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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A mid-range, G-90 galvanized steel shingles roofing system, such as Tamko Metal Works, Edco Metals, or Future Roof, will cost about double the cost of asphalt shingles or higher, when fully installed.
The cost of materials alone would be about $3.50 to $4.50 per square foot, plus the cost of underlayment (about $80 to $100 per roll for 400 sq.ft. of breathable synthetic underlayment). Fully installed, such a system may cost anywhere from $8.50 to $15.50 per square foot for an average roof.
For example, an average-sized single story house with a fairly simple roof shape measuring about 1,700 sq. ft. or 17 squares could cost anywhere from $14,450 to $26,350 for the installation of a metal shingles roof.
Then there are the “more-exotic” systems such as stainless steel millennium tiles that will cost you about $10.00 per square foot for materials, or as much as $16.00 to $25.00 when fully installed. — This cost, by the way, is comparable to the cost of premium copper roofing.
Making Sense of the Confusion
“Metal roofing” is a rather broad term that encompasses many different materials and systems ranging from the basic G-60 low-end (typically corrugated metal panels) steel and G-90 galvanized steel, to better quality Galvalume steel, aluminum, zinc, copper, titanium, and stainless steel.
It is helpful to know that G-60 corrugated steel is by far one of the least expensive options, while zinc, copper, titanium, and stainless steel are at a significantly higher end of the spectrum. However, the precise nature and overall complexity of the installation will also make a significant difference to the final cost.
With a true abundance of materials and systems, most homeowners will opt for either metal shingles, stone-coated steel tiles (especially in Florida), and standing seam metal roofs.
Metal Shingles can be made from either G-90 (galvanized) steel, or aluminum, while standing seam panels can be roll-formed from Galvalume steel, G-90 galvanized steel, aluminum, zinc, and copper. Most residential-grade metal roofs are painted with a high-end paint finish, such as Kynar 500/Hylar 5000, or better.
Most metal shingle roofs will cost anywhere from $850.00 per square (100 sq. ft.) and up for materials and labor, while standing seam metal roofs can easily cost more than $1,550.00 per square due to the higher cost of materials, and often a more tedious and involved installation process.
System Installation Difficulty and Labor Costs Considerations
As a homeowner, it is vital that you look at the total cost of the installation rather than just the price of the raw materials. Labor costs can easily make up a larger percentage of the total cost than the metal itself. This is not to say that metal roofs are always expensive to install.
On the contrary, if you decide to install a new metal roofing system over the existing roof, the costs can be quite manageable.
However, a more thorough job that involves stripping off the old roof completely, will definitely tip the scales towards a higher overall price tag for the job.
Note that taking a big-picture look at the costs also means thinking about the overall longevity and energy efficiency of a newly installed roofing system.
Cost Over Time
Like many modifications to a home, metal roofing must be seen as an investment. Although the initial cost may seem quite high, it is important to remember that these roofs can easily last for many decades. The better materials and design such as standing seam may well last as long as the house itself.
It is also important to take into account the extra energy efficiency a metal roof provides. Since less heat can escape in cold weather and less can get inside the house during the summer, your heating and air conditioning bills are going to end up being less costly and far more reasonable as a result of having a properly installed metal roof, with a well-insulated and properly-ventilated attic space.
Over the next 10 to 20 years, this by itself may easily help recoup the cost of the initial expenditure, while also increasing the value and greatly enhancing the curb appeal of your home.
Did you know? In addition to solar reflectance, there is also the so-called thermal emissivity, which speaks to how quickly a roof can cool off by emitting away the heat, such as after the sunset. — As you may have guessed, asphalt roofs normally take a lot longer to cool off at night, after a hot summer day.
Both, solar reflectance and thermal emissivity will help lower your AC energy expenditures, and hence boost your home’s energy efficiency.
As we have explained, it is hard to hone in on an exact cost without knowing about your specific situation and plans.
While making sense of metal roofing prices can seem daunting at first, simply narrowing down your options can clarify things in no time.
Even if you opt to go for an expensive solution such as stripping your existing roof and replacing it with aluminum or another high-quality material, you stand to gain a great deal in terms of having a low roof maintenance, high energy-efficiency, and confidence of knowing that your home is protected by a durable and long-lasting roofing system that is also kind to the environment, and will likely last for as long as the property it protects.