Is Metal Roofing Worth It For It's Cost?

Is Metal Roofing Worth It For It’s Cost?

New metal roofs cost an average of $11,557, but they can vary between $9,150 and $16,743. Despite costing more than other materials, metal roofs provide better insulation, which helps reduce energy costs and return on investment. Additionally, it comes in a variety of colors, styles, and designs.

Our comprehensive cost guide can help you decide if is metal roofing worth it for you. The Metal Roofing Alliance estimates that metal roofs can last 50 years or more.

Is Metal Roofing Worth It For It's Cost?

How Much Does a Metal Roof Cost?

Professional contractors determine materials and costs using a “roofing square” equal to 100 square feet, which comes in premeasured sheets of about 50–100 square feet. 

The prices are calculated for an average American roof size of 1,700 square feet, including roofing square measurements.

MaterialInstallation Costs (per square foot)Price per SheetThe price for 1,700 square feet
Galvalume Steel$4–$9$400–$900$6,800–15,300
Galvanized Steel$4.50–$17$450–$1700$7,650–$28,900
Aluminum$6.50–$21$650–$2,100$11,050–$35,700
Stainless Steel$7–$20$700–$2,000$11,900–$34,000
Tin (Terne)$10–$26$1,000–$2,600$17,000–$44,200
Zinc$14.50–$21$1,450–$2,100$24,650–$35,700
Copper$20–$40$2,000–$4,000$34,000–$68,000

Types of metal roofing and their costs

Choose a roofing material that is suited to the climate in your area. Some metals will resist corrosion, reflect heat, and resist impact damage better than others.

In contrast to roofing pros who usually break down the price by square feet, metal roof materials are frequently sold in squares, or 100 square feet.

Steel

Depending on the labor and materials used, steel roofs can cost between $5 and $17 per square foot, or between $500 and $1,700 per roof square. In addition to simple corrugated steel sheets, galvanized steel comes in shingles and tiles, and there is a wide range of prices. The look and durability of steel roofing are altered by specialized coatings.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel roofing costs between $8 and $18 per square foot, making it a unique product. You may need to update its faded patina over time, but stainless steel is becoming increasingly popular for residential buildings. It can last for up to 100 years against storm damage, rust, and corrosion.

Tin

You’ll pay between $10 and $23 per square foot for tin roofing materials including the installation cost. Many modern tin roofs are actually made of steel coated with a tin coating. Tin roofs, however, are not very common anymore and are also prone to corrosion and rust, so beware of the long-term cost of roof repairs before you buy one.

Aluminum

The recyclable aluminum roofing options are perfect for homeowners who want to make an eco-friendly upgrade. In addition to reflecting the sun, aluminum roofs can lower your AC bills by as much as $8 to $18 per square foot, including labor. Aluminum roofs can last up to 50 years without major repairs, so they are an excellent choice for homeowners.

Copper

Between $20 and $40 per square foot or $2,000 and $4,000 per roofing square, copper roofing materials lead the price charts. In contrast, copper roofing will last for over a century, resist corrosion and maintain its beauty as the patina changes in the sun, costing up to $68,000 between labor and materials for a 1,700-square-foot roof.

Zinc

As an equally fascinating metal, zinc roofing maintains a protective patina and coating. When you include installation, zinc roofing costs between $16 and $25 per square foot. Despite harsh conditions, you will spend far less on maintenance over the years.

Metal Roofing Prices Per Square

Roofing MaterialPrice Range (Per Roofing Square + Labor)
Steel$500 – $1,700
Stainless steel$800 – $1,800
Tin$1,000 – $2,300
Aluminum$800 – $1,800
Copper$2,000 – $4,000
Zinc$1,600 – $2,500

Is Metal Roofing Worth It?

Considering the following cost-saving opportunities when estimating the cost of your own roof will help you determine whether the cost of metal roofing is really worth it for you:

  • Incentives for using energy-saving materials from the federal and local governments
  • Long-lasting and durable roofs increase the value of your home.
  • By adding a weather-resistant roof, you may be able to lower your homeowner’s insurance.
  • Energy savings for heating and cooling
  • Keeping your roof leak-free, pest-free, and free of other long-term damage

How Does Metal Roofing Benefit You?

A metal roof is a low-maintenance roofing material that can withstand extreme weather conditions and is more durable and longer-lasting than most other roofing materials. Metal roofs are available in many styles and colors to match the design of your home. With their reflective surface, metal roofs deflect the sun’s rays, keeping your home cooler and your energy bills lower. 

