2023 Metal Roof Prices, Installation, Options

Typical Cost To Install a Metal Roof
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Metal roofs are steadily gaining popularity and recognition among homeowners for their unmatched durability, a wide range of attractive styles and colors, as well as superior energy efficiency.

Compared to cheaper roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles, a new metal roof offers unparalleled advantages in terms of superior longevity, weather protection and minimal maintenance.

These benefits makes the initial higher investment into a metal roof worth it, if you are planning to live in your home for many years.

How Much Is A Metal Roof?

Contrary to popular belief, metal roofs do not cost a fortune. Some metal roofs cost nearly the same as asphalt shingles, but bring all the added benefits.

On a 2,000 sq.ft. ranch style home you can install a metal roof for $8,500-14,000 depending on the type of metal roofing you select, as well as local roof installation rates.

Did You Know? – Metal roofs are touted for their longevity. Even without maintenance, a metal roof can last up to 40 years, and well-maintained roofs can easily go for up to 70 years or more. Normal asphalt roofs, at a maximum, can go up to 20-25 years before requiring a re-roof.

Metal Roof Cost Per Square Foot

Cost to Install a Roof (1700 s.f)
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On average, depending on the type of metal roof you choose as as well as the metal itself, it costs $6.5-14 per square foot to have a metal roof installed. High end metal roofs, such as copper, cost as much as $20-22 per square foot installed.

Lets take a closer look at how much you will spend on each popular metal roofing system:

Roofing Type Cost per sq. ft. Cost per square (100 Sq. Ft) Cost per sq.ft. installed Install a 2,000 sq.ft. roof
Corrugated metal panels $1.75-2.5 $175-250 $4.25 – 6 $8,500 – 12,000
Interlocking steel shingles $3.5 – $5 $350- $500 $8.75-11.5 $17,500 – 23,000
Aluminum Shingles $4-6 $400-600 $9.5-13 $19,000 – 26,000
Stone coated steel shingles $4.75 – 6.50 $475-650 $10 – 14 $20,000 – 28,000
Steel standing seam $2 – 3.5 $200-350 $7.5 – 13 $15,000 – 26,000
Aluminum standing seam $4-5.5 $400-550 $9.75 – 15 $19,500 – 30,000
Zinc metal panels $8 – 11 $800-1,100 $15-20 $30,000 – 40,000
Copper metal panels $10-13 $1,000 – 1,300 $17-22 $34,000 – 44,000

You can use our Metal Roofing Calculator to quickly estimate the cost to install a metal roof on your home.

Cost To Install A Metal Roof

Keep in mind that since metal roofing is a specialty material, there will not be as many qualified installers who will do the job well. This increases the total labor cost compared to how much it costs to install roofing shingles.

Metal roof installation ranges in price from $3-6+ per square foot depending on the house architecture, number of valleys and cut ups you roof has, number of stories and accessibility.

The more complex your roof, the more expensive your installation will be. Also, roofers will charge more to install more expensive materials.

For most jobs, installation prices are usually 2-3 times the cost of materials.

On average, metal roofing installers charge $65-85 per hour. However, labor rates for roofing vary greatly depending on the area you live in.

Roofers located in high-income areas can charge up to 30% more for their work, compared to the exact same job in a lower income neighborhood.

This is why its very important to get multiple bids from local roofers as well as negotiate prices.

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What Are The Different Metal Roofing Types?

1. Sheet roofs: technically, all metal roofing materials start out as sheet roofing, only being modified into tiles, or panels after further processing.

Sheet Roofs are, as the name suggests, long continuous metal sheets that are connected together with fasteners. Sheet roofing is one of the most common and affordable of metal roofing types.

Homeowners who want the benefits of metal roofing without breaking their bank and spending almost as low as the cost of asphalt shingles, go for corrugated metal roofs.

Sheet roofs are installed using exposed fasteners, which is less complicated than using the hidden fasteners found in standing seam roofing.

Because of this, many contractors have the requisite skills and equipment to install metal roofs using this method. This means that there’s a good chance that you’ll find someone fully qualified to install sheet metal roofs in your area.

If you wish to do metal roofing projects on your own instead, exposed fastener roofing is more DIY friendly than any other method.

