Every residential metal roofing installation is unique. Oftentimes, even experienced metal roofing contractors run into issues on the job. Knowing when and how to work with a metal manufacturer can be the difference between a botched project and a successful installation. Here are our best tips for working with metal manufacturers before and during the installation process:
View them as a resource and a partner.
Even if you’re not new to metal roofing, your metal manufacturer or distributor can help you get up to speed. Unlike shingle roofing, metal roofing is a specialized trade that requires a high level of skill and precision. From educating you on the right product for a job or location to sharing tips on working with everything from hips and valleys to dormers, the best manufacturers act as an important partner in your metal roofing business.
Start with your sales rep.
Often, the sales rep will be your best initial contact and can support you by offering training or connecting you with a reputable local roofing supply shop. Especially if you are new to metal roofing, keep in mind that this guidance will be invaluable for your first couple of jobs. Many sales reps will take you under their wing and accompany you to a supplier to help you get started.
Speak your customers’ language.
The most successful residential contractors have the ability to speak their customers’ language — not just on the quality of the build, but also its artistic merit. Customers interested in metal roofing tend to place a high value on their home’s aesthetic qualities, and your metal roofing manufacturer should help you feel comfortable discussing design.
Build in time for custom work.
Unlike asphalt shingles, which are essentially uniform and readily available, metal roofing panels are custom-cut to fit the contractor and the job. Your manufacturer may need one to two weeks to deliver the product once they receive the project specs and roof measurements.
DID YOU KNOW?
The quality of your manufacturer’s metal coatings can make or break the long-term performance of metal roofs.
Get exact measurements.
Ask your manufacturer to take field measurements and provide the house plans. Because metal roofs are custom-made, you need laser precision. If an eave measures 14'3" from a ridge, you need the material cut to that length — not 14'2" or 14'4". Even the slightest misstep in measuring can result in panels not fitting together properly across the entire roof.
Never accept damaged material.
In the construction business, mistakes and mishaps happen to the best of us. If your roofing material is sized incorrectly or damaged, ask your manufacturer to provide a replacement.
Hold roofing accessories to the same high standards as the metal roofing material.
Even the highest quality metal roofing material will suffer performance issues if the fasteners and other accessories are subpar. Manufacturers typically want to make sure that their products and accessories are long-term solutions.
Ask about metal coatings.
All metal coatings are not created equal. That’s why it’s important to ask your manufacturer what coating — Fluropon or WeatherXL — they use. There are many crucial coating factors to consider that can effect the performance and durability of a metal roof.