Metal roofs have been around for a long time, but the modern variants are made of copper, zinc, and aluminum. They’re becoming increasingly popular among homeowners because of the benefits they provide. They’re energy-efficient and compatible with solar panels, saving you the cost of insulating your home during winter or running the air-conditioner during summer.
The cost of installing a metal roof ranges between $5,000 to $68,000, including supply and labor. While this may seem to be a drawback, many homeowners still choose metal roofing because it lasts longer than other roofing materials.
Keep reading to find out all you should know about metal roof cost, including the factors that influence the cost and the pros and cons of a metal roof. We at Viking Contractors will help you get a clear understanding of why metal roofing is a smart investment for homeowners.
How Much Does a Metal Roof Cost?
Professional roofers estimate prices in roofing squares, which are approximately 100 square feet. Below is a breakdown of metal roof cost by roofing type:
Copper is the most expensive roofing metal, estimated at a range of $20 to $40 per sq. foot. But it can last a lifetime and is resistant to rust, fire, mildew, and mold.
The metal is lightweight and shiny when new but becomes green as it ages. Although the patina forms when your copper roof is about 20 years old, you can ask the roofer to coat it with polyurethane.
Aluminum is quite common in roofing projects because of its malleability. Roofers can curve and shape it easily to achieve various designs. And the metal is also resistant to fire and harsh weather conditions.
Aluminum roofing lasts up to 45 years or more, and you can recycle it, which makes it a friend to green homeowners. Because aluminum isn’t difficult to work with, roofers charge between $6 to $21 per sq. foot, including labor.
Steel roofs come in three types: stainless, galvanized, and galvalume. Galvanized steel is coated with zinc to make it resistant to corrosion, while galvalume is coated with zinc, aluminum, and traces of silicon. The cost of these roofing materials and labor is estimated at $5 to $18 per sq. foot.
Stainless steel, on the other hand, is more expensive as it doesn’t need an extra coating to protect it from corrosion. It can last a lifetime and can withstand storm damage. The roofing material costs between $8 to $20 per sq. foot.
Like copper, zinc undergoes patination, which protects its surface from harsh weather conditions. However, it’s cheaper than copper, resistant to corrosion and scratches, and requires minimal maintenance. Zinc roofing costs between $16 and $25 per sq. foot, including installation.
Tin is one of the oldest roofing materials and is widely used in the US. Although it’s no longer a common roof material, modern tin roofs are a combination of steel that’s coated with tin alloy.
If well maintained, tin is resistant to corrosion and can last up to 70 years. The cost of installing a tin roof is around $10 to $23 per sq. foot.
Factors Influencing the Cost of Metal Roofing
Several factors contribute to the cost of metal roofing, which includes the following:
The Roof Size
Roofing materials are measured in 100 square feet, and professionals charge based on that measurement. So, the bigger your roof, the higher the cost of materials and labor.
For instance, if the cost of a metal roofing sheet is $5 per sq. foot and your roof is 1,700 sq. feet, you’ll spend $8,500 per sq. feet.
The Pitch, Slope, and Shape of the Roof
The roof’s pitch is the steepness, usually expressed as the vertical rise over 12″ of the horizontal run. A pitch of 6/12 is walkable, but anything beyond that would require the use of additional equipment, which adds to the total cost of the job.
Additionally, a fairly flat roof is easier to install than a steep roof. So, if your roof has a steep slope, it’ll require more materials, an experienced crew, and extra time for installation.
The roof shape also plays a role in the overall roofing cost as it determines whether the project is complex or simple. Multiple-hipped roofs cost more to construct because you’ll need more materials to finish the valleys and ridges.
The roofing underlayment lies between the decking of your building and the roofing material. Although it’s not necessary, it protects your building from leaks during bad weather.
Felt underlayment is quite common and cheaper than synthetic underlayment. The price of a metal roof underlayment ranges from $2 to $5. However, if your current underlayment isn’t suitable for a metal roof, the cost of removing it to install a new one will raise the roofing costs.
