintenance--at least without thinking twice and having some safety equipment.
BOTTOM LINE: It definitely has a great look--but if I had to do all over again, I'd really think twice and maybe just do asphalt shingles--esp if they save lots of money.
Good luck; keep us posted!
Glad I could be of help; please let us know what you decided.
And, if it makes any difference, don't count on 'Hours of Entertainment' regarding squirrels. They are pretty smart and quickly figure out the new roof, so your "sliding squirrel" enjoyment will be short lived (unfortunately!)
All the best, to the best possible roof over your heads, from here in Colorado!
Most northeast codes allow only 3 roof layers maximum...so adding a 4th metal roof layer is probably not an option.
That said, a metal roof is much much more expensive than composite shingles.
After removal, you could expect to pay perhaps $150 per square to install new composite shingles (depending upon slope and complexity) and at least $500 per square or more for a new metal roof....
K2's experience with snow avalance off metal roof is unfortunately common. Here too, an good roofer experienced in metal installation would have priced in, and installed the appropriate snow fall protection. However, too many salesmen focus on the sale of their product, and ignore the other aspects of the roof system that should really be looked at (insulation, ventilation, snow fall location, etc.).
As well, "expensive" is relative. A "cheap" installation can be much more expensive than an "expensive" installation if the workmanship is not there.
Oh, and when you find a good roofer - don't nickle and dime them, they are worth more to you than anything you can pay them.
Yeah, about that "appropriate snow protection." I hear that lots of roofers (mine included) would rather not mess with snow protection at all. Ours did come back (eventually) and glued on 'homemade' sheet metal stops over an area where I was concerned about avalanching taking off an entire deck. These were formed from the same material as the roof (24 gauge I believe--actually sturdier than some in use!). These still got way bent out of shape with a really heavy snow (4-5 feet).
For obvious reasons, roofers don't like to use snow stops that screw thru the roof. After all, one of the advantages of metal roofing is that there are few (if any) holes through it. Roofers may suggest homemade sheet metal (like mine used), or pre-made "glue-on" stops. I'm told these will generally outlast a roofer's one-year warranty--but not much more. (this was our experience when we tried them)
There are 'screw on' clamps that attach to the seams (no holes through the roof)--but they won't work on all metal roofs (mine included).
So I'm forced to put on my 'engineering hat' and design what I HOPE is a viable snow fence system. It's more than I ever wanted to mess with, personally. I am hiring a roofer to install them; they will be screwed through the roof into the decking.
I'm hoping it works; for one thing, on commercial buildings in the mountains you see all kinds of interesting snow fencing. In the meantime, I'm kind of tired of messing with it! And I hope for no more blizzards anytime soon (I should mention that the blizzard did a number on all kinds of structures--at least a metal roof sheds the weight quickly!)
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