The Log Homes Info

News and information about log homes and log cabins.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Metal roofing for log homes

In The News-Gazette online, Kirby Pringle wrote that metal starts to outshine conventional roofing materials. The number of people in US who have chosen metal roofing over has doubled from 1998 to 2003. Metal roof is increasing its popularity and the trend is moving from South towards North.

Article points out that the reason for change could be the disappointment that people are having with conventional roofing materials and that metal roofing systems have evolved to be better. Commercial buildings already rely heavily on metal roofing but homeowners are still bit deterred by the high price tag.

Article concludes that a project done with asphalt shingles could cost about 5,000 dollars but the same project with metal roofing could take 10,000 dollars. That is a big difference and therefore metal roofing is essentially chosen to the projects, which need very long durability. What metal roofing loses in initial price, it gains over time because it doesn’t require servicing, saves money on heating and cooling, resists strong winds and hails and finally are 100% recyclable.

I think that this article is a good opportunity for me to introduce you a Finnish company called Ruukki that specializes in value added steel products like roofing systems, façade systems and interior systems with their Rannila brand.

I used to live quite close to Rannila’s Vimpeli headquarters as a child and it sure was a huge factory complex that they had and still have for that matter. Maybe it was because we lived so close to the Vimpeli works that my builder father always relied on Rannila.

Three times I have done roofing from start to finish and I always used Rannila’s roofing systems. They are very flexible, durable, light, fireproof, recyclable and fast to install and you can order a roofing system that is specifically manufactured to fit your roof measurements. They are excellent for green field projects, but bit pricey for short term (10-20 years) project.

If I compare steel sheets to normal tile or asphalt shingles roofing systems, I would say that tiles and steel come up quite even, but shingles just can’t compete with durability and because of this fact, asphalt shingles become more expensive in the long run. Tile roofs could be overall winners as they are relatively cheap and, if serviced correctly, very durable.

My personal favorites are those steel sheets that have been pressed to have waves and therefore look like tiles. It pretty much fools everybody who hasn’t seen tile sheets before. Durability of these tile sheets is very good also they easily handle heavy snow loads and allow you to walk on the roof without fear of denting the waves. Installation is a snap and can be done with moderate building experience. Only problem is the high price of steel.

Beside traditional steel sheets, they also have solutions for combined roofing and solar energy systems. This is a great combination that quickly earns the initial investment, not only it provides durable roofing, but it also cuts down your energy bill.

Based on the article in the beginning, I would say that as steel roofing systems gain momentum, there are plenty of chances for enterprising importer/dealer of Ruukki’s Rannila roofing systems. They don’t have operations in the US yet, so you just might have a wonderful opportunity at hand – to introduce superior roofing systems to the US market and gain very sizeable market share of the fast growing steel roofing business. You can find the export manager’s contact information on the website and I am also happy to assist, if you have any questions etc.

Oh, yes, if someone was wondering what this has to do with log homes... Log homes last for very long time and need quite a lot of maintenance. Steel or any other metal roof can significantly ease the required tasks and at the same time provide better protection against elements (fire, water, wind, ice damns). Unlike its image, metal is actually very light roofing material and therefore doesn’t cause extra settling, like heavy tiles could cause.


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