Metal roofs, especially the popular standing-seam roof, have a number of advantages over asphalt shingles, and they make for a challenging but rewarding DIY project. Before you start gathering your material and preparing your installation, you should be aware of three important factors that may influence not only your choice of materials, but your strategy for installing your roof.
The Metal You Want May Not Be Ideal
There are many kinds of metal available to install, each with their own distinct appearance. They're also all pretty reliable, and can last you a few decades if properly installed. However, the metal you choose should be appropriate for the area you live in and the type of weather you experience, as this can have a dramatic impact on the life and maintenance requirements of your roof.
For example, a metal like copper is a very quiet material, but is also soft and easily dented, which might not be appropriate in areas with regular hail. Aluminum is great in coastal areas because of its resistance to salt corrosion, but it also tends to be pricier. Doing some research before you select your material is a must, and hiring a consultant to suggest what material might work best is also a good idea.
The Most Taxing Part is Preparation
While the actual installation of your new roof can prove challenging, the part that requires the most physical effort is actual the preparation stage. You may need to take off the old shingles of your roof depending on how old they are, how many layers of shingles there are, and what type of new roof you're installing. The old wood will need to be inspected, all the old nails removed, and then the installation of waterproofing can begin. You also need to get all of your building materials up to the roof for you to work on it.
Even if you're in great shape, this can be a lot of taxing work, and it can be worth it to hire some temporary help.
You May Need to Tear Off Your Old Roof
One advantage you may hear about metal roofs is that they can be installed over old shingle roofs, but the more complicated reality is: it depends on your situation. Building codes don't often allow for more than a few layers of any type of roofing, so if you already have at least two layers installed, that may require you to tear up the old layer as well.
In addition, you don't want to install a standing-seam roof over asphalt shingles because of what's known as the "telegraphing effect," where the expansion and retraction of the metal can rub over the shingle granules and cause damage and rust. Metal shingles can more likely be installed over asphalt, but not a standing-seam roof.
To this end, make sure you know if your installation will be up to code, and that you're doing this installation in a way that won't cause expensive maintenance issues down the road.