Copper Roof Cost and Pros & Cons 2017-2018

Copper is the gold of metal roofing. No literally, it is. It’s priced like gold, it’s valued like gold, and its color is gold. Well until it changes. Then it just becomes a thing of beauty for hundreds of years.

Pricing Details

Perhaps the only disadvantage of a copper roof is the initial cost up front. It is, by far, the most expensive metal roofing option on the market, bar none.

Yet, when you take into consideration the benefits and value of copper, the cost factor be put into a more proper perspective.

For residential copper roofing and cladding projects, you can expect to pay in the range of $15 to $25 per sq. ft. installed.

Regardless of the shape of the copper pieces, the slope or complexity of your roof, and even your location, that range is what you ought to expect to pay.

Even on the low end, that is substantially more expensive than steel and aluminum ($8 to $12 per sq. ft. installed), though that depends on the roof style and quality of the finished metal.

The higher end of the copper roof cost depends on your location and your roof’s overall complexity and size. — Plan on paying more per sq. ft. when covering a smaller roof, such as a porch or bay window with significantly smaller square footage.

Key Considerations and Points to Keep in Mind: You don’t have to cover your entire home with Copper roofing.

For example, many people will accent their homes by using copper on a prominently-situated bay window or a small roof that covers the main entry way.

For the average sized American home, you can expect to pay $30,000 to $45,000 for a full copper roof. The true average is closer to $30,000, but even that is around four times the cost of an asphalt shingle roof.

In terms of ROI, metal roofing generally returns a value of 86% of the cost upon selling of the home. And almost all metal roofing systems will last at least 50 years. Yet, steel and aluminum may require some sort of maintenance after 30 years, or no longer than 50 years.

Copper, along with Zinc, are essentially maintenance free, and both can go for a very long time before maintenance is necessary.

Therefore, the 86% ROI is perhaps the lowest figure you can plan on given the length of time it will last.

At, they estimate an average copper roof at $36,000 on the low end to $51,000 on the high end. plus. That’s about average for a typical single story house with a roof measuring about 1,600 sq. ft. — This price also includes permitting, tear off and disposal charges.

The Value and Options

via Levine & Company

Other than flat roofs, there’s really not a style of a roof that Copper can’t be applied to.

With commercial installations, you’ll see Copper applied to domes or on mansard roofs, given its longevity and durability.

For residential installations, whether it be Metal Shingles (or tiles), Standing Seam, horizontal seam, or accentuating a smaller roof area, Copper roofing will work just as well.

Did You Know? Copper, unlike steel and aluminum will never corrode or rust. And thanks to its natural patination process, it never needs painting or re-coating.

So, copper starts off gold. Beautiful and grand. Yet, like all things, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For the patina process, not only provides a ongoing layer of protection, but turns the metal into a green, natural covering.

Patination can help copper last up to a thousand years. Well, in theory. It may need some repair during that time span, but the good thing is copper is easy to repair. An expert installer will solder copper to cover small patches or replace larger pieces, via soldering, as needed.

Also Copper, like other metals is recyclable. So much so, that it is quite likely several existing copper roofs are made of up to 75% recycled Copper. For additional benefits, see the Advantages below.

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Zinc: The Dark Horse of Metal Roofing – Zinc Roof Costs 2017-2018

There are not many roofing materials that can match the longevity, durability, malleability, flexibility, resiliency, and cost-effectiveness of Zinc.

Not even aluminum or copper! Zinc roofs are known to last for hundreds of years, even in the most extreme environments.

Truly unmatched durability, longevity, and classic beauty — that’s what zinc roofing offers to a homeowner. — At $12 to $15 per sq. ft. installed, it is the kind of value that is simply unmatched in all other roofing materials.

Zinc — Most Amazing Material You Probably Never Heard of

In the US, the whole idea of using Zinc as a roofing material for a house may sound other-worldly.

Aluminum and Steel dominate residential metal roofing market, while asphalt shingles are by far the most popular overall roofing material.

When you also factor in natural slate, clay tiles and cedar/wood roofing options, Zinc barely registers on most people’s radars. Though this trend is changing, slowly.

Did you know? 70% of residential roofs in Europe are covered with Zinc. In Paris, this number goes up to 85%.

via Metal Tech USA

Metal roofing is often chosen for its durability and longevity. All properly designed and correctly installed high-end metal roofs are likely to last at least 50 years.

Yet, in order for that to hold true for Steel, for example, it must be coated with metallic finishes such as G-90 or Galvalume, along with high quality paint finishes such as Kynar 500. With Zinc, as well as copper, that is not the case.

Both Zinc and Copper form protective patina, meaning they will not rust nor be adversely impacted by weathering.

Both of these metals benefit from aging, and their patina process.

With Zinc, it starts out dark, as in dark gray / near black and then changes to a patina light gray or bluish color. Zinc can also be painted virtually any color, which serves as a sacrificial layer prior to the patination process.

