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Architects’ Advice: Metal Roofs Are Superior for Urban Homes and Businesses

May 31, 2023

Architects’ Advice: Metal Roofs Are Superior for Urban Homes and Businesses

Architects’ Advice: Metal Roofs Are Superior for Urban Homes and Businesses

metal roof

For centuries, metal roofs have been popular for rural buildings due to their practical benefits for living in the country. They’re easier to install over broad roofs, like those of equipment sheds. Also, they’re simpler to maintain than shingles, and they last longer. Today, metal roofs are starting to make their way into urban cities. Builders and architects are attracted to their sleek, modernist look, and metal is healthier for the environment than asphalt. Generally, they last about 50 years longer than asphalt and are created from recyclable materials while asphalt shingles end up at a landfill.

Recently, metal roofs were showcased in the Toronto Fall Home Show, demonstrating that this growing trend is far from over. In fact, custom designs are now available that look like shingles. Homeowners can choose among various paint swatches and textures, as well.

Show Your Style With a Metal Roof

Stylistically, most architects will tell you that metal roofs look best when they are not mimicking another materials. For example, standing-seam metal roofs are practical while adding texture and a homey look. These designs feature panels that run from the eaves to the rooftop, with seams between the panels that connect with fasteners.

Without looking at a standing-seam panel roof, you might assume that they’re a bit bland for your tastes. But according to Heather McKinney of McKinney York Architects, dark, standing-seam roofs are the perfect contrast to cream-colored, limestone walls, which are common in urban areas.

Making the Budget

Metal roofs are more expensive than asphalt shingles—about 25 percent more. But in the long run, they always pay off with plenty of return on investment.

Metal roofs usually last about twice as long as asphalt shingles, so they more than pay for themselves. Metal roofs also require less maintenance. In warmer climates, they reflect heat, which keeps the home cooler so the air conditioner doesn’t need to work as hard. This, ultimately, reduces power bills.

Architects Claim That Metal Roofs are the Future of Urban Building Construction

With superior durability, longevity and appearance, you might be wondering, why don’t all buildings have metal roofs? The answeris, as with most home-improvement projects, economics. In the past, the initial investment deterred many homeowners and businesses. But new manufacturing processes have made metal roofs more affordable than ever. Also, the Energy Efficiency Tax Incentive of 2013 offered credits to homeowners that installed metal roofs.

Although the incentive was not extended in 2014, many construction companies are compensating by offering roof financing. You can install your metal roof today, enjoy the immediate savings in energy cost, and pay for your roof over time. If you decide to sell your home before your final payment, the equity increase from the metal roof will pay the remainder—with a substantial return on investment. Like solar power, metal roofs are becoming more economically feasible, and, therefore, more popular. If this trend continues, the urban skyline of the future may look far different than it does today.

Metal Roofs and Versatility

You don’t need to install a metal roof over your entire home to enjoy these benefits. Many homeowners choose to cover only one particular section. This might be because certain areas of the roof are older than others, so the entire roof doesn’t need to be replaced. You also can install a metal roof over rooms that aren’t connected to the central-air system. This will help maintain temperatures, especially in warmer seasons.

You might choose to install a metal roof over the shed or external garage. Generally, these are areas where you want to limit long-term maintenance cost. The initial expense won’t be as great as covering your entire home, and the longevity of a metal roof will minimize overall investment.

Don’t Install a Metal Roof Without Expert Guidance

Installing a metal roof is not a simple task. Even experienced builders lack the architectural, carpentry and welding experience required.

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