Longevity and Durability

The fire resistance and smoke resistance of metal makes it ideal for areas prone to wildfires, as it can withstand hail, high winds, and heavy storms.

Despite the fact that metal roofs can be dented, it usually takes a great deal of force to dent them. For example, golf-ball-sized hail will dent metal roofs, but smaller hail will have little or no impact. Asphalt shingles require much less force to tear or damage.

Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance

Unlike other roof types, metal roofs can be cleaned easily with a pressure washer, while other materials require more complex methods. 

A metal roof can withstand hail storms, heavy winds, and rainstorms better than asphalt shingles. In addition, metal roofs do not require frequent roof repair cost comparisons to asphalt shingles. 

Energy Efficiency

The heat from the sun is directed away from the building by metal roofs, which are usually reflective. Long Home Products’ New England branch manager John Foley says reflecting sunlight can lower roof surface temperatures and attic temperatures, reducing energy costs. 

With special paint, even non-reflective metal can be protected from UV rays. Typically, metal roofs last at least 50 years, so you will save on heating and cooling costs in the long run. According to the MRA, metal roofs can save you 30% on energy costs. 

A cool roof can be created by adding reflective paint or lighter colors. A cool roof has a higher solar reflectance, which lowers your home’s internal temperatures. Cool roofs are Energy Star-certified and help reduce energy bills by 15%. They work best in areas with lots of sunlight, such as southern states and homes with little roof insulation. 

Eco-Friendliness

In addition to being highly reusable, metal roofs usually contain 30%–60% recycled metal. Due to their durability, metal roofs don’t require harsh chemical treatments that could harm the environment, since they are resistant to fungus and moss. Unlike other roofing materials that end up in landfills, metal roofs are 100% recyclable.

Increased Resale Value

You can recoup more than half of your roof replacement expenses when you sell your home with a new metal roof. The average return on investment for metal roof replacement is around 61.2%. 

Customization and Enanced Aesthetic

Various customization options are available for metal roofs, including paint colors, roof styles, finishes, and materials. It is possible to blend metal roofs into your color scheme or make them accent pieces in your home. Steel and aluminum roofs offer the widest color choices. Copper, tin, and zinc roofs offer natural finishes and textures that make them stand out.

What Are the Drawbacks of Metal Roofing?

Cost and installation and repair difficulties are some drawbacks homeowners may encounter when considering adding a metal roof.

It is possible that cost is the biggest deterrent to choosing a metal roof. With higher material and installation costs than many other roofing materials, some homeowners may prefer a roofing material that is less expensive up front. In spite of this, metal roofing can prove to be a good choice for many homeowners because of its above-average durability and longevity.

Installing and maintaining metal roofs can be difficult for homeowners who wish to do so. It takes a great deal of experience and knowledge to do metal roofing safely and effectively, so it is not an option for the average DIYer.


How Does the Cost of a Metal Roof Vary Based on Other Factors?

Below, we will explain how your location, roof pitch, and additional roofing elements affect your metal roof’s price.

Labor

It costs about $350–$400 per sheet of metal roof (roughly 100 square feet) to install a new metal roof, according to Roofing Calculator. 

Location

If you live in an area with a high cost of living, roof replacement costs are higher. Depending on your local weather and climate, you may also need a more durable roofing material if you often experience severe weather patterns, such as hail or heavy winds.

Pitch

Roof pitch is based on a ratio that measures the number of inches a roof rises for every 12 inches in depth. Most homes have roof pitches between 3:12 and 6:12. Roofs with a pitch greater than 6:12 are considered steep, making them more difficult and dangerous to work on. A steep roof requires additional safety equipment, which increases installation costs. 

Underlayment

In order to protect your roof from leaks, you need underlayment under its deck. If your existing roof’s underlayment does not work for a metal roof, you’ll need to replace it. Synthetic underlayment costs between 15 cents and 65 cents per square foot, according to Roofing Calculator.

Style

There are two types of metal roof panels: corrugated and standing seam. Both have different benefits and installation costs.  

Corrugated Metal Panels

Despite being one of the cheapest metal roofing panels (or exposed fasteners), corrugated metal roofing is less durable than standing seam metal roofing. The grooves of corrugated metal panels fit together seamlessly, making installation easier. With their wave-like appearance, corrugated metal panels are easy to install because they expand and contract easily under changing temperatures.

