While it's easy to understand why metal roofing or siding is the preferred choice for long-term stability when building a home, metal roof pricing can sometimes be harder to prepare for versus asphalt or cedar roofs.
Metal roofing has a lot advantages over other types of roofing materials. The longevity and security of a properly installed metal roof can outlast all other types of roofing, making it the best choice for long-term security. But the upfront costs of metal are usually higher than a roof made from other materials. Why?
High quality metal roofing is designed to literally last a lifetime. To achieve this there's a lot that goes into designing a metal panel. Each panel has a large number of layers, from substrate materials like zinc and aluminum, to multiple layers and thicknesses of primers and paints. This combination, when done correctly, requires a large amount of work to create. While steel is a recyclable resource, it is also a commodity and its price can vary month to month.
While the upfront costs of a metal roof are often higher, studies have shown that over the life of your house, a steel roof is actually a better investment. While you may need to replace an asphalt roof 2-4 times during a typical homes lifetime, a properly manufactured and installed roof will last the duration of the homes life.
The difference between metals is vast. Often due to the commodities market, if you're paying a lower price, you're paying for lower quality. The best pricing is going to come from mill direct manufacturers. This term means these companies are purchasing their steel directly from the steel mills themselves.
The next type of quality comes from foreign made steel. While the base material is essentially still just steel, this is where technology makes a difference in the quality. Often foreign steels have less advanced machinery, ultimately resulting in material that doesn't hold up over time. This type of steel, while appearing to be the same at the point of leaving the factory, often sees paint chipping, fading and other structural issues like tearing in short periods of time.