Many homeowners want to know: how much does a metal roof cost? The answer, of course, is that it depends. Metal roofs are a great investment. Modern metal roofs can be made to look like almost any other type of roofing material. Or you can choose to go with the classic beauty of the metal itself. A metal roof can save on energy bills, repair costs, and many common types of storm damage. It can also last up to three times as long as a common asphalt roof. They are more expensive to install, but they retain value and have a great return on investment. However, there are many factors that can affect the cost of your metal roof.
The Cost of Labor is Higher
When installing a metal roof, you will find that the cost of labor is higher. This is because installing a metal roof is not the same as a typical asphalt roof. How your metal roof is installed has a great effect on its durability and longevity. If you want your metal roof installed right, you will need an experienced roofer who knows how to work with metal roofing.
Unlike an asphalt roof, metal roofing cannot just be nailed in place. Installation requires a lot of precision work. The first step is careful measuring of the roof. This can be complex if your roof is not just a few simple slopes. A roof that includes a number of faces, dormers, or other features can involve a great deal of precise measurement. It is very important to get the measurements right because in most cases the roofing will be pre-cut to size.
Once the roof is measured and the roofing is carefully cut to size, the installation requires precision. This ensures that no rain or other precipitation can penetrate the metal roof. In general, installation of a metal roof can take two to three times as long as an asphalt roof.
The Cost of Materials Varies Greatly
In general, metal roofing is more expensive than asphalt. In fact, asphalt is one of the most inexpensive roofing options out there. However, compared to some other materials, like roofing tiles or slate, metal roofing can be a relatively cost-efficient material. A lot depends on the type of metal roofing. There is a wide variety of metal roofing that varies in quality, durability, and longevity. However, most metal roofs will last up to three times as long as an asphalt shingle roof with little maintenance. This means that if you add up the cost of three asphalt shingle roofs, a metal roof will actually cost you less over its lifespan.
Some common metal roofing materials are steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc. In addition to the type of material, there are a number of ways these materials can be treated, shaped, and installed. One possible cost saving is due to the relatively light weight of metal. In many cases, a metal roof can be installed directly over an asphalt shingle roof without needing to remove the existing roof. This creates savings in labor and disposal costs.
Steel roofing comes in several different styles. One of the most common metal roofing types is galvanized steel. It is made of coil or sheet steel coated with a thin layer of zinc. The zinc coating provides a reasonable amount of resistance to corrosion and rust. It also stands up well to the elements.
One common form of galvanized steel roofing is interlocking metal shingles. These are large interlocking metal sheets shaped to look like shingles. With a variety of textures and colors, they can mimic the look of many other types of shingle. Because they are made in large interlocking sheets, they can save time on installation. However, careful measuring is required to make sure the interlocking pieces fit your roof exactly. Painted interlocking steel shingles can cost $3.00 to $3.50 per square foot for materials including trim.
Another type of galvanized steel roofing is stone coated steel roofing. It can be made to simulate the look of many different roofing materials. Stone coated steel roofing can mimic shake, slate, tile, and shingle. It usually costs $3.50 to $4.25 per square foot.
A higher-end type of steel roofing is galvalume steel. It is coated with a zinc-aluminum alloy that provides greater durability than galvanized steel. Most higher-end residential applications of standing seam metal roofing are made of galvalume steel.
Standing Seam Steel Roofing
This is the most common type of metal roofing for residential use. As its name implies, the main feature of standing seam roofing is that the seams between the sheets of metal are raised up above the material. The final appearance is a metal roof with continuous panels running from the ridge of the roof all the way down to its edge. The panels meet in a raised seam, giving the appearance of a small ridge between panels.
There are a number of benefits to standing seam roofing. First, there are far fewer seams than other types of roofing. With a single panel from ridge to edge, water can run down the roof with nowhere to get under the roofing material. This is made even more effective by raising the seams above water level. For this reason, standing seam roofs are highly durable, stand up well to the elements, and require little maintenance.
The Cost of Standing Seam Steel Roofing
The cost for galvalume steel standing seam roofing starts at about $4.00 to $4.50 per square foot or up to $10 per square foot installed. Compared to $.90 per square foot for three-tab asphalt shingle (without installation), that’s an expensive roof. But if you consider that this roof can last three times as long as an asphalt roof, or longer, the investment becomes a little more appealing.
In addition to the extended lifespan, a standing seam metal roof requires much less maintenance than an asphalt roof. An asphalt roof requires regular of maintenance and repair. It will leak eventually. A standing seam metal roof requires very little maintenance. On top of that, if you live in a warm climate a metal roof has definite energy savings. Metal roofs are considered by the EPA to be “cool roofs”. That means that they reflect heat, lowering cooling costs up to 40%. With all these savings it is clear why many homeowners are turning to metal roofs.
Premium Metal Roofs
On the extreme high end of cost, copper and zinc roofs are a significant investment. Copper is an expensive metal and can cost $9.00 to $14.00 a square foot depending on thickness. Installation can also be expensive. A standing seam copper roof requires soldering, an unusual skill for a roofer that adds to labor costs. Zinc is similarly expensive. But for certain applications, the appearance of copper is unparalleled. Copper has been used for roofing for thousands of years and it has a classic look. As copper is exposed to the elements, it develops a natural patina that both protects the material and adds to the aesthetic.
Installation of Metal Roofs
Installing a metal roof is different than installing a shingle roof and requires particular skills. It is important to use an experienced roofer. An inexperienced roofer can cost you money in time, wasted materials, and future damage if the roof is installed incorrectly. The experts at Eagle Watch Roofing are experienced in metal roofing and can install your metal roof properly. We’re happy to answer your questions about metal roofing. Just contact us to learn more!