While a metal roof can increase the value of a home, not all metal roofs are created equal. As long as the metal roof has greater longevity than traditional asphalt shingles and has a pleasant visual appeal, there will be a boost to the home's value. Low-quality metal roofing, or metal roofing that detracts from the curb appeal of a home, can have a less positive impact on property value or even reduce the worth of the home.
Most homes use asphalt shingle roof coverings, which last between 10 and 20 years, depending on climate and brand quality; however, a quality metal roof can last indefinitely, and often without the need for maintenance. Some manufacturers go so far as to offer lifetime warranties on their metal roofing products. The fact that a home with a long-lasting metal roof requires less maintenance and won't need a roofing replacement for many years increases the value of the home significantly. The added peace of mind and stress reduction of not having to worry about roof maintenance is also worth a premium to many consumers, particularly those nearing retirement age, who may have difficulty coping with the cost of roof repair due to a fixed income.
Imagine that a home needed three roofing jobs over a 50 year span of ownership, with each repair costing around $10,000. A home with a metal roof would add the value of each of those prevented repair cycles to the home's value, even if the initial installation cost is higher. Using this example, even a metal roof install costing $20,000 would save $10,000 in the long term, thus adding a higher value to the home than the cost of the investment. Obviously the specific dollar values vary from home to home because of variables like square footage and climate, but the general principal holds true. In order to calculate the specific boost to the value of the home, the owner will need a pricing estimate from a roofer for both types of roofing. From there it is a simple matter of comparing product lifespans to reach the specific dollar value boost on the individual home.
When comparing metal roofing systems to tar shingles, consumers need to realize that they are buying two extremely different products. Tar shingles, for example, degrade over time but are easy enough to install that a skilled home handyman could do it himself. Metal roofing systems are so durable that they become a permanent structural element, but they may require special fitting, installation equipment and training. Consumers looking to build a new home or renovate an old one should carefully weigh the pros and cons of a traditional roof versus a metal one, which boils down to a choice of a higher initial investment for a more valuable home, or a smaller investment in a simpler roof that gets the job done but will cost more money in the long run.
The curbside appeal of a home's roofing is important, so much so that some zoning bylaws or community association rules may require that a home's roof have a certain level of uniformity when compared to its neighbors. Metal roofing systems have come a long way from being simple sheet-metal barn roofs over the years, but before getting into that, it helps to use the current standard, tar shingles, as a frame of reference. Tar shingles come in a wide range of colors and a few shape variations, but the base material means that most tar shingles have the same rough granular-looking finish and all of them require the same layered installation. By contrast, metal roofing can have a utilitarian appearance that is clearly painted metal, or it can be textured and installed in segments to mimic the visual aesthetic of a wide array of other roofing materials, from clay tile to slate. Metal roofs can even blend in with the neighbors' tar shingles.