Month by month, Marilyn Devlin’s utility bill grew. And in response, so did her concern about how much it would eventually cost to cool the 4,500-square-foot stone house she and her husband, Frank, share in Arlington, Texas.
“At the rate we were going, I knew we needed to be thinking about doing something different,” Marilyn said.
Marilyn said she and Frank put in a new air conditioning unit and added insulation in their attic. But she said the difference in their utility bills was not dramatic enough.
Enter Arlington-based metal roofing contractor Bill Null. Null recommended one product - MetalWorks Steel Slate from TAMKO Building Products.
“People want heat reflectivity, tax reduction, lower utility bills and longevity,” Null said. “MetalWorks Steel Slate is possibly the best shingle I’ve ever seen to achieve all those goals.”
On more than one occasion, Null said his customers have told him MetalWorks have cut their cooling bills in half.
The Devlins weren’t convinced, so Frank, a retired math teacher and businessman, crunched the numbers. He researched a variety of metal shingles and called many of Null’s customers with MetalWorks shingles on their homes.
Null wasn’t worried.
“I have customers that swear by it,” he said of MetalWorks Steel Slate. “I can sell MetalWorks with integrity because it’s going to do what I said it’s going to do for you.”
Marilyn said in the end she and Frank took Null’s word on the product because they didn’t know anyone personally who had tried MetalWorks. But, she added, months later, she now knows Null was right on the money.
The Devlins said since installing the MetalWorks Steel Shingles, their electric bill is half of what it was before the roof was installed.
“Yes, I was very surprised,” Marilyn said about how much money the new metal shingles are saving her family every month. “I’m a big believer in radiant barrier now.”
Bill Kubinski, southwest district sales manager for TAMKO, said he’d heard his customers’ claims about how much money MetalWorks Steel Shingles saved them, but was still surprised when he put the shingles on his own home last winter. Kubinski said, now, he’s a believer.
“I’ve had a lot of people tell me that their attic temperature changed after they installed MetalWorks,” Kubinski said. “I thought, ‘Sure, some, but not enough to really notice.’ But it is all true. Without any other changes except putting on the shingles, it felt like my attic temperature probably went down 20 degrees.”
TAMKO’s MetalWorks Shingles are made from galvanized steel, coated with a special reflective paint. All of TAMKO’s MetalWorks Shingles in “cool colors” were recently named Energy Star-qualified products and are rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC), meaning the shingles have an initial solar reflectance that meets or exceeds Energy Star’s requirements of at least 25 percent and a maintenance solar reflectance of at least 15 percent after three years of normal use. The shingles’ high solar reflectance keeps the attic cooler and may help lower energy costs for the building.
They come in a variety of colors and three different styles to emulate the look of slate, wood shakes or tile. The shingles are listed for UL Class A fire resistance, Class 4 impact resistance and come with a 50-year limited warranty.
Frank Coble, TAMKO waterproofing and specialty roofing specialist in the southwest district, said he regularly hears from homeowners who say the MetalWorks shingles save them 20 percent to 30 percent on their utility bills. MetalWorks also has a Class 4 Impact Rating that gets homeowners a discount on house insurance of up to 27 percent in Texas where hail damage is more frequent. Combine the two savings and Coble said a MetalWorks roof pays for itself in about five years. It can take up to 20 years to recoup the cost of installing solar panels on a home.
“It’s a tremendously logical choice,” Coble said of MetalWorks. “The challenge is getting this savings information out there to homeowners. From there, the product really sells itself.”
Qualifying with Energy Star also makes the MetalWorks shingles eligible for application for the American Reinvestment & Recovery Act (ARRA) federal tax credits of 2009. And in some areas of the country, the shingles are eligible to receive other incentives from the state or insurance and utility companies.
The shingles can also save consumers money because they can be applied over up to two layers of old roofing shingles. Contractors can charge upwards of $40 a square to tear off old shingles.
Energy savings wasn’t the only thing that convinced Frank and Marilyn Devlin that MetalWorks was right for their home. The couple’s striking stone house stands out from the other houses in the neighborhood and sits on a busy corner.
“I knew that we had to have something that stands out,” Marilyn said.
The couple’s previous roofs were wood shake, followed by tile.
“Those prior roofs were expensive and added value to our home,” she said. “We did not want to decrease the value of our home by putting on a composite.”
Looks is essentially what convinced customer Rosalind Williams of Heath, Texas. She was a big fan of the hearty slate roof she had for years, but her insurance company encouraged her to choose a shingle with a Class 4 impact resistance because of the large amount of hail the area receives.
For six months Williams put samples of various metal shingles on her roof and tried to imagine what it would look like. Most of what she saw, she was not impressed with.
“There was this really thick looking metal stuff - it just didn’t look like my slate and it didn’t match our house,” Williams said. “I eliminated them one by one.”
That lasted until Williams got a sample of MetalWorks Steel Slate.
“This is the look I wanted - and look was important to me,” she said. “This really looks like slate, but provides me with a NASA-like technology and it made my insurance company very happy.”
Williams just had the roof installed this summer, but said she is anxious to test the utility saving elements of the shingles. As for her neighbors, Williams said her roofing contractor who lives next door is preparing to put MetalWorks on his house, and she regularly gets inquiries from neighbors or strangers driving by asking about her striking and unusual roof.
“I’m like, ‘Wait a minute - I had the most wonderful and unusual roof in this neighborhood, and now you all want one too,’” Williams said.