Metal & Copper Roofing Blog

I'm shopping for a new metal roof. Where do I start?

A new roof for a typical home in North America is a major undertaking, regardless of whether you are planning the cheapest option possible or ponying up for the best. If you're upgrading to metal, one of the most important considerations is determining whether or not you are planning to handle the work yourself or hire an installer.

MRN Finished Steel Shake Progressdiy or hire an installer?

To answer that question, there are a few thing to know.  Just about any metal roofing system you will find available requires basic sheet metal roofing skills. It's not particularly challenging to the competent handyman, but there's no question that a lousy carpenter has a high probability of being a lousy sheet metal worker! YouTube has countless videos demonstrating the basics of sheet metal work, and the same is true of best roofing practices. Even asphalt and concrete roofs use metal at all the critical areas (that’s why even the worst roofers have at least a semblance of sheet metal experience), and so an entire roof of metal is not a big reach, technically. It even makes perfect sense that if metal is so good at protecting the critical details, it would clearly be the best material for the entire job.
Given that the type of sheet metal work necessary for a metal roof installation is within the reach of most good home handymen, selecting the right roof material is about buying the best you can afford. Spending more gets you thicker, stronger material; more sophisticated and attractive shapes and styles; nicer and more secure details. Manufacturers like Metal Roof Network are always happy to provide technical support for owners who want to tackle their own job, so once you see a product you like, be sure to ask for direction from the people that make the metal roofing you want. I’m sure they’ll be as excited as you are about seeing your job completed.

Going the Installer Route

If you'd rather leave installation to the professionals, choosing the right installer is a necessary next step. Roofers as a rule are creatures of habit - and understandably so. Doing the same type of roof everyday streamlines their production and makes it easy for them to predict the profitability of their time. Ask a roofer to install a material with which he’s unfamiliar will frequently result in an unenthusiastic response. They are reluctant to install material is new to them, because they don’t know exactly how to price their time. They’d usually rather give you all the reasons that what you’re suggesting is a bad idea, and what they’re used to doing is the best thing since sliced bread! Who can blame them?
If you’ve decided that you want the longevity, beauty, wind and weather-resistance, and eco-friendliness of metal for your new roof, then finding a roofer who is comfortable and practiced at installing metal roofing should be your first step. From there, working with them to find the metal roof specification and look that you want, and the details and system that makes your roofer comfortable is the right way to a successful roof project. Need help getting started? We're happy to help with installer recommendations and material suggestions, so contact us today.