Advantages and Disadvantages of Metal

A metal is classed as a chemical element suitable for conducting heat and electricity. As a building material, it creates structures that are rigid and long-lasting, and metal tends to be lightweight as well. There are clear advantages as well as disadvantages in the use of metal products, many of which a do-it-yourself homeowner can install with few headaches.

metal plate
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Metal strip attached to metal wall with metal screws

Buildings and Advantages

The kinds of advantages and disadvantages that you may face from using metal depend on how you intend to use it. If you wish to construct a metal building, such as an addition to your home like a garden shed, it has the advantage of being sturdy enough to not require the use of concrete pillars to keep it upright. Buildings made of metal also stand up well to weather -- unlike buildings made of wood -- and are less prone to burning.

Buildings and Disadvantages

Metal may rust, especially if the structure is located outside and at the mercy of the rain. This not only affects the outside of a structure but also the inside of it. Metal buildings are known for being difficult to seal completely from water penetration. Other disadvantages include the difficulty in attaching hooks and shelves to metal, which requires professional tools, and metal's less attractive appearance compared to wooden structures.

Roofs and Advantages

Some people view metal roofs as being good for the environment. Because metal is a good conductor of heat, it reflects the harsh midday sun, reducing cooling costs. This can save you money in energy bills. Metal roofs are also more durable than nonmetal roofs because they usually only need to be replaced every 50 years.

Roofs and Disadvantages

The disadvantages from using metal in roof work are the initial expense of installing it on a home. They can be quite expensive and are only really worth doing if you plan on staying in the same house for a number of years. Another disadvantage comes when it rains, as the sound of rainfall on a metal roof tends to be very noisy and can't be completely silenced with additions such as roof insulation.