Metal Roofing Facts and Myths

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Subject: How Difficult is it to Walk on Metal Roofs?

We currently have an asphalt roof that we're going to need to replace sometime before next fall. I find myself walking on the roof several times a year; between hanging Christmas lights, taking them down, getting kid stuff (frisbees, balls, nerf darts, etc.) down, etc. The slope on our roof is fairly gentle, but I'm not sure I'd want to be up there if it was metal and wet. How difficult is it to walk on metal roofs? Is there some kind of technique that's preferred?


Sara K

Subject: Sunlight refelection off metal roof

A word of caution and quest for advice:

If you live in an urban area with small lots and your home is shorter than the neighboring homes, a metal roof may not be right for you (or your neighbors). Our neighbors installed a metal roof last year on their dutch colonial style home. The reflected sunlight off metal roofs is significant. There are 15 feet between our neighbor's home and our taller Victorian four-square. Now, on sunny days, several second and third floor rooms of our house are unbearably hot and unusable. Today the sun is out and I went to open the window in my daughter's bedroom to try to let in some cooler air and I burned my hand on the metal locking latch of the window! It is ridiculous. My husband is unable to use his home office if the sun is out and my daughters cannot stand to be in their own bedrooms. And I can only wonder what kind of damage this excess of reflected sunlight is doing to our paint and siding!

So please, if you are considering a metal roof, think about whether it will negatively affect your neighbor. And if anyone has any ideas about anything that could maybe be applied to the roof to reduce the amount of reflection, I would appreciate it! I don't want to complain to my neighbor without a possible solution in mind, but this is becoming a nightmare (or sunny daymare?)! I've done some google searches but have not found anything.

S E Stevens

Subject: posssible solution to reflected sunlight = heat

I have large west-facing picture windows in SW Ontario. My solution was to install "thinsulated" Roman blinds that are mounted on the underside of the window facing and cover the entire width and length of the windows when lowered.

No heat or winter cold problems!


Subject: Hi Carolyn,

Hi Carolyn,

Great questions! Metal roofs typically will not affect your reception. However, if you already have weak or spotty reception a metal roof may cause even weaker reception. Adding a cell phone booster helps this. Your WiFi router should not be affected.

Jim C.

Subject: Reception

A metal roof will not improve your reception, that is certain. However, for the vast majority of homes, the construction of walls, location and size of windows, etc. I have a stucco house that had only limited reception of cell phones, and I had to put a digital antenna against a window for TV reception. That is because of the metal cladding underneath the stucco. Other neighbors have good reception of cell phones.

Absolutely nothing changed when we installed a metal roof.

OBTW, my in-laws were so impressed with our stone coated metal roof that they put one on their cabin.

Don't think I would ever go with another type of roof (and won't have to with a 50 yr guarantee if I stay here). We paid about 1.5x what the local asphalt shingle guys wanted, and got a 10 yr workmanship guarantee included included from the installer.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.