The roof is perhaps the most important part of your shed. Builder Online writes: “As the most exposed plane, the roof has a mammoth task. It’s under constant assault from the sun and rain, and, if leaky, could result in costly direct repair as well as ancillary damage.”
Part of the roof’s strength lies in its structure, the way it’s put together, and the quality of the trusses, as well as how close together the trusses are. Part of it lies in the decking, the material that goes over the trusses. The final piece to be concerned with is the material that goes on the very top.
Should consumers choose metal roofing or asphalt shingles? And what kind of metal or asphalt? We hope to help you break down the options and make an informed decision.
Let’s look at all the typical shed options.
Metal is incredibly durable, requiring lower maintenance and lasting much longer than the 25 or 30 years guaranteed by the asphalt manufacturers. Metal will not blow off a roof as easily as asphalt shingles in strong winds (or when moving a shed). In general, you can reasonably expect a metal roof to last about 60 years, give or take.
Metal roofs even have a reputation with insurance companies. You can get an insurance reduction if you have a metal roof because the likelihood of metal roofs blowing off in a storm is minimal.
Metal roofs are also fireproof. For this reason and the ones above, larger industrial buildings choose metal roofing.
Metal reflects heat, keeping houses cooler in the summer, and is often made from a high percentage of recycled material.
There are many misconceptions of metal based on past metals and thinner, cheaper materials. Old metals lacked the alloys and resin paints today’s metals are made with, and many corroded within 10 years. That is not the case with today’s metal roofing material.
Metal roofs are graded by gauge. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the metal. Thick metals withstand more impact but are more difficult to work with. 26 gauge is a good solid choice for a large structure like a house, while 29 is a good solid choice for outbuildings and sheds.
The best-looking (and most expensive) metal roofs available today are standing seam metals.
The big advantage of a standing seam is no exposed fasteners on the roof. The edge of each piece of metal is hidden by the next panel of metal.
Two other panel types are AG Panel and R-Panel.
“AG Panel is a durable, weather-resistant roofing solution for agricultural and residential projects. The panels not only provide excellent protection against the elements and increase the life cycle of your roof but they lower the need for maintenance on your roof. AG PANELS are cost-effective, high-performance metal roofing system.” (Description from https://saqualitymetals.com/.)
“The R-Panel is a low-maintenance, durable alternative to conventional roofing. It’s ideal for retro-fitting over existing composition shingles, and it saves time, labor, and disposal costs, which means a lower total project cost.” (Description from Hartman Roofing.)
At The Shed Builders, our metal roofs are 29-gauge metal AG Panel. It has a 40-year limited warranty, and is made from the best product in the industry with AkzoNobel Coatings. It will hold up under heavy snowfall and heavy winds. It will not rust, and will last a lifetime.
The metal comes from mills in the USA, helping support local economies.
Metal is usually more expensive than asphalt, costing up to three times as much. But at The Shed Builders, we offer metal roofing at a similar price to asphalt.
People trust asphalt. It’s been around for a long time. The perception that it is a more standard choice for roofs lingers and for many people, it’s the obvious or default choice. It’s economical. It’s easy to repair.
Other advantages of asphalt are mostly aesthetic and design-related. For example, many HOAs require asphalt that matches the home’s roof, and since asphalt is much less expensive than metal, the home will likely have an asphalt roof.
If you prefer the bright, bold colors of metal, however, you might find asphalt boring.
Thirty-year architectural shingles are a favorite with many people for their aesthetically pleasing dimensional appearance.
Asphalt shingles are not as long-lasting as metal, however, and the asphalt recycling industry is young.
We offer architectural asphalt shingles in six colors so you can find one to match your home or color preferences.
If you’re choosing between architectural asphalt shingles and metal roofing for your shed, your choice will probably mostly boil down to style preferences, longevity, and, if you’re purchasing your shed elsewhere besides The Shed Builders, the price.
Here’s where you are going to choose between quality and price. 3-Tab asphalt shingles are inferior to architectural asphalt shingles. They blow off more easily and will require more maintenance. They are an economical choice people make based on how long they imagine needing their shed to last.
3-Tab asphalt shingles have long been used in the building industry as a standard choice, and many shed builders put it on every shed that goes out their door (barring custom orders). There are better options, though, and the investment you make in your roofing material will pay you back many times over. At The Shed Builders, sheds come standard with architectural shingles, and metal roofs are also available.