The Roofing Style
Roofers install metal roofs as standing seams, corrugated panels, or metal shingles. Each style has benefits and installation costs.
Standing seams have raised ribs and cost between $7 and $24 per sq. foot.
Corrugated metal panels have a wavy appearance that requires fasteners to keep them in position. This style is straightforward and costs between $5 to $25 per sq. foot. But you may spend more later if you need to replace fasteners after a period of expansion and contraction.
Metal shingles are trim and fit on roofs with chimneys with complex shapes. They cost around $5 to $22 per sq. foot.
The Metal Gauge
The gauge of a metal is its thickness, and it determines the durability and price of the metal. It ranges from a light gauge of 29 to a heavy gauge of 20. The cost of metal roofing of 22 gauge costs between $10 and $25 per sq. foot.
Add-Ons and Upgrades
If you plan on adding more features to your roof, like dormer windows or skylights, extra care should be taken to seal all edges against leak and moisture damage. And upgrades like flashes, vents, and chimneys also require additional work. As a result, the roofer will charge for the time required to get it done.
Tearing Off Old Roof
If your roofing project isn’t on a new building, you should consider removing the old one. This could cost between $1 to $5 per sq. foot. But you should consider whether to recycle it or arrange with a dumpster for proper disposal.
Cost of Labor
Installing a metal roof is labor-intensive, risky, and could be complicated, depending on the architectural design of the building. The contractor brings in their years of experience to ensure that your metal roof is professionally installed to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Additionally, roofers have a peak season, which is usually during summer and the beginning of fall. Getting them to handle your project at this time comes at a premium cost, as they tend to go for the highest bidder.
The Paint System
Coating your metal roof boosts its color and protects it against rust, cracks, and leaks. The two painting systems available are SMP (silicone-modified polyester) and PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride).
SMP paint is hard and ensures your roof is resistant to chalking, fading, and scratches, but it fades faster. PVDF, on the other hand, is soft and stays vibrant longer than SMP. The price of PVDF paint is usually around 15 to 35 percent more than SMP.
Depending on your state, you may have to apply for a permit to install, repair, or replace your roof. This could cost between $1,000 and $1,500; the contractor should have experience obtaining such permits, so you don’t have to worry about it. But you should also find out whether you can install a metal roof on your existing roof.
The layout of your roof or the existing gutter will determine whether you need to install a new one or repair it. And the cost of gutter installation depends on the type of metal and the number of sheets required. However, it ranges between $1,000 and $5,000.
The Pros and Cons of Metal Roof
The efforts of the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) seem to be paying off as more US homeowners embrace metal roofing, and you don’t want to be left out. Metal roofing offers several benefits, like durability, longevity, and safety. But there are some potential drawbacks, such as the cost of the roofing material.
Here are the advantages of installing a metal roof:
Durability and Longevity
Unlike asphalt roofing which has a lifespan of 12 – 20 years, metal roofs can last up to 70 years if properly installed, and most manufacturers offer a warranty of 30 years. The material is tough and can withstand harsh weather conditions. Also, it doesn’t corrode or crack, and there are special coatings that help it to retain its qualities.
Metals like aluminum are reflective; instead of absorbing sunlight, they change the direction of the heat. As a result, the building stays cool, which can save you the cost of cooling and heating your home over a period of 40 years or more.
Additionally, pigments have been infused into some coatings and paints for metal roofs so that they can absorb less sunlight. Such roofs are known as cool roofs, and owners can qualify for utility rebates from the government and potential tax benefits.
Asphalt roofs are products of fossil fuels, and with their short lifespan, they quickly end up in landfills, thereby contributing to global warming. On the contrary, metal roofs are recyclable and can be made from recycled materials. Steel, for example, doesn’t lose its strength after recycling.
And because a metal roof is lightweight, you can install it on an existing roof without distorting the structural support. This saves you the time and money required to tear down an asphalt roof.
