Cedar Shingles & Shakes Roofing Costs, Plus Pros & Cons

$7,500 to $12,500. — That’s the low end price you can expect to pay for a Cedar Shake roof, fully installed. Which of course depends on a number of factors, so let’s get into that.

via Inspirational Village

What A Cedar Shake and Shingle Roof Entails

First, let’s differentiate between the two. Shake means split with an axe, Shingle means cut with a saw. It’s that simple.

Obviously shake came first historically. Both are used today, while shake is generally considered the premium product between the two.

Shake tends to be thicker (up to 3/4th an inch thick) than shingles (up to 1/2 inch thick). With the advent of shingle mills in the early 19th century, came the ability to mass produce the wood material, along with possibility to access it in several locations.

Besides thickness, there is also variation in shape, width, texture and eventually treatment and color. Royalty and Perfection. These terms refer to length, with Perfection referencing an 18 inch wide shingle and Royalty attributed to 24 inch wide shingles. Shape tends to be rectangular, especially as it relates to material for roofing.

As cedar shakes are also used for siding, the shape may vary, with how the butt-end (lower side) appears, as in whether it is rounded, straight or even a bit wavy. Being that these shingles are on the upper portion of the home, the need or even purpose for anything uniquely shaped is less necessary.

Did you know? That shake material of higher quality is often used for roofing, whereas cedar siding projects tend to use lower quality shakes.

The material itself is routinely synonymous with cedar shakes, though that’s not the only grain of wood used. There’s white and red cedar, along with California redwood which are the primary wood choices in North America. Outside the US, pine may be the primary choice for shake.

Color options are essentially without limit as any paint or stain can be applied, but typically a clear stain is used due to the natural beauty associated with the material. What is more common is how the wood is treated.

Chemically treated wood will last longer than if it is not treated. Often it is laced with fire retardants to overcome an inherent, albeit, natural design flaw. Or treated to prevent algae and insect infestation. Such treatments can have the material last a good 30 years, or longer.

Value and Cost Further Explored

The rustic charm of wood shake is arguably its most alluring value. While there are metallic, and stone tile products that can come close in matching it’s appearance, none really compare to the authentic beauty of natural wood.

Added thickness in the material means better insulation of the home’s uppermost layer. But the real value is in how it holds up to wind. Asphalt shingles top out at 130 mph for wind uplift resistance, whereas cedar shakes can withstand speeds up to 245 mph. It is also impact resistant, or more so than most other materials with exception of stone.

While the product isn’t requiring special tools or skills to install, it can be labor intensive due to the multi-layering, general thickness and moderate heaviness of the material. For a 1200 sq. ft. roof (which is equal to a small home), the total installation cost averages $7,500 to $12,500.

If using premium materials, or a licensed and insured contractor, or having a complex roof with multiple slope angles, then the price goes up. Unless the home is unusually large, you can expect to not exceed $20,000 for a cedar shake roof, but a fair average is $7,500 to $12,500.

via ASCH Roofing

By the square, which equals 100 sq. ft. the price for wood shingles installed is $400 to $700 or $4.00 to $7.00 per sq. ft. of wood shingles installed.

If going with cedar shakes instead, the price rises up to $600 to $900 per square or $6.00 to 9.00 per sq. ft. installed.

If going with bargain priced material, the costs can come significantly down, but the value or how long it lasts will also go down.

Home Depot sells bundles at about $50, where 4 bundles are enough to cover a square, thus $200. — This doesn’t take into account the other materials that go into a roofing job, such as fasteners, underlayment, etc. but does let you know that if you go the DIY route, costs could be cut nearly in half.

A roof in general will see a recoup value of 70%, though that is based on the popular asphalt shingle. It goes up from there, and given that cedar shake has allure and better than average durability, it is likely closer to 75% or even 80% ROI.

This assumes they are in good condition, and that they are well maintained. Which brings us to the significant drawback.

If not paying for premium, read as treated, material then the product will probably last 20 years, or less if in area with heavy precipitation or much moisture. If properly cared for, and inspected annually, a cedar shake roof could last as long as 50 or even 60 years.

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TPO Roof Cost and Pros & Cons of TPO Membrane Roofs

Say it with me: Thermoplastic polyolefin. Yes, TPO is much easier. According to Firestone Building Products’ white paper, TPO is technically a polypropylene based plastic combined with ethylene/propylene rubber.

