In this picture Aaron and Jack are installing acrylic-coated, galvalume metal panels. I love this material and, in fact, this is the fourth time that I have installed galvalume roofing. For me, the choice of the metal vs asphalt shingles is both aesthetic and environmental.
From an aesthetic standpoint, I really enjoy the the look of the the unpainted galvalume metal roofing. It is an authentic and honest portrayal of the material. Furthermore, it is in keeping with the farmhouse aesthetic that this house strives to achieve and will blend in well with the barns, sheds, and farmhouses of the region.
From a building material standpoint, I believe metal to be far superior to asphalt shingles for a multitude of reasons. For starters, metal roofing typically contains at least 25% recycled content and is itself entirely recyclable, while asphalt will ultimately go in a landfill. On top of that, the life-span of a well-installed, quality metal roof can easily be twice that of asphalt shingles, if not much, much more. If you consider the number of times over the course of a home’s life-cycle that a home gets re-shingled and consider that every one of those courses of shingles will end up in the dump, the idea of a metal roof starts looking much more appealing, regardless of cost. But (on the note of cost) even if a quality metal roof has an initial cost that is twice that of conventional shingles, the long-term payoff is easy to see when you consider the cost of re-shingling multiple times over the lifetime of that metal roof.
Finally, I like reflective metal roofing from an energy-saving standpoint. In our climate zone, a reflective metal roof can lower the heat load on the house considerably. In this regard, not all metal roofs are equal. The lighter and more reflective the roof color, the more of the solar energy that is reflected back into the sky. Not only does the reflective metal roof lower the heat-load on the house, but it also lowers the ambient air temperature. While traditional dark asphalt shingles will soak up the solar energy and heat up to 100+ degrees in the summer, this metallic galvalume roof will be reflecting that heat and staying cool by comparison. In fact, some experts within the EPA are promoting reflective metal roofing as a response to the urban heat-island effect. Here is a website with more information on the energy-saving benefits of metal roofing.