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Hi neighbors! I'm also a new log on the stack. We plan to build early next year in central NY. I have been following all the great advice that I have read on this site and am doing my research....research....research. I am left with a couple questions at the moment:
1) Has anyone had any experience with steel roofs vs. shingles? I know steel is more expensive, less maintenance, better in snow country, and that shingles can be an algae risk especially in the woods.
2) Does anyone have any pro's and con's regarding radiant flooring heating systems?
Thanks for your insights!
Regards, Norb

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Thomas: You said: "dangerous when you have a house fire because the heat cannot escape".....where did you get that gem of information? You also said: "they also make your house a lot hotter in the summer"..........another gem from where? How does the steel roof make your house hotter? Do you not insulate the roof? I am totally confused by your statements.
Have to agree with "Chicken Boy." I think that a metal roof is best. We're putting that on our next house. GO CHICKEN BOY!!!!!!
Thanks to Thomas, Tim, and Sheds and Shacks for your replies [right or wrong -- it is great to collect opinions!]. I have been doing some more study on steel roofs and must agree with Tim. I have learned that you can even get an Energy Star credit for a steel roof; you can also get them with solar panels embedded in the panels and make your own energy. They are actually more safe for fire prevention since they are resistant to fire being spread from neighboring trees or properties; some insurance companies actually give you a credit on your premium because of this benefit. Steel roofs weigh 1/3 of an asphalt single roof. They outlast shingles, won't mildew and are cost-competitive. They are also no noisier in the rain than a regular roof if you install them with the insulation you need anyway. I've talked to a few log home owners who said they wish they had decided to go with steel, but went for shingles. I also plan to do a 2-story Cape, and don't feel like shoveling off the snow at that height. :-) Thanks again for all your opinions.
P.S. "Chicken Boy"????? :-)
Just teasing Mr. Bullock over his "chicken coop" comments about pine logs. I've built out of cedar, cypress, and pine and when we start our personal home this summer, I think I'm going with pine unless I find something here in Texas that is reasonably priced.
Sheds and Shacks, I like got a sense of humor.......Stewart Brand wrote "the" book on building.....How Buildings Learn.....What happens after they are built?........He is a huge proponent of basements and steel roofs.....I do hope that Thomas will respond as I enjoy lively discussions.
If the insulation under the roofing is done properly you are not going to notice any extra heat from the metal roofing.

Aside from that: We used 30 year dimensional shingles only because of the cost of the metal. The so-called 30 year roof will probably last 20 to 25 years. The steel roof with baked on finish color will probably last 50 to 100 years. I don't intend to climb the roof since it is at a 45 degree angle. When I can scare up the money to buy the metal roofing it will definitely be on our home, in Heather Green:)

Thanks, Marion. I've decided to go with the metal roof [green]. The roofing professionals put the myths to rest. It is the best way to go if you can afford it.
Regards, Norb
Try (removed first "n").
Here's my "experience" with steel vs. shingles:

While Mike is balanced precariously on our current home's wet, slippery, 5/12 pitched shingled roof with a snow shovel, I struggle with the 12-foot handle of the snow rake from the ladder. We stop for a moment to gaze at the similarly-pitched metal roof of our large, totally unheated horse barn. Suddenly, with a graceful "swoosh", all of the nasty, wet, heavy two feet of snow slides from the barn roof and lands harmlessly on the ground. We sigh and get back to work.

As long as I live in snow country, I never want another shingled roof. Granted, you have to make provisions for where the snow will land, but if you're in the design stage that should be no problem. Lived in a small home with a metal roof, and loved everything about it except that the snow fell right into the darn driveway!

I agree with the potential skylight issue, so have traded skylights for dormers in the design of my future insulated log home.
Great questions about radiant - I am very seriously considering radiant for my new home, so love to hear from all of you!
Thanks to Rose and B Kelly for your responses. It is great to get voice of experience from people. Since my original post, I have talked to several folks who have gone the radiant heating route. They say they run their thermostats approx. 10 degrees down in the heating season because they just feel the warmth differently than forced air. I also like not blowing dusty air all over the house. With Warmboard, you can even install hardwood flooring over it. I've also been convinced that a steel roof is the way to go, and to invest in a slightly thicker gauge for strength. I think the muffled pitter-patter of raindrops on a steel roof in a cabin is great food for the soul. It is barely noticeable, but comforting when you listen for it. Regards, Norb
Out here in Utah most of us use steel roofs - less fire hazard which is a big issue. Snow loads can also be an issue, sliding off the roof more with steel. But then this lessens the snow load over the course of a winter.

Radiant floor heating system. Great idea, but check with the type of flooring you are putting in. I found that some wood floor manufactures advise against it under engineered floors.
Thanks, Wes. A builder told me that one engineered floor manufacturer didn't honor the warranty after the flooring had some delamination bubbles which appeared after the first radiant heating season. I'm planning to use Warmboard as the radiant subfloor. It claims to provide more even surface heating and works well with hardwood flooring. Ceramic tile works best with radiant from a heat transfer coefficient.
As far a snow loads sliding off a steel roof -- they make an inexpensive plastic clip which is installed with the roofing that cuts sliding snow into smaller sections as it moves past the clips. This prevents the big one-piece avalanches.


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