What Makes the Roof: Installation

August 29, 2021 | Filed under: Buying a New Roof,Consumer Education,Newsletter Articles,Research


If you decide on a metal roof for your home, what do you think matters most? Of course, the material, color, and style all make a difference, but the installation will make or break a roof. 

“I’d rather have a well-installed roof with mediocre materials than a poorly-installed roof with great materials.” 

– Todd Miller, President of Classic Metal Roofing Systems

Labor makes up most of the cost of a new roof, too, around sixty percent, so how do you get your money’s worth?

An excellent installation starts and ends with the contractor, so your first priority after choosing a roofing product is to find a qualified, professional metal roofing contractor with trained installation crews. Why?

You might normally skip over installation, and with an asphalt roof lasting 15-20 years, you can. Asphalt is easy to put on in a day or two. Metal requires more skill and time to install, and methods vary between companies and individual installers, so it pays to dig deeper and discuss specifics. Years of metal roofing experience make a capable contractor who creates beautiful roofs.

Ask Roofing Contractors Good Questions

Your pick should answer your questions about their business, experience, and installation practices in a way that gives you confidence in your choice.  Here are 2 questions to begin your research:

How do they treat pipes and skylights? 

How do they plan on venting your roof? 

Download 44 more questions to help you interview a roofing contractor

Narrow Your Choice of Roofing Contractors

As with any project, doing your homework saves you money and hassle:

  • Read online reviews, browse social media, check out their website, and visit past jobs. Of course, you know that reviews can be biased and social media presents a narrow view.
  • Driving by completed jobs makes a difference.
  • Getting advice from past customers is the best source. 

Metal Roof Manufacturers’ Installation Guidelines

When you ask questions about installation, bring up the manufacturer. Ask if the contractor follows the manufacturer’s recommended installation methods. These are developed from years of experience and testing to find the best results for you and your home, and you shouldn’t ignore them to make things cheaper or easier. 

Your manufacturer will specify the lowest acceptable pitch for installation, the best fasteners, the right sealant, and more. These all come from rigorous testing and experience. Manufacturers create guidelines based on years of experience, research, and thought, protecting all parties involved from disappointment and frustration. Good guidelines consider different roofs, weather conditions, and tools to deliver the best outcome.

Unfortunately, many homeowners and contractors deviate from these guidelines to fit their homes and budgets. 

Issues arise when homeowners and contractors decide to cut corners. They install on low pitches, use too much sealant, and spray paint over scratches rather than doing a high-quality job. Avoid contractors that suggest similar ideas. 

A good roofing contractor will be familiar with the best installation practices and guidelines for all the roofing systems they offer. But don’t assume their experience with the roof product you chose. They may install it rarely or may not have installed it before. Ask.

Hire an Expert Professional Roofing Contractor

No one expects you to be an expert on your roof, but your contractor should be. The more work you put into qualifying your contractor, the better prepared you are to make a wise roofing decision.

More questions about how to get the right roof and contractor for your home? Ask Todd Miller.

We can help connect you to our experienced, nationwide network of Dealers and professional metal roofing contractors. Just ask.