Metal roof installation, materials, prices and manufacturers

Metal Roofing: DIY Installation, Materials and Prices.

Metal roofing is one of the greenest and longest lasting types of roofing materials. Professionally installed metal roofs will protect your home from rain, snow, high winds / hurricanes, ice dams, fires, lightening, etc. No other type of roof will stand up to the power of nature as well as a metal roof. In addition to great waterproofing properties, metal roofing also makes your home look beautiful, and your house becomes the envy of your neighbors.

Metal roofs improve the comfort of your home. The thermal properties of metal roofs will keep your attic space cooler in the summer, and a Cool Roof coating will further improve the reflectivity of your roof. In the winter, a metal roof will act as a natural barrier against an ice dams formation. Most of the snow accumulating on your roof will actually slide off of your roof before it has a chance to freeze, but even if it does freeze along the eaves of your roof, the design of metal roofing panels will prevent any water from traveling up and penetrating your roof.

Image of Standing Seam Metal Roof

Materials & System Types:

There are many types and styles of metal roofing, as well as many types of actual metal alloys used in the manufacturing of metal roofing materials. Here, we list the most common and popular types of metal roofing, as well as a detailed overview of each metal roof material type:

Standing Seam – vertical metal roofing panels, installed over a solid roof deck or over space sheeting / battens. Standing seam metal roofs usually come in two styles:

  • Architectural Standing Seam – snap-lock or mechanical lock design with concealed fasteners. Uses 22-26 gauge steel, .032-.040 aluminum, 16 oz copper, Zinc or other premium metals. Painted standing seam uses Kynar 500 premium 7-layer baked on coating.
  • Exposed Fasteners Standing Seam – usually lower gauge and quality steel (29 ga galvanized steel) panels, installed directly over roof deck or battens, without underlayment / vapor barrier, using roof-penetrating fasteners with neoprene / rubber gaskets. Most common profiles include corrugated steel panels, R-panel, V5 crimp panel, etc. Exposed fastener metal roofing is typically painted with lower quality (as compared to Kynar 500) acrylic paint. This acrylic paint usually lasts 15-20 years, and requires resealing and re-tightening of every fastener after about 10 years. These systems are not very suitable for complicated / cut-up roofs, as the flashing details are not designed for multiple roof penetrations, valleys and pitch changes.
  • Learn how to install a standing seam metal roof. – topics covered include preparing a roof deck and installing roofing underlayment, installing a starter strip, the first metal roof panel, field panels, doing sidewall flashing, valley flashing and installing hip / ridge cap. Includes metal roofing installation video guide.

Metal Shingles – Interlocking design metal panels installed in horizontal rows, over properly ventilated solid roof deck. Metal shingles roof is a true architectural metal roof – you can choose from many profiles of metal shingles that imitate natural slate, cedar shingles and shakes, concrete and clay tile, asphalt shingles, etc.

Image of a metal shingles roof

Compared to standing seam, metal shingles are less expensive to buy, and also cost less to install. Metal shingles also offer better flexibility for a roofing contractor, in terms of greater variety of readily available metal flashing details for almost any roof penetration. Metal Shingles can also be installed on round towers, whereas standing cannot, unless a very expensive and sophisticated rolling equipment is used in manufacturing of custom designed sheet metal roofing panels.


Metal roofing prices are something of a mystery for many homeowners, and also vary greatly from region to region. Metal roofs are generally more expensive to install than a typical asphalt shingles roof – about 2.5-3 time more. However, if you consider the lifetime cost of a metal roof vs. an asphalt shingles roof, you will see that on a per-year basis, a metal roof is actually about 25-30% less than asphalt shingles.

Simple math will show that an average asphalt shingles roof that costs $6000, and lasts 15 years, will cost $400/year, on a per year basis. A metal roof installed on the same house, costing $18000 (3 times the cost of an asphalt shingles roof) and lasting 60+ years, will cost you only $300 per year.

If you also subtract all the future “would be” roof and interior repairs associated with the end of life of a typical asphalt shingles roof – that time when your roof starts to leak, your ceilings, walls and carpets get ruined and you have to get up in the middle of the night to put up the buckets when it rains – a metal roof becomes much more appealing.

Written by Leo - roofer with a vision. Follow Leo on Google+

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Written by admin

November 1st, 2012 at 8:39 am

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2 Responses to 'Metal Roofing: DIY Installation, Materials and Prices.'

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  1. Metal roofs are lightweight and durable. Because of these benefits of metal roofing, several are changing the tiles on their home to metal. Thanks for providing information on metal roofing.



    24 Aug 10 at 5:19 am

  2. Hi,

    Do you have any experience with the roof tiles (like the clay ones) that are made by Samco Machinery?

    You can read more about them here.



    13 Sep 10 at 1:54 pm

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