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Metal -- The New Fashionable Roofing Choice

Residential metal roofing is quickly becoming the popular roof replacement choice for expensive homes in California. Although it is costly to install initially, it looks beautiful and has a 50-year average warranty.
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Metal roofs can be designed to look like other types of roofs. For instance, from the ground you can't tell a simulated cedar-shake metal roof from a real cedar one. If you prefer an elegant tile look, choose a steel roof that uses special paint processes. Real earth tone granules are placed on the final paint coat, which is then covered with a super-durable clear coat.

Metal roofs have safety advantages as well - they don't burn - and your insurance company may offer a discount for having one. Beyond that, a metal roof reduces attic heat gain in the summer and in warm climates by 34 percent, according to the Solar Energy Center. That translates into big savings in air-conditioning costs.

Lightweight steel roofs often can be installed over your old shingles without an expensive tear-off. No additional supports are needed. Because metal comes in big sheets, experienced installers can get the job done quickly.

Another metal option is copper. Copper is very expensive, but its lovely green patina is very appealing. Like other metal, roofing it cools fast after the sun goes down and cuts down on air-conditioning costs.

Once considered a drab-looking industrial product, lightweight metal roofs are in higher demand among homeowners now that manufacturers are offering them in red, white, green, tan and blue as well as silver, and in seamless sheets. They usually are designed to resemble asphalt or wood shingles, but can also be molded into rounded, clay-like shapes that, from a distance, look like tile. Increasingly popular in cold-weather states because snow slides off of them, roofs are fire-resistant. One manufacturer, El Monte, Calif.-based Custom-Bilt Metals, says its steel Armor tile can withstand 130-mile-per-hour winds, and hailstones up to two inches in diameter. Homeowners sometimes replace original tile roofs with clay-look metal, even though its installation is labor-intensive and can be costly. Cooper roofing, for instance, can cost up to $1,000 per 100 square feet to install.
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