Monday, September 6, 2010

Metal or Shingle? Shingle or Metal?

I realized about two months ago that I'll have to have the roof on the house replaced this year instead of next year as I had hoped.  (Pretty much right after I spent my entire tax return on a barn/shed for the goats I don't have anymore.)  My plan was to have this 50-year-old standing seam metal roof replaced with another standing seam metal roof.  Of this I was absolutely certain.  It didn't matter that a metal roof costs at least twice as much as a shingle roof, or more.  I thought the house deserved a metal roof and I didn't ever want to worry about replacing the roof again as long as I live.

A few people called me an idiot but I ignored them.  I can be stubborn that way.

But now I wonder.  There's not much in this house that's original or architecturally relevant, why should I be a stickler about the roof?  It would be really helpful to not spend so much money on the roof, money I don't have.  The cost isn't just for the roof - as with most things on this house, the under part isn't good either, so I'll have to get that done, too.

So, what do you think?  Should I stick with my original plan and go with a metal roof, or should I be financially smarter and go with a shingle roof instead?  What have I not thought of?

PS.  The black truck in the lower left of the picture is full of wood.  After I took Percy back, I started moving wood down from the hill into the woodshed.  It's going slowly, but you'll have that with only one person doing the work.  I just brought down the third truckload of wood, and almost a cord of it is stacked in the shed.  I want to have 3 cords of seasoned wood in the shed by the time it gets cold and I won't know how much I've got until I stack it.  I suspect I'll have to buy one more cord, but we'll see.


  1. I'd still get the metal roof. Do you get lots of snow or wind? Do you have insulation in your roof? If you get lots of snow and don't have insulation in your roof I'd get a metal roof because then the snow will fall off of it instead of melting and making ice dams which then make your shingle roof leak no matter how new it is. I know because this happens to us every year and we are now getting a metal roof. We'd insulate our roof but there is only a few inches of space between the roof and the ceiling in our attic bedrooms so we'd have to rip out the ceilings and then only get an inch or less of insulation in there.

  2. Neighbors around the corner just had a maroon colored metal roof put on their house last week. My sister-in-law had a metal roof put on her camp at Black Lake. Up north Watertown, Clayton, Adams, Ogdensburg, NY you see a lot of metal roofs because of all the snow they get. If you plan on staying in that house a long time and you get a lot of snow or ice - metal might be the way to go.

  3. Hay, I just might become not only a regular reader but a regular poster!
    I can give a qualified comment on this subject. I replaced the lower half my roof with metal.. RED metal. And I am super glad I did. No fuss no worries and I will never have to replace it in my lifetime.. and it looks great. We will do the upper roof next year with tax refund and will not regret the cost for a second.
    I highly recommend Metal roofing.
    Melanie in MN

  4. Interesting to see such strong support for metal! Maybe I was going down the right path before.... I do have an attic full of insulation, approx 1 foot+ laying on the floor, so it does OK at keeping heat away from the roof. Only got one email for shingle and everyone else likes metal. Hm.

  5. I loved the sound of rain on my metal roof of my old house. And to not have to worry about it again.. great bonus!

  6. Definitely metal. It's more cost effective over the long term and asphalt shingles are one of the main contributers to landfills. The shingles never break down and release some really nasty stuff into the water supply. Every big storm will rip off some of your shingles that you'll have to have replaced. Don't let the roofers throw out the old metal roof, have them put it aside and when you have time you can bring it to a junk yard, they'll pay you for it and you can deduct that from the cost of the new roof though it won't be much but hey every dollar counts! Good luck.

  7. Go for at least 24-36" of metal roof before it becoming shingle. If you think you can afford the full metal roof, go for it. You won't regret it unless you decide to sell short.