What kind of shed roof is best?
You may assume that all you really need to decide is between shingles and metal. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple.
Some metal shed roofs are high quality.
Before you read on, make sure that you have read Metal Roofing PROS and CONS, which gives you a basic thumbs-up and thumbs-down of metal roofing.
But now, we’ll dig in a little deeper and try to understand what actually makes a good metal roof.
Finding a Quality Metal Shed Roof
Most people think that a metal roof is a metal roof.
It’s not true.
Like pretty much everything, you can get different qualities of metal roofing. “All right,” you say, “then tell me how to tell the difference.” Well….
You can always ask a sales rep, “Do you have a quality metal roof?” It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask this, but frankly, everyone has a convincing story about how good their product is. Let’s look, instead, at some metal shed roof characteristics.
The 3 Top Differences Between Quality and Cheap Metal Shed Roofs
- Thickness. Metal is measured by “gauge.” Oddly, the lower the number, the thicker the metal. So 29-gauge metal is thicker than 32-gauge. Byler uses a 29-gauge, which is standard for sheds. Let’s dive in just a little deeper. I talked to our supplier, Marco Metals of Harrisonburg. Owner Mark Smucker points out that not all 29-guage metals are the same–some are thicker, some are thinner. You can’t tell unless you take a micrometer (a machinist’s measuring instrument) to them. Most people aren’t going to do that. So in a lot of ways, as the buyer your best assurance of quality is the reputation of your shed builder. More on that in a bit.
- Paint. The quality of the metal is no better than the quality of the paint system. If the paint goes bad, it gets chalky and fades, or it cracks and leave exposed metal underneath. So you’re looking at a new shed, and thinking maybe you’ll buy it. How can you tell if it’s got good paint? As Mark Smucker points out, the problem is that any metal roof will look good when it rolls out of the shop. And you can’t tell in a year or two if it’s going to get chalky or fade. But with a poor quality roof, in 10 years it won’t look good. Unfortunately, there’s no very good way of telling the quality up front, just by looking or asking.
- Warranty. It’s always worthwhile to ask the length of the warranty. But as Mark says, “A lot of barn shops will use cheap materials, but then cover them with a good warranty. There are a lot of guys selling a 10-year or a 20-year product with a 40-year warranty. But they may not be around in 20 years to cover it.” He points out that getting honest answers from metal shops is not always easy.
Honestly, this is not the way we like to leave our blog posts. What we are telling you is that it is difficult to know the quality of metal just by looking at it. Or even by asking questions of your sales representative. Thickness is essential for strength, but not all 29-guage metals are the same thickness. Paint is important for looks and longevity, but you can’t tell how good your paint is until it’s had years of sun in your backyard. Warranties are important, but you may get a good warranty on a poor product.
How can you tell? You can research each shed builder’s metal for these top 3 differences. A less scientific, but generally accurate way, is this simple rule of thumb…..
The metal is as good as your shed builder’s reputation.
You will need to find a shed builder who you has earned your confidence, someone who cares about really putting out quality buildings. If they are truly proud of their product, they’ll find and use materials that will last.
Down the road, if you have problems with your roof, who’s the first person you will be contacting? Who will take care of warranty work for you? The shed company you bought from. That’s why we say, The metal is as good as your shed builder.
Will it cost more? Sure. At least for now. But remember, cheap stuff is only cheap until you have to replace it.
What quality are the Byler Barns metal shed roofs?
Of course, by now you are wanting to know what the quality is of our metal roofs. Here’s our secret: We buy metal the way you buy sheds: It’s based on the seller’s reputation. We know Marco Metals, and know that they have a great reputation and a great product. They are a local company here in Harrisonburg, and supply high-quality roofing companies in the area.
I asked Mark if they ever have warranty claims. He was up front–it’s rare, but occasionally someone will put in a claim. Marco Metals will work with them to process the claim. It’s very rare, but occasionally a roof really does warrant replacement.
In summary, we have a great warranty. We’ve stood behind our sheds for over 40 years. We don’t like warranty claims any better than you do, so we do our best to get you the best shed that can be built. And that means building with quality that’s through the roof.