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Chicago Metal Roofing

by Jon Nunan

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While most homes in the Windy City are topped with asphalt shingles, in Chicago, metal roofing is a practical alternative to this more popular material in more ways than one. Metal roofs have been common in more rural settings for quite a while; often seen on barns and sheds built many decades ago, these older metal roofs are a far cry from those of today. Rusty, loud, and to many, not the most visually appealing option in the world, the metal roofing of yesteryear has been replaced with the efficient, durable alternative that is the modern metal roof. If you're looking for something that will be low maintenance and strong, or you simply want something a little different for your home, replacing your existing roof with a metal model might be just the ticket!

Benefits and Drawbacks of Metal Roofing in Chicago
The biggest and most obvious benefit of a Chicago metal roof is its durability over time when compared to asphalt shingles. A shingled roof can last more than 30 years in some cases, but is far more likely to last closer to 20, especially with the harsh winter weather you get in Chicago. Metal roofing, on the other hand, has been known to last 50 or 60 years (or even more in some cases) and often carries a warranty for 30 or 40 years. Over its lifespan, an asphalt roof in the Chicago area will probably need more repairs than would a metal roof, as well!

Metal roofing is extremely lightweight. In fact, it is so light that it can often be installed directly on top of an existing roof without having to install any type of reinforcing structure. Though metal roofs are notorious for being loud when it rains, this kind of installation leaves a pretty significant sound barrier. If your Chicago metal roofing is to be installed on its own, you will probably need to add some extra insulation to block noise, though, in Chi-town, extra insulation is something that most homeowners wouldn't mind, anyway.

There are a few things to consider, however, before choosing metal over asphalt as your roofing material. For one thing, metal roofing is far less common than asphalt. Though this isn't a horrible thing in itself, finding a contractor in Chicago that is well-versed in installing and repairing metal roofs could be a bit more difficult than finding a roofer who knows all there is about asphalt shingles. Metal is more expensive than asphalt, though most people who opt for it do so for the savings over the long haul. Metal roofs are, once again, less prone to damage than asphalt, but can be susceptible to hail impact. If damage does occur, they can also be a pretty slippery surface to work on; make sure that any company you hire to do repairs on a metal roof has plenty of prior experience.

Prices of Chicago Metal Roofing
To install metal roofing, Chicago residents should be prepared for a bill that is significantly higher than asphalt roofing, but less than slate or tile. Metal roofing can be installed in several different ways. Paneled metal roofs are generally less expensive than putting up metal shingles, but the shingles provide a textured surface that is easier to walk on, and are often more resistant to hail damage.

Prices for metal roofs range from $200 to $500 per square (a square is 100 square feet, or a 10 foot by 10 foot area), depending on the style you choose and the company you pick to do the work. Asphalt, on the other hand, often runs between $50 and $150 per square. Remember, no matter what material you decide to go with for your new roof, getting the most for your money will require asking for several estimates from a few different companies.

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.