What metal roofing options are there?

If you’re building or renovating anything with a metal roof, there are numerous options for the actual profile of your roof but the vast majority of metal roofs are ‘powder coated’ and referred to as the well know Lysaght brand name ‘Customorb’

Prior to powder coated roofs, most metal roofs in Australia were traditionally referred to as ‘corrugated iron’. Initially these roofs were made of galvanised iron and not coated. Sometimes these galvanised iron roofs were however painted. A lot of them either in heritage red or heritage green. Many terrace houses in Sydney would have a galvanised iron main roof and a striped + coloured roof to the front verandah (often bullnosed/ or concave in shape). Some of these still exist today.

The modern equivalent of the galvanised iron roof is ‘Zincalume’, which is a Bluescope steel brand. It’s shinier and has no pattern on it at all. It takes a long time to weather/ patina. Galvanised iron is shiny too but doesn’t stay that way forever and has a lot more texture/ pattern, on it’s surface.

There are a few tricky thing to navigate with wha sort of roof you choose/ can use:

If you live in Sydney in a heritage conservation area – let’s say in Naremburn or Balmain, and you’re renovating your house, there’s a good chance that the heritage team at Council will insist on you using Galvanised Iron, despite it being highly reflective and increasingly hard to source these days. Zincalume, though similar, usually won’t cut it.

But if you live in Byron Shire, or many other shires, you’re not allowed to use Galvanised Iron or Zincalume at all, because they’re both deemed too reflective. They can actually cause glare/ reflectivity issues for neighbours, or be a shiny blight on the landscape….

There are other materials like actual Zinc and Copper but these are usually very cost prohibitive and generally reserved for the re-roofing of Churches / other public buildings that might already have a zinc or copper roof.

So that leaves most people wanting a metal roof with Colorbond. There are numerous colours to choose from and you can now also get many of them in matt finish as well as standard (low sheen). There are other considerations like the Solar Absorptance/ ‘SA’ of the colour you choose (the higher the darker, less reflective your roof will be). In NSW when you get a BASIX Certificate for your project your designer will need to specify what colour group (Light, Medium or Dark) your roof is. This will affect the thermal performance of your house. For instance a light roof will reflect more heat. It will also be more reflective and many Councils with heritage conservation areas won’t allow light Colorbond roofs either!

So not all metal roofs are created equal…

The image above is a little project of ours, all in Zincalume..