Copper Roof Cost and Pros & Cons

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 $15 to $25 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 to $12 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 $45,000 for a full copper roof. The true average is closer to $30,000, 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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Synthetic Shake and Shingle Pricing Guide

Synthetic shake and shingles are polymer-based material, or a combination of plastic and rubber. They are used on roofs where homeowners desire the classic look of wood or natural slate, with the added benefits from the synthetic blends.

Synthetic roofs are relatively new to the residential roofing market, first arriving in the early 1990’s. Their durability, environmental friendliness and affordability have all contributed to their rising success.

Cost

For an average 2,300 sq.ft., non-complex, single-story roof, it will cost between $5.50 and $8.50 per sq.ft. installed. This results in an average total price range of $12,500 to $19,500. If the existing roof needs to be torn off first, this can cost $2,250 to $3,500 more.

A complex roof with multiple angles, dormers, and valleys, or greater pitch would add to labor charges.

Cost of Materials

Composite shingles and fake composite slate cost virtually the same. Formation is done via a molding process to ensure it resembles wood or stone, as the case may be.

The material is fairly light at about 1.25 pounds per tile, so essentially all roof types can handle such installation. The tiles can easily be cut on-site with a utility knife and are attached as simply as using a nail gun.

An asphalt shingle roofer ought to have the skills to properly install synthetic shake and shingle roofing.

Breaking Down Costs Into Specific Examples

With any home improvement project being handled by qualified professionals, it is in your best interest to get more than one quote, or preferably between three and seven.

The quoted figures they give you will either be total installation charges (one price for everything) or they’ll ideally itemize each cost so you can better compare their rates to the competition. For the example below, we ballpark certain figures as particular items, like building permits and disposal fees vary by region.

Composite Shingle Roofing: 2,490 sq.ft. (23 roofing squares) = $13,100 (includes labor+material)
Tear Off Existing Roof: $2,500
Disposal fees: $900
Additional Materials: Flashing, fasteners, underlayment, etc. = $2,250
Building Permit: $350
Total Project Cost = $19,100

Factors That Contribute To Overall Cost

While material costs are roughly the same between composite shingles and fake slate, the material costs will be based on manufacturer and distributor pricing.

Normally, contractors buy product at wholesale through established distributors. There are a number of manufacturers in the marketplace, and the popular ones are:

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PVC Roof Options and Costs – PVC vs. TPO

PVC, technically known as Polyvinyl Chloride is really vinyl roofing, though is routinely referenced as PVC roof.

PVC competes with TPO and EPDM in the synthetic roof membrane arena, and indirectly with all other roofing materials including BUR, modified bitumen, and structural standing seam roofs designed for lower sloped roofs.

Membrane roofs are usually applied to flat or low-slope roofs, but using a single-ply membrane on a sloped roof is also possible and common on roofs with slopes between 1:12 and 3:12.

Why not just use traditional roofing materials (asphalt shingles or other tiles) on a low sloped roofs? Because they are very likely to leak unless a minimum specified slope for shingles or tiles has been met.

When used with a slope, the overlap of those materials are designed to shed water away from the roof deck. Whereas flat roofs have only a slight pitch, and any standing, or pooling water, could lead to immediate leaks and rotting soon thereafter.

PVC membrane is a kind of roofing material that can withstand pooling or standing water — puddles of water that accumulate on roofs with low slopes.

Cost

Of the three primary membrane roof types, PVC is the most expensive. EPDM is the least costly option, and TPO is somewhere in the middle.

TPO allegedly offers the benefits of both the other types, yet that material keeps undergoing formula changes, and so compared to PVC and EPDM is considered less reliable, particularly when it comes to warranties.

Prices for residential installs can vary greatly. A roofer is likely to quote differently than a professional PVC installer, probably less, but also likely to not have the proper tools. A fair range, is between $6.00 and $8.50 per sq. ft. if installed by a PVC expert. On the lower end if going with less thick material.

In terms of value, durability and ROI, PVC is arguably the best, or longest lasting of the three. EPDM will go 7 to 15 years before needing replacing or re-coating.

TPO is thought to go as long as PVC, but that information is either suspect or unknown for sure just yet.

PVC has been in the field for decades and unlike TPO isn’t constantly undergoing changes to the formula to address performance issues. Warranties are usually ‘lifetime’ and with proper installation, it ought to retain solid performance for 20 years or more.

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