Metal Roofing Prices, Systems, Materials and Manufacturers

There is a lot of confusion about metal roofing among homeowners, and with the general public alike. Many people think of metal roof being the old and rusty tin roof that you can still see on some historic homes, or old farm buildings. Others think that the only form a metal roof can have is limited to vertical panels standing seam metal roofing. While both are partially correct, the truth is – there is a lot more to metal roofing than that. In fact, modern metal roofing market is so diverse that you can find well over a dozen of types of metal roofing materials and systems, and over a hundred of independent manufacturers of metal roofs in the US alone.

This is what many people picture when they hear of a Metal Roof

barn metal roof

Old Metal Roof on a Barn

Contrary to a popular belief, modern metal roofing offers a wide selection of roof styles and material choices including metal roofs made form galvanized and galvalume steel, painted aluminum, stainless steel, copper, and zinc roofs. As far as metal roofing styles are concerned, you can choose a more traditional standing seam metal roof as well as metal shingles, shakes, or tiles. There are metal roofing systems made to replicate/resemble the classic look of slate roofs, cedar shingles, concrete or clay Spanish tiles, heavy hand-split cedar shakes, diamond shaped tiles, and even stone-coated steel roofing panels that look like architectural asphalt shingles.

Why metal roofing:

Are you looking for unsurpassed longevity, durability and reliability in your new roof? How about a wide selection of architectural looks to please any taste, and energy efficient Cool Roof coatings that can reduce your cooling and heating costs by as much as 40 percent? Metal roofing is a low maintenance, lifetime-lasting roofing material that will protect your home, or business from rain, snow, hail, heat and even help prevent Ice Dams, common in northern regions of the US and most of Canada.

Once a metal roof is properly installed on your home, it should not require any repairs, and the fade-resistant Kynar coating, which is a de-facto standard for all premium painted metal roofing products, will provides energy efficiency, lasting protection and beauty for decades to come.

Metal Roofing Materials:

Below you will find the list of most common types of metal roofing materials, with a short description, uses and benefits of each product/system type.

  • Standing Seam – vertical roofing panels installed using either concealed or exposed fasteners, usually a 16″ wide profile with the panels running from eave of the roof, all the way up to the ridge line. Standing seam can be manufactured from steel, aluminum, copper, zinc or tin. Though standing seam metal roof is a close “relative” of other types of vertical panel roofing systems such as corrugated steel metal roofing. Residential standing seam metal roofs are usually comprised of architectural roofing panels, and are installed on roofs where aesthetics are just as important as performance and longevity.
  • Standing Seam Metal Roof

    Standing Seam Metal Roof

  • Metal Shingles – interlocking metal panels stamped out of steel, aluminum or copper coil, come in various sizes and are made to resemble cedar shingles, slate roofs, flat tiles, or asphalt roofing shingles. Can be manufactured from either smooth surface painted metal or stone coated galvanized steel coil. Metal shingles are designed to interlock on all four sides to prevent wind driven water from penetrating the roof, and to increase the roof integrity, longevity, and provide protection from the hurricanes.
  • Metal Shakes – very similar to metal shingles, these metal panels are made to resemble heavy hand-split cedar shakes, and textured clay / concrete tiles. Metal shakes can be manufactured using either steel, aluminum or copper. Metal shakes are usually interlocked only on top and bottom, and overlap each other on the sides to prevent water penetration, and to increase the system integrity.
  • Metal Tiles – these metal roofing panels are made to resemble the classic look of clay Spanish tiles, common in southern Europe regions, as well as in central Europe. Metal tiles are usually made using stone-coated heavy galvanized steel (22 gauge), and are installed either over wood battens, or directly over roof deck. Depending on the roof design, they can be installed either form top to bottom, or traditionally from bottom up.
  • Corrugated Metal Roofing Panels – these are the roofs you will usually see on the farm buildings and other roofs in rural areas. A higher-end corrugated metal roofs can be installed on some residential roofs.
    Architectural Corrugated Metal Roof

    Architectural Corrugated Metal Roof

    Corrugated metal roofing panels are usually constructed from a low-gauge galvanized steel with less expensive acrylic roof coating, and can feature multiple designs including R-panels, V5 crimp panels, and traditional “wavy” design.

    Corrugated steel roofs typically do not last as long as architectural metal roofs, but will nevertheless outlast and outperform common asphalt shingle roofs that are made from oil based products and are difficult to recycle. Corrugated metal roofs will require some amount of maintenance, and repair throughout their life. Cheaper corrugated metal panels with lower-end paint finish may require a new paint job after 10-15 years.

Available Metal Types

Most of the above listed metal roofing materials can be manufactured using different types of corrosion-resistant metals. Below you can learn about the benefits of each type of metal, costs of these metal roofing materials, installation requirements and how they can interact with each other in terms of galvanic reactions between different metals. Here are the most common metals used in metal roofing:

  • Steel Roofing – either galvanized steel, stainless steel or tin.
  • Aluminum Roofing – made out of ionized aluminum coil – either painted or mill finish.
  • Copper Roofing – premium metal roofs made using 16 oz or 20 oz clear or lead-coated copper.
  • Zinc Roofing – premium metal roofs made using un-coated zinc coil.

Metal Roofing Prices:

Metal roofs are considered to be premium roofing materials, and will cost more than traditional roofing materials. Depending on the metal roofing material you choose, you can expect to pay as much as 2.5 to 4 times more for a metal roof vs, a “30 year” (You will be lucky if you can get 15 years of service out of a 30 year asphalt shingles) architectural asphalt shingles roof. Nevertheless, we believe that the extra cost of metal roofing is usually well justified, considering their performance, looks, energy efficiency, curb appeal and lack of roof leaks (and roof repairs associated with roof leaks).


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