Published on August 5, 2012

A variety of style and materials are available for roofing

A variety of style and materials are available for roofing

When it comes understanding the options for keeping a decent roof over your head, area roofing companies have you covered. With a variety of materials available for low or steeply sloped roofing solutions at a wide range of prices, the choices can be overwhelming.

Eric Bachman, owner and president of Bachman’s Roofing, Building & Remodeling Inc. in Wernersville, said the most commonly used roofing solutions are the economical architectural shingle.

“It’s an asphalt shingle that is available in many styles and colors, including designer shingles and three-tab shingles,” said Bachman, whose company works with a full range of roofing solutions.

Also available are synthetic and natural slate and cedar roofing materials, as well as corrugated or standing-seam metal roof materials.

“On flat roofs, we use standard EPDM (a type of rubber) or walkable materials,” he said, explaining that “if you have a flat roof that is also used as a patio or such, there is a special vinyl product that is waterproof, durable and available in various colors, giving your patio surface a much cleaner appearance.”

Cost per square foot is varied, Bachman said.

“A proper estimate cannot be made without considering a few variables such as pitch, size, number of peaks and valleys, chimneys, and the materials chosen for replacement,” he said.

Bachman said material prices also range from $2.80 to $5 per square foot for asphalt shingles to $6 to $15 per square foot for synthetic and natural slate or cedar shakes. Flat roof materials can range from $4 to $11 per square foot.

“All of the products carry excellent warranties, are attractive, long-lasting, and therefore are good choices,” he said. “The asphalt shingle is the leading choice for sloped roofs because of its price. You get a great product at a lower price than you do with the other choices.”

If you are in the market for a slate or cedar roof, Bachman noted that the synthetic type requires less maintenance and is easier to install. When it comes to low-sloped and flat roofs, the ethylene-propylene-diene-monomer (EPDM) roofing is the leading choice for its seamless application.

“Shingle manufacturers guarantee their products against material defects for decades,” he said. “But these warranties are only as good as the installer. The contractor has to apply the shingles correctly to sustain the highest potential warranty.”

Along with manufacturer warranties, contractors also can provide warranties.

“These warranties cover their workmanship,” he said. “Our company promises excellent warranties on our work. If there is a problem, we fix it fast.”

Bachman said his company has been in business for more than 40 years.

“We just moved back to Wernersville, and when we built our new office building we decided to add something special for our customers: a roof complete with more than 40 shingle colors and styles,” he said. “In our main building, we built a large showroom, filled with samples of our favorite products. We also recycle 90 percent of old shingle materials and other old materials.”

Another roofing option is offered by ALL Metal Roofing Specialists, a family-owned and operated business in Tulpehocken Township.

Lisa Drebushenko, president, said that while her company’s warehouse and showroom is located locally, they install metal roofing in all of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

“Metal roofing has been around a long time,” Drebushenko said. “At one time, most houses had ‘tin’ roofs on them but then came the shingle era. Shingles were inexpensive and easy to put on, and metal became a thing of the past or for the wealthy.”

Commercial and agricultural markets continued to use metal, but the residential market had largely abandoned it.

“In the last 15 years due to the increased cost of shingles (a result of rising oil costs) and also the recycling issues with shingles, metal has gained popularity again in the residential market,” she said. “It is still more expensive to have a metal roof put on, but there are benefits. If the looks of a vertical metal roof put some people off, there are metal roofs that look exactly like shingles.”

There are a variety of metal roofing solutions, Drebushenko explained.

The first is the screw-down metal roof.

“This type of metal is manufactured in vertical sheets,” she said. “It is light gauge and wide (with 3-foot coverage) so it is easy to apply. These panels are face-screwed, meaning the fasteners are exposed. It is offered in a variety of colors.”

Drebushenko said that the warranties on painted metal products are against chalk and fade on the paint systems themselves and usually are for 45 years.

“It is painted, so paint does eventually fade, but I would guess that you will get 30 years before they really start to fade,” she said.

The cost is approximately $3.80 per square foot installed, depending on the pitch and complexity of the roof. Snowguards are recommended if you have gutters or landscaping, as snow does come off this type of roof quickly and in one sheet.

Another type of metal roof is standing-seam metal roofing.

While this type of roofing is also manufactured in vertical sheets, the panels are typically run in a heavier gauge that the 3-foot wide panel, Drebushenko said.

“It is a concealed fastening system, so there are no exposed fasteners on the panels, and the width ranges from 12 to 20 inches, with 16 inches being the most popular,” she said, adding that it is seen on a lot of commercial buildings, such as banks, shopping malls and restaurants. “This is what the old style ‘tin roofs’ typically looked like.”

Because it is heavier and more labor-intensive, Drebushenko said it is substantially more expensive, costing between $7.50 and $8.50 per square foot installed, depending again on the pitch and complexity of the roof.

“This roof is most likely a lifetime roof,” she said.

Another type of metal roof that has become very popular is one with metal shingles or tile panels, especially stone coated shingles.

“Stone-coated metal has a ‘true warranty,'” she said. “It is not painted. It is a simulated stone coating, so it does fade, and it has a hail warranty that can even be sold with the house.”

Drebushenko said the biggest draw to this type of metal roof is that it looks like shingles, so it can fit in to a neighborhood without standing out. There are also panels that look like clay tiles or shake roofs.

“Stone-coated metal has been around a long time but has just gained popularity on the East Coast in the last 10 or 15 years,” she said. “Cost is approximately one-and-a-half times more expensive than regular shingles, but it is well-worth it at $6 to $6.50 per square foot installed.”

Edco/Arrowline Slate/Shake is another type of metal roofing.

Drebushenko said that these panels are painted, but they look like slate or shake panels.

“These have a 50-year warranty and are very pretty,” she said. “They are a bit more labor-intensive due to the way they are applied, but they are well worth the cost for that type of look.”

These panels are in the same range as standing seam for an installed price, she said.

Drebushenko noted that some other benefits of metal roofing solutions include the fact that snow quickly slides off of it so it resists ice damming; it is recyclable; there are lots of color options; it can be put on low-slope roofs; the metal doesn’t burn; and it is lightweight.

“Though metal roofing solutions are more expensive than shingles, you have to consider that a roof protects your most important assets,” she said. “Do not always look for the cheapest option, because in this case you might be getting what you pay for.”

Drebushenko said to always ask for references, insurance and license information.

“It always amazes me that people are willing to spend $30,000 on a car, but when quoted $15,000 for a roof, they almost fall over,” she said. “We offer full financing up to $35,000, for those that qualify, at good interest rates.”

Contact Sue Wilson: [email protected].