Home > Roofing > Metal Roof Cost Guide for 2023

Metal Roof Cost Guide for 2023

Updated Jan 12, 2023

Metal roof

Updated Jan 12, 2023

Home > Roofing > Metal Roof Cost Guide for 2023

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Budgeting for a DIY or professional roof replacement or installation is an important part of your home renovation. As a homeowner, setting total cost expectations for any project is important before proceeding further. We’ve done in-depth research and broken down your metal roofing costs to ensure your next project goes as smoothly as possible. Read on to learn more about:

  • Material and labor costs for different types of metal roofing
  • The benefits of DIY installation vs. hiring a roofing contractor
  • Some common pros and cons of having a metal roof
man installing a metal roof
Image Source: Canva

Benefits of Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are a popular choice for several reasons. Their long lifespan relative to roofs made of other materials, longer warranties, and more provide homeowners with plenty of motivation to opt for a metal roof. Below, we’ve outlined a few more compelling reasons to choose a metal roof.

  • Compatibility with most roof pitches: Metal roofs can be installed even on roofs with shallow pitches (down to 1:12 in some instances). This is because of how difficult it is for precipitation of all kinds to stick to this material for an extended period.
  • Energy efficiency: A metal roof is ideal for warmer climates, as it can greatly lower your cooling costs month-to-month. Metal roofing reflects far more of the sun’s rays away from your home than other roofing materials. Additionally, metal roofing cools off far quicker at night than asphalt shingles, meaning that heat conducted to your attic space and home is kept to a minimum. The reflectivity of your roofing can be further enhanced with a Kynar PVDF resin coating. It will decrease heat and energy conductivity in your attic space.
  • Excellent for snowy or wet climates: Metal roofs easily shed water and snow due to their relative slipperiness. Even on low-pitched roofs, standing water and long-term snow accumulation are not a factor for you to worry about.
  • Lightweight: Metal is far thinner and more lightweight than other roofing materials. Twenty-two-gauge metal roofing—one of the thickest available gauges—is .0313 inches thick. Metal roofing materials cause minimal strain to existing roof decking as a result.
  • Longevity: When properly cared for, a metal roof can last upwards of 30 to 50 years. Zinc or copper roofs can last longer than 70 years with regular maintenance. 
  • Mold resistance: A common problem with many roofing materials is susceptibility to mold, mildew, and rot from water damage. Metal roofs are resistant to these attacks and are extremely difficult for pests to damage.

Disadvantages of a Metal Roof

Despite the many positive aspects of installing a metal roof, you’ll also run into a few drawbacks with this roofing material. Here are a few noteworthy negatives to consider.

  • Color matching can be tough: This applies to repairs rather than new roof installation. Over time, even high-quality, long-lasting roofing materials will fade from sun exposure. If you have to replace a single panel, then your local roofing company may not be able to match your existing roof color precisely.
  • Cost: Metal roofing prices are among the highest in the industry. The average cost of a metal roof will depend on the gauge and material you choose but will likely be higher than asphalt shingles or tile roofing.
  • Fasteners degrade over time: If you’re installing corrugated panels instead of a standing seam metal roof, you will run into issues with exposed fasteners. No matter how well-sealed your fastening points are, your metal roofing panels are sure to expand and contract with temperature changes over time. This will wear on your fasteners and make corrugated metal roofing a slightly less-desirable choice than standing-seam roofs, even if they are more affordable.
  • Noise: You may want to think twice if you’re staging a DIY installation and currently live in a region with a lot of rainfall. Metal roofing can be incredibly noisy in rainy conditions. However, if you use a thick, high-quality underlayment for your roofing and tighten all of your fasteners well enough, added noise should be minimal.

How Much Does a Metal Roof Cost?

Despite the difficulty of installing them, metal roofs are fairly low-maintenance once they’re in place. Whether you opt for corrugated or standing-seam panels, you can expect your metal roof to last far longer than most other roofing options. In short, you’ll be paying for quality. Here, we’ve broken down what you’ll be paying for.

