Copper Roof Cost and Pros & Cons in 2021

Updated on January 19th, 2021

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.

Pricing Details

Perhaps the only disadvantage of a copper roof is the exuberantly high initial cost up front. It is, by far, the most expensive metal roofing option on the market, bar none.

Yet, when you take into consideration the benefits and value of copper, the cost factor be put into proper perspective.

For residential copper roofing and cladding projects, you can expect to pay in the range of $18.00 to $28.00 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 ($8.50 to $15.50 per sq. ft. installed), though that depends on the roof style and quality of the finished metal.

The higher end of the copper roof cost depends on your location and your roof’s overall complexity and size. — Plan on paying more per sq. ft. when covering a smaller roof, such as a porch or bay window with significantly smaller square footage.

Key Considerations and Points to Keep in Mind: You don’t have to cover your entire home with Copper roofing.

For example, many people will accent their homes by using copper on a prominently situated 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 $50,000 for a complete copper roof. The true average is closer to $30,000 to $40,000, but even that is around four times the cost of an asphalt shingle roof.

In terms of ROI, metal roofing generally returns a value of 86% of the cost upon selling of the home. And almost all metal roofing systems will last at least 50 years. Yet, steel and aluminum may 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 the lowest figure you can plan on given the length of time it will last.

At RoofingCalc.com, they estimate an average copper roof at $36,000 on the low end to $51,000 on the high end. plus. That’s about average for a typical single-story house with a roof measuring about 1,600 sq. ft. — This price also includes permitting, tear off and disposal charges.

The Value and Options

via Levine & Company

Other than flat roofs, there’s really not a style of a 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.

Patination can help copper 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.

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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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Cedar Shingles & Shakes Roofing Costs, Plus Pros & Cons in 2021

Updated on January 11th, 2021

Cedar shingles and shakes are a classic style of roofing that is often installed on Cape Cod style homes, especially in New England and around the greater Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Cedar roofs are also popular in the pacific Northwest including Oregon and Washington state. However, cedar roofs are not exclusive to New England and PNW. In fact, you can see wood shingle roofs anywhere across the US, especially in areas that land themselves nicely to the classic look of traditional roofing — think beach houses and/or homes nearby green/wooded areas, etc.

via Inspirational Village

Cost

On average, you can expect to pay between $7.50 and $12.50 to install a cedar shingle or shake roof on a typical house, not including the cost of removal and disposal of the old roof. The cost can vary a lot, depending on the roof difficulty, number of stories, and your home’s location.

For a typical, 2,000 sq.ft. roof, homeowners can expect to pay between $15,000 and $25,000 to install wood shingles or shakes, not including the cost of removing and disposing of the old roof.

By the square, which equals 100 sq. ft., the price for wood shingles installed is between $750 to $1,150 or $7.50 to $11.50 per sq. ft. This includes materials and permits, professional installation, and warranty, but doesn’t include the cost of removing and disposing of the old cedar shingle/shake roof, which would be between $1.00 and $2.00 extra per square foot, depending on the number of existing layers of shingles and ease (or difficulty) of removal and disposal.

If going with cedar shakes instead, the price increases up to $850 to $1,250 per square or $8.50 to $12.50 per sq. ft. installed.

Note that in the more expensive real estate markets like the greater Boston, Cape Cod MA, or Seattle, the cost can easily exceed $14.00 per sq.ft. or $1,400 per square of cedar shakes installed.

If going with bargain priced materials, the costs can come significantly down, but the value or how long it lasts will also go down.

Home Depot sells bundles at about $50, where 4 bundles are enough to cover a square, thus $200. — This doesn’t take into account the other materials that go into a roofing job, such as fasteners, underlayment, flashing, tools and supplies, etc., but it does let you know that if you go the DIY route (not something we would recommend), your total upfront cost could be reduced significantly.

What is the Difference Between Cedar Shake and Shingle Roofing?

First, let’s differentiate between the two similar products. Shake means split with an axe, shingle means cut with a saw. It’s that simple.

Obviously shake came first, historically. Both are used today, while shake is generally considered the premium product between the two.

Cedar shakes tend to be thicker (up to 3/4th on an inch in thickness) than wood shingles (up to 1/2 inch thick), and hence also more expensive. With the advent of shingle mills in the early 19th century, came the ability to mass produce the wood material, along with possibility to access it in several locations.

Besides thickness, there is also variation in shape, width, texture and eventually treatment and color. Royalty and Perfection. These terms refer to length, with Perfection referencing an 18-inch-wide shingle and Royalty attributed to 24-inch-wide shingles. Shape tends to be rectangular, especially as it relates to material for roofing.

As cedar shakes are also used for siding, the shape may vary, with how the butt-end (lower side of the shake) appears, as in whether it is rounded, straight, or even a bit wavy.

Did you know? Wood shake material of higher quality is often used for roofing, whereas cedar siding projects tend to use lower quality shakes.

Being that these wood shakes are on the upper portion of the house, the need or even purpose for anything uniquely shaped is not necessary.

Wood shake is the material that is routinely synonymous with cedar, but that’s not the only grain of wood used in shakes. There’s white and red cedar, along with California redwood, which are the primary wood choices in North America. Outside the US, pine may be the primary choice for shakes.

Color options are essentially without limit as any paint or stain can be applied, but typically a clear stain is used due to the natural beauty associated with the material. What is more common is how the wood is treated.

Chemically treated wood will last longer than if it is not treated. Often it is laced with fire retardants to overcome an inherent, albeit natural design flaw. Or treated to prevent algae and insect infestation. Such treatments can have the material last a good 30 years, or longer.

Value and Cost Further Explored

The rustic charm of wood shake is arguably its most alluring value. While there are metallic, and stone tile products that can come close in matching its appearance, none really compare to the authentic beauty of natural wood.

Added thickness in the material means better insulation of the home’s uppermost layer. But the real value is in how it holds up to wind. Asphalt shingles top out at 130 mph for wind uplift resistance, whereas cedar shakes can withstand speeds up to 245 mph. It is also impact resistant, or more so than most other materials with exception of stone.

While the product isn’t requiring special tools or skills to install, it can be quite labor intensive due to the multi-layering, general thickness and moderate heaviness of the material. For a 1,600 sq. ft. roof (which is equal to a small home), the total installation cost averages between 12,000 and $20,000 on the low end of the pricing spectrum.

If using premium materials, or a licensed and insured contractor, or having a complex roof with multiple slope angles, then the price goes up. Unless the home is unusually large, you can expect to not exceed $30,000 for a cedar shake roof on a roof, but a fair average would be between $15,000 and $25,000.

via ASCH Roofing

A roof in general will see a recouped value of 70%, although that is based on the most popular sloped roofing product, asphalt shingle. It goes up from there and given that cedar shake has allure and better than average durability, it is likely closer to 75% or even 80% ROI.

This assumes the shakes or shingles are in good condition, and that they are well maintained. Which brings us to a significant drawback.

If not paying for premium, read as properly treated material, then the product will probably last 20 years, or less, if you are in the area with heavy precipitation or much moisture, such as Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. If the roof is cared for, and inspected annually, a cedar shake roof could last for as long as 30 plus.

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