Metal Roofing Costs – Consumer Guide

It is a well known fact that metal roofs have always been somewhat expensive compared to the far more widespread composition (asphalt) shingle roofs. – This is mostly due to a much higher base cost of metal roofing materials and installation, and partly due to a simple supply and demand.

As money more homeowners nowadays consider metal roofing as a viable alternative to asphalt shingles, it is very common and appropriate to ask how much it might cost.

LEED Platinum House with a standing seam metal roof

For corrugated and/or ribbed metal roofing profiles, the answer can be anywhere from $3.00 to $7.00 per square foot for the installation of the low-end G-60 (thin, galvanized 29 gauge steel) or mid-range (G-90 steel 26 gauge steel) corrugated or ribbed steel roofing (with exposed fasteners) finished with a lower-grade (cheaper) acrylic paint on the low end or Kynar 500 for G-90 steel panels.

Installation of a ribbed metal panels

For metal shingles and standing seam you can expect to pay anywhere from $7.00 to $12.00 per square foot for the installation of a high-end aluminum standing seam metal roof with concealed fasteners and a lifetime workmanship/labor warranty.

Installation of Aluminum shingles on a residence

Did you know? A mid-range, G-90 galvanized steel shingles metal roofing system appropriate for most homes will cost about double the cost of asphalt shingles.

The cost of materials alone would be about $3.00 60 $4.00 per square foot, plus the cost of underlayment (about $40 per roll). Fully installed, such a system may cost anywhere from $8.00 to $12.00 per square foot for a typical residential roof with warranty.

Did you know? Metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular with many savvy homeowners, and it is not hard to see why; compared to more traditional approaches, metal roofing offers many advantages including a very long lifespan, low maintenance, excellent durability, along with superb solar reflectance and thermal emissivity. – This is not at all the case with an asphalt shingle roof, which takes many hours to cool off during the night in the summer.) properties that help lower your energy bills, and more.

Note: Solar reflectance is a property that helps to reduce your cooling costs by reflecting solar radiant heat, while thermal emissivity is a property that allows your roof to cool off quickly after the sunset in the summer.

Then there are the “more-exotic” systems such as titanium or stainless steel that will cost about $10.00 per square foot of materialne or $16 to $20 fully installed. — This is comparable to the cost to install premium copper and zinc tiles.

Making Sense of the Confusion

The main thing to realize with metal roofing, is that your price will depend a great deal on the exact type of a roof you want. “Metal roofing” is a rather broad term that encompasses many different materials and systems ranging from a basic G-60 corrugated steel and G-90 galvanized steel, to better quality Galvalume steel, aluminum, zinc, copper, titanium, and stainless steel.

When selecting a metal panel, it will be helpful to know that G-60 (a lesser version of galvanized steel compared to G-90) corrugated steel is by far one of the least expensive options, while zinc, copper, titanium, and stainless steel are at a significantly higher end of the spectrum.

However, the precise nature and overall complexity of the installation will also make a significant difference to the final cost.

standing seam metal roof

With an abundance of metal roof choices, most homeowners will opt for metal shingles, or standing seam.

Metal Shingles can be made from either G-90 (galvanized) steel, or aluminum, while standing seam panels can be roll-formed from either the G-90 galvanized or Galvalume steel (better quality coating and protection from corrosion), as well as aluminum, and zinc.

Either of the systems would usually be painted with a high-end paint finish, such as Kynar 500/Hylar 5000, or better.

Most metal shingles roofs will cost anywhere from $700.00 per square (100 sq. feet) and up for materials and labor, while standing seam metal roofs can easily cost more than $1,200.00 per square due to a higher cost of materials, and often a more involved installation process.

System Installation Difficulty and Labor Costs Considerations

As a homeowner, it is vital that you look at the total cost of the installation rather than just the price of the raw materials.

Labor costs can easily make up a larger percentage of the total cost than the metal itself. This is not to say that metal roofs are expensive to install.

On the contrary, if you decide to install a new metal roofing system over your existing roof, the costs can be quite manageable. However, a more thorough job that involves stripping the old roof completely will definitely tip the scales towards a more costly direction.

Note: that taking a big-picture look at the costs also means thinking about a system’s longevity and energy efficiency.

Cost Over Time


Like many modifications to a home, metal roofing must be seen as an investment. Although the initial cost may seem quite high, it is important to remember that these roofs can easily last for many decades.

The high-end systems such as standing seam may well last for as long as the house itself.

It is also important to take into account the extra energy efficiency a metal roof provides.

Since less heat can escape in cold weather and less can get in during summer, your heating and air conditioning bills are going to be much more reasonable, not too mention reduced load on your HVAC equipment, and hence longer longevity.– Over the next 10 to 20 years, this by itself may easily recoup the cost, and the value of your home will be increased as well.

In Conclusion:

As we have explained, it is hard to hone in on an exact cost without knowing about your specific situation and plans. While making sense of metal roofing prices can seem daunting at first, simply narrowing down your options can clarify things in no time.

Even if you opt to go for an expensive solution such as stripping your existing roof and replacing it with aluminum or another high-quality material, you stand to gain a great deal in terms of having a low roof maintenance, high energy-efficiency, and confidence of knowing that your home is protected by a durable and long-lasting metal roofing system that is kind to the environment, and will likely last for as long as the property it protects.

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