Factors That Affect Metal Roofing Costs

Here are some factors that will affect the cost of metal roofing:

  • Material prices: Different metal roofing materials come with different price points, as outlined below.
  • Region: Where you live will also come into play when determining your roofing cost. Labor and material costs will vary greatly between locales.
  • Roof size: Regardless of whether your roofing contractor charges by the hour or square foot, your roof size will be a key cost factor. Residential roofs are smaller projects than commercial ones, but you should expect costs to increase for steeper or larger roofs.
  • Roofing style: Corrugated and standing seam panels have different pricing due to the different and more-involved labor processes required for installation. For a 2,000-square-foot roof, the difference in associated costs can add up.
  • Scope of labor: If you hire a roofing contractor, you should expect to pay for any associated labor. Disposing of old roofing, contending with high climbs or overhanging trees near your existing roof, or dealing with odd roof angles will make for a higher price tag.

Metal Panels Cost Per Square Foot

Here are the most commonly used metal roofing materials with their associated per-square-foot costs. Without labor, the costs below, plus the cost of other needed materials like underlayments, should reflect your DIY roof installation cost.

  • Aluminum sheets: $3.75–$4.25
  • Aluminum shingles: $4.50–$4.75
  • Copper: $20–$25
  • Galvalume: $1.50–$2
  • Galvanized steel: $3.25–$3.75
  • Standing seam aluminum: $5–$7
  • Standing seam steel: $4–$4.50
  • Tin: $3.50–$12
  • Zinc: $6–$8

Metal Trim Cost

Metal trim will seal the edges between roofing panels at the peak of your roof, around your gables, roof-to-outer-wall seams, and under your gutters at the eaves. Here, we’ve listed the average cost per linear foot for each flashing and trim type. These costs should be consistent for most metal roofing types.

  • Eave flashing: $2–$4.50
  • Gable trim: $2–$4.50
  • Ridge cap: $4–$5.50

Metal Roof Underlayment Costs

Underlayment costs will depend on the material you choose. We recommend asphalt felt for its increased noise protection, but the materials below are commonly used for many metal roofing applications. Each is sold in rolls that cover a fair amount of square footage (usually between 100 and 200 square feet per roll), so buying in bulk is easy.

  • Asphalt felt underlayment: $0.50–$0.75 per square foot
  • Butyl-based adhesive sheet: $0.20–$0.25 per square foot
  • Synthetic sheet underlayment:  $0.70–$0.85 per square foot

Metal Roof Installation Cost

We’ve laid out your total installation cost, from stainless steel to zinc roofing. Labor costs will mostly depend on your metal roof type—corrugated and standing-seam roofs will have a bit of variance due to the relative skill required.

MaterialMaterial Cost (per square foot)Cost for 1,500–2,000 Square Feet of MaterialLabor CostTotal Cost*
Aluminum Sheets$3.75–$4.25$5,625–$8,500$6,750–$18,000$12,375–$26,500
Aluminum Shingles$4.50–$4.75$6,750–$9,500$6,750–$18,000$13,500–$27,500
Galvanized Steel$3.25–$3.75$4,875–$7,500$6,750–$18,000$11,625–$25,500
Standing Seam Aluminum$5.00–$7.00$7,500–$14,000$9,000–$22,000$16,500–$36,000
Standing Seam Steel$4.00–$4.50$6,000–$9,000$9,000–$22,000$15,000–$31,000
* Project cost quotes from roofing professionals will likely be all-inclusive and will fold the price of all needed materials and labor into your final cost. It will include underlayment, repairs to your roof’s substrate, and anything else your project requires.
person fixing a metal roof with a drill
Image Source: Canva

Metal Roof Repair Costs

The national average cost for metal roofing repair—metal shingles or corrugated paneling—is between $500 and $2,500. For most roofing repairs, you should budget around $1,500. That said, getting a quote from a local roofing contractor will be necessary to gauge the exact cost.

