The Right Roof Can Pay You Back

June 18, 2017 | Filed under: Newsletter Articles

the right roof can pay you back

We hope that this finds you well and off to a fun start with your summer plans. We have been focusing this year on articles about the ways a roof impacts your home’s value and performance. For June, we are zeroing in on the ways in which a roof can pay you back over time. Wouldn’t we all love to see our roof investment pay for itself?

There’s an old saying that we think is very applicable when searching for a roof:

“Only the very rich can afford to buy cheap.”

What this means is that most of us have to make very careful decisions that will provide a good return on our investments. We have to buy products that will last and be beneficial, freeing us from future repair and replacement expenses. The very rich, on the other hand, are able to lead lifestyles based upon disposable products – because they can afford to replace them again and again.

When it comes to roofing, most of us need to make roofing choices that have a long-term payback and return. That payback can come in 3 ways:

  • Increased home value
  • Freedom from ongoing maintenance and replacement costs
  • Energy efficiency

Potential buyers of your home will likely share in this desire for return on investment. This means that they, too, will place value on a roof that does these things.

So, here’s the question that we need to answer: Can the right roof pay for itself over time? The answer is that yes, it can. Let’s take a look at the important factors in this equation.

Increased Home Value...

1. Increased Home Value

Home improvement industry researchers estimate that a quality roof will immediately add close to 70% of its cost to the home’s value. Studies that have looked at higher-end roofs have rated those even higher in payback than a standard roof. While we’d love to stand firm on these claims, we have found that the interaction between roof cost/quality and home value is quite a bit more complicated than that.

All real estate markets are different. And, as most folks who have bought or sold a house know, two things are required to complete that transaction – a willing seller and a willing buyer. The two of those may end up “dancing” a great deal to end up at an agreed-upon price. To a large degree, the value of your home’s roof will be determined by the buyer of the home. If you have a roof that they want and appreciate, then it will increase how much they are willing to pay for the home. On the other hand, if your home’s roof looks ordinary or in need of replacement, it will reduce what they are willing to pay for the home.

Along the lines of home value and roof aesthetics, though, we advise going one step further. Drive through a few neighborhoods of higher value homes and you will quickly see that many of those homes have more distinctive roofs. Depending upon your geographic area, you will see the following roofs: Slate, Wood Shakes, Tile, Metal, Dimensional Shingles, Composite Materials. The fact is, these types of roofs hallmark nice homes, and even become essential if a home is going to be able to command an above-market price.

Particularly with today’s metal roofs that look like slateshake, and tile, a metal roof can be a great way to enhance your home immediately through increased beauty and value as well as the “high end” implication of an upscale, higher value home.


2. Freedom From Ongoing Maintenance and Replacement Costs

No one likes having to repair or replace their roof. Roofing costs, regardless of the product being installed, seem to double about every 12 – 15 years. That number is being driven by the ever-escalating cost of skilled labor.

In thinking about roof maintenance, it’s important to keep in mind that most “temporary” or “disposable” roofs have 2 lives. Both lives are fairly short but those 2 lives are a Functional Life and an Aesthetic Life. According to national studies, the Functional Life of most roofs is about 17 years. However, the Aesthetic Life is closer to 5 – 7 years before the shingles have streaked and stained and the weather has taken a toll to where they look like an “old roof.” Once they hit that point, even though the roof may continue to protect against the weather, the perception is that it is on its “last leg” and it begins to detract from the home’s overall appeal and value.

There is a funny thing about roofs – anyone who buys a home suddenly becomes a roofing expert. If the roof on the home they are considering shows any age at all such as cracks, splits, moss, or algae growth, the prospective buyer looks up at the roof and insists for a discount on the home’s selling price because they are going to have to replace the roof before long. And, to a large degree, they are correct in doing that.

The conclusion of this is that, to add to a home’s value over the long term, a roof needs to not only be durable and long-lasting but it also needs to maintain a “just new” look that enhances the home. Metal roofs fit that bill very well.

Energy Efficiency...

3. Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is another important aspect that will attract a prospective home buyer. Homes that are more energy efficient tend to sell faster than homes that are less efficient, and this can result in higher selling prices. Many homeowners also like roofs that can easily have solar added to them at a later time.

There are primarily 3 ways in which a roof can be energy efficient. Those are: increasing the attic ventilation along with the new roof, moving to a lighter color or more reflective roof, and adding a thermal break to minimize heat transfer through the roof system.

Increasing Attic Ventilation
Re-roofing is the perfect time to address your home’s attic ventilation. Recent research by our nation’s leading energy laboratories has focused increasingly on ventilation. It has been proven to be a more effective way to decrease attic temperatures and therefore lower cooling costs than even reflective roofing. When re-roofing your home, make sure that the soffit intake vents are clear of insulation and functioning. Also make sure that, in terms of air flow, they can support maximum exhaust vents in or near the peak of the roof.

Reflectivity, however, is still important and is an area where metal roofs clearly out-perform other roofing materials. The use of metal roofs in lighter colors or in dark colors that utilize heat-reflective pigments has allowed many metal roofs to be Energy Star compliant. The choice of these products is an easy way to make a metal roof be energy efficient.

Thermal Breaks
Due to their design and installation, metal roofs can also include thermal breaks. A thermal break is basically a dead air space between two materials for the purpose of stopping conductive heat transfer (also known as “thermal bridging”). Thermal breaks are used in double and triple pane windows to stop heat transfer. With a metal roof, the thermal break can be between the metal itself and the roof deck. This is naturally achieved with many of the heavily formed shake, shingle, and tile metal roofs which keep the metal up off of the roof deck. It can also be achieved by installing the metal roof on battens that lift it up off of the roof deck.

Solar Applications Finally, the durability and design of metal roofing lends itself well to eventual solar applications, and an increasing number of homeowners care about that as well. Having a home’s roof be “solar ready” can add value to the home.

In summary...

While it is impossible to ever predict the exact amount of value that a new roof will add to a home, the benefits of a metal roof are things that are sought after by prospective home buyers. It becomes a natural conclusion, therefore, that homes with the benefits of metal roofing will sell faster and for higher value. Those benefits include:

  • Freedom from future roof expenses
  • Lasting beauty that stays “looking new”
  • Reduced utility costs through energy efficiency and eventual solar panel installation

What Type of Roof is Best for You?
There is a free online tool to help you in your search for the best roof. The Roofing Needs Profiler asks 30 easy and quick multiple-choice questions in order to help homeowners decide whether an “Entry-Level,” “Mid-Grade,” or “Investment Grade” roof is right for them and their home. Your report will then explain the suggested grade of roof in detail and help you understand the reason for its recommendation.

As always, know that we’re here to help. Our goal is to make sure that all homeowners make the right roofing decision for them and their home. That is why we’re so committed to providing education and information through our website and newsletters. Please contact us at or call us at 1-800-543-8938 whenever we can help you.