Metal roof on an older house: Exciting project to bring new life/value to the home or money pit?

When we think of an old house a myriad of visuals come to mind, and old but still elegant home, an old farmhouse or lake cottage, or even a rustic cabin along the mountainside. On the opposite end we think of something that is falling apart, decrepit, and ultimately better to be torn down as a whole. So, when it comes to putting a new metal roof on an older home what do we do? Beautify a currently existing structure or would it be simply a waste of our time?

Ultimately installing a new metal roof on an older home is one of the best things you can do for it. The goal of renovating any older property it to pay homage to the home’s heritage, traditionally this was thought only achievable by using original materials, however this is simply not true. Using a metal roof on an older home not only makes it possible to make the home energy efficient, sustainable, and distinctive! Though style may vary slightly from the original design it does not mean that the home cannot be restored with new materials. Think about it for a minute would you install pre-1900’s plumbing into an older home being remodeled?

First and foremost, metal roofing is older than most people think. In fact, one of the first metal roofs ever in the South was installed on the U.S. Mint in New Orleans in 1857. So, to say that installing a metal roof on an older structure would be “out of place” is simply not true. So, in the next section let’s look at some of the other qualities that make metal roofing an attractive option to put on an older home.

Aesthetic value: Metal Roofing comes in a wide variety of trims which allow you to compliment an older home’s color scheme even with a new and updated roof.

Sustainability: Chances are if renovating an older structure of any kind you are looking to preserve something rather than being it seen torn down. A metal roof ads life to this structure by providing a far longer lasting roof than traditional shingles. Shingles on average last 15-20 years while metal can last 60+ years.

Low Weight: As a home ages chances are you are concerned about its foundation or “bones”. Traditional shingles way anywhere from 3-4 lbs. where a metal roof will weigh ½-1 per square foot. This low weight increases the longevity of the structure of the older home.

Energy Efficient: Renovating older homes can be especially difficult in terms of making it more energy efficient. Drafty windows, poor insulation and a traditional roof (not resistant to heat or cold) are just a few of the problems older homes generally experience. A metal roof is a great way to reduce utility costs by greatly reducing the temperature.

Protection: Water or wind damage is one of the most common ailments to older structures. Metal roofs are preventative not only against high winds and water damage but also against other intrusions such as plant or pest penetration into the roof.

Ventilation: Generally, a goal in older home renovation is making the structure more airtight. Drafty windows, inefficient doors, and new sidewall coverings being installed over old ones are just a few examples. Another great way to do this is by utilizing a metal roof. Metal roofs are easily ventilated which means it lets moisture out of the structure before it has a chance to cool and condense.  

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