The company I bought my steel roof from told me that if there is
sheathing on the roof, then it needs felt. The felt is needed to
prevent any condensation causing any problems. If you do it *barn*
style with no sheathing, then no felt is needed since it will have
adequate ventilation. (that would be one hell of a pain in the ass if
it was needed!)
I think I'll probably end up doing my barn roof with it, then shingles
with the best warranty I can get - it gets some serious wind up the top
there, even when it's calm down below (it's around 40' to the ridge
line). Yes, it'll be a pain in the butt, but no worse than doing the
I wouldn't spend more for a warranty. Better shingles (if you can
determine "better") certainly, but IMO shingle warranties are
worthless. They only cover the value of the product, which is minor
compared to labor.
Yeah, I'm not certain what current thinking is there. I see 25 year
warranties, 30, 50, and 'lifetime' - but often the 'lifetime' ones seem
to be for shingles that can tolerate a much lower maximum wind speed (and
they really do quote that as max speed, not "warranty up to x mph, but we
expect they'll handle much more").
I get the impression that the current "sweet spot" is probably 30yr
shingles with a high wind speed rating (120mph or so) - they're a
reasonable price, reasonable lifespan, but should take a few exceptional
Well, ours is a big ol' barrel-top one; it curves, but does have an apex
to it right at the top. I'm not sure what the options are there - I've
seen plenty of steel on ones with a peaked roof, or ones with a semi-
circular roof, but I'm not sure I could get something off-the-shelf
that'd fit ours (at least the corrugated steel panels, anyway; flat would
curve to fit well enough, but wouldn't be as strong).
Other thing I don't like about steel is that I see so many with huge
rusty streaks and patches on them; maybe the steel's better these days,
but I think I'd rather see a few curling shingles than rust in 30 years
My steel roof came with a 50 year guarantee on the PAINT! I think it
will outlast me. (not sure if that's good or bad?) The one thing we
did is measured and drilled all the steel on the ground. It looks great
with all the screw heads in line. I've seen ones with screws all over
and it looks like crap.
There isn't much to rust anyway. The steel roof comes in sections as
long as your roof. (unless you buy it at lows or the depot). A steel
ridge vent and what can rust besides the screw holes? And if that
happened I'd go and replace that screw. It also bends a good deal.
Talk direct to some steel roof companies to see if a single sheet will
bend enough for your roof. By the way, I love the look of those barns
on the inside. Looks like the hull of an upside down ship.
Hmm, if it really did 50 years, that would be very good. Ours was built
in 1950 (at least that's the date that the builders left engraved in the
slab) and I think it's only had the shingles replaced once. The ones on
there at the moment are around 15 years past end of life :-) (there's no
working farm here any more, so the barn sits in the back yard as a home
to the local pigeons)
That's a good idea. Plus the less time I spend on the roof the better (I
really hate being up ladders)
Ours is a really short-ass barn; only maybe 40 feet from end to end. The
back wall's different to the others, and I recently found out that it was
supposed to be twice as long - but for whatever reason they never built
the other half, and just 'finished' the back wall with whatever they had
on site. Even so, 40' of steel sounds like it might be interesting to get
on (particularly 40' above ground level!)
The old ones I see have huge patches on them too - maybe the old steel
just wasn't of as good quality as modern stuff, and after x years it's
starting to fail (the streaks are probably down to the fixings rather
than the sheets, I suspect)
Yeah, I will! I really prefer the look of shingles I think, but if modern
steel can work and the cost and lifetime is reasonable then maybe I will
end up going for that.
:-) I always think of it like some huge beast's rib cage. Even from the
hayloft it's about 30 feet up to the roofline. Part of me wants to
eventually insulate it - but part of me doesn't want to cover up those
Sorry, I worded that poorly. The steel roof goes on vertically from the
bottom of the roof up to the peak with one sheet, I think less than 24"
wide. Each sheet overlaps sideways about 1.5". Length of barn decides
how many sheets you need, not how long they are. And yes, even with the
ridges that direction, it still bends a lot. I would imagine the steel
roof company could make the ridges smaller so it bends even more... but
I'm just guessing. The only part of the steel that is not painted is
the top and bottom edges where they cut it off the roll.
Big improvements in paint on new roofs. Were the old ones painted? I'm
guessing there were not?
Down here in TN the steel roofs are very popular. I like the look of
them. They look great even on houses. One local barn is painted with
what looks like black whitewash, (blackwash?). And a white steel roof
looks great on it! I had a pic but can't find it now.
Yes I completely understand, it's like a work of art.
Google for pictures of old northern European/Nordic country barns. The
roofs look even more like upside down ships, because that is what the
carpenters who built them mostly did when they were not building barns.
You build what you know. Same principles apply- you want the wind to
flow over the barn as smoothly as possible, just like you want the ship
to fight the water as little as possible. And the same structure that
lets you beach a ship without wrecking it, is also pretty good at
handling snow loads.
I have never seen any shingle roof put on without felt. I never
questioned it, it's added protection for little money.
As far as the metal roof, I have no idea if it's needed or not. In
fact I have asked that same question. Now, I have put metal on barn
roofs, but there is no plywood under it. The metal just goes over
2x4's spaced about 20" on center apart. You couldn't put felt on that
style of roof. Of course thats a barn. If I was to put that same
metal on my house, I'd use the felt just for added protection and to
help deaden the sound from rain and hail.
I would like to know if it is required when putting metal over plywood
or any solid wood roof?????
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