With the relative ease of exposed fastener installation, compared to hidden fasteners, the roofing is also finished much faster. The cost, ease of installation, and availability of capable contractors is the reason why sheet roofing is one of the most popular choices when it comes to metal roofs.

2. Standing seam panels: also known as standing seam roofing, or SSR, standing seams use clip fasteners to attach the metal to the roof deck. The difference between clip fasteners and those used in sheet roofing, is that in sheet roofing the fasteners are driven through the metal itself.

Although this makes installation simple, it also has the disadvantage of perforating the actual metal roofing, increasing the chance of leaks.

In standing seam roofs, once the initial panel is installed, the next panel slides into the seam easily. Several clips are then placed on the top of each seam, and the clips themselves are drilled into the roofing frame.

Once the next panel is slid onto the already attached panels, the clips are hidden, thus protecting them from exposure.

This type of metal roofing has become more common nowadays, as many householders dislike the look of exposed fasteners. This method does come with the disadvantages of a higher price, and requiring a different installation skill set than normal sheet roofing.

3. Stamped Metal Roofing: people that want the aesthetics of tile, but are deterred by the cost usually turn to stamped metal plates as an alternative. Stamped metal roofing uses metal tiles or shingles of various designs to cover the roof’s surface.

The biggest difference between metal tiles or shingles and those made of slate are weight and price. Slate is a very expensive roofing material.

Significantly heavier, it requires a sturdier roof frame, further adding to the expense. Metal tiles and shingles are lightweight and comparatively less expensive.

Because stamped metal roofing tiles and shingles come in a wide variety of designs, this is the most customizable roofing type on the market.

This does come at an expense, as these tiles and shingles have to be installed individually. Sheet and standing seam panels cover a larger area than individual tiles, thus stamped metal panel roofing takes longer to install.

Did You Know? A lot of people shy away from metal roofing because they’re afraid that it’ll attract lightning strikes. This is far from the truth.

Lightning is attracted to the highest point in the area, and has nothing to do with whether or not the object is made of metal. Otherwise, avoiding trees during thunderstorms wouldn’t make much sense.

Types Of Metal Roofing Materials

In addition to the installation methods, another option to consider when choosing metal roofs is what type of metal to select.

Each metal type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and should be taken into account when deciding to install metal roofing. The following metals are used on residential metal roofs:

Galvanized Steel – Galvanized steel is made by coating the steel core of the roof with a layer of zinc. This is done to slow down corrosion from exposure to the elements, and ultimately prolongs the life of the material. Galvanized steel metal roofing is the most common type in use today.

Galvalume Steel – very similar to galvanized steel, Galvalume uses a zinc and aluminum layer to coat the inner steel core. The combined zinc and aluminum offer better protection from the elements, and does give the roofing a smoother, more uniform appearance. Galvalume has a better protective surface than regular galvanized steel, but is more susceptible to scratching.

Stainless steel – as differentiated from Galvanized, or Galvalume steel, Stainless Steel is made not by coating a steel core, but by adding chromium to molten steel itself. This makes the resulting metal rather strong and highly resistant to corrosion, even saltwater.

Chlorine does a number on stainless steel. Therefore, it’s recommended that it not be used in areas like pools that have a high presence of the substance.

Aluminum – recommended for coastal areas, aluminum, because of its chemical properties, is more resistant to salt corrosion. When exposed to the atmosphere, aluminum reacts to the oxygen in the air by forming a layer of aluminum oxide.

This in turn protects the layers underneath from any further corrosion. This added layer of protection does come at a cost, thus the reason why it’s not as common as the other metal types.

Copper – extremely long lasting, copper has been used as roofing material for hundreds of years. Because copper is a soft metal, its relatively quiet compared to other metal roof types, if it is more susceptible to damage from hailstorms.

Copper also has the tendency to expand and contract significantly due to temperature variations, and this should be taken account for during installation. Another thing to consider would be the cost of copper roofing, as it can be rather expensive.

Zinc – another soft and expensive metal roofing material, zinc is advertised as one of the ‘greener’ metals available today. The environmental impact of producing zinc roofing is lower due to its lower energy requirements.

