How Much Does A Metal Roof Cost Vs. Shingles?
Metal Roof Cost
The average cost of metal roofing ranges from $6 to $12 per square foot installed vs. an asphalt shingle roof which costs $3 to $7 per square foot installed. Many homeowners prefer the long-term investment return of metal roofing over the quick to be replaced asphalt roof. Prices depend on roof size and slope, cost to remove old roof, type of metal used, painting, and installation labor.
|National Average Cost||$11,129|
|Average Range||$7,858 to $14,412|
Table Of Contents
Average Metal Roof Cost Per Square Foot
On average, a metal shingle roof ranges from $7 to $10 per square foot installed, while a standing seam metal roof costs between $10 and $12 per square foot installed. The average cost for a new metal roof is $11,000, but most homeowners will pay between $7,858 and $14,412 depending on the size and slope or roof, and the materials chosen.
|Roofing Material||Material cost per sq. ft.||Installed cost per sq. ft.||Avg cost of 1,200 sq. ft.|
|Steel Standing Seam||$4.25||$10.25||$12,300|
|Stone Coated Steel||$3.87||$10.37||$12,400|
|Aluminum Standing Seam||$6||$12||$14,412|
When looking to replace an existing roof on a home due to structural integrity, damage, or age, metal roofing is one of the best choices for your upgrade. In addition to the savings on installation hours, you can install a metal roof over an existing roof, so there are no costs associated with the removal of the existing roofing materials.
Cost of Metal Roofs vs. Shingles
The cost of a metal roof ranges from $5.50 to $14 per square foot installed vs. an asphalt shingle roof which costs between $3.50 and $7 per square foot installed. Compared to an asphalt roof on a 1,200 square foot single-story home costing $4,200 to 8,500, metal roofs cost $8,400 to $19,000+.
Many homeowners would instead install metal roofs that look like shingles for a more residential look. Other than metal roof cost lying at 2 to 3 times to cost of asphalt shingles, metal roofs are an infinitely better investment because of their long life and low maintenance. Most metal shingles are made of galvanized steel or aluminum, but some companies offer copper and zinc shingles too.
Metal Roof vs. Shingles Pros & Cons
|Factor||Metal Roof||Asphalt Shingles|
|Cost||$5.50–14/sq. ft. installed||$3.50–$7/sq. ft. installed|
|Fire Resistance||Fire resistant to fires outside the home||Class A fire resistance for up to 2 hours|
|Fire Department Access||Difficult to have a targeted delivery of water to put out an indoor fire with panels, though it’s easier with metal shingles.||Easy for the fire department to rip a hole to direct hoses at an interior fire.|
|Utility bills||Energy efficient||Not energy efficient|
|Repairs||Between $500 to $1,000 per roofer’s square (100 sq. ft.)
|Cheaper to repair - $250–500 per roofer’s square
Requires repair often
|Wind resistance||Able to withstand up to 160mph winds as long as manufacture’s installation guides are followed||Only able to withstand 70mph winds|
|Radiant energy||Reflects sunlight and heat||Absorbs sunlight and heat|
|Strength||Dent resistant||Easily damaged|
|Insulation||A good insulator||Not a good insulator|
|Durability||Lasts up to 60 years if not corrosive||Degrades quickly, colors fade
Lasts 15–20 years
Requires more skilled workmanship
|Can be done with unskilled labor
Multiple roofers available
Metal Roof vs. Asphalt Shingles Repair Costs
Compared to common repairs on an asphalt roof on 100 square feet costing $250–$500, because most asphalt shingle roof repairs can only be fixed by replacing the shingle, while common metal roof repairs cost $300–$930.
To repair shingles on an asphalt roof, expect to pay $500, vs. $930 for metal roof replacement panel repairs. To seal leaks, tighten or replace fasteners, and caulk a metal roof, expect to spend between $300 and $500.
Metal Roof Installation Cost Factors
Metal roof installation costs are about the same price or slightly more than your metal panels or shingles. For example, aluminum roof shingles cost about $4.60 per square foot and $10 per square foot installed, while galvanized steel roof panels cost $3.35 per square foot and $7.75 per square foot installed. Many factors will weigh in on the ultimate cost to install your new metal roof.
Roof Size, Pitch and Slope
The final roof pitch or slope in degrees, the total square footage of the roof, and the total number of flashings, vents, and chimneys will affect your cost per square foot. Roofing companies will also take into account how easy each part of the roof is to access.
Labor Cost To Install Metal Roof
Labor costs to install a metal roof ranges from $3.50 to $12 per square foot, with most homeowners paying about $5 per square foot to install metal roofing. This comes out to between $3,000 to install an ordinary roof, and closer to $8,000 for more substantial, thicker, higher-end materials. The cost of labor is around 3 to 5 times the rate of the materials alone.
