Installing a metal shingle roof on a residential home will cost, on average, between $8.00 and $12.00 per sq. ft. In this guide, we’ll explain all the important factors that determine the total cost of a metal shingles, along with pros and cons. We’ll also cover material costs of various metal shingle options and draw some comparisons to other popular roofing materials.
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 shingles and tiles are in the middle of the pack in terms of costs.
Understanding Your Options
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 today, 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, painted aluminum and steel tiles. Gone are the days when metal shingles would only have a silver/gray, metallic appearance.
Key Fact: There are really two basic types of metal shingles, or metal tiles: galvanized steel coated with a protective metallic finish, often finished a factory-applied Kynar 500 paint, and the second type finished with stone granules referred to as stone-coated steel 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. Metal shingles are also available in aluminum, zinc, and copper.
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 typically relies on an interlocking system that makes for a 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 second 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.
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 and 5V crimp metal panels roof can often be mistaken for standing seam, which is in the upper echelon of residential and architectural metal roofing options.
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 $1.50 to $3.50 per linear foot is what you’ll routinely find. — This assumes you are going with a coated steel (i.e. G-60 or G-90 galvanized steel, 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 $4.00 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.
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?
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.
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.