So plastic and rubber, mixed together basically. Much of the information online boasts how TPO is increasingly popular in commercial roofing. Thing is, we aren’t concerned with commercial buildings, and instead focus on the options available, along with the costs, for adding this material to a residential roof.

Understanding TPO Roof Options

Like all synthetic roofing options, no two companies produce the same formula of TPO. Instead, they alter it just enough to create their own brand. All of it results in a membrane material, between 40 and 100 millimeters thick, which is attached to a roof deck.

TPO is known as a single-ply application, meaning one sheet is sufficient to achieve the benefits (see Advantages below). It competes each year directly with EPDM and PVC, which are similar in application with some of the same benefits, but each have their own unique advantages.

TPO is purchased in rolls that are generally 6 to 12 feet wide, and vary in millimeter depth. The typical thickness is in range of 45 to 65 mm, yet is really a builder’s preference that determines the needs for a particular project. Sheets are rolled out, and cut to fit a roof, based on the deck’s dimensions and any objects penetrating the roof structure. The material is attached in one of three ways:

  1. mechanically – nailed or screwed into the deck
  2. fully-adhered – glued
  3. ballasted – after the entire material is spread out, river rocks or ballasts are strategically situated to hold it in place

More often than not, TPO is applied to flat roofs, but not always. Any sloped roof can handle the material. Costs are likely to increase though if applied to a sloped roof.

TPO manufacturers boast the resulting roof will be monolithic, or without noticeable seams. This is wonderful for waterproofing the upper most layer of a home. To achieve this seamless look among various sheets, the actual seams are heat welded together, which is possible given the type of plastic TPO is made of. PVC is another material that is welded at the seams, but with TPO the material is naturally flexible.

All roofs need to allow for movement, either from weather / temperature changes or impact by humans walking on it. PVC uses additives to its base material to promote flexibility, while TPO is naturally flexible.

Color options include white, light gray and black reflectivity. It used to be that only white was thought to reflect UV rays, but the material in synthetic roofs (namely a laminated top) can achieve this reflective option.

Cost and Value

The main thing with effectively estimating the price to install a TPO roof is finding a qualified professional who can do the job. Mechanically attaching the material, or even gluing (fully-adhering the membrane to deck), is something most roofers can probably do.

via Atlanta Roofing Specialists

Effectively hot air welding the seams takes care, skill and experience. If this part of the job is done ineffectively, the results (think leaks) will not make the overall value worthwhile.

In our research, RoofingCalc.com lists residential TPO roofing costs at $5.00 to $7.00 per sq. ft. for materials and installation (2017 information), however some commercial contractors will install it for as low as $3.00 to $4.00 per sq. ft., but only on very large commercial flat roofs.

A word of caution needs to be noted. This is touched upon in our Disadvantages below, but needs special mention.

Back in 2010, the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association issued an advisory against TPO, which obviously impacted the market. Some of the TPO manufacturers responded to this advisory by noting that no two TPO materials are the same, meaning some brands avoid the problem stated in the advisory.

Our take is that TPO is constantly undergoing changes in formula and that is likely a good thing.

The industry is well aware of the perceived problem, yet the flip side is that the material doesn’t necessarily have a proven track record. If looking to go with this material, you are best to stick to companies who’ve been in it since the beginning (read as before the year 2000), to ensure the warranty will stand up.

Usually warranties for TPO roofs are a minimum of 10 years, and as much as 25 years. The material itself ought to last much longer, so installation is the ongoing issue and how seaming is handled.

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Corrugated & Ribbed Metal Roofing Cost, Pros & Cons

Corrugated metal roofing offers the original style of corrugated (iron) steel roofs. At an average cost of $4.00 to $5.00 per square foot installed, corrugated metal is priced similarly to asphalt, and yet it’s far more durable, energy efficient, and with proper maintenance can last far longer than asphalt shingles.

What Exactly Is Corrugated Metal Paneling?

via Alternative Building Blog

Sheet metal coil, typically galvanized steel or aluminum, gets fed into a roll-forming machine that shapes the metal sheet into the curvy U-shaped, wavy pattern — the primary variation for corrugated metal roof and wall panels.

Metal Corrugation Roll Forming. Source: Corrugated-Metals.com

Corrugation gives metal panels considerable structural strength, which makes it possible to use these otherwise thin sheet metal panels for building envelope applications, such as roofing and cladding. Check out the video below to see how it’s made:

Old School Corrugated Steel Panels

During the height of the Industrial Age, steel became relatively cheap and abundant. Metal was viewed as the kind of material that offers an economically-viable way to cover large agricultural and industrial buildings. Back then, the corrugated steel panels were often non-coated, but that was not a problem, since there were plenty of spare steel roof and wall panels to replace any corroded ones.

As steel corrodes, it develops visible rust. When the old steel panels would get too unsightly, or worse develop holes resulting leaks, they would get replaced with the shiny new pieces.

Today, corrugated metal panels are often chosen because of their old school appearance and relatively low cost.

Most modern corrugated steel panels are normally coated with a metallic (zinc) finish to prevent oxidation and corrosion, and thus made to last for decades.

G-60 vs. G-90 Galvanized Steel Panels and their Paint Finishes

Steel panel coating process is referred to as galvanizing. There are two types of galvanized steel panels; G-60 and G-90 steel panels. G-60 refers to low-end, lower quality, and low cost galvanized steel, while G-90 is a higher-end, longer lasting grade of galvanized steel.

G-90 steel panels are also normally finished with a higher-end paint finish such as Kynar 500 as opposed to the cheaper acrylic paints normally used for the low-end G-60 steel panels.

Note: G-90 steel panels finished with Kynar 500 paint can be used in residential applications, while G-60 panels should only be used for sheds, garages, and low-end agricultural or industrial applications.

Corrugated Metal Panels vs. Crimped or Ribbed Metal Roofs

Corrugated metal panels are not the same as crimped or ribbed metal panel. Corrugated metal refers strictly to the U-shaped, or sometimes V-shaped panel sheets.

The rustic appearance of corrugated metal panels hearkens to the simpler time, or way of life. But, the main benefits of corrugate metal panels are their cost effectiveness, durability, and a wide range of available colors and paint finishes.

Installation and Options

Corrugated panels tend to be 2 or 3 feet wide and come in varying lengths. When covering a roof, panels overlap along their curved line. They are then fastened together with metal screws that penetrate not just the two panels, but into the roofing deck.

Obviously, the metal panels themselves will shed water given the slope of the roof and the fact that metal is not a porous material. Yet, with the overlap, a seam is formed and to prevent linking in that tiny gap, caulk is used.

Covering the entire roof with corrugated metal panels can go rather quickly, once the installer has the necessary experience and help from others.

Thus, corrugated metal roofing can be a fairly simple DIY project when covering a small shed or garage, as explained in this guide from DoItYourself.com.

However, the process can be a bit grueling for the less experienced and would benefit from professional installation, like all roofing projects. And since the cost is not too high, it would be best to go with the insured and certified professionals, providing warranties on their products and workmanship.

When it comes to options, it’s really about the actual material, the thickness and the color options. Steel is still the primary material option.

In today’s world it is routinely coated or labeled as galvanized steel. Sometimes, you’ll see it as Galvalume steel (zinc and aluminum metallic finish). — Both of these coating option offer a layer of protection that will take a decade or two to sacrifice themselves before the steel is exposed. Thus, rusting is no longer a problem for at least 20 years from the time the roof is installed.

Aluminum is another metal option for corrugated panels. The costs are virtually the same as (coated) steel. Stainless steel (which is an alloy of steel and chromium) is also an option, but stainless steel is more expensive.

Stainless steel corrugated panels are highly corrosive resistant and will provide a more shiny appearance than normal steel products.

Typically, the products are sold in a 26 or 29 gauge. The smaller the gauge number, the thicker the material. And the thicker the material, the more durable it is. Though thickness does add a little more to the labor intensity, and hence cost.

Note: You should aim for a minimum of 26 gauge steel when evaluating residential steel roofing options.

Color options are virtually unlimited. This references the painted finish. The DIY approach to painting such panels is there, but is likely way more expensive than a factory finish.

The factory process feeds metal panels through the metal mill and coats it evenly in short order. Using superior paint pigments, it also shields the product with yet another layer of supreme protection.

If going with a professional contractor, they’ll probably have brochures of color lines that they carry (usually 10 to 40 options). Customized color options are available, but usually at a premium cost, as they aren’t massively produced.

Your local home improvement store, like Lowe’s, probably carries such panels. These will be inexpensive, though size and for sure color options will be limited.

Keep In Mind that corrugated metal panels aren’t just for roofs. Chances are good that your roofer will have left over some material (unless otherwise noted in the contract or specifically discussed) that you might find use for as siding in an exterior shed, or even in interior projects. Take a gander at the picture below for some ideas on how the panels can be used indoors.

via Bridger Steel

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