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Residential Metal Roofing: Is It Right for Me?

When the contractor delivered the sad news that my roof needed replacing, that led to a discussion of material choices. I was surprised to hear that metal roofing was an option. Sure, it was fine for commercial buildings, but a home? My contractor told me that metal is used for homes more than people realize. The panels can be designed to look like just about any type of roofing you can imagine. After looking at some samples and finding out about the long life of metal roofs, I decided to give it a try. Fifteen years later, my roof is still in great shape. If you are facing a roof replacement in the near future, let me tell you more about metal roofing. I'm betting that you'll decide this solution is right for your home.

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Residential Metal Roofing: Is It Right for Me?

Solar Shingles: A Convenient Roofing Alternative For Energy-Conscious Homeowners

by Kelly Murphy

If you're trying to keep energy costs down, you probably focus on using as little energy as possible. But there's another way to reduce the amount of power you draw from the grid: making some of your own energy. While putting solar panels on the roof is a common choice, another newer option is growing in favor among homeowners. Solar shingles, which are put on your roof in place of regular shingles, are a good solution for many homeowners. Here's a look at their benefits.

They don't weigh much.

Solar shingles don't weigh any more than typical roofing materials. So there's no worry as to whether your home's foundation and roofing underlayment can support them. This is not always the case with solar panels. You'd definitely need to have your home looked over by a structural engineer before having solar panels installed, and if your home's walls are older or not built properly, the panels might not be an option.

You only have to purchase one "item."

With solar panels, you have to purchase the roof materials and the solar panels. With solar shingles, you only have to purchase the roofing materials (the solar shingles). This often makes solar shingles the less costly option if you do a price comparison. Plus, there are often tax rebates available for solar shingles; make sure you take these into account when getting estimates from roofing companies.

You can connect your solar shingles into the grid.

Many times, homeowners assume that they will directly use any power their home generates. While it is possible to hook a solar shingle system up in this manner (and this is what "off grid" homes require), most homeowners stay connected to the power grid when they have solar shingles installed. When your home generates energy, it is fed into the grid. When your home uses energy, it is drawn out of the grid. The power company keeps track of your net energy use/production overall and either pays you or charges you accordingly. So even on cloudy days, you still have power. If you happen to generate more power than you use in a given month, the energy company will send you a check rather than a bill!

If your home needs a new roof and you want to be as energy-efficient as possible, look into having solar shingles installed. They can be connected to the grid, used in place of regular shingles, and are compatible with most any home design.