There’s a lot of information you need to learn before replacing your roof. After all, a new roof is going to be an expensive purchase. 

A question homeowners ask our roofing advisors is, “Can I add metal or another roofing material to my asphalt roof replacement?” The easy answer is yes. But there’s a little more to it. 

Here at Bill Ragan Roofing, we want to educate every homeowner to the point where they’re able to make the best decision for themselves. That’s why we’re going to help you understand the situations when you’re able to add different types of roofing materials to your replacement. 

By the end of this article, you’ll learn when it’s required to have a different roofing material, how you can use a different roofing material as an upgrade, and more. 

The situation where you need a different roofing material

If your roof has a flat area, you need a different roofing material on it instead of shingles. It’s actually against building codes and the manufacturer’s installation instructions to install shingles on a flat or low slope roof

Because of this, you’ll have to choose between a membrane or a metal roof system. Both are great options, but the most commonly used is a membrane roof system.

epdm membrane roof system

If you have the budget and want a longer-lasting material, a standing seam metal roof is a great option. It’s also going to be more aesthetically pleasing than a membrane roof system. 

copper standing seam metal roof

If you’re going with an entire standing seam metal roof for your replacement, you won’t have to worry about choosing a different roofing material. But if you have a shingle roof, choosing between membrane and metal for the flat area of your roof is up to you and your budget.   

Upgrading your home’s curb appeal with a different roofing material

Just like a standing seam metal roof is great for a low slope roof, it’s also a great accent option that compliments any roof type. A lot of homeowners like to use a metal roof on front porches, side porches, back porches, bay windows, and more.

standing seam metal roof porch with asphalt shingles

You’ll even be able to pick the color that best accents your home and roof. But if you really want to raise your home’s curb appeal, copper is the way to go. 

copper over windows

Copper roofing is also a lifetime material, so you’ll never have to replace it unless something damages the metal. However, if you don’t like the patina look that eventually happens to copper, you might want to consider going with a steel standing seam metal roof with the color of your choosing.

Just like with a flat area, if you’re getting an entire standing seam metal roof replacement, you won’t have to worry about upgrading your home’s curb appeal unless you want to add a copper accent.

3 things to consider when using a different roofing material to upgrade your roof

Remember, there’s nothing you can do if you have a low slope area that needs a membrane or metal roof system. You just have to pick the one that fits your budget and situation.

But if you want to upgrade your roof or use metal on a screened-in porch, you need to consider a few things before jumping in headfirst. 

1. The difference in the lifespan of the roofing materials

The first thing you need to consider is the difference in the lifespan of the roofing materials. For example, let’s say you’re getting an asphalt roof replacement and want to add a standing seam metal roof accent over your front porch.

Your asphalt shingle roof can last around 20-30 years (depending on the shingle) as long as it’s properly installed and your attic has adequate ventilation. On the other hand, a standing seam metal roof can last up to 50 years. 

In this situation, your metal accent roof will last a lot longer than your entire asphalt roof. So when the time comes to replace your asphalt roof again, you shouldn’t have to replace the metal unless you really want to or if it’s damaged. 

If you decide not to replace the metal at the same time, make sure your roofing contractor has something in place to protect it during the roof replacement process

2. Upgrading your roofing material impacts the cost of your roof replacement 

There are multiple factors that impact how much you’ll spend on your roof replacement. One of these factors is adding upgrades. 

These upgrades could be in the form of roof vents, roof flashing, or gutters. But one of the main upgrades is adding a metal accent somewhere on your roof. 

Depending on how much metal you get, it can have a pretty sizable impact on the cost of your new roof as a whole. Just like every other upgrade (copper flashing, adding turbine vents), it’s important to consider the cost factor of adding metal to your roof replacement. 

3. How important your home’s curb appeal is to you

When upgrading your roof's look with metal, the main thing to consider is if you even care about your home's curb appeal.  If the look of your roof isn’t a big deal to you, it’s probably not worth it to upgrade. 

There’s no point in spending extra money on your roof replacement if you’re not going to enjoy the look. But if you want to add value to your home and make it stand out, upgrading certain areas with metal is worth it. 

But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to determine if upgrading your home’s curb appeal is important to you. 

Which roofing material is right for your roof replacement?

Now you know you can have different roofing materials in certain areas of your roof and what you need to consider before adding (upgrading) a material for accent purposes. Remember, a flat or low slope area has to have a membrane or metal roof system no matter what type of roofing material you choose. 

But before reaching out to a roofing contractor for a roof replacement, have you decided which roofing material you want? Whether you have or haven’t, it’s important to know that you’re making the right purchasing decision. 

That’s why you need to know which roofing material fits your budget, the look you want, and more. Because we want you to have the information you need to confidently make this decision, we wrote another article breaking down the top 3 types of roofing materials. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has repaired, replaced, and maintained roofs for homeowners in the Nashville area since 1990. We take the time to help you understand everything you’re paying for, no matter what service you need. Even if we’re not the right fit for you, we can at least help avoid being taken advantage of. 

To ensure you’re making the right purchasing decision, check out this article on The Top 3 Types of Roofing Materials.

checklist of questions to ask a roofing contractor