Metal Roof Material Costs
The type of metal used for the install (aluminum, steel, copper, etc.) is the main cost factor after labor. The price of metal ranges from an average per square foot price of $1.60 for Galvalume to $22.50 for copper. Contractors will factor in the heaviness of the metal used—it’s harder to work with heavy materials that don’t cut easily.
The secondary most significant cost is underlayment. You may be offered upgrade options for the underlayment, with prices between $4 to $5.50 per square foot installed, or $1 to $3 for felt. Items like fasteners, screws, rivets, clamps or clips, plywood or roof deck materials, flashings or pipe boots, sealants or butyl tape are essential components of your installation.
Metal Roof Painting Cost
If you paint a metal roof after it has been installed as opposed to ordering it in the color you want, you can expect to pay an additional $2 to $3 per square foot or $1,500 to $2,500 more for the average roof.
Additional Cost Factors
- Cost to remove old roof – If applicable, this could add $1,000 to $1,500 to your project cost.
- Panel Profile - the size, width, thickness, and color of the metal and whether you are using metal panels which cost $3.50 to $6.50 per square foot installed, or metal shingles that cost an average of $5.50 to $14 per square foot installed.
- Accessories — including skylights, solar panels, swamp coolers, gutters, custom accessories.
- Your geographic location – If you live closer to big cities, you may pay more for labor and less for materials, because they are likely to hold more inventory. In rural settings, it could work in reverse because of transportation costs for the metal.
Metal Roof Prices By Type
On average, metal roofing prices range from $3 to $8 per square foot with the average homeowner spending about $5 per square foot. Apart from zinc and copper roofing, your metal roof cost can end up comparable to the cost of asphalt roofing if you spread the cost out over the lifecycle of the roof. The types of metal roofing systems vary greatly. Here are the average prices by type:
|Roofing Material||Material Prices|
|Asphalt||$1 – $2|
|Galvalume||$0.75 – $2.50|
|Galvanized Steel||$3 – $3.50|
|Aluminum Sheets||$2 – $5.75|
|Aluminum Shingles||$3.75 – $5.50|
|Aluminum Standing Seam||$5 – $7|
|Steel Standing Seam||$4 – $6|
|Stone Coated Steel||$3.50 – $4.25|
|Zinc||$6 – $9|
|Stainless Steel||$10 – $16|
|Tin||$4 – $12|
|Copper||$15 – $30|
Steel Roofing Prices
Stone-Coated Steel Shingles and Tiles cost $3.50 to $4.25 per square foot with an average cost of $10 per square foot installed. Stone-coated steel shingles are available in a range of profile options including tiles, slate, shake, and shingles, and in a variety of colors. They are acrylic-bonded and ceramic-coated.
Stainless Steel Panels cost $10 to $16 per square foot and start at $15.50 per square foot installed. Stainless steel roofing materials are generally regarded as being able to maintain their appearance for over 60 years because of their resistance to corrosion and the fact that the metal doesn’t crack, become brittle, or expand and contract as the seasons change.
Galvalume Metal Roofing Prices
Galvalume metal costs $0.75 to $2.50 per square foot and starts at $5.50 per square foot installed. Galvalume is a combination of steel, aluminum, zinc, and silicone. A wide range of color options is available.
Galvalume metal roof panels typically last around 60 years; however, they have a propensity to completely degrade when in contact with other metals like copper or iron, or other building materials like concrete, brick, or the treated wood found in decks. In addition, unless treated with KJynar coatings, galvalume’s finish can fade in color or develop a buildup of a chalk-like residue, as well as oil canning, which changes the look of the metal.
Galvanized Steel Shingles Roof Cost
Galvanized Steel Shingles cost $3 to $3.50 per square foot and start at $7.50 per square foot installed for interlocking steel shingles. The two common types of galvanized steel used in roofing are G-60, which is a lower-grade product used for roofing on garden sheds or workshops, and G-90, which is used for residential roofing applications. During the manufacturing stage, the metal is treated with a thin coat of zinc oxide (to help resist corrosion) and painted with a resin-based architectural coating called Kynar 500 to preserve the finish.
Aluminum Roofing Cost
Aluminum sheets cost $2 to $5.75 per square foot and start at $7.50 per square foot installed, while aluminum shingles cost $3.75 to $5.50 per square foot and start at $9 per square foot installed. Aluminum standing seam costs $5 to $7 per square foot with an average cost of $12 per square foot installed.
Aluminum panels are primarily made from recycled aluminum, and the materials are recyclable again at the end of their use as a roofing system. Aluminum is inherently a light material and, as a result, aluminum roofing panels are easy for installers to work with. They still possess the strength and durability needed for roofing. However, aluminum’s initial color isn’t popular, nor is it as it ages over time, and it dents easily. It expands and contracts almost twice as much as stainless steel and could dent from installers walking on the roof, or from heavy branches falling on it.
Copper Roofing Cost
Copper roofing prices start at $15 to $30 per square foot with the average homeowner spending about $21 per square foot installed. While considered a premium roofing material, it is rarely used as a residential roofing system.
