There is something so nostalgic and picturesque to us about an older farm house enveloped in metal roofing; metal roofing with a slight patina even. It evokes memories of growing up in rural America, seeing small homesteads dot the countryside, and the sounds of happy families being thankful for their own little spot of dirt. There is something calming and peaceful about the gentle tickle of rain on the roof when clad in corrugation and mated with metal. It is no surprise then that residential metal roofing has proven to be the fastest growing segment of home construction and improvement – more than quadrupling its market share over the past decade alone.

What most don’t realize though is that the history of metal roofing can be traced back to 970 B.C., when the temple in Jerusalem was outfitted with a copper roof. Their history is more founded in the Virgin Island though around the mid-19th century. Metal roofs were valued for several reasons. They were strong enough to resist earthquakes and the strong winds of tropical hurricanes, while presenting a visually satisfying appearance. When coupled with the Dutch-style peaked roof and a decent drainage system, the metal would purify water which could be stored in a container for household use (early rainwater harvesting, in fact). The metal had the added benefit of being fire-resistant.

Robert L. Merwin & Co., a St. Croix Island based business, was founded in 1892 to import corrugated metal for buildings. They made the product cheaper and much more widely available, which served to increase its use and establish metal roofing as a much more practical and versatile alternative to clay tiles. Popularity for metal as a roofing material has continued to rise rapidly.1

With the steel boom of the early 1900s came a number of advances in the automation of metal manufacturing. Construction projects using metal roofing and siding began to dot the American landscape and further help develop the “machine age.” The latest techniques, including automated roll-forming, coatings, sealants, and fastening systems, have dramatically lowered the cost of steel roofing and only increased its versatility as the variety of colors, textures and styles has multiplied.

In fact, the benefits offered by today’s metal roofs allow homeowners to both build and upgrade their homes with products of lasting value. While other roofs quickly diminish in value as they age, metal roofs provide the following lasting benefits:

  • Proven performance expectation of 50+ years
  • Beautiful styles to match any home or neighborhood
  • Interlocking panels for maximum wind resistance
  • Fire resistance
  • Energy efficiency by keeping homes cooler
  • Low weight to help preserve structural integrity and life
But primarily because they are light weight, wind resistant, and largely recyclable, they have made entry into the tiny house community and have almost become a design standard. From the roofs of the tumbleweed houses to the roof of our own tiny house, metal seems to be the “no brainer” choice for so many builders and owners.
We knew very early on that we wanted metal roof. (see first paragraph) We just didn’t know what kind. A couple of our outbuilding and coops have featured corrugated metal roofs constructed of the metal sheets available at most big box construction stores. For our tiny house though we wanted to get a little more “fancy,” if you will and keep with a high aesthetic. We searched regionally, locally, and even on the Internet before finding a company we felt manufactured metal roofs that looked beautiful, had great reputations by both builders and homeowners, and were manufactured with some sustainability practices in mind. And so it was no coincidence that we came across Gulf Coast Supply & Manufacturing.
Gulf Coast Supply is a leader in manufacturing metal roofing and components, serving all of Florida and Southern Georgia. Gulf Coast provides durable, economic and attractive products for the growing demand of metal roofing. Roofs made by Gulf Coast boast the following:
  • a 40 year paint warranty
  • 40 colors to choose from *
  • All products laboratory tested
  • Energy Star Partner
  • 10 years of customer satisfaction
  • Old-fashioned values in high tech business
We almost immediately contacted the company and spoke with them about our tiny house, our ideas on true sustainable living and our desire to decrease our carbon footprint, our family, and how they might find a voice in the tiny house community. We were met with open arms and within days were working out some details to bring Gulf Coast on as a Tiny r(E)volution sponsor. From a personal perspective I must say that Gulf Coast has been top notch in customer satisfaction. I have truly enjoyed everyone I have worked with at the company and am regularly amazed at how excited they are about the tiny house community.
We are expecting our metal to arrive mid-week, this week, and we can’t wait! We have an installer on board and a date set. It is going to be an incredible adventure as I have never put on metal roofing and certainly never added it to my own hand-built home. I do hope you’ll continue to follow us and anticipate the video as we partner with Gulf Coast Supply & Manufacturing to add style, durability, and history to our own tiny house!
To find out more about Gulf Coast you can visit them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

1 www.buymetalroofing.com/metal_roofing_history.htm