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.
Say it with me: Thermoplastic polyolefin. Yes, TPO is much easier. According to Firestone Building Products’ white paper, TPO is technically a polypropylene based plastic combined with ethylene/propylene rubber.
So plastic and rubber, mixed together basically. Much of the information online boasts how TPO is increasingly popular in commercial roofing. Thing is, we aren’t concerned with commercial buildings, and instead focus on the options available, along with the costs, for adding this material to a residential roof.
Understanding TPO Roof Options
Like all synthetic roofing options, no two companies produce the same formula of TPO. Instead, they alter it just enough to create their own brand. All of it results in a membrane material, between 40 and 100 millimeters thick, which is attached to a roof deck.
TPO is known as a single-ply application, meaning one sheet is sufficient to achieve the benefits (see Advantages below). It competes each year directly with EPDM and PVC, which are similar in application with some of the same benefits, but each have their own unique advantages.
TPO is purchased in rolls that are generally 6 to 12 feet wide, and vary in millimeter depth. The typical thickness is in range of 45 to 65 mm, yet is really a builder’s preference that determines the needs for a particular project. Sheets are rolled out, and cut to fit a roof, based on the deck’s dimensions and any objects penetrating the roof structure. The material is attached in one of three ways:
mechanically – nailed or screwed into the deck
fully-adhered – glued
ballasted – after the entire material is spread out, river rocks or ballasts are strategically situated to hold it in place
More often than not, TPO is applied to flat roofs, but not always. Any sloped roof can handle the material. Costs are likely to increase though if applied to a sloped roof.
TPO manufacturers boast the resulting roof will be monolithic, or without noticeable seams. This is wonderful for waterproofing the upper most layer of a home. To achieve this seamless look among various sheets, the actual seams are heat welded together, which is possible given the type of plastic TPO is made of. PVC is another material that is welded at the seams, but with TPO the material is naturally flexible.
All roofs need to allow for movement, either from weather / temperature changes or impact by humans walking on it. PVC uses additives to its base material to promote flexibility, while TPO is naturally flexible.
Color options include white, light gray and black reflectivity. It used to be that only white was thought to reflect UV rays, but the material in synthetic roofs (namely a laminated top) can achieve this reflective option.
Cost and Value
The main thing with effectively estimating the price to install a TPO roof is finding a qualified professional who can do the job. Mechanically attaching the material, or even gluing (fully-adhering the membrane to deck), is something most roofers can probably do.
Effectively hot air welding the seams takes care, skill and experience. If this part of the job is done ineffectively, the results (think leaks) will not make the overall value worthwhile.
In our research, RoofingCalc.com lists residential TPO roofing costs at $6.00 to $12.00 per sq. ft. for materials and professional installation, however some residential and commercial contractors will install it for as low as $5.00 to $7.00 per sq. ft., but only on either larger or fairly simple and residential projects that can be completed in a day or two.
A word of caution needs to be noted. This is touched upon in our Disadvantages below, but needs special mention.
Back in 2010, the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association issued an advisory against TPO, which obviously impacted the market. Some of the TPO manufacturers responded to this advisory by noting that no two TPO materials are the same, meaning some brands avoid the problem stated in the advisory.
Our take is that TPO is constantly undergoing changes in formula and that is likely a good thing.
The industry is well aware of the perceived problem, yet the flip side is that the material doesn’t necessarily have a proven track record. If looking to go with this material, you are best to stick to companies who’ve been in it since the beginning (read as in before the year 2000), to ensure the warranty will stand up.
Usually warranties for TPO roofs are a minimum of 10 years, and as much as 25 years. The material itself ought to last much longer, so installation is the ongoing issue and how seaming is handled.