Choosing the Right Cabin Roof
Ever notice that when you often see a log cabin roof, it is metal? Sure, they add to a cabin’s rustic appeal, but metal roofs offer a multitude of benefits in addition to aesthetics. The right metal roof not only gives a cabin that cozy feel you want, it is highly functional, durable, resilient, energy-efficient, cost-saving and long-lasting.
Jason Norton, president of Dixie Building Supply Company, a family-owned metal roofing and siding, lumber, hardware and pole barn supplier serving the greater Mobile and surrounding areas, said, “A metal roof is great for a cabin, like any home, for many reasons, but first and foremost, it is durable. Because of that durability, a metal roof has a 40-year warranty whereas a shingle roof must be replaced every 12 to 15 years.”
For some in the process of building a home or cabin, the roof is an afterthought with all their effort going into designing the floor plan, picking out the interior décor, selecting appliances and planning the landscape. But, selecting a durable and long-lasting roof should be a priority because it’s the cabin’s first line of defense against harsh weather. Cabin owners who want the best long-term, cost-effective option select metal roofs, which perform extremely well when Mother Nature acts up.
“I personally witnessed how well a metal roof performs after a hurricane back in 2018 that hit the Panama City and Mexico Beach, Florida area,” Norton said. “I would estimate that more than 90 percent of the metal roofing in that area held up to the category five hurricane and probably saved countless homes from further destruction.”
In fact, metal roofs can withstand rain, fire, earthquakes and hurricane-force winds. They’re impervious to warping or rotting and perfect for extreme conditions. Plus, they shed rain and snow better than any other roofing material. In addition, metal roofs won’t decompose.
These roofs are ideal for use in wooded areas where fire threats exist. In fact, they have a Class A fire rating and the highest hail impact rating.
Of course, these days, energy efficiency is a key concern for many as it is not only good for the environment, but an energy-efficient home also saves money.
“Metal is very energy efficient,” Norton said. “Most new metal roof owners can expect to see a lower power bill every month because metal helps keep the cool air in and the heat out by reflecting the sun away from the roof. Shingles absorb heat and metal deflects it.”
In fact, a high-quality metal roof can save the cabin owner up to 40% in energy costs.
Metal roofs can provide excellent insulation during cold weather and are especially good at minimizing heat spikes during the middle of a hot day, which saves energy by providing a more consistent interior home temperature. Metal roofs also help to keep attics cooler.
Norton explained why metal roofs are an eco-friendlier option in comparison to shingles.
“Metal roofing is made from up to 40% recycled metal products,” he said.
If you have ever turned in aluminum beverage cans to be recycled, there is a high likelihood those cans went into manufacturing the roofs. All of the aluminum roofs installed by Dixie Building Supply are ENERGY STAR® rated. ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ensures that each product that earns the label is independently certified to deliver the efficiency performance and savings that consumers have come to expect.
Because metal panels can be made from recycled content, they produce a smaller carbon footprint. And, since they last so long without needing to be replaced, it means less material ends up in landfills.
Although metal roofing may cost a bit more on the outset, it’s one of the most cost-saving options over the long term. A metal roof is durable enough to last for many decades – 40 years or more—which means it may never need to be replaced during the cabin owner’s lifetime. It is incredibly energy efficient, which saves on the cost of heating and cooling. It’s one of those items that may require more investment in the beginning, but payoff big in the long run.
Metal roofs come in a variety of styles, designs and colors, which can greatly add to a cabin’s appeal. Dixie Supply manufactures a number of metal roofing systems and stock trim items. Roofing options include a choice of five panel profiles, 20 colors, and either 29- or 26-gauge metal.
The 20 different color options are available so that someone interested in metal roofing has plenty of options to fit his or her needs.
“There are many different types of metal roofs, but the most used are either exposed-fastener or hidden-fastener metal roofing systems,” Norton said. “We offer both options and each has its benefits. Exposed-fastener, which is the majority of residential home roof systems, is the most economic. While metal is slightly more expensive than a typical shingle roof, exposed-fastener systems are quite a bit more pocket-friendly than a hidden-fastener roof. The main reason for that is you must hire a professional that knows how to install a hidden-fastener system. Also, the panel is only 16 inches wide. Therefore, it takes a lot more panels to cover a roof than a 24- or 36-inch exposed fastener system.”
Norton explained that the two most common roof styles are gable and hip roofs.
“There are others but for a home or cabin, these are the two most used,” he pointed out. ”Hip roofs have a four-way slope that allow for rain and snow to run off of with ease. Hip roofs typically have a lower pitch than a gable roof. They do tend to be more complex and therefore a little harder to roof, depending on the final product chosen. Gable roofs are the most popular design and what most people think of when they think of a roof. They are easier to roof because they are essentially two slopes leaning against each other. Gable roofs allow for vaulted ceilings and additional floor space if the homeowner decides to add a mezzanine or attic space simply by choosing to customize the roof pitch to a steeper grade.
Although metal roofs are available in zinc and copper options, most homeowners choose aluminum for cost efficiency, longevity and energy efficiency.
The Obvious Choice
So often, many home and cabin owners don’t think much about their roof until there’s a hail storm, blizzard, tornado or hurricane… then suddenly, a quality roof matters…a lot. Whether you’re building your first cabin or replacing the roof on your current cabin, remember that the roof is arguably the most important surface, as it has a mammoth task. It must withstand the constant assault from the sun, rain, wind and other harsh weather conditions. If it develops a leak, it could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. So, think hard when selecting your log cabin metal roof and consider one that will not only stand the test of time, but Mother Nature’s wrath as well.
About Dixie Supply Company
Dixie Supply has three locations in Alabama, starting with its original location in Eight Mile, Theodore, Foley, and a location in Meridian, Mississippi. Dixie Supply also has four sister locations under Baker Metal Works and Supply, which serves Troy, Alabama and three Florida locations in Cantonment, Baker and Fountain.