Best metal roof options

Image source: Saalfeld Roofing

Chris Gennone

By Chris Gennone

November 17, 2020

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If you’re thinking about installing a new roof and plan on staying in your home for a long time, metal roofs are worth the hefty price tag. Metal roofs also don’t typically require much maintenance or repairs for up to 50 years. In addition to its longevity, they are environmentally friendly, energy-efficient, and durable. If you’re interested in installing a metal roof for your home, there are a variety of types to consider.

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How much do metal roofs cost?

Metal roofs average around $20,000 to install but can cost even more depending on the materials. While prices for metal roofing installations usually range from $11-$12 per square foot, prices differentiate between materials. Let’s determine which metal roof is within your budget.

Material Price
Aluminum $3-$7 per square foot
Copper $8-$15 per square foot
Metal $4-$6 per square foot
Steel Galvanized steel: $2-$4 per square foot, Galvalume steel: $3-$5 per square foot
Zinc $4-$8 per square foot

 

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Types of metal roofs, pros, and cons

Metal roofs are all made up of similar recycled materials but differentiate in shapes, sizes, and thicknesses. To figure out which metal roof is right for you, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each type. Let’s dive in.

Aluminum

Image source: Prominent Construction

Aluminum roofing installations have increased recently, thanks in part to their longevity and strong wind and fire resistance. While other roofing materials like asphalt, wood, and concrete can degrade over time, aluminum roofs don’t rust or show signs of damage easily. Due to its lightweight materials, aluminum is easier and cheaper to install than other metals.

Pros of aluminum roofing

Environmentally-friendly – Aluminum roofing contains recycled materials and is fully recyclable. It can also be installed over existing shingles, saving wasted materials.

Wind and corrosion-resistant – Aluminum roofing is often best suited for coastal climates due to its ability to prevent salt corrosion and can typically prevent wind damage up to 140 MPH.

Cons of aluminum roofing

Prone to denting – Because aluminum is a softer metal, hail storms, and other forms of impact and can easily dent or damage the roof.

Copper roofing

Image source: Pitch Perfect Roofing

Copper has been used as a building material for centuries, most notably on cathedrals, castles, and even the Statue of Liberty. It’s popular among roofing options due to its strength, energy savings, and resistance to damage and blemishes.

Pros of copper roofing

Recyclable – Copper is completely recyclable, and can help reduce the number of carbon footprints.

Energy efficiency – A copper roof reflects UV rays instead of absorbing them, keeping your house cool, and saving you money.

Long-lasting – Though its bronze color may change to shades of green over the years due to corrosion, copper roofs can last anywhere from 60-100 years.

Cons of copper roofing

Prone to denting – Copper is also a softer metal and is prone to denting in heavy rain or hail storms.

Expands and contracts – For homeowners in climates where temperatures change frequently, copper tends to expand and contract, causing damage to the building.

Standing seam metal roofing

Image source: McKinnis

Standing seam metal is one of the most durable and longest-lasting types of metal roofing panels available. While it does come with a hefty price tag, costing up to $30,000, a standing seam metal roof is one of the longest-lasting options with little maintenance.

Pros of standing seam metal roofing

No exposed fasteners – Standing seam metal roofs have fasteners that are concealed, which eliminates the possibility of any moisture leaking through. Other metal roofs feature panels nailed together, where standing seam metal panels overlap each other.

Durable – A standing seam roof can last up to 75 years, more than double the life of a typical asphalt shingle roof.

Cons of standing seam metal roofing

Expensive – Standing seam metal is one of the more expensive options you can buy, usually costing $10 per square foot to install, in addition to the materials.

Steel roofing

Image source: Sheffield Metals

Steel is of the most common materials for commercial and residential metal roofing systems today, mostly due to its recyclability and low pricing. The two types of steel often used are Galvanized steel and galvalume steel. These types are coated with a combination of other metals like aluminum and zinc, which prevent the steel roof panels from corrosion.

Pros of steel roofing

Cost-effective – Costing up to $5 per square foot, steel is the cheapest option for metal roofing.

Durability – Steel is one of the hardest metals available, which makes it a good option if you often face extreme weather conditions like snow or hail.

Cons of steel roofing

Rust – While a steel roof is normally resistant to red rust, if the steel core becomes exposed at any point, it will start to develop white rust, degrading the metal over time.

Zinc roofing

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Image source: Metal Roofing

While zinc is often used as a special coating for other metals like galvanized steel, it is also sold in sheets and roofing panels. Zinc is incredibly environmentally friendly, which is completely recyclable and able to be reused.

Pros of zinc roofing

Long-lasting – Zinc is one of the longest-lasting metal roofing materials, with a lifespan lasting well over 80 years. It is fire resistant and prevents the production of mold.

Doesn’t rust – When zinc is oxidized, it forms a protective layer known as patina. This layer protects the metal from rusting and reforms if it becomes scratched or damaged.

Cons of zinc roofing

Expensive – Zinc can cost up to $8 per square foot with an additional $10-$15 per square foot for installation, making it one of the more expensive metal roofing products.

Is a metal roof right for you?

Image source: Lewis Walker Roofing

Metal roofs can be expensive, but the benefits of metal roofing will save you money in the long run. Some advantages of metal roof systems are its low maintenance, durability, but they also last double the amount of time, and have longer warranties than a traditional asphalt roof. While installing metal roof panels yourself is doable, it’s probably best to hire professional roofing contractors. If you plan on staying at your home for a long period of time and live in a climate that experiences extreme weather conditions like hurricanes, wildfires, or snow, metal roofing is a good option.

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