Most people associated metal roofs with cheap corrugated tin in previous years. However, modern residential metal roofing is much more aesthetically attractive and functional, with all of the advantages that current technology can provide. They are extremely durable, highly resistant to fire and high winds, lightweight, easy to install, and good at reflecting heat away. On the other hand, they tend to be expensive, don’t provide good insulation, can dent or chip, and make noise in rain and hail storms.
Metal can be heated to very high temperatures without burning, so metal roofs have excellent fire retardant ratings. This can add to the resale value of your house and reduce the cost of insurance. Also, metal roofs are very resistant to high winds, which is appealing if you live in a location where hurricanes and/or tornadoes are frequent.
Since metal roofs reflect the heat of the sun, they will reduce the energy required to cool your house during the summer. They have little inherent insulation, but by inserting open space between the metal and the underlying roof, you can get the same effect as you would by adding insulation. Weather-related noise can be reduced by added sound deadening insulating material. Be aware that heat can cause metal to expand and connectors to become loose.
Metal roofs are lighter, require less support from underneath, and as such can reduce construction costs. The lighter weight also makes it possible to install a metal roof over the top of an existing roof, saving the time and expense of having to remove the original roof. Installation of metal roofing typically takes less time too, as the metal sheets cover a large area. On the other side of that coin, replacing a larger section, should it become necessary, may be more difficult. Metal roofing sections may also prove more difficult to match if a replacement is needed, or an addition is built.
The greatest barrier to the use of metal roofs is the expense, since the cost definitely falls into the premium price range. However, discount metal roofing is available, and in any case the very long lifespan may make metal effective cheaper than roofs that seem to be a bargain. For metal, a lifespan of 20 to 50 years is the normal expectation. Metal may well outlive the rest of the house.