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The debate continues: When it comes to roofing materials in the construction industry, should you or your customers choose steel or wood shake? If you are looking for durability, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness, steel roofing consistently proves its superiority. In this blog, we’ll explore why steel roofing outshines wood shakes.

Durability: Prolonging Your Investment


Embracing the rugged Idaho climate, steel roofing offers an impressive lifespan of 40 to 70 years or more, surpassing the 20 to 50 years typically seen with wood shake roofs. Choosing steel means fewer replacements over a building’s lifespan, a critical factor for both construction companies and homeowners.

Weather Resistance

Idaho experiences diverse weather conditions, and steel roofs stand tall against heavy rain, hail, snow, and extreme temperatures. Steel roofs have a non-combustible nature with a Class A fire rating providing added peace of mind. In contrast, wood shingles are not only likely to be damaged by freeze-thaw cycles, they are also an extreme fire hazard and can be readily ignited by firebrands, sparks from chimneys and direct exposure to fire. 


With minimal maintenance requirements, steel roofs resist rot, insects, and mildew, crucial for the longevity of your investment. Wood shakes, being organic, can become breeding grounds for algae and moss, impacting both appearance and lifespan. 

Sustainability: Green Solutions for Idaho’s Future

Energy Efficiency

Idaho’s warm summers make energy efficiency a priority. Steel roofing reflects solar radiant heat, reducing cooling costs by 10-25%, a feature that wood shakes may not match.


Idaho values sustainability, and steel, being 100% recyclable, aligns with this ethos. When a steel roof reaches the end of its life, it can be recycled, leaving zero waste in landfills. No recycling centers accept wood shakes, so homeowners must find a company that will reuse them or figure out a way to repurpose them themselves. 

Cost-Effectiveness: Long-Term Gains for Idaho Homes

Long-Term Savings

Installing a shingle roof will usually cost around $200-300 per square foot while metal roofing might be closer to $300-500 per square foot. Though the initial cost of steel roofing may seem higher, the long-term savings are substantial. Reduced maintenance and longevity mean savings on repairs, replacements, and maintenance costs associated with wood shake roofs.

Insurance Advantages

Idaho homeowners can benefit from insurance discounts if their roofing material is steel due to its superior durability and fire resistance. Since wood shakes are generally not fire-resistant, some insurance companies won’t cover a wooden roof or they may require fire-retardant protectant be applied in order to get coverage. 

Home Value Boost

Idaho’s real estate market appreciates premium features, and a steel roof adds to a home’s resale value. Metal roofing replacements have seen nearly a 50% return on investment – a much higher return than wood shake. 

Conclusion: Elevate Your Roofing Choice with Steel

In the ongoing debate between steel roofing and wood shakes, the clear winner for Idaho’s construction projects is steel. Whether you’re embarking on a new construction venture or considering a roofing replacement, the long-term benefits of steel far outweigh the initial costs. By choosing steel roofing, you invest in a solution that withstands Idaho’s climate, contributes to a sustainable future, and provides unmatched value. Want to elevate your roofing choice? We say: choose steel!