Exotic Metal Roofs: Zinc, Copper, & Stainless Steel – They really are Exotic!!!

You already probably know that not all metal roofs are made equal.

There are the regular metal roofs appropriate for most homes, and then there are the exotic species that only a handful of homeowners inspired by classic beauty will ever consider as a viable option for a complete roof replacement.

Exotic as they are, we wanted to share them with you just to keep you in the loop! 😉


Source: Rheinzink

So what are these “Exotic” metal roofs?


Source: Rheinzink

While most regular roofs are typically made from galvanized or Galvalume steel, or aluminum, the exotic ones, as the name suggests, are made from exotic metals such as copper, zinc, and stainless steel (often tin-plated). — What really sets them apart from the rest is their unprecedented durability and longevity.

In fact, while regular metal roofs are expected to last anywhere from 35 to 60 years, the exotic ones are truly permanent roofing systems, with zinc, copper, and stainless steel roofs designed to last for centuries!


Source: Rheinzink

But, their superior longevity is not the only characteristic setting them apart, they are also notoriously expensive to install compared to regular metal roofs.

In fact, you can expect to pay two to three times as much for either zinc, copper, or stainless steel materials.

Not surprisingly, many homeowners are not going to be able to afford such an expensive roofing material that is comparable to the cost of natural slate.

Hence, many homeowners will usually only install the exotic metals such as copper on smaller exterior features such as bay windows, chimney caps, and gutters (in case of slate roofs), but not the entire roof.


Those homeowners who want to restore or preserve the historic look of their property, will also often consider installing tin-plated stainless steel panels aka terne roofing that closely resembles the look of good ol’ tin roofs from the past, but unlike the old school tin, stainless steel panels will last forever, with no maintenance or repairs required, provided they were properly installed.

Should you decided to upgrade the look of your house with one of the exotic metals, be sure you only hire an experienced craftsman specializing in the installation of copper or zinc roofs to do the job.

The reason being is that installing copper or zinc will require highly specialized skills and equipment.

Trust us, you do not want to spend all this money to buy the expensive materials only to end up with roof leaks requiring expensive repairs down the road!

2 thoughts on “Exotic Metal Roofs: Zinc, Copper, & Stainless Steel – They really are Exotic!!!

  1. Fay Linn

    It’s about time to get a new roof on my house, because the place is very old. I have been considering steel as a material that I want to have used, but I had no idea that copper or zinc could be used as well. I really like that roofs made from those materials would last a really long time, but would there be a chance of the copper or zinc getting rusted?

    1. Installer Post author

      Hi Fay,

      Not a chance, but natural patina would set in-place and protect the metals from oxidation.


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