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.
Perhaps the only disadvantage of a copper roof is the initial cost up front. It is, by far, the most expensive metal sold on the market that you can use as roofing for your home. Yet, when you take into consideration the benefits and values (all noted below), along with the versatility, the cost factor is put into proper perspective.
The price range is around $15 to $30 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, which can get as high as $12 per sq. ft., though that depends on the roof style and quality of the finished metal. The upper portion of that range depends a bit on your location and your roof’s complexity and size. Plan on paying more per sq. ft. when covering a small roof such as a porch or bay window with significantly smaller square footage.
Key Consideration – You don’t have to cover your entire home with Copper roofing. Many people will use copper roofing on say a prominent 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 for an asphalt shingle roof. Though the latter, which is easily the most popular will have at best one fourth the lasting value.
Metal roofing generally returns a value of 86% of the cost upon selling of the home. And almost all metal roofing will last at least 50 years. Yet, steel and aluminum do 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 lowest figure you can plan on given the length of time it will last.
At RoofingCalc.com, they estimate an average copper roof at $30,000 plus. That’s about average for a typical single story house with a roof measuring about 1,600 sq. ft. — This price also includes the tear off and disposal charges. At 150Points.com, we plugged in numbers on their cost calculator for average sized home (1,600 sq. ft.), using a licensed and insured contractor, on a low complexity roof and, and it came to $36,000 on the low end to $51,000 on high end. This though, does not include the tear off, disposal or any possible roof repairs.
The Values and Options
via Levine & Company
Other than flat roofs, there’s really not a style of 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. This can have the material 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.
Advantages of a Copper Roof
- Durability – lasts a very long time
- Virtually maintenance free
- Great, natural color / beauty
- Like other metals, insects won’t feed on it, fire won’t burn it, mildew and fungus can’t affect it
- Environmentally friendly
- Excellent ROI
- Great versatility in application
Disadvantages of a Copper Roof
- Cost – Of all the metal roofs, it is easily the most expensive
- Best applied by experienced professional, and may be challenging to find one
Not too shabby when your disadvantages are few and far between. 😉