Metal roof installation, materials, prices and manufacturers

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Standing Seam Metal Roof Installation

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This installation guide is based on FABRAL nailing-strip standing seam metal roof, with 1″ ribs. Before you take steps to order materials and install the roof, we recommend that you thoroughly read this article and also check out other guides linked within, such as the roof deck preparation guide and roofing panels measuring guide.

When installing a standing seam metal roof, it is recommended that all asphalt shingles be removed from the roof to prevent / avoid the “telegraphing effect” where horizontally installed shingles punch through vertical metal roofing panels, creating ugly dents which cannot be fixed / removed. Also, since most standing seam metal roofs installed are steel, the granular surface of asphalt shingles will rub against underside of metal roofing panels and will scratch through the paint and galvanizing layer, which will cause metal panels to rust. Read the roof preparation guide to learn about roof tear-off, wood repair and installing roofing underlayment.

Another important thing to keep in mind is the metal roof itself. When ordering metal roofing materials, it is important to correctly measure the length of your panels, so that you don’t end up with panels that are too short and are unusable.

In a nutshell, measure the vertical run from the eave of the roof, all the way up to the ridge line, and order your panel at least 2 inches LONGER than the length of your gable / roof run. These two extra inches will be used for drip-edge hem. Not that typical standing seam metal roofing drip edge extends 1 inch beyond the eave, and then you need to make a reverse hem to lock the panel into the eave starter. There, go your two inches. You can use this standing seam metal roof panels calculator to estimate the number of panels you will need for your roof and the length of each panel. Note, that this calculator currently works of gable roofs ONLY. If you have a hip roof, DO NOT use the numbers from that calculator to order metal roof panels for HIP roofs.

Steel or aluminum?

In my opinion, aluminum is a much better choice of metal than steel, when it comes to standing seam metal roofs. Aluminum will not rust, and is the safest option to install in coastal areas. While most architectural steel standing seam roofs are made with high quality galvanized metal (usually Galvalume or G-90 steel), there is still that chance that you may place a few deep scratches onto the panels and it will eventually rust. While aluminum is more expensive than steel, I think the price difference is well worth it. Learn more about metal roofing prices for steel and aluminum standing seam roofs, as well as other types of metal roofing materials.

Installation Video:

Before you begin installing a standing seam metal roof, watch the video above a few times so that you have a very clear picture of what is involved in the metal roof installation process, and if you are able to tackle this big project.

Note to homeowners and first-time installers of standing seam metal roofing

For do-it-yourself homeowners, we recommend installing standing seam metal roofs ONLY on simple gable roofs, with minimum roof penetrations. If you have chimneys, skylights, dormers and/or valleys on your roof, we recommend you leave this task to professional metal roofing contractors, as the chance to improperly install roof flashing and other details is too high, and the cost of roof repair / installation of new roof will far outweigh the savings you will get by installing a metal roof yourself.

Installation Process:

image of standing seam metal roof installation
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Written by admin

November 1st, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Metal Roofing Installation DIY

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Note: We recently posted a complete standing seam metal roof installation guide that covers preparing a roof deck and installing roofing underlayment, installing starter strip, first metal roof panel, field panels, doing sidewall flashing, valley flashing and installing hip / ridge cap.


Contrary to conventional wisdom, metal roofing is far more difficult to install than most people think. Installing metal roofing is not the same as shingling an asphalt shingle roof. Metal roofing panels have to be measured, and cut with great precision to ensure water tightness and integrity of the metal roofing system. The installation of the roof chimney, skylights, valley and wall flashing requires special knowledge, tools, experience and training.

Some of the tools required for a simple metal roofing job include; tool belt, metal shears, metal crimps, chalk line, hammer, tape measure, carpenter’s pencil. As with any roofing installation, you will need to be knowledgeable in the safe operation of the ladder, and roof safety equipment.

In a typical metal roofing system, panels interlock together side by side, and sometimes metal roofing panels interlock on all four sides, as is the case with the metal shingles roof.

Although there are many different types of metal roofing systems, most metal roofs can be divided into two categories: standing-seam metal roof -a modern styled sheet metal roofing panels connected at the sides through a mechanism called a standing seam. Another kind of a metal roof resembles a conventional asphalt shingle roof and is comprised of metal shingles featuring a 4-way interlocking design.

Metal shingles panels are all the same size, which makes it easier to install them. They come prepackaged in a box, and you can easily handle them during the installation. Standing-seam metal roofing panels, on the other hand, vary in size, and are more difficult to install.

Regardless of which metal roofing system you choose to install, one thing is a given: it will be more difficult to install metal roofing than it would be to install an asphalt shingle roof, which generally can be installed by unskilled laborers. The reason for that is that many metal roofing systems feature intricate design that requires all the panels to be installed in a strict geometric relation to each other, in order for the system to work correctly.

Thus, installing metal roofing takes longer, and is quite a bit costlier than installing an asphalt shingle roof.

The first step in installing metal roofing is to prepare the surface. The roofing service has to be free of debris, and the roof deck needs to be inspected for damage, with any rotten boards being replaced.

After that, a breathable roofing underlayment needs to be installed. It’s important to take care and create sufficient tension when installing roofing underlayment. The reason is that we do not want to have a loosely installed roofing underlayment, which will make it more difficult to work on.

Once the roofing underlayment is in place, we can start installing metal trim, which will interlock with the metal roofing panels.

It’s a good idea to practice installing metal roofing on a small shed or garage before taking on the installation of a metal roof for your home. Remember that one of the keys to successful metal roofing installation is making sure that you have attained correct angles and straight lines for the interlocking shingles or vertical panels. Use a color string / snap line to lay out the guide-lines for the installation of metal roofing panels.

Another important point to keep in mind is that you need to know how to use the safety equipment including roof anchors, and safety harness. Finally, never work alone, it would be just plain dangerous, and we do not want that.

Written by Roofing Wiz

November 1st, 2012 at 12:06 pm