It’s also a very recyclable material, that retains about 95% of its original composition even after years of weathering. As with copper, the softness of the metal may cause problems in areas susceptible to hail damage, and the price of the metal itself is higher than more common roof types.

Titanium – one of the strongest metal types to be used in roofing, titanium is lightweight with a tensile strength similar to that of carbon steel.

Titanium is corrosion resistant, even to saltwater corrosion prevalent in coastal areas, and isn’t as inclined to thermal contraction and expansion as other metal types.

The one very obvious disadvantage of titanium roofing is its cost, and finding price quotes for it is rather uncommon.

Common Metal Thicknesses

The measure of metal thicknesses when it comes to metal roofing is referred to as gauges. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the metal.

Metal roof panels come in gauges of 22, 24, 26, and 29, with 22 being the thickest and 29 being the thinnest. In relation to that, the thicker the metal roofing, the higher the cost of the material in question.

The industry standard is to use 26 gauge metal roofing for construction. Because it’s thinner than 22, and 24, it is much less expensive, while still being stronger than 29.

Most residential and commercial construction projects use 26 gauge metal roofing. This isn’t advisable in areas that experience extreme weather, as it may not stand up to such conditions.

The actual thickness of each gauge is as follows: 22 Gauge is .0299” inches, 24 Gauge is .0239”, 26 Gauge is .0179”, and 29 Gauge is .0149”. This isn’t a set measurement though, as the actual thickness can still vary depending on the manufacturer.

When choosing the thickness of your roofing, refer to the specifications as to the actual thickness of the metal roof rather than its Gauge number. The differences may seem minute, but they do affect the strength and stiffness of your roof.

What Metal Roof Is The Best?

Cost to Install a Roof (1700 s.f)
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Deciding which metal roof is the best choice is a tough question to answer. There are many factors that must be considered when choosing a roof. First, of course, would be the available budget.

Roof types like copper, aluminum, zinc, and titanium may be very attractive in terms of corrosion resistance and aesthetic quality, but if its beyond your current budget, then the choice may not be yours to make.

Another thing would be the environmental and weather conditions in the area that you wish to install the metal roof in. Coastal areas have a large amount of salt in the surrounding air, making corrosion a huge problem unless you want to go the aluminum or stainless steel route.

The presence of extreme weather such as hailstorms or hurricanes can also be a factor, as softer metals don’t fare well in these environments. If you wish to choose which metal is best, take stock of all the available factors so you can make an informed decision.

In general, the best and safest all around metal roofing choice, is standing seam panels. They are also ideal for solar installations.

The second runner up are metal roof shingles, made of steel or aluminum. Today there is a huge range of styles and colors to pick from, along with solid durability in pretty much any climate.

Always be sure to go with a reputable metal roofing manufacturer such as McElroy, Decra, Englert, Atas, Classic, Met-Tile, and Metal Works.

Pro Tip: when it comes to metal roofs, quality installation will be the key to ensuring that your roof preforms without any leaks or problems for decades to come. There is no sense to pay extra money for the strength and longevity of metal, only to save a few hundred bucks and get poor installation.

If you want to avoid any roofing problems in the future, make sure to hire a licensed, experienced metal roofing expert who can provide at least three recently completed jobs in your area.

How To Pick The Right Metal Roof Color?

Due to the advance of paint technology, the colors available for use on metal are practically limitless. If you have a color in mind, there will probably be a manufacturer that produces it.

What’s important to take into consideration when choosing the color of your metal roof is to look at the overall aesthetic of your house.

The design of your home and the color of your siding will pretty much dictate the color of your roof. This is a significant factor, as metal does hold paint well, and this color will certainly last for years before you’ll need to repaint it. Even the metallic sheen of an unpainted roof can lend the home that modern feel, if it’s balanced by the overall design.

There are also the surroundings to take note of when choosing the color of your roof coating. Do you want your home to stand out from the rest? Do you want to blend in with the environment?

When picking color coatings for a metal roof, be sure to go with Kynar 500 or Hylar Coatings, as these are the highest quality paints in the roofing industry. They are fade and chip resistant, and will help your new roof maintain its fresh original look for years to come.

Did You Know? – Although not all metal roofs are made from recycled material, all metal roofs can be recyclable depending on age and damage. This is the reason that metal roofing is considered as the more environmentally friendly option.

