Metal Roof Cost: How Much for the Roofing Installation

Feb 15, 2023

WRITTEN BY:

Moises V.

CATEGORY:

Uncategorized

POSTED ON:

February 15, 2023

UPDATED ON:

October 11, 2023

Got Questions?

Whether building your dream house from scratch or remodeling a property you just bought, installing or replacing a roof will be one of your most expensive home projects. However, nothing can beat metal roofing, at least in terms of durability, ease of maintenance, and energy efficiency.

Different materials are used to make roofs, and manufacturers develop more efficient roofing solutions as technology advances. However, it seems that nothing can (yet) beat metal roofing, at least in terms of durability, ease of maintenance, and energy efficiency.

Installing a roof is a significant investment; metal roofing is at the higher end of that price range. To plan this project and fit it into your budget, you must know every metal roof cost, as well as the factors that can affect them.

How Much Does a Metal Roof Cost?

White percentage symbol and money roof - metal roof cost

Estimates of how much a metal roof will cost depend on many factors, such as the roof size and the metal type used as a covering. If we take an average roof size of 1,700 square feet as an example, this expense can be anywhere between $10,000 and $70,000.

Considering the price range is quite wide, we’ll break into what goes into the roof cost, the prices for each type of metal roof, as well as additional fees that can add up to the roof installation cost.

Metal Roofing Material Costs 

Metal roofs are made of different materials, but they have two essential common features—flexibility and durability. Each of these materials has unique features that affect its ease of processing and, thus, its price. 

Metals that are mostly used in roofing are:

  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Tin shingles
  • Zinc
  • Cooper

To make it easier for you to do the math for your roof, we will quote all prices per square foot. Remember that material prices fluctuate daily, so check them before purchasing to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Steel

Steel roofs are budget- and eco-friendly, given they’re often made from recycled metals. Unfortunately, although this covering can last quite a long time compared to traditional asphalt shingles, it’s porous and not rust-resistant.

In order to improve the quality of steel sheets, manufacturers protect them with zinc (galvanized steel) or aluminum (galvalume steel) coatings. Besides increasing the durability of this material, these reinforcing layers also add up to its price.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly variant of steel roofs, your choice is corrugated steel panels, which are often sold in 10×10-feet sizes for $100 to $250 (or $1 – $2.5 per sq. ft.). So the overall material cost for a 1,700 sq. ft. roof would be up to $4,250.

In case you want updated steel sheets for your roof, there are two options. 

  • Galvalume is cheaper, from $75 to $250 per 10×10-foot panel ($0.75 to $2.5 per sq. ft.). So you’ll need almost the same amount as for corrugated steel, from $1,275 to $4,250.
  • Galvanized steel is more pricey, costing up to $4.25 per sq. ft. So the cost of this material for an average roof size will be up to $7,225.

Aluminum

Aluminum is a light but fairly durable material that can withstand strong winds and unfavorable weather conditions for a long time. It boasts high rust resistance, which makes it desirable for houses in coastal and wet areas where a steel roof would oxidize over time.

Aluminum panels come in small dimensions, which makes them suitable for complex roof structures. What matters is the correct installation of this roof type so that water doesn’t pass through the joints and cause the roof structure to rot.

As for the price, aluminum is a bit more expensive than steel but still affordable. A single square-foot shingle can cost from $3 to $6, which brings us to the final bill of $5,100 to $10,200 for a roof size of 1,700 sq. ft.

Tin

Tin is a specific type of material used for steel roofs. It serves as a coating for steel base, and this combination forms a product known as terne, which is highly resistant to rust and the elements. 

Tin sheets come in various colors, and not just because of aesthetics. The paint adds up another layer of protection. On the other hand, you can also opt for non-painted sheets, which oxidize over time and get a delicate layer of grayish hue.

Roofs made of tin aren’t too common, especially when you have cheaper variants like aluminum or steel at your disposal. Still, if you live in areas with a lot of rainfall, you might want to give this material a chance. 

Tin sheets cost as low as $3.50 per sq. ft., but you can find premium models for $14 per sq. ft. So material for a 1,700 sq. ft. roof will cost you between $5,950 and $23,800, depending on the processing and quality of this roofing material.

Zinc

This metal has the best ratio of price and material quality. It can withstand the effects of weather well, lasts a long time, is very flexible, and represents an excellent solution for curved roofs.

Zinc has a unique feature that no other material has: the ability to “self-healing.” To specify, when faced with moisture, zinc creates a protective layer that effectively repairs superficial scratches, which makes this material very low-maintenance.

The price between $6 and $10 per sq. ft. is not a bargain, but considering what you get, it’s an excellent bang for a buck. The 1,700 sq. ft. zinc roof that can last up to 150 years costs between $10,200 and $17,000. What significantly affects this cost to increase is the installation costs, which we’ll talk about later. 

Copper

Copper is a metal with a unique red color that turns green over time, so these roofs contribute significantly to your home aesthetics. Apart from beauty, copper roofing is long-lasting and light, and what makes it special is its rust resistance.

The beauty and all the listed characteristics of copper roofs come with a high price tag, which makes these roofs the most expensive on our list. This material’s average price per square foot is between $15 and $25 per sq. ft., depending on the manufacturer and location. So for a 1,700 sq. ft. roof, that would be $25,500 to $42,500 for copper tiles alone.

Metal Roof Installation Costs

When you ask, “how much does a metal roof cost,” you can’t just think about the material costs. Labor costs are also a significant item that you should include when budgeting for a roofing project.

Roofers charge for their work per square foot of material.

