Cost and Benefits of Ribbed Metal Roofing, and Pros & Cons in 2017

Ribbed metal roofing is in the same family as Corrugated metal roofing. It is made in a similar fashion (at a metal mill), attached to the roof in the same way, and installation costs are about the same. The key difference is in the appearance. Ribbed metal can be mistaken for Standing Seam, which is on the upper echelon of metal roofing.

Costs and Value of Ribbed Metal Roofing

Based on the price of materials alone, Ribbed metal paneling is certainly in the same ball park as Corrugated metal paneling. The pricing does depend a bit on who you are purchasing the materials from, but a price range of $1.00 to $3.00 per linear foot is what you’ll routinely find. — This assumes you are going with a coated steel (i.e. galvanized or galvalume), stainless steel or aluminum product. Then add a minimum of $3 per sq. ft. for labor, and you’ll get a base rate of $4.00 to $7.00 per sq. ft. installed

Note: Labor costs may be higher than $3 per sq. ft. Total cost ought to be below $10 per sq. ft., so that means the labor charge could go as high as $7.00 in some cases. Why would it be higher? Well location is part of it, along with complexity of your roof, slope, or pitch, of the roof, and amount of custom metal flashing required for the job. If your existing roof is to be torn off and disposed of, that would be a separate line item cost. Same goes with possible repairs to the roof. The good news is that Ribbed metal roofing can be installed over an existing roof.

For an average sized roof (say 1,600 sq.ft.), the total installation cost is likely to fall within $6,500 to $10,000. A very large roof, say 3,000 sq. ft. would then be double, right? Not necessarily. If it is a non-complex roof, it could be significantly less than double as the more product you order and the more work being provided to the contractor would probably result in less of an overall charge per sq. ft.

With all metal roofing, the return on your investment will be excellent. It starts at around 86% and, again, depending on your location may be higher. This means if you spend $10,000 for such a roof and sell your home while the roof is still is great condition, you can plan to recoup $8,600 of that value just from this part of your home. Residential markets along the east coast of the U.S. tend to fetch better than 86% ROI.

Ribbed Metal Roofing Options

With Corrugated panels, the discernible characteristic is the wavy U-shaped curve. With Ribbed paneling, there is lots of variation that can occur between the upper curves (or ribs). Generally, each panel is 36 inches wide, sometimes less. On each end will be a rib or raised point which is intended to overlap with another panel. Those are fastened together with metal screws which are then inserted into your roof deck and held tightly against your roof.

Between the two ribs (on either side) will be some consistent pattern, that will look like your roof is made of long vertical panels from the ridge to the eaves. Essentially, there are 2 primary types: R-panels and 5V-Crimp panels. The 5V-Crimp ones very much resemble Standing Seam panels, with the key difference between that the fasteners, for 5V-Crimp, being exposed; whereas for Standing Seam, they are hidden.

The R-panel can have lots of variation. The names can be a tad confusing at first, but if thinking of the side profile of how these panels appear, it makes it easier to understand the naming. The outer rib, along the edge, would be the upper part of an “R,” then the panel is flat, until a ridge appears, resembling the bottom part of an “R.” The 5V-Crimp, viewed from the side has, you guessed it, 5 “V” shaped ridges to each panel. With R-panels, there’s a whole bunch of creativity on the market for how ripples are spaced and how ridges are shaped. There are even some Ribbed panel types that don’t fit so neatly into the R-panel category, such as SL-16 and PBU. Plus, you’ll find a few examples of ribbed metal panels where fasteners are hidden, just like Standing Seam.

Panel length can range from 3 to 42 feet (maybe longer). Home Depot sells R-panels that are 16 feet and under in length.  They have about 10 colors available. Which brings us to another consideration. Are there only 10 colors available for this product? Nope, and not even close. The manufacturer Fabral, which is what Home Depot carries, lists 20 color options on their site. And they aren’t the only producer of Ribbed metal paneling. The reality is color options are not limited and each brand will offer slightly different color hues, while most of them likely offer ability to customize to order any possibly color. Though that will cost more than what they mass produce for the residential market.

Gauge would be another option to consider. You’ll mostly find 29 or 26 gauge for Ribbed metal roofing. We found at least one seller, MetalDeck.com, that offers 22 and 24 gauge in addition to the 2 standard thicknesses. And remember, the less the gauge number, the thicker the material.

Advantages of Ribbed Metal Roofing

  • Inexpensive when compared to other metal roofing, or on par with Corrugated metal
  • Much variation in styles – can resemble Standing Seam
  • Unlimited variation in color, though 10 to 40 options are widely available
  • As a metal product, it is fire resistant, mold and insect resistant
  • Great ROI
  • Eco-friendly – material is recyclable, and does offer cool roof benefit

Disadvantages of Ribbed Metal Roofing

  • Fasteners are generally exposed, with means maintenance / repair every decade or so
  • As caulking is likely used to seal any gaps between panels, that is additional maintenance concern
  • Metal can dent or be scratched, which is another item of concern or reason to inspect the roof no more than every 5 years



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