Metal Roofing Guide

Metal Roofing Guide
by Tamara Rein - August 23, 2022

Choosing to install a metal roof on your home is a substantial cost decision, especially when compared to asphalt composite shingles. However, there are other solid reasons for making this change, such as the enhanced longevity and value of metal roofing. Many homeowners find that metal roofing delivers a high return on investment and lasts two to three times longer than a typical roof while requiring a larger initial expenditure.

In this guide, we will outline the advantages of a metal roof and the pricing of various metal roofing materials to help you choose whether a metal roof is ideal for your home.

Benefits of Metal Roofing

While you may identify metal roofing with storage facilities like barns and sheds, the search for long-lasting, energy-efficient roofing materials has led many homeowners to investigate metal roofing. Here are some of the primary advantages of metal roofing.

Greater Longevity and Durability

Perhaps the primary reason homeowners consider metal roofing materials is their durability. Any homeowner who has had to replace asphalt shingles one by one is aware that typical roofs have a lifespan of 15 to 30 years. In contrast, metal roofs typically endure between 30 and 50 years.

In addition, while metal roofs can be damaged, it normally requires considerable force to do so. In comparison, asphalt shingles require significantly less force to break or damage.

Ease of Cleaning

Typically, metal roofs are significantly simpler to clean than asphalt shingles. Unlike asphalt shingles, which can grow moss and algae that must be washed carefully, they can withstand a simple pressure washing.

Energy Efficiency and Eco-Friendliness

As people become more cognizant of the broader environmental implications of heating and cooling their homes, many begin to prioritize efficiency as a way to save money and help the environment. Metal is a highly recyclable material, and many metal roofs contain between 30 and 60 percent recycled metal. Their exceptional durability also reduces replacement frequency, whereas torn and damaged asphalt shingles are discarded in landfills.

In addition, because the majority of metal roofs are reflective, they deflect the sun's heat away from the building they cover, reducing cooling expenses. Special paint that inhibits UV radiation can be applied to even non-reflective metal. Experts predict that a metal roof will reduce the cost of cooling your home by 20%–30% throughout the summer.

Improved Resale Value

Those in the market for a new home may be willing to pay more for a residence with a roof that will not require replacement soon. Depending on where you live, and the type of metal roofing you choose, your return on investment could range from 60% to 85%. In addition, a new metal roof could raise the exterior appeal and resale value of your property.

Weather and Fire Resistance

Asphalt shingles are far less resistant to harsh weather conditions such as hail, high winds, and major storms than metal. Alternatively, if you live in a region prone to wildfires, metal is highly resistant to fire and smoke damage.

How Much Does Metal Roofing Cost?

In general, the initial cost of a metal roof is significantly more than that of an asphalt-shingled roof. However, considering the endurance of a metal roof, the total cost of installation and maintenance is far less than that of a roof replacement every 15 to 20 years.

Here are some of the most popular metal roofing materials and their respective purchase and installation costs. The total cost is based on the typical American roof size of 1,700 square feet.

Aluminum Shingles

If you live near the seaside, aluminum roofing is a fantastic option because it is resistant to corrosion and seawater damage. It is also reasonably inexpensive, with shingles alone costing between $3.15 and $6 per square foot. This sort of shingle can be put for between $9 and $16.50 per square foot, or between $15,500 and $28,000 in total, as aluminum is a reasonably simple material to work with.

The disadvantage of aluminum is its appearance, as it does not age well and is readily dented. It also expands and contracts more than other metals commonly used for roofing, which can create roof wear and tear and creaking sounds as temperatures fluctuate.

Copper Tiles

Copper roofing is not only incredibly durable and lightweight but also one of the most aesthetically pleasing solutions for metal roof tiles. However, it is one of the most costly roofing materials, costing between $14 and $25 per square foot. A new copper roof costs between $21 and $39.70 per square foot, or between $35,700 and $67,500 for a 1,700-square-foot roof.

Corrugated Metallic Material

Corrugated metal roofing is one of the least expensive metal roofing options, but its durability is inferior to that of other materials. Corrugated metal panels have a wave-like appearance, which simplifies installation because the grooves of each wave fit together without gaps. Additionally, the panels may expand and contract readily in response to changing temperatures, are lightweight, and can be put over an existing roof.

Although several types of metal can be used to create corrugated sheets, the most prevalent are galvanized steel and Galvalume, a less expensive option. These metal panels cost between $1 and $2.50 per square foot for the raw materials or between $5.50 and $11.50 per square foot for materials and installation. For a 1,700-square-foot roof, the overall cost of metal roofing is between $9,350 and $19,500.

Standing Seam Panels

Standing seam is a sort of roofing panel as opposed to material. Therefore, you can purchase these panels in a variety of metals. These panels are ribbed vertically, and the elevated ribs conceal the attachment between the panels. Some of these panels can be assembled by simply snapping them together, while others require special metal caps to secure the parts.

One advantage of having no exposed fasteners is that the fasteners are not prone to weathering, moisture, wind, or other stressors that could cause them to deteriorate over time. In addition, the ribs and unique locking mechanisms of standing seam panels allow them to expand and contract in response to changes in temperature.

Common materials for standing seam construction include aluminum, steel, copper, and zinc. Depending on the material used, each square foot of panels will cost between $4 and $6.50. Materials and installation will cost between $10 and $17.65 per square foot or between $17,000 and $30,000 in total. Consider the relative pricing of the metals as well: aluminum and steel standing seam panels are often far less expensive than copper and zinc panels.

Steel Shingles and Tiles

Several common forms of steel roofing are available. Due to its strength and longevity, galvanized steel, which is coated with zinc to prevent corrosion, is a popular material. Galvalume, or aluminum-coated steel, is a less expensive option. The Chrysler Building, for example, has a stainless steel roof. Stainless steel is a high-end material that is uncommon but eye-catching.

A Galvalume panel of 100 square feet costs between $75 and $250 and $5.50 per square foot to install. Galvanized steel, which is slightly more expensive, costs between $3.35 and $4.25 per square foot, with materials and installation costing approximately $10 per square foot, or $17,000 to $25,000 in total. Stainless steel is significantly more expensive, ranging from $10 to $16 per square foot for materials and up to $15.50 per square foot more for installation.


Typically, a tin roof is composed of terne, which consists of a steel core coated with a tin alloy. It is not as popular as other metals, yet it is robust and very resistant to corrosion. Either tin can be painted or left to develop a grey patina, which is a film generated by prolonged oxidation.

Depending on the product, the price of tin panels can range from $3.50 and $14, with the majority beginning at approximately $3.50 and going as high as $14. Including installation, the price of a tin roof can range between $10 and $18.50 per square foot or between $17,000 and $31,450 altogether.


Consider zinc for a high-quality metal roof that is more durable than aluminum and less expensive than copper. Due to its self-healing layer, which repairs scratches and scrapes, it can last up to 150 years with minimal to no maintenance. As long as the bottom of the shingles or panels is adequately sealed, zinc may completely resist corrosion.

Zinc panels cost roughly $6 to $10 per square foot. However, labor can increase installation expenses by an additional $12 to $18 per square foot, bringing the total to $30,400 to $47,600.

Is a Metal Roof Worth It?

Metal roofing is initially more expensive than asphalt composite shingles, but it lasts far longer and provides significant energy savings. Metal roof costs are equivalent to those of shake or slate roofs, but metal is more durable and sturdy. Before making a decision, compare your existing budget to the amount required to maintain different roofing materials.

Now, what are some other things you can do to take care of your home? You can read our article for assistance.

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