The corrugated metal panels are attached with thousands of fasteners. If they are not installed properly, leaks could occur and water damage could occur. Fasteners may also loosen or corrode over time, requiring additional repair costs. 

A corrugated sheet can be made from many types of metal, but the most common is galvanized steel or galvalume, which costs between $4 and $6 per square foot. For a 1,700-square-foot roof, metal roofing costs between $8,412 and $12,004 with labor, according to Roofing Calculator.

Standing Seam Panels

The raised ribs on standing seam roofing panels conceal the fastening between the panels. Some panels can be snapped together, but others require metal caps.

Fasteners aren’t exposed to weathering, moisture, wind, or other stresses that can cause them to break down over time since they don’t have exposed fasteners. Standing seam panels can also expand and contract as temperatures change thanks to their ribs and unique locking mechanisms.

Aluminium, steel, copper, and zinc are typical materials for standing seam panels. Roofing Calculator estimates that with materials and labor, standing seam panels cost between $7 and $13 per square foot. Aluminum and steel standing seam panels are typically less expensive than copper or zinc panels.

Trim/Flashing

Metal trim and flashing should be included in your estimate. Trim costs vary by type of metal roof. Overall, exposed fastener roofs are less expensive than standing seam roofs. Western States Metal Roofing estimates the costs for 2023 below. 

Typical metal trim costs for exposed and standing seam panels are as follows:

Trim/FlashingCost per linear foot
Exposed Fastener Eave Trim$2.50–$4.00
Exposed Fastener Gable Trim$2.50–$4.00
Exposed Fastener Ridge Cap$3.50–$5.00
Standing Seam Eave Trim$5.50–$8.00
Standing Seam Gable Trim$5.50–$8.00
Standing Seam Ridge Cap$7.00–$10.00

Finishes

Finishes boost your roof’s paint color and extend its durability. The two main materials that are used for metal roofs are polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and silicone-modified polyester (SMP). 

Despite its best protection against fading, cracking, and harsh outdoor elements, PVDF coating is easier to scratch due to its softer composition. Compared to SMP coatings, SMP coatings are harder, which makes them more resistant to scratches and chalking, which occurs when powder-like substances form on a surface.

SMP coatings are more susceptible to cracking and fading, however UV rays make them more expensive. PVDF coatings are 15%-35% more expensive than SMP coatings. 

Gutters

You may have to replace or repair gutters depending on the layout of your roof and existing gutter systems. Gutter installation costs $1,000–$7,000, or about $10 per linear foot. For added protection, you may also choose to install gutter guards.


What is the difference between metal roofing and other roofing materials?

Consider the overall cost and projected lifespan of each roofing material when choosing a new roof. Learn how metal roofing matches up to other roofing options based on these factors.

MaterialCost per sq. ftLifespan in YearsCost Per Year of Use*
Asphalt Shingles$2.08–$3.5020–30$220
Built-up Roofing (BUR)$3.42–$4.9015–30$370
Clay Tiles$5.90–$14.6850–100$275
Concrete Roofing$5.16–$8.6050$275
Green Roofing$10–$2840$950
Metal Roofing$9–$14.6040–70$430
Slate Roofing$7.56–$18.7075–200$190
Solar Roofing$16.10–$20.8525–30**$1,350
Wood Roofing$6.53–$9.9015–30$730

The cost per year of use is a figure that shows how much each roofing material costs for a 2,000 square foot roof over its lifetime and is intended to help show the potential value of each.

Due to the technology’s age, solar roofing lifetimes are only general estimates.

In addition to how well you maintain your roof, various weather and locational conditions may affect its lifespan. If not maintained properly, your roof may need to be replaced sooner than later.

Hiring a professional vs. doing it yourself

Even if you’re handy atop a high ladder, installing any type of roofing yourself is not always a great idea even if you can save thousands.

A faulty roof can lead to storm damage, leaks, and all the costs that go along with them. Some companies will only grant a warranty if you hire a licensed professional.

A national and local survey of two material providers and six cost databases was conducted for the purpose of arriving at the average costs in this article. All averaged figures are accurate at the time of publication and are subject to change.”

Final Thoughts

Metal roof costs vary based on your chosen material, panel style, and other customization options. Metal roofs are more expensive, but they produce better-quality roofs. Although metal roofs are more expensive than other roofing materials, they can save homeowners money on future roof repairs and replacements.  

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