Did you know? Thanks to Zinc’s naturally-forming self-healing properties, it can provide years of virtually maintenance-free roof and building envelope protection

Zinc Standing Seam Roof with level changes on a House
via CraftCorp

What makes Zinc truly fascinating is its resiliency. All metal roofs, including Zinc, can be scratched. With Steel, scratches in its coating layer will expose the base material to the effects of oxidation and corrosion.

With Zinc, it actually self-heals. You read that right, Zinc if scratched will self correct.

The protective (patina) layer of Zinc is technically hydroxyl carbonate that will, over time, reform itself and thus eliminate blemishes or scratches. This is one, of a few reasons, why the market for Zinc will often sell pre-patinated Zinc roofing.

As you may have guessed, Zinc is extremely durable. When steel is “galvanized”, it is really just adding a protective layer of Zinc to the Steel base to protect it from oxidation, as Steel is naturally corrosive, or will rust when exposed to salt, water, or moist environment over a long period of time. Galvanized and Galvalume Steel will forgo that aging for a couple of decades.

Like most metals, Zinc is insect-proof, fire resistant, and mildew / fungus-proof. Zinc also benefits from being non-toxic. Because of its low to non-existence toxicity level, soft zinc is marketed as replacement for flashing material for all roofs.

Back in the day, the traditional material was lead, then steel, but soft zinc, offers virtually the same level of durability with no known toxicity impact.

Did you know? Run-off water from Zinc is considered ‘clear’ or contaminant free, which most metals can’t readily claim. Thus, a zinc roof is a great option for homeowners interested in rain water collection.

Like many other metals, zinc is fully recyclable. Plus, it will reflect solar radiant heat, as most metals do to some degree, which prevents the unwanted transfer of heat from the roofing material into the attic space.

On the contrary: Asphalt shingles gain a lot of heat during the day and transfer much of it inside your home.

Moreover Zinc has even greater environmental value in that it takes less fuel to manufacture it, really to boil it and shape it into finished roofing product.

Did you know? Aluminum and steel use a good two to four times the energy in their production as compared to Zinc!

All this value would make you think it’s gotta be at least as expensive as Copper. Nope. Not necessarily.

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Metal Shingle Roofing Costs and Value in 2017-2018

Installing a metal shingle roof on a residential home will cost, on average, between $8.00 and $10.00 per sq. ft. There are a number of factors that determine that cost, and we’ll explore them in this guide.

It’s perhaps most important to realize that of the three primary options for metal roofing (the others being Standing Seam at the high-end, and Corrugated and Ribbed Metal Panels at the low-end), Metal Shingle is in the middle of pack in terms of costs.

Understanding the Enormous Options of a Metal Shingle Roof

At first mention, metal shingles sound bland, or perhaps too risky of an option in an area where they would clearly be outside the norm (i.e. all your neighbors have asphalt shingle roofs).

Yet, when researching metal shingles styles and options for residential homes, you might be surprised to pull up some images that look a lot like asphalt shingles. 😉

Why would that be? Because the reality of metal shingles in 2017-2018, or in the last few years, is that these are really metal tiles that are intended to mimic just about all other possible roofing styles designed for sloped roofs.

Slate tiles, ceramic tiles, asphalt shingles, cedar shakes and say redwood shingle are all materials that metal shingles can mimic.

From the curbside view, it would be hard to tell the difference between the metal material and its usual counterparts. That’s how diverse the metal roofing industry has gotten.

Add to this the idea that metal itself can have a pleasing appearance, as is the case with copper, zinc and painted aluminum and steel tiles. Gone are the days when metal shingles only have a silver/gray, metallic appearance.

Key Fact: There are really two basic types of metal shingles, or tiles: metal coated with metallic finish, often second coated with factory finished paint, and the second type which is often referred to as stone-coated metal tiles.

It’s the stone-coated variation that opens the door to having metal shingles that look nearly identical to asphalt shingles, because like asphalt shingles, they are coated with granules.

So, it’s not just color, but texture that allows metal shingles to obtain a great diversity in product options.

With texture as an additional option, slate, wood and ceramic are all possible appearances for metal roofing.

Then there is shape, which varies a bit by manufacturer, but for the most part are rectangular, or diamond shaped.

How it’s installed: Metal shingle installation relies on an interlocking system that makes for quicker installation and ability to hide fasteners.

Some manufacturers still go the route of having panels of say 4 tiles (per panel) that are adhered to the roof deck.

Panels are usually 4 feet long and are often installed over existing roofing (i.e. metal shingles can be installed on top of asphalt shingles).

Did you know? Interlocking tiles are now the 2nd most popular type of metal roofing for residential homes after standing seam.

The other consideration for shingle options is the material, or type of metal itself, but we’ll cover that in the next section.

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