Metal roofs are resistant to bad weather. They won’t suddenly ignite and burn down after a lightning strike. As a result, they’re suitable for areas that are prone to wildfire.
High Home Resale Value
Unlike asphalt roofs which offer a few colors, you can find a variety of colors in metal roofs, from premium to custom hues. Installing one on your building increases the curb appeal of the entire property, which translates into a high resale value.
More importantly, replacing an old roof with a metal one has a return on investment of over 60%. Therefore, homeowners can recover at least half of the amount they spent on roof replacement when they sell the building.
Gone are the days when metal roofs were noisy during rainfall. With improvements in construction techniques, the decking and underlayment lessen the noise.
Although metal roofs offer several advantages, they present the following potential drawbacks:
Metal roofs are durable, but they can be ten times more expensive than other types of roofing materials. The cost of installation is also on the high side because it requires special training, skills, and equipment.
Expansion and Contraction
Large panels of metal roofing expand and contract as the weather becomes hot and cool. It affects the fasteners, causing them to wear. And this is especially true for fasteners used in the installation of corrugated metal panels, as they’re directly exposed to the elements.
Metal Roof Maintenance
Metal roof is easy to maintain, but slight negligence could result in serious issues that will reduce their life span. Here are some tips for metal roof maintenance:
- Gently sweep down debris that may clog the gutter and drain
- Wipe the metal panels with a wet cloth to remove stains, mildew, and other harmful substances
- Cut down tree branches that are touching the surface of the metal, as they may scratch the coating
- Look for signs of scuffs, scratches, fading, or chalking, then touch up with the recommended paint
You can save some money by taking a DIY approach to maintaining your metal roof. However, it’s best practice to hire a professional to get the job done. This would cost between $150 to $800.
A professional roofer will carry out structural maintenance tasks such as checking for loose or worn fasteners, dislodged panel seams, damaged or loose flashing, and punctures from fallen branches.
Metal Roof Cleaning
When it comes to cleaning a metal roof, it seems easier than other roof types. But you should contact a roofer because they know the right technique for each type of metal roof.
Some portions of the roof may be difficult to reach or become slippery when liquid is applied. And you don’t want to risk falling.
And you should also avoid using a pressure washer on your metal roof. Although high-pressure washing may remove mold and mildew, it may damage your roof and void its warranty. Metal roofing material is lightweight and requires careful handling.
Professional roof cleaning costs between $300 to $600, depending on the size of your roof, the cleaning products and equipment, and the roof slope. If this is above your budget, look for roofing professionals offering seasonal deals and discounts.
Metal Roof Inspection
A roof cleaner is in the best position to spot problems on your roof. But you should consider getting an inspector to critically assess its condition. This will give you insight into minor problems that may develop into serious issues if not handled on time.
A roof inspection costs as low as $80 and as high as $400. However, the price depends on whether the inspector will check the roof traditionally or use a drone. Other factors like accessibility and the number of stories are considered.
Metal Roof Repair
Although metal roofs are durable, accidents may happen, and they can become dented or cracked, resulting in leaks. Typically, repairing a metal roof involves sealing cracks and replacing corroded panels (which rarely happens). Depending on the type of damage, repairing a metal roof ranges from $600 to $2,000.
The cost of a metal roof varies based on the type of metal, cost of labor, the roofing style, and other add-ons. Although this type of roofing is costly, you’ll get what you pay for, considering that the roof will last you for a lifetime.
And if you intend to sell your house in the future, installing a metal roof increases its value. Other benefits include energy efficiency and protection from wildfires.
After installing a metal roof, other related costs to plan for include maintenance, cleaning, inspection, and repairs.
DIYers may attempt to handle these tasks to save costs, but hiring a professional is safer and more economical. A little mistake can dent your roof or break the sealant, making it prone to water damage.
So whatever budget you’re working with, you should schedule a free inspection with a trusted roofing expert like Viking Contractors.