Georgia homeowner L.E. decided to do his bit to save the environment. In the aftermath of the tornado it was necessary that he replace the whole roof. His homeowners insurance and the warranty from the manufacturer on his ten-year-old asphalt shingle roof would have probably covered replacement with the same materials. But because L.E. decided to pony up and help the environment, he had to pay the difference.
Related Tips and Articles:
Had he replaced his roof with the same materials he had before the tornado, much of the cost would have been covered by his homeowners insurance. When he looked for the warranty, he discovered that his roof had only a ten-year warranty. He decided that if he was going to have to spend money anyway, he might as well go for the best roof he could get. 
After reading about some of the provisions of the Economic Recovery Act of 2009 (proper name: ““American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009””), L.E. learned that only certain roofing materials and coatings qualify for the tax credits for homeowners who make energy efficiency upgrades and remodels. There are three main types of qualifying materials:
  • Metal
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Tile
L.E. carefully reviewed the list of qualifying roofing materials at the Energy Star website before he contacted a roofing contractor. Although he was attracted to the limited lifetime warranty on some of the tile products, he decided it probably wasn’t the best fit for the architectural style of his home. He definitely liked the lifetime warranty on the qualifying asphalt shingles. He thought he Contractor Selection Workbookcould be content with the 30 – 60 year warranties on the metal roofing products, too. The real test, however, would be energy efficiency. 
After investigating all of his options, L.E. decided that a new metal roofing system would be the best choice for his steep-pitched-roof home. The difference in cost was staggering! While the inexpensive asphalt shingles (replacement for what he had) would probably cost $4,500 for materials, plus $600 to tear off the old shingles. The new metal roofing system (which would look like cedar shakes) would cost $14,000 plus $600 to remove the old shingles. 
L.E. decided his contractor was pricing the job appropriately. He knew the high-end roofing system he had chosen would probably cost about three times the cost of asphalt shingles, and that it would take two or three times as long to install the metal roofing system. But he knew also that the cost of the metal roof would be about the same as installing the cedar shakes he thought should have been on the roof in the first place. He still thought, however that the price tag was high. Then he saw the lifetime warranty certificate. This eased his pain significantly.
L.E. told a neighbor, “I thought my new roof was expensive – but the Economic Recovery Act of 2009 helped a lot!” The recovery act (The ““American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”) allowed for a Federal Income Tax Credit on his 2009 tax return of $1,500 (a bit over 10% of the cost). 
Then L.E. received his first electric bill of the air conditioning season. The bill was 30% less than last year! He was elated! 
So what are the benefits of energy-efficient high-reflectivity metal roofing systems? There are several:
  • The new roof increased the value of his home by $10,000.
  • He started saving more than 20% on his home cooling costs ($50 per month = $600 per year).
  • He saved the cost of roof maintenance and repair every year.
  • He didn’t have to worry about water leaks or water damage and the cost of repairs.
  • He claimed his Federal tax credit of $1,500.
  • He claimed a credit from his electric company of $0.12 per kilowatt hour during the air conditioning season.
  • He saved finance charges and interest on paying for the new roof by using a state-sponsored super-low interest rate.
  • He will save $13,500 over the life of the roof because he will eliminate two asphalt shingle replacements (at 12, 24 and 36 years)
Based on L.E.’s calculations, all of these savings factors will combine to mean that the new roof will probably pay for itself within ten years! What a deal!
Other Relevant Articles and Tips: