Metal Roofing: Not as Easy as it Looks

After watching tons of YouTube videos, I felt confident I could do the roof by myself in a few hours.  Silly, silly me.

While dad was working on running the vent pipe through the walls and up through the roof, I pre-drilled the eave trim and folded the ends.  The metal eave trim ended up covering the entire eave fascia, so all the painting and mitering and worrying about the fascia being perfect was for naught, but I’m okay with that.  I did end up being a few feet short of trim on the back side and now I’m stuck waiting for another piece to be delivered to Home Depot.  I decided to continue with the roofing and, hopefully, I’ll be able to slide the piece in underneath when it comes in.


Eave trim.


Trim installed.


Missing section.

I bought a cheap metal-cutting saw blade at HD to cut the roofing panels and it mangled the ends.  Luckily, the cut ends will be under the ridge cap.  The panels were 10′ long and I cut them down to a little over 9′ and I saved the remainder of the panels for the front overhang.  Mom helped by holding the panels as I cut.  She’s not used to working with metal and acted like every spark that flew was me trying to permanently scar her.  So, having to periodically check her for imagined burns and bleeding and having to work with an uncooperative saw blade, made it take a lot longer than expected.  I cleaned up the burrs with a hand file (sorry, neighbors, for that awful annoying noise) and pre-drilled all 9 panels.  I broke 4 drill bits in the span of an hour, a new record for me!

On rainy days I was able to get some Christmas shopping done and even saw the doctor about the numbness in my hands.  Apparently I have peripheral neuropathy as a result of nerve compression from a freak case of arthritis I got back in May (long story, I’ll spare you).  Prognosis is good, the neuropathy should resolve once the arthritis finally goes away.

On Christmas eve my brother and his wife, my niece and her mom, mom, dad, the safety supervisor (who had the night off), and I exchanged presents and ate lots of cookies.


Santa brought me a new toolbox, he knows me so well!!

Christmas day was sunny and in the high-50’s, perfect roof weather!  This is completely unheard of in Maine but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth (what does that even mean?!).  Two days later, it is snowing as I type this.  Lucky for me, my sweatband can double as ear-warmers, I’m ready for anything.

We only had to trim a couple inches off the side of the first and last panel to center the ribs on the roof.  Dad used a pneumatic nibbler that was pretty slick.  If only that would’ve worked across the ribs…  According to Metal Sales’ installation instructions, we were supposed to lay a strip of butyl tape along the length of the roof where the first screws were to go, then a foam strip on top of that, another strip of tape, the panel, and then screw down through all the layers.  This was fairly impossible.

I had snapped a chalk line where the top of the tape was to go, which was a feat in itself.  Don’t ask dad about chalk lines… or do, it might be entertaining.  Then, to put the tape down was more of a guesstimate, as the paper backing extended over the tape edges, obscuring everything.  Then there’s the corrugated foam strip…  foam is stretchy, metal is not.  I thought I had laid out the foam nice and straight but the metal corrugations only lined up on the first rib.  Apparently some foam goblin rearranged things willy-nilly the minute I turned my back.  Dad was on a ladder at the peak end and mom was on a ladder at the low end trying to keep the panels straight with the same amount of overhang, which was more or less 3/4″, while I was on the roof screwing down the panels.  Now, assuming you didn’t spray your house for foam goblins, I highly suggest a universal foam closure strip if you are installing a metal roof and you’re not a magician.  Mom tried to adjust the foam ribs on her end as we went but it was futile with all the tape.  Another good suggestion, courtesy of mom (sorry we didn’t listen sooner), is to keep the backing paper on the tape until you have your panel in the desired position and then pull the paper off.



Once again working on the roof in the dark.  Of all the places you shouldn’t be after dark… we’ve now done this twice.  It must have been past the safety supervisor’s bedtime.


Headlamps are our friends.


The next day, I put up the panels on the short end.  This time I laid the first strip of tape across the entire roof but added the foam strips with each panel, adjusting as needed.  I also put the top piece of tape on the backside of the panel itself, lining it up with the pre-drilled holes.  I don’t know if this will somehow affect the integrity of the roof somewhere down the line but it sure was a whole lot easier.  I had intended to run a strip of tape along every seam, where the panels overlap, but, with as much trouble as we had that first day, I just didn’t have the patience to add another element into the mix.  This extra step wasn’t in the instructions, anyway, so hopefully it won’t make a difference.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the gable trim, ridge cap, and vent boot in place before it snowed.  Hopefully that doesn’t hurt anything.  It’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow and I hope to get everything on before the storm on Tuesday.  We didn’t get around to putting the door in, so it looks like I’ll be tarping again.

Besides installing the vent pipe, dad also made a bracket for my bathroom sink to mount on the wall.  We’ve also been cleaning up and getting the yard, garage, and driveways ready to plow/snowblow.

Happy Holidays!

4 thoughts on “Metal Roofing: Not as Easy as it Looks

  1. A gift horse is a horse that was a gift, quite simply. When given a horse, it would be bad manners to inspect the horse’s mouth to see if it has bad teeth. This can be applied as an analogy to any gift: Don’t inspect it to make sure it matches some standard you have, just be grateful! (You asked, google replied…)
    PS: Progress looks great!!!…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was about to paste a link to the answer to your question about the gift horse but I see Dwight has already taken care of that matter. LOVE this post, awesome photos and as usual you had me cringing and chuckling throughout. I can’t wait to see the latest!


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