Homeowners designing new roof installation or opting for roof replacement are often curious about metal roofing. Metal offers substantial performance and durability benefits and usually comes with a higher price tag. You’ve also got to think about dimensions. How wide is metal roofing supposed to be? What else needs consideration? Let’s deep dive into what you need to know.
Every year, more and more property owners choose metal roofing. Several years ago, having a metal roof was a way to stand out in the neighborhood. The lack of metal roofs was one of the main reasons people avoided them. They didn’t want to make that much of a statement.
Now, though, metal roofs are increasingly popular. People love them because they look modern and last practically forever.
When most people talk about having or installing a metal roof, they’re either talking about metal roof shingles or a standing seam metal roof. However, there are other types of metal roofing, specifically for things like agricultural buildings or large manufacturing facilities.
However, we will focus on metal roofing options for residential homes and how wide metal roofing is supposed to be. Getting the width right is one of the most critical decisions for a residential metal roof because it affects installation and how the roof will perform.
We’ll walk you through what you need to know to make the best decision on your upcoming roof installation or replacement.
Why Metal Roofing Width Matters
Generally speaking, most homes with standing seam metal roofing will want panels between 12 and 18 inches wide. However, the most common panel width is 16 inches. This gives you wide enough panels to go onto your roof easily and offers fast replaceability should you need to swap them out.
Here are some things to consider:
- Using More Panels is More Complex – The more panels you use, the more chance there is for something like water or debris to get into your roof. One of the main advantages of metal roofing is fewer seams. They keep your house dry and safe better than almost any other type of roof. If you use thin panels, you’ll have to use more.
- Panel Width Is a Style Choice – In most cases, standing seam metal roofing panel width is a style choice. People like the look of certain widths, so that’s what they go for! Depending on the look you want for your home or property, you’ll have various choices regarding panel width.
- Wider Panels Are Low Maintenance – Wider panels usually require less maintenance over a roof’s lifespan. Wide panels are often seen on commercial properties because owners want to avoid fixing them as often.
- Wider Panels Will Save You Money – You’ll save money with wider panels. If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, go as wide as possible while still looking good. Wider panels are more manageable for manufacturers, and those saves come down to the consumer.
These are just some of the reasons why people choose a given panel width. In the end, a lot of it boils down to cost and design. Go with what you like and can afford.
How Wide Is Metal Roofing Supposed to Be? – Thinking About Height
People overlook height when they are shopping for metal roofing. However, the height of your panels and their accompanying seams also play a significant role in how your roof will look and function.
These standing seams, or “ribs,” can range anywhere from 1 inch to several inches high.
The ribs are where panels lock into place and remain secured on your roof. This is especially important for commercial applications because roofs are bigger and need more stability.
Rib heights influence how well your metal roof will perform in windy conditions. Strong clicks held together by ribs keep your roof in place in storms and extend the lifespan of your roof.
Standing Seam Metal Roofing Is Strong & Durable
If you do some research, you’ll discover that standing seam metal roofing panels come in many different styles. You can choose:
- Locking Mechanism
Indeed, the locking mechanism, though it won’t win you any style points, is one of the most important factors when choosing panels and panel widths. Whether you’re selecting mechanical locks, snaplocks, FWP, WAV panels, single lock, double lock, or some other type of roof mechanism, the width of your panels will determine how many fasteners you have.
The good news is that modern metal roof fasteners are strong and well-designed. However, more fasteners mean there is a higher chance that panels come apart.
For example, if you have small shingles on your roof, you’ll need more of them to cover the whole thing. As a result, you’re more likely to see a higher number of loose or missing shingles in a storm. It’s just math.
One of the best things about metal roofing is that you avoid exposed fasteners with many roof styles. Most of the fasteners mentioned are enclosed systems. So no water will get in, and a pesky squirrel won’t get to them no matter how hard they try.
Deciding on Width
People who want to know how wide metal roofing is supposed to be often waver between choosing the design they prefer and the roof installation cost.
Right now, people mostly prefer thinner panels because they enjoy the look of more seams coming down a sleek metal roof. It gives any home a custom, premium feel. However, with thinner panels comes a higher price tag. You’re paying more because you’ll need more fasteners, more panels, and more people to install your roof!
Wider panels will save you a dollar, for sure, but you may end up regretting it. More seams are in demand, and the increased cost will likely bring you a higher sale price if the time to sell comes along.
If you have the budget, go with the width you prefer. Even if your thinner panels mean more maintenance, your overall roof repair costs will be much lower over the years, and your roof will last much longer!
The average customer can expect a standing seam metal roof to last 25 years. That’s a lot longer than your normal asphalt shingle roof. You pay more now and worry less for decades. It’s up to you.
Another big consideration is warranty and insurance coverage. Metal roof warranties are great. They’re much better than your average asphalt warranty. Still, the width you choose could impact warranty coverage.
Before spending thousands of dollars on a new roof, research potential warranties. Add potential costs and protection into your long-term considerations.
How Wide Is Metal Roofing Supposed to Be? Talk to Your Installer
It’s true; there are fewer metal roof installers out there than asphalt roof installers. As a result, some people experience challenges finding qualified teams in their area.
Hiring the right contractor is, in many ways, more important than choosing your metal roofing panels. The right company will advise you and steer you in the right direction before you make a mistake. Here’s what to look for when hiring a roofing installation company.
- Read Some Online Reviews – Only talk to companies with good track records. Read about other customers’ experiences. Pay more attention to the negative reviews than the positive ones. Look for red flags like pricing disagreements, no-shows, poor work quality, etc.
- Get Multiple Bids – Even if you feel comfortable with the first company you call, always call for multiple bids. It’s the best way to get to where you need to be on price.
- Ask Them for Their Opinion – Ask them what they would do if it were their home. A good contractor will find out what’s important to you and then make honest recommendations based on your needs.
- Set Expectations – Map out as much of the project from the start as possible. Ask when they can start, how long it will take, how many people will be there, and where they will get their materials. Ask any question you may think is ridiculous.
You’re spending a lot of money on a new metal roof. It’s no time to be shy. Make sure you’re clear on what’s happening and get the best mix of quality and price.