Tips for Installing a Metal Roof

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Taking a call now from Utah. Letha is on the line. What can we do for you?

    LETHA: I have this wonderful old home that’s on the historical registry.


    TOM: Oh, congratulations.

    LETHA: It’s 107 years old and it has four layers of roofing materials. It has two of cedar shakes and then it has two that are asphalt.

    TOM: OK.

    LETHA: And I’d like to go to a metal roof. My husband and I have differing opinions on how this should be done. I want to take everything off and he thinks that you could put it over it.

    TOM: Well, you can put it over it. That’s one of the beauties of working with metal roofs. You can put it over.

    LESLIE: But four layers?

    TOM: Well, yeah. You can. I mean there’s nothing wrong with putting it over it but I kind of tend to agree with your husband that I’d rather take some of that mass off the roof with four layers.

    LESLIE: No, I think that’s Letha’s opinion?

    TOM: Oh, it’s Letha’s opinion? You want to take it off and he wants …

    LETHA: Yes, that’s my opinion.

    TOM: Yeah. I agree with you. Well then I don’t agree with you. No. (chuckling) No, I do agree with you.

    LESLIE: (chuckling) The ladies win this time.

    TOM: I would prefer to take it off but I will say that technically your husband is right.

    LETHA: So we could put it all over all those – well, I want to take it down and put decking on it.

    TOM: Oh, well that’s a whole different …

    LETHA: You know, and start over with the whole roof. Because …

    TOM: Well, now wait a minute. You don’t have to …

    LETHA: It has areas that don’t (INAUDIBLE). In the winter time it gets that snow and ice build-up (ph).

    TOM: OK, well that’s a different story. If you have areas that are sagged, that are not working right then certainly you could sheathe it and because you have a cedar shake roof you don’t have any sheathing on there. Those cedar shingles were then put on strips.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: On firring strips across that roof. So if you want to go that route that is absolutely fine.

    By the way, the underlayments on metal roofs are special so make sure you use the proper underlayments, too.

    LETHA: Is that the – what is that?

    TOM: That’s the material that goes under the metal roof. Because they do get hot there’s a special underlayment for it.

    LETHA: Oh, OK. And …

    TOM: A good website to check is They have the underlayments there for metal roofs.

    Yeah, another good website is the Metal Roofing Alliance. It’s simply It’ll give you some tips. And that metal roofing is pretty energy efficient today, by the way. It has a coating on it that helps reflect heat.

    LETHA: Alright. I’ll look those places up. I thank you for your help. I really appreciate it.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Letha. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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