2021 Metal Roof Cost Per Sq.Ft. – Total Cost Installed vs. Shingles

Metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular with many savvy homeowners and it’s not hard to see why; compared to the more traditional approaches like asphalt shingles and cedar shingles and shakes, metal offers many important advantages including a significantly longer lifespan, low maintenance, excellent durability, and superior energy efficiency.

Cost:

On average, you can expect to pay between $8.50 to $15.50 per square foot to install a metal roofing system on a typical residential house. For example, an average-sized single story house with a fairly simple roof shape measuring about 2,000 sq. ft. or 20 squares could cost anywhere from $17,000 to $31,000 for the installation of a high-end metal roofing system such as stamped metal tiles and standing seam metal roofs.

Note: We have received numerous reports from homeowners in California and other high cost of living coastal areas that high-end residential standing seam metal roofing systems were selling for $18.00 to $20.00 per sq.ft., especially in the fire-prone areas in California during past summer. This would be above the national average price range stated in this guide.

The price range provided in this guide contains an 80% range of all residential metal roofs installed on homes nationally. That said, there will be outliers to the national average, especially in the high cost of living coastal areas such as part of Southern and Northern California, Oregon, and parts of the greater Seattle, WA.

Note on the wider pricing range for different metal roofing profiles:

Given a wide range of various different metal roofing systems such as corrugated metal panels, stamped and stone-coated metal tiles, and standing seam, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5.50 to $25.50 per sq. ft. to install a new metal roof on your home or commercial property. This is a rather wide pricing range, so here is a more detailed breakdown:

  1. Corrugated Steel and Ribbed “R” Metal Panels with Exposed Fasteners (G-60 and G-90 steel): $5.50 to $7.50 per sq. ft. or $550 to $750 per square (100 square feet) fully installed.
  2. Metal Shingles and Shakes (G-90 steel or aluminum): $8.50 to $14.50 per sq. ft. or $850 to $1,450 per square (100 square feet) fully installed.
  3. Stone-coated Steel Shingles and Tiles (Galvalume or G-90 steel): $8.50 to $14.50 per sq. ft. or $850 to $1,450 per square (100 square feet) fully installed.
  4. Standing Seam (Galvalume, G-90 steel, or aluminum): $10.00 to $15.50 per sq. ft. or $1,000 to $1,550 per square (100 square feet) fully installed.
  5. Zinc Shingles and Zinc Standing Seam: $11.50 to $18.50 per sq. ft. or $1,150 to $1,850 per square (100 square feet) fully installed.
  6. Copper Shingles and Copper Standing Seam: $15.50 to $25.50 per sq. ft. or $1,550 to $2,550 per square (100 square feet) fully installed.

Thus, the very low-end of the above pricing range is appropriate for most low-end, G-60 corrugated and ribbed metal roofs with exposed fasteners, while the higher cost is typically associated with metal shingles and stone-coated steel tiles, and standing seam metal roofs. — The prices tend to increase in that order.

Note: A metal shingles roof is one of the most common residential metal roofing profiles, second only to a slightly pricier standing seam. Most metal shingles profiles are available as ether G-90 galvanized steel shingles or aluminum shingles. Companies like Tamko Metal Works, EDCO, Future Roof, PermaLock, and Classic are some of the most prominent residential metal shingles, shakes, and tiles manufacturers on the market.

TAMKO Metalworks galvanized Steel Roof Shingles – G-90 steel, Kynar 500 paint finish, EnergyStar and CRRC rated colors. All colors are EnergyStar and Cool Roof Rating Council rated for their estimated solar reflexivity, thermal emissivity, and energy savings.

Installation cost factors: Your home’s location, roof pitch, number of stories, and overall complexity of the job, including any roof pitch or level changes, dormers, chimneys and skylights, number of layers of old shingles to be removed, and contractor choice will also have a major effect on your total cost installed.

Note: most contractors price their roofs on a per square basis, where one square is a 10 by 10 feet area or 100 square feet. Thus, the cost in square terms could range from $550 to $1,550 per square of metal roofing installed across the US, based on the 80% range of all residential jobs.

Did you know? Standing seam is by far the most popular and expensive metal roofing option, costing an average of $10.00 to $18.50 per sq. ft. or $1,000 to $1,850 per square (100 sq. ft.) installed. Standing seam panels are available in Kynar 500 coated painted aluminum, G-90 galvanized steel, Galvalume steel, zinc, copper, and stainless steel.

metal-roof-on-a-modern-farm-house

For comparison: most asphalt shingle roofs will cost anywhere from $4.00 to $5.50 per sq. ft. or $400 to $550 per square (100 sq. ft.) installed, depending on the material choice, roof complexity, installer’s credentials, your geographic area, time of the year, and so forth.

Did you know? A roof designed to reflect solar radiant heat can help drastically reduce your cooling costs and HVAC demand load during peak hours in the summer.

salt-box-standing-seam-roof

Metal Roof vs. Asphalt Shingles:

It’s 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 both, materials and labor.

The cost of labor is a major factor affecting the cost of metal roofing, with an often tedious installation process that requires a high degree of precision, and hence well-trained installers, with specialized tools and equipment. The difference in cost can also be partially attributed to a simple supply and demand.

standing-seam-metal-roof

The Cost of Materials

The answer can be anywhere from $1.50 per square foot, plus the cost of installation for a low-end G-60 (galvanized 29 gauge steel) corrugated metal panels (with exposed fasteners), finished with a lower-grade (cheaper) acrylic paint, to about $5.50 per square foot of metal panel, plus the installation cost for the high-end aluminum or Galvalume steel standing seam roof featuring concealed fasteners and lifetime warranty.

corrugated metal roof on a ranch house

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Zinc: The Dark Horse of Metal Roofing – Zinc Roof Costs 2021

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.

How Much Does Zinc Roof Cost?

Truly unmatched durability, longevity, and classic beauty — that’s what zinc roofing offers to a homeowner. — At $12.50 to $18.50 per sq. ft. installed, it is the kind of value that is simply unmatched in all other roofing materials.

Zinc — Most Amazing Building Envelope Material You Never Heard of!

In the US, the whole idea of using Zinc as a roofing or cladding 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, for that to hold true for steel, for example, it must be coated with metallic finishes such as G-90 galvanized steel and Galvalume (zinc and aluminum coating), 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 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 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

rainwater 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 amount of energy in their production compared to Zinc.

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

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The Cost of a Standing Seam Metal Roof, Plus Pros & Cons 2021

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 G-90 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 aka custom fabricated metal panels, depending on the overall order size, project location, and contractor’s supplier relationship.

In terms of steel coating quality and thickness or gauge, a 26-gauge (good), 24-gauge (better), or 26-gauge (best) Galvalume coated steel would be a better and a longer-lasting option compared to G-90 galvanized steel, especially in the heavy salt-spray, marine environments.

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 $10.50 to $15.50 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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