  • Roofers working with steel sheets usually charge anywhere between $4 and $10 per sq. ft. just for labor, with corrugated panels being the cheapest to install and galvanized steel being the more costly one.
  • As for aluminum roofing sheets, roofing experts find these easy to work with, so the labor costs are relatively low, from $6 to $10 per sq. ft.
  • Tin roofs aren’t too demanding to work with either, so roofing contractors’ rates for their labor are between $4.5 and $7 per sq. ft.
  • Installing copper panels doesn’t need much work, so the roofers can charge you as low as $7 per sq. ft. But if the roof is more complex, this rate can go up to $15 per sq. ft.

These variations in labor costs aren’t just because of different materials. These also depend on the following:

  • Whether you install a new roof, replace the old one, or re-roof
  • Where you live
  • Project complexity – roof accessibility, height, and slope
  • Roofing contractors’ level of experience

Roof Installation, Replacement, or Re-roofing

You can plan the budget for a new roof if you know what you want to do. For example, installing a new roof is usually done on new houses, and it’s a less complex and less costly project than roof replacement.

Replacing an old roof requires the removal of old shingles and structures, thus incurring higher costs. Roofers charge up to $5 per sq. ft. for roof removal or anywhere between $40 to $80 per hour, so do your math.

Re-roofing is a less complex job because it only refers to installing a new metal layer over the old roof without removing the old tiles. But keep in mind that this procedure is only doable only after the roof inspection determines that the old roof is in relatively good condition.

Location

The location of your house is important not only because of roof accessibility but also because roofers’ rates depend on the local market and regional labor costs. So metal roof costs can vary significantly from state to state.

Project Complexity

The complexity of the roofing is perhaps the most important factor when determining the price. That’s because your roof may require more or less work because of its size, slope, joints, and gutter system.

Larger and steeper roofs require more work and hiring experts who’ll complete this risky job. Also, the large number of peaks and valleys ask for extra attention during installation because even the tiniest mistake can lead to roof leakage.

And you can’t forget about the gutter. Gutters are an essential part of the roofing system. Without it, the roof function would be reduced. So factor in several thousand dollars of extra costs for gutters during roof installation or replacement.

Roofing Contractors’ Experience

There are differences between contractors working within the same area. Some have operated on the market for years, while others are relatively new. Some use modern tools and work methods, while others stick to proven, slightly older technology. All of these affect how they form their rates, so think about that when budgeting your roofing project.

It’s always best to choose licensed contractors specialized for particular roofing materials. But, of course, we can’t erase the fact that you’ll pay more for their services than if you’d hire contractors that are relatively new to the market. But the money you’ll spend will be worth every penny. Not to mention that every mistake inexperienced roofers make can cost you a lot more down the road.

DIY Installation or Hiring Professionals

Labor costs make up almost 70% of the total price of your new roof. But that’s not something to cut corners on. We must repeat that roof installation is a major investment and a risky endeavor for amateurs, so you should leave it to the professionals.

Besides knowing how to build roofs by standards and laws, roofing experts have the appropriate tools and machines that help them get the job done faster and better than any DIYer. 

Finally, roofers undergo safety training and use proper gear so they know how to take care of themselves while working at heights.

Total Roof Installation Costs for Different Materials

Material Type Material Cost per Square Foot Labor Cost per Square Foot Total Cost*
Corrugated steel $1.00 – $2.50 $4.00 – $10.00 $8,500 – $21,250
Galvalume/galvanized steel $0.75 – $4.25 $6.50 – $10.00 $12,325 – $24,225
Aluminum $3.00 – $6.00 $6.00 – $10.00 $15,300 – $27,200
Tin $3.50 – $14.00 $4.50 – $7.00 $13,600 – $35,700
Zinc $6.00 – $10.00 $12.00 – $18.00 $30,600 – 47,600
Copper $15.00 – $25.00 $7.00 – $15.00 $37,400 – $68,000

*for an average roof size of 1,700 sq. ft.

Reasons to Install Metal Roof

Storm rain on the metal roof of the house

Back in the day, metal roofs weren’t the most desirable option for houses. You could see them only in industrial plants and commercial spaces. But today, they’re becoming an increasingly common choice for homeowners. And there are many good reasons for that.

Decades-Long Lifespan

One of the main reasons metal roofs are so popular today is the fact that modern materials are very high quality and resistant. Metals can withstand high temperatures and pressure; most are water-resistant too. Besides, they’re not prone to rot, mold, or insects and pest damage.

When installed properly, metal tiles or panels ensure the firm roof structure, conduct the heat, and channel water, so they’re practically indestructible for the next few decades. Certain materials, such as zinc and copper, can even last over 100 years.

Ease of Maintenance

Due to the metal’s durability and firmness, most metals are low-maintenance. So you have to give them only an occasional scrub to keep them in good shape for years. And when the time comes, you can easily clean them with power washers, which is not the case with concrete or asphalt roofs.

Energy Efficiency

The energy efficiency of the living space is of great importance these days. Metal roofs have radiating properties that reduce the surface temperature, lower the amount of heat that gets into the house, and prevent energy loss.

Metal panels retain a high level of reflection even after continuous exposure to the elements over many years. Particularly effective are colored metals or those that get patinated over the years, which creates an additional layer that enables the high energy efficiency of metal roofs.

Eco-Friendliness

The metals used to make the roof panels are recyclable, so these long-lasting roofs protect the environment and have a low carbon footprint. And due to their ability to reflect solar energy and prevent heat loss, metal roofs also lower energy consumption. So apart from being good for the environment, they’re also good for your budget.

To Sum Up

Installing metal roofs is a high-cost home project, but it’s worth the price once you find out about all the benefits it can bring. So call the experts to put this cover on your living space, and it’ll withstand all challenges of the weather and time, providing you with peace of mind for many years.

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