Corrugated & Ribbed Metal Roofing Cost, and Pros & Cons 2020

Corrugated metal roofing and its close cousin, ribbed roofing, offer the original style of corrugated (iron) steel roofs. At an average cost of $4.00 to $8.00 per square foot installed, corrugated metal is priced somewhat similarly to asphalt shingles, especially at the low end, and yet it’s far more durable, energy efficient, and with proper maintenance can last far longer than asphalt shingles.

What Exactly Is Corrugated and Ribbed Metal Paneling?

via Alternative Building Blog

Sheet metal coil, typically galvanized steel or aluminum, gets fed into a roll-forming machine that shapes the metal sheet into the curvy U-shaped, wavy pattern — the primary variation for corrugated metal roof and wall panels.

Metal Corrugation Roll Forming. Source: Corrugated-Metals.com

Corrugation gives metal panels considerable structural strength, which makes it possible to use these otherwise thin sheet metal panels for building envelope applications, such as roofing and cladding. Check out the video below to see how it’s made:

Old School Corrugated Steel Panels

During the height of the Industrial Age, steel became relatively cheap and abundant. Metal was viewed as the kind of material that offers an economically-viable way to cover large agricultural and industrial buildings. Back then, the corrugated steel panels were often non-coated, but that was not a problem, since there were plenty of spare steel roof and wall panels to replace any corroded ones.

As steel corrodes, it develops visible rust. When the old steel panels would get too unsightly, or worse develop holes resulting in leaks, they would get replaced with the shiny new pieces.

Today, corrugated metal panels are often chosen because of their old school appearance and relatively low cost.

Most modern corrugated steel panels are normally coated with a metallic (zinc) finish to prevent oxidation and corrosion, and thus made to last for decades.

G-60 vs. G-90 Galvanized Steel Panels and their Paint Finishes

Steel panel coating process is referred to as galvanizing. There are two types of galvanized steel panels; G-60 and G-90 steel panels. G-60 refers to the low-end, lower quality and lower cost galvanized steel, while G-90 is the higher-end, thicker and longer lasting grade of galvanized steel.

G-90 steel panels are also normally finished with a higher-end paint finish such as Kynar 500 as opposed to the cheaper acrylic paints normally used for the low-end G-60 steel panels.

Note: G-90 (26 or 24 gauge) steel panels finished with Kynar 500 paint can be used in residential applications, while G-60 (29 gauge) steel panels should only be used for sheds, garages, and on lower-end agricultural or industrial applications.

Corrugated Metal Panels vs. Crimped or Ribbed Metal Roofs

Corrugated metal panels are not the same as crimped or ribbed metal panel. Corrugated metal refers strictly to the U-shaped, or sometimes V-shaped panel sheets.

The rustic appearance of corrugated metal panels hearkens to the simpler time, or way of life. However, the main benefits of corrugated metal panels are their cost-effectiveness, durability, and a wide range of available colors and paint finishes.

Installation and Options

Corrugated metal panels tend to be between 2 and 3 feet wide and come in varying lengths such as 8 ft. and 12 ft. long metal panel sheets. When covering a roof, metal panels form overlaps along their curves. The panels are then fastened together with metal screws that penetrate not just the two panels, but into the roofing deck or substrate.

Obviously, the metal panels themselves will shed water, given the proper slope of the roof, as metal is not a porous material. Yet, with the panel overlaps, a seam is formed and to prevent water leaking into or through that tiny gap, caulk is used.

Covering the entire roof with corrugated metal panels can go rather quickly, especially on a simple gable roof, once the installer has all the necessary tools, experience, and help from others.

Both corrugated and ribbed metal panels can make for a fairly simple DIY roofing project when covering a small shed or garage, as explained in this guide from DoItYourself.com.

However, the installation process can be quite grueling and tedious on larger projects, especially for the less experienced, which is why larger projects would almost always benefit from getting a professional installation, like all roofing projects. And since the cost is not too high, it would be best to go with the insured and certified professionals, providing warranties on their products and workmanship.

When it comes to options, it’s really about the actual material and its thickness or gauge, paint finish and the color options. Steel is still the primary material option.

In today’s world it is routinely coated or labeled as galvanized steel. Sometimes, you’ll see it as Galvalume steel (zinc and aluminum metallic finish). — Both of these coating option offer a layer of protection that will take a decade or two to sacrifice themselves before the steel is exposed. Thus, rusting is no longer a problem for at least 20 years from the time the roof is installed.

Aluminum is another metal option for corrugated panels. The costs are virtually the same as (coated) steel. Stainless steel (which is an alloy of steel and chromium) is also an option, but stainless steel is more expensive.