Do You Need Gutters With A Metal Roof?

Technically, metal roofing was designed to resist water damage, so having a reliable gutter system isn’t strictly necessary when installing metal roofing.

This protection, however, doesn’t extend to the rest of your house. An uncontrolled flow of rainwater will do damage to any areas that aren’t underneath your actual roofing, and water damage may affect your house’s sidings.

Gutter systems were made to drive water away from vulnerable areas, and the lack of it may potentially cause damage to the rest of the house. The roof itself may not need gutters, but it’s generally not advisable to forego installation if you’re able.

Does A Metal Roof Lower Home Insurance?

This may come as a surprise to many homeowners, but a metal roof can actually lower the amount of premiums you’ll need to pay on your home’s insurance. Insurance premiums depend on the amount of risk that your home may face in its lifetime.

Because of the protection provided by metal roofs, many insurance companies will consider it as a positive thing. The less risk, the less chances that an insurance company will have on paying insurance claims, thus the lower the premium.

Do Metal Roofs Rust?

Most metal roofs will rust eventually. However, this rust and the rate at which it occurs varies depending on the metal roof you install.

Steel is most prone to rusting that has a red/orange color. However, steel roofing manufacturers go to great lengths to produce steel roofing panels and shingles that have special protective layers and coatings that will prolong the life of a steel roof and prevent rusting.

If you want to prevent rusting on your steel metal roof, its important to choose the more expensive Galvalume substrate. It has a mixture of aluminum and zinc which essentially coats the steel and protects it from rusting. A galvalume substrate can ensure that your metal roof does not rust for at least 60 years.

Keep in mind that scratching or denting a steel roof panel, especially if its corrugated steel with cause it to rust a lot faster.

Aluminum roofing can stand up to rust for much longer compared to steel. However, even when an aluminum roof does rust, it develops a white, instead of an ugly orange color rust, which essentially blends in with the metal roof and is not very visible.

Copper and Zinc metal roofs both develop a protective patina that further prevents corrosion and rust over time. Copper roofs are known and are actually desired for the greenish patina color they develop over time. Zinc patina, called zinc carbonate has a grey color and also blends well with the original color of the metal.

Stainless steel is actually the only metal roofing material that is rust resistant.

Is A Metal Roof Very Noisy?

Many homeowners worry that a metal roof will make a loud noise during rain or hail storms. However, this is actually a myth, and metal roofs are designed to be just as quiet and noise resistant as any other type of roofing.

In order to ensure that your metal roof does not conduct any noise from the outside elements, you need to install a proper roof deck, along with sheathing an insulation. Really, the same thing you would do when you install any other type of roof.

The only time a metal roof can make noise is if its installed directly over open framing of the ceiling, without the roof deck. This type of structure is common on sheds, barns, garages, etc. In this scenario, you will actually hear the noise from the rain or hail.

Is A Metal Roof Worth It?

This is a rather subjective question that requires you to answer another question first. How long will you be staying in your home?

Metal roofs are designed for longevity, and the longer you plan to live in your existing home, the more financially reasonable it is to invest in metal roofing.

Compared to other roofing materials, a metal roof will last for decades before maintenance will even be an issue.

Metal also costs less than other premium roofing materials, such as clay tile, or real slate stone, while providing all the same benefits in terms of protection and longevity.

Metal roofing increases the value of your property, so if you’re planning on reselling, this can be a good idea. In most areas you can recoup at least 80% of your initial cost of installing a metal roof.

However, in the snow country, states like Montana, Vermont, Maine, etc, where ice damming, snow, hail, and heavy winter storms are an issue, homes with metal roofs can recoup as much as 90-94% of the initial cost.

Cost to Install a Roof (1700 s.f)
$4,731 - $6,997
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About Leo Bender

Leo has been a contractor since 2003, specializing in: roofing, siding, general contracting (GC) and residential remodeling. Leo is also a Certified HVAC, Oil & Gas Heating Technician/Installer. In addition to roofing and remodeling, Leo is passionate about Solar, green building and energy conservation, so a lot of my time and energy goes to installing energy efficient heating and cooling systems.

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