Stone-coated steel roofing quick guide: cost, pros, and cons

Source: McElroy Metal

Jack Wisniewski

By Jack Wisniewski

May 11, 2021

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Stone-coated metal roofing combines the industrial strength of steel with the elegance of traditional roofing materials like shingles, shakes, and tiles.

While this may sound like the ideal combination of benefits for roofing material, you’ll likely want to consider the potential downsides, namely costs.

Fortunately, this article covers the key pros and cons of stone-coated steel roofing. Read on to learn whether roofing material with the beauty and brawn suits you.

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What is stone-coated steel roofing?

Stone-coated steel roofing layers

Stone-coated metal roofing involves multiple distinct layers, typically starting with galvanized steel sheets. Manufacturers then coat the steel panels with a primer to ensure it adheres well to subsequent coatings, starting with acrylic paint.

This layer both protects the underlying metal from UV and water exposure and serves as an adhesive for the next layer – stone granules. To give granules gloss and further protection, manufacturers finish the product with an acrylic overglaze.

How much does stone-coated steel roofing cost?

Stone-coated steel roofing price

For materials only, stone-coated metal roofing costs between $5.40 and $10.37 per square foot.

Pricing differs slightly by style.

For stone-coated steel shingle or shake roofing, homeowners pay an average of $7.64 per square foot. Barrel or mission tile profiles average a touch more at $8.15 per square foot.

Compared to conventional forms of metal roofing like bare aluminum and steel, the price of stone-coated steel falls in a relatively similar price range.

Installation costs vary with who you choose to install, as well as the shape and pitch of your roof. For instance, an installation for a steep roof with skylights, chimneys, and vents throughout will cost more than a seamless, flatter roof.

Many new roof installations also require sheathing, underlayment, and other components critical to the roofing system, which may increase costs.

On top of the intricacy of the installation, pricing also relies partially on geographic location. Enter your zip code in our roofing calculator for free quotes from local roofing contractors.

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Pros of stone-coated steel roofs

Versatility

Stone-coated steel roofing styles

Whether you prefer the look of traditional asphalt shingles, wood shake, or clay tile, stone-coated steel roofing likely has something for you.

For those who want the trademark look of tile roofing without the steep price tag, stone-coated steel provides a cost-effective alternative.

Manufacturers offer a variety of colors as well, which further broadens your options in elevating your home’s curb appeal.

Durability

With a 50-year potential lifespan, metal is arguably the best all-around roofing material in terms of durability.

Many stone-coated steel roofing products come with Class 4 impact ratings – the best rating in the industry – which speaks to their strength to survive harsh storms without hail damage.

In wildfire-prone regions, stone-coated steel roofing with Class A fire ratings meets necessary building codes and insurance coverage requirements.

High winds also pose little threat to stone-coated steel roofing systems as manufacturers provide warranties for winds as high as 120 mph. Even in the high-velocity hurricane zone of Miami-Dade county, stone-coated metal roofing can stand up to extreme weather conditions.

Low maintenance

Apart from removing debris and the occasional cleaning, stone-coated steel roofing requires little maintenance. It will not crack, curl, or fall off like asphalt shingles or wood shakes can.

Energy efficiency

Compared to asphalt shingle roofs, stone-coated metal with infrared-blocking colors and vented installation can reduce heat transferred to a building by 70 percent.

Stone-coated steel roofing tiles intstalled above battens

Stone-coated steel roofing tiles installed above battens can cool the home. Image source: Ross Roof Group

By vented installation, we mean roofing materials installed atop battens, which allows hot air to flow above the roof deck and out through the roof ridge as opposed to heating up the building.

This outflow of heat reduces demand for air conditioning and, therefore, lowers electricity bills.

On top of yearly utility savings, significant energy-efficient improvements can qualify you for tax credits.

Sustainable

Many metal roof manufacturers use recycled materials, which helps divert waste away from landfills – where asphalt shingles alone contribute to around 8 percent of all construction waste materials.

Additionally, you will not need to replace a stone-coated metal roof for decades, which further prevents roofing waste from reaching landfills in the long term.

Lightweight

Stone-coated steel roofing weighs less than 2 pounds per square foot.

For reference, tiles can weigh between 8 and 12 pounds per square foot. Asphalt shingles typically weigh between 2.3 and 4.5 pounds per square foot.

From a cost perspective, lightweight stone-coated steel roofing can save you money in two ways.

A roofer installing a stone-coated steel roof on a residential home

Image source: Roofing Magazine

First, installers can place them directly on top of your existing roof. This drastically speeds up roof installation and possibly reduces costs as you can skip tearing off the old material.

Second, with no old roofing materials to dispose of, you save on dumping fees.

Cons of stone-coated steel roofing

Not the cheapest

Enduring stone-coated steel roofing can make long-term financial sense.

However, the high initial costs for materials and installation do not suit homeowners on a tight budget.

Asphalt shingles cost significantly less per square foot to install – the main reason why four out of five homeowners choose them.

Are stone-coated steel roofs noisy?

Although metal has a reputation for increased rain noise, most stone-coated metal roofing applications will not sound noticeably loud.

Many rightfully assume metal roofing resonates loudly in the rain based on their experiences in barns and sheds with no barriers to deaden sound.

Unlike these typically open-framed structures, residential buildings have drywall, insulation, underlayments, and solid decking to absorb sound before it penetrates the living space.

The Acoustic Group at the University of Luleå in Sweden found that rain on a metal roof produces only 52 decibels – quieter than a normal conversation.

Stone-coated steel further reduces unwanted noise with its thick and irregular granular surface, which dampens and disrupts sound waves.

All things considered, you need not worry about deafening raindrops when you install a stone-coated steel roof.

Is stone-coated steel roofing worth it?

A home with stone-coated steel roofing installed

Image source: DECRA

Yes, if you can afford it.

A significant drawback of regular metal roofing back is debatably its cold, industrial appearance. Stone-coated roofing solves this issue by offering traditional shingle, shake, and tile profiles to harmonize with just about any home, all while requiring little maintenance and possibly lowering energy bills throughout its 50-year lifespan.

However, we can easily see why you wouldn’t choose stone-coated steel roofing – it costs substantially more than asphalt shingles.

Although relatively high costs are the only substantive downside we found among the impressive array of benefits, pricing is often the most critical factor for homeowners narrowing down their options.

If costs have you worried, don’t hesitate to use our free online calculator, which uses satellite imagery to provide estimates based on your roof’s unique dimensions.

Enter your address to get a quote for your roof

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