Stainless steel corrugated panels are highly corrosive resistant and will provide a more shiny appearance than normal steel products.

Typically, the products are sold in a 26 or 29 gauge. The smaller the gauge number, the thicker the material. And the thicker the material, the more durable it is. Though thickness does add a little more to the labor intensity, and hence cost.

Note: You should aim for a minimum of 26 gauge steel when evaluating residential steel roofing options.

Color options are virtually unlimited. This references the painted finish. The DIY approach to painting such metal panels is there, but it is likely way more expensive than going with a factory finish.

The factory process feeds metal panels through the metal mill and coats it evenly in short order. Using superior paint pigments, it also shields the product with yet another layer of supreme protection.

If going with a professional contractor, they’ll probably have brochures of different color options that they carry (usually 10 to 40 options). Customized color options are also available, but usually at a premium cost, as they aren’t massively produced.

Your local home improvement store, like Lowe’s or Home Depot, probably carries such panels. These will be inexpensive, though size and for sure color options will be limited.

Keep In Mind that corrugated metal panels aren’t just for roofs. Chances are good that your roofer will have some left over material (unless otherwise noted in the contract or specifically discussed) that you might find use for as siding in an exterior shed, or even in interior projects. Take a gander at the picture below for some ideas on how the panels can be used indoors.

via Bridger Steel

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Cost & Benefits of Ribbed Metal Roofing: Pros & Cons in 2020

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.

Cost

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 $2.50 to $4.00 per sq. ft. for professional installation, and you’ll get a base rate of $4.50 to $7.50 per sq. ft. of ribbed metal paneling installed.

Note: Labor costs may be higher than $3 per sq. ft. Total cost ought to be below $7.00 to $9.50 per sq. ft. installed, which means the cost of warrantied labor could go as high as $4.00 to $6.00 per sq. ft., in some cases.

Why would installation costs ever be that much higher 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 the existing roof.

For an average sized roof (say 1,600 sq.ft.), the total installation cost is likely to fall within $6,500 to $10,500.

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, the less of an overall charge per sq. ft. the project could result in.

ROI: With all metal roofing, the return (value to cost) on your investment will be excellent. It starts at around 86% and, again, depending on your location may be higher.

This means that if you were to spend say $10,000 for a ribbed metal roof and sell your home while the roof is still in great condition, you can plan to recoup $8,600 of that value just from this part of your home.

Residential homes along the east coast of the U.S. tend to fetch better than 86% ROI.

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The Cost of a Standing Seam Metal Roof, Plus Pros & Cons 2020

Standing seam is the premier choice for metal roofing. It is also the most expensive; around two to three times the cost of corrugated metal panels (and asphalt shingles), and about 20% to 30% above metal shingles.

Standing seam offers unbeatable value (durability, longevity, energy-efficiency, and style) that is hard for any other roofing material to match. Let’s explore this in further detail:

Cost

G-90 Galvanized Steel is the most popular or most-often used option for residential standing seam roofs. The “G” here refers to the amount of the zinc plating, as in .90oz per square foot.

Did you know? Standing Seam is also available in Aluminum, Galvalume Steel, Zinc and Copper

While technically, aluminum is more expensive than steel, the reality is the costs aren’t noticeably different when considering what is being sold to homeowners by quality contractors.

If the materials were not coated and not finished with factory painting, then perhaps the higher cost of aluminum would be something of note. In the current market, they are virtually the same cost.

Cost of Materials and Important Nuances on Pre-Cut vs. Custom-Fabricated Metal Panels

Standing seam metal panels and trim will cost between $3.50 and $5.50 per sq. ft. for made-to-order (custom fabricated) metal panels, depending on the overall order size, location, and supplier relationship.

In terms of metal quality and thickness a 26 or 24 gauge Galvalume steel would be a better and a longer lasting option compared to G-90 galvanized steel, especially near the ocean.

Total Cost per Square Foot Installed

A qualified contractor will likely have real metal samples, a brochure or catalog to show off all the possibilities for what’s available. They’ll provide all the information that backs up their work.

And, if going with the national average, their prices will normally fall in the range of $9.50 to $14.50 per sq. ft. to install standing seam on a typical house.

How to Find a Trusted Metal Roofer

Depending on your location, it can be tough to find a specialist roofing contractor that installs Standing Seam, but even more challenging is finding a pro that does it well.

Installation costs do take into account a number of factors, such as: how exactly will the panels be connected, what are some of the existing roof needs to address (i.e. attic insulation and ventilation, the tear off and disposal of the old roof, etc.), what are the options in terms of metals/alloys, colors and gauge or thickness of the material, whether the installer is properly insured, and whether or not any meaningful labor warranties are being offered.

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