Metal Shingle Roofing Costs and Value: Materials, Cost, Pros & Cons

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.

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Cost & Benefits of Ribbed Metal Roofing: R, 5V Crimp, Pros & Cons

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.

Cost

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.

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Concrete and Clay Tile Roof Costs and Pros & Cons: Concrete Vs. Clay Tiles

Tile roofs been going in and out of style, but they’re guaranteed to last for quite a while. Traditional tiles are made from either clay or concrete. The latter tends to be less expensive, but there is often more value in a clay tile roof.

Styles And Variety

In North America, tile roofing is often associated with the southwestern US feeling. Deep red, clay tiles on a home with stucco siding is what normally comes to mind when we picture roof tiles. Yet, that’s just one possibility.

Historically, Dutch and European immigrants have been in the business of importing clay tiles into the New World since about 1650.

All the way through the end of the 1700’s, it was a very popular roofing material which was viewed as superior to wood, because it was fireproof.

By the mid 1700’s, America had established itself as a country able to manufacture glazed and unglazed or uncoated tiles.

As the industrial age chugged along, metal roofing started to grow in popularity, which lead to the decline in the dominance of the clay tile market.

Metal is as durable and in many cases, less expensive than tiles. Yet, there have been at least two revival periods in the last 200 years, which is why tile roofing has never lost its stature in the overall roofing industry.

Cement or Concrete vs. Clay Roof Tiles: Impact on Colors

While clay is the historic and predominant material, concrete is the other primary material option. Clay tiles normally come in two types: glazed (liquid glass baked onto the tile) or unglazed.

Clay tiles tend to hold color much better than cement tiles, especially in the case of Terracotta clay.

Regardless of the material, color is mixed in with the material during the production. With cement, color will fade somewhere between 30 and 50 years. With clay, the color will hold steady for 50 to 70 years. And with Terracotta, it is indefinite, or for sure 100+ years.

Adding in tile shape and texture, provides a rather limitless variety of options. But generally, architects are going for a particular, established style.

Multi-colored tiles on a roof are an option that goes somewhat against the historic norms. Accessories are part of the installation, such that tiles shaped and formed for ridges, hips and gable ends add even more opportunity for greater variety.

Cost and Value

Cost of Materials

Nailing down the exact cost can be a bit challenging. If tiles are plentiful in your region, then expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $12 per sq. ft. for materials alone.

Note that concrete tiles can be made as either heavy or light-weight, and are available in a wide variety of colors and shapes. Though again, uncoated or unglaze cement or concrete will not hold color as well as clay.

Clay tiles will cost anywhere from $6 to $11 per sq. ft. for materials. Other research shows that clay tile will cost 30% more on average than concrete tiles.

Total Cost Installed

Clay tiles cost between $12 and $20 per sq. ft. to install on a roof. If choosing a more sophisticated design of the tile, that cost range can go up to $20 to $30 per sq. ft. installed, which would make it more expensive than natural slate or even copper roofing.

For a home that has a roof size of about 2,000 sq.ft., the overall average installation cost can range from $25,000 to $40,000 depending on the choice of materials, roof complexity, and home’s location.

Should you decide to go for a high-end tile roof, a similarly-sized, premium clay tile roof could cost as much as $40,000 to $60,000 to install.

Structural Requirements

Before you can install clay or concrete tile roof, it is best to have your home inspected by an engineer to ensure it can hold the extra weight that comes with standard concrete and clay material.

While, asphalt shingles weigh about 250 to 400 lbs per square (100 sq. ft.), concrete tips the scale at 950 to 1200 pounds per square, so up to 5 times the weight.

Therefore, unless your roof frame was specifically designed to carry the weight of heavy tiles, it will likely require structural reinforcement.

Benefits

But the benefits are enormous. At the top is longevity. Clay and concrete will last a good 50 years minimum, and exceeding 100 years is certainly possible with proper installation. To get the kind of longevity tiles are capable of providing, you will need to hire an experienced tile roofer.

Allowing a handyman to do the job will might help save some money upfront, but this might lead to problems later on. Furthermore, having anyone who is not experienced with how to properly traverse the roof can lead to broken tiles.

While clay and concrete tiles are undoubtedly durable over the long haul, the material itself is a bit fragile in terms of impact resistance from full body weight.

Clay and Concrete Tiles vs. Natural Slate

Stone is rather impervious to water. Clay has water absorption of about 6%, while Concrete can absorb as much as 13%. Slate is a material that edges out clay, while wood is known to be rather poor in this regard. There are more benefits, and even disadvantages, which we’ll cover below.

Pros

  • longevity and durability – material will last 50+ years
  • virtually water proof, insect proof, fire proof, and resists rotting
  • low to almost no maintenance, though see Disadvantage with regards to underlayment
  • wonderful variety, very unique and beautiful appearance, color that will last (if going with Clay)

Cons

  • fragile when walked on, tiles can break rather easily
  • underlayment material won’t last as long as material, and so that underlayment needs to be replaced even while the roofing tiles will be fine. A roofer would remove all tiles, replace underlayment material and then re-install old tiles on the new underlayment.
  • one of the more expensive roofing materials
  • added weight is significant enough factor that it may not work for every home