Here are a few common issues with metal roofing and its associated repair costs:

  • Corrosion or rust: Even with the highest-quality materials, corrosion can be a factor with metal roofing over long periods. You’ll have to pay to replace defective panels or shingles, so per-square-foot rates will apply here. In most cases, you’ll pay between $1,000 to $2,000 for this repair, as rust typically occurs on older roofing. The full extent of damage or defective panels may be greater than what you can initially see.
  • Leaks: Leaks are a common concern when dealing with any roofing. Even though a high-quality metal roof will last far longer than asphalt shingles, manufacturer error or extreme weather conditions can lead to leaks. You’ll pay between $500 and $1,000 for most leak fixes from a roofer, although costs can fluctuate due to ease of access to a given leak, metal type, number of leaks or defective panels, and more.
  • Oil-canning or denting: Oil-canning (or elastic buckling) occurs over time with all metal roofing from zinc to steel but is more common in thinner panel gauges. It refers to ripples in flat spaces on metal panels and is best minimized by hiring an experienced roofer for your roofing job. The most common cause of oil canning is the metal’s expansion and contraction with heating and cooling over time. Roofing contractors will know how to space panels and fasteners properly to avoid it.

Cost of Repair vs. Replacement

Repair costs for metal roofing—similar to installation costs—are higher than those for most other roof types. Not only do materials cost more, but so does the associated labor due to the more complicated installation techniques. Most metal roof repairs will fall between $500 and $2,500, while total replacement averages between $8,000 and $16,000.

Get Quotes

No matter what material you decide on, consider getting itemized quotes from local roofing professionals before installing your roof. Even if you’re ultimately going to handle the job on your own, a qualified roofing contractor will point out difficult aspects or potential problems with your roof installation that an untrained eye would miss.

Get free, local estimates from roofing experts

Is a Metal Roof Worth the Money?

Metal roofs can cost more than double what asphalt shingles cost to install, but they will ultimately have a far longer lifespan if properly cared for. Traditional shingles typically last around 15 to 20 years, while stainless steel roofing can last upwards of 40. Aluminum roofing will provide at least 50 years of coverage, while copper and zinc will last far longer and significantly add to your home’s resale value. Your budget will be the key determining factor here and is another reason why you owe it to yourself to get professional quotes before installation.

house with a red metal roof
Image Source: Canva

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional Roofing Company for Metal Roofs

The key consideration when deciding how to install metal roofing is often cost. The most effective way to reduce costs is by opting for a DIY installation. If you decide to go this route, you’ll avoid many of the high-end costs associated with paying for a licensed pro but will forego quality assurances, labor warranties, and peace of mind throughout the installation process.

A DIY installation may be worth considering if you’re fairly handy and have plenty of tools. However, if your roof is a bit tougher to reach or you’re a new homeowner with little home maintenance experience, you should go with a local roofing pro. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the leading cause of death and injury in the construction industry. Exercising care and discretion when working at height is important during roofing or gutter maintenance.

No matter your decision, you should look through this guide to be fully aware of the risks associated with roof installation.

Final Thoughts

Metal is one of the best available roofing materials for homeowners in any climate. The elevated price points are well worth considering the high quality of many metal roof materials and the relative lack of maintenance that a properly installed metal roof will involve. As with many home renovations, paying for quality up-front will save you time and money in the long run.

When gearing up for a roof replacement or maintenance, consider your options and make a choice that aligns with your budget and safety concerns. Even if you decide that a metal roof isn’t for you, we recommend getting quotes from a professional roofer before deciding between DIY and professional installation.

Metal Roof Cost FAQs

Is a metal roof cheaper than asphalt shingles?

Installing a new metal roof will be more expensive than an asphalt shingle roof. Assuming a 2,000-square-foot roof, you will likely have a price range between $4,000 and $8,000 for fully-installed shingles. National average costs for a metal roof fall between $8,000 and $16,000.

Is it OK to put a metal roof over shingles?

Whether or not you can put a metal roof over shingles will entirely depend on the exact condition of your existing roof and substrate. If rot has already set in, you’ll have to remove your old roof. For set fees, most roofing contractors provide old material removal and disposal at a landfill.

Are metal roofs more durable than other roofing materials?

Metal roofing materials’ durability varies between metal types, but almost all are hardier options than shingles or tile. With shingles lasting around 15 to 20 years, the minimum 25- to 30-year lifespan offered by most metal roofing systems appeals to many homeowners. The cost of metal roofing is largely justified by its long life.

Are metal roofs loud when raining?

Metal roofs are louder than their asphalt shingle counterparts but not prohibitively so if properly installed. Using a slightly thicker underlayment material for your roofing project can help. Properly tightening all fasteners will create a flush seal against any underlayment you use and provide better noise reduction.

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