Metal roof installation, materials, prices and manufacturers

Metal Roof estimating “on the go”.

The typical processes of estimating a metal roof can be very complicated and time consuming, especially for standing seam metal roofs. You need to consider all the flashing accessories, such as sidewall / head-wall flashing, valley pans, ridge caps, eave starter, gable trim, metal coil (also known as flat-stock), flashing for skylights / chimneys, snow guards, underlayment, etc. When pricing a standing seam metal roof, it is also very important to measure the exact length or roof panels, to avoid having short and unusable panels, which can only go to waste, as well as the number of standing seam roofing panels.

Don’t loose the sale – give a homeowner the roof price on the spot, and you will have the highest chance to sell the roof!

Until recently, we were using the old-school notepad and pencil method to estimate and price a metal roof. However, it is very important for a successful roofing contractor to sell more roofing jobs. Spending time calculating a roof in the truck, or even worse – going back to the office to do the math, can often cost you a sale, as you have a much higher chance of signing a contract with a homeowner right there and then, before they change their mind, or talk with their cousin who knows as guy, who knows a roofer …

Of course we could use an online calculator, which would give us some information, but first – it’s slow and inconvenient to do on a mobile phone, and also you still need to figure out many roof details on paper, and this may actually be more confusing than helpful, when you have limited time.

Phone App:

Now we started using a mobile Roofing Calculator for iPhone app (which is also available for Android phones). It helps us estimate roofs fast, saves time and increases our sales!

This roof calculator app allows us to enter roof roof ground dimensions, roof pitch, number of floors, number of chimneys / skylights, ridge-vent length, roof difficulty, and choose a previously saved roofing material (such as metal roofing shingles, standing seam, corrugated steel roof or asphalt shingles) and we just click the calculate button and get multitude of information.

Besides just getting the roof price, we also get a separate cost of roofing materials, labor cost, breakdown of all materials used for the job, including lengths / amounts, number of roofing squares, and breakdown prices. See the video below:

There is also a general settings tab, which allows us to specify additional cost, as well as other things specific to how we install our roofs and what we charge for it. One of the most important ones is the roof waste factor. While roofing materials waste when installing metal shingles can be rather small – around 3-5%, and cut pieces can often be used on the other side of the roof, waste on a standing seam can easily be 15% or more on a very cut up roof, so we have the ability to specify this in general settings.

Additionally we can add additional cost for 2 and 3-story homes / buildings, add more for medium difficulty and really cut up roofs, specify the underlayment coverage, use of ice and water shield, roof tear-off prices for each layer, and plywood / sheeting replacement prices both for labor and materials. All these settings apply on per roofing square basis, meaning that you set one price and it is automatically multiplied by a number of squares for each particular roof, and is added to the total roof price at the end. Very sophisticated mechanism to prevent / avoid errors when calculating roofing prices.

Roofing Calculator mobile app screenshots

Image of Roofing Calculator app main screen Image of Roofing Calculator app results screen


As mentioned above, when we enter roof information into the roof calculator, we choose a previously saved roofing material from a drop down menu. Roofing Calculator has separate tabs which contain all your materials, which you can add, delete and edit as you need, or as things change.

Roofing materials profiles contain multiple fields for you to enter information pertaining to each type of roof. You can specify labor / installation price per square, roofing cost per square, prices for underlayment, ice and water shield, drip edge, gable trim, ridge vent, ridge / hip cap, etc. Also you can adjust prices for miscellaneous items such as roofing nails / screws, flashing, caulk, pipe boot flashing, static vents, and starter shingle for asphalt shingles, slate and cedar shingles roofs.

Roofing Calculator app overview

Overall, the roofing calculator provides plenty of options and settings even for the most complicated roofs, and there will soon be an added option for multiple roof sections, as you can get different roof slope, or a roof can be of a non-rectangular shape. Most roofing contractors will find it very useful!

Roofing contractors can use it to calculate almost any roof, and it is very flexible as far as the types of roofing materials you are using. As mentioned in the beginning, with standing seam metal roof, you will still have to do much work by hand when it comes to the actual roofing panels, but you can still calculate the roofing price and most other materials / accessories, right then and there. Give your customer a roof quote and try to close the sale on the spot – this is how roof sales on the go should be – no trips to the office or calling suppliers because you forgot your roofing materials prices – everything is saved on your phone – in the roofing calculator app!

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

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Written by admin

Posted on November 1st, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Posted in Metal Roofing Prices

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