Also, its appearance will change over time from exposure to the sun, and as it oxidizes, the outer layer shifts away from the look of a shiny new penny to the green/blue look called patina. It is lightweight, more mailable than other metal roofing materials, and can be soldered to completely seal joins to create a fully weatherproof roof that can last over 100 years, and the materials are mostly recyclable.
Tin Roof Cost (Terne)
The average tin roof costs between $4 and $12 per square foot before installation. The most popular tin roofing product is Terne which uses tin as a coating around a steel core. Tin roofing is durable and corrosion-resistant.
Zinc roofing costs $6 to $9 per square foot with the average homeowner spending $12 per square foot installed. Another strong player in relation to its durability and typical lifespan, zinc needs to be both sealed correctly and ventilated to prevent possible corrosion on the underside of the roofing materials.
A Zinc metal roof can last between 60 and 100 years or even 150 years in the right climate conditions. Zinc possess a rare self-healing property which virtually eliminates maintenance, and unlike copper, there are no issues with runoff staining the exterior of the building below.
Corrugated Metal Roofing
A 48SF galvalume panel will cost about $50 per square, making it about $1 per square foot, or about $5.50 per square foot installed. Corrugated metal roof panels have a wave aspect to the metal and have been the to-go roofing panel for more than 100 years on farms, but it’s becoming more and more popular on modern homes in the form of rib panels. The wave pattern contributes to the ability to overlap by one groove as it’s installed. It’s usually made of galvanized steel or galvalume and installed with exposed fasteners.
Standing Seam Metal Roof Cost
Standing seam metal roofs cost $4 to $4.50 per square foot for the materials with the average homeowner paying about $10 per square foot for both materials and labor installation. One of the most popular metal roof installation methods, standing seam roofing has raised seams where each metal roof panel connects to the next and creates the weathertight seal.
Generally, each standing seam is formed at the manufacturing plant, and a seam-locking tool is used onsite to join the panels together as they are being installed. The primary benefit from this style of metal roof installation is the fact that there are no holes in the exterior surface since all the fasteners are on the underside of the roofing material. When comparing to metal shingles, both are effective in withstanding heavy rain and high wind speeds.
Interlocking Steel Singles
In contrast to standing seam panels, interlocking steel shingle costs start at $7.50 per square foot installed. Interlocking metal shingles slide and lock into place in a staggered pattern and are secured with nail clips to ensure maximum wind resistance in hurricane and storm-prone areas.
Metal Roof Underlayment Costs
At an average cost of $0.06 to $0.21 per square foot, underlayment acts as a secondary barrier to water and wind damage for metal roofing. Different roofing professionals will likely have different underlayment options available for your roofing project. Underlay is attached with staples, roofing caps, or the back side of the product has an adhesive layer to stick it to the roof deck.
There are two types of underlayment product available – synthetic and felt paper, also known as asphalt felt, tar paper, or roofing tar paper. The heavier the felt, the better.
Priced at $0.06–$0.21/SF, synthetic underlayment is created by weaving a polymer with either polypropylene or polyethylene and is four times more expensive than felt paper, and while it’s great for preventing water from getting in, it forces the need for adequate ventilation to allow interior moisture out. According to Sheffield Metals International,
- It can last for 40+ years.
- It’s durable to foot traffic.
- Some products can withstand temps up to 260°
- It retains less heat, which is beneficial to roofers during installation.
- It’s slip resistant, fire resistant, and wrinkle-free.
- It’s recyclable
- It can be warrantied for up to fifty years.
Costing about $0.07/SF, felt underlayment is made from natural wood fibers that are mixed with asphalt to deliver a watertight product. Felt paper only lasts between 15 to 20 years and suffers early degradation from significant temperature changes. It can dry out and crack prematurely in hot climates, and some felt products can develop issues if exposed to the sun for as little as 24 hours during installation. It is treated to be slow burning, and it’s more likely to end up in a landfill. Regarding felt’s benefits, it’s
- It’s cheaper but costs a little more on labor because it is heavier and harder to work with.
- It is water resistant, but not as much as synthetics.
- It’s popular.
Metal Roofing Pros And Cons
In addition to having the most reliable roofing solution on your home, listed below are some of the other benefits from choosing a metal roof:
Benefits Of Metal Roofing
- Tax Credits – Check energystar.gov about receiving a tax credit for work that meets the Energy Star criteria.
- Less Expensive Homeowners’ Insurance - Thanks to the structural integrity of a metal roof and how it protects your home, premiums can drop by up to 35% for homeowners.
- Home Value - Metal roofs will boost the resale value by 1%–6%.
- Return on Your Investment - Could be as high as 86% of the metal roof cost. 
- Longest-Lasting Roofing Option - Metal roofs have an average of 40 years of usable life versus 23 years with asphalt and 20 years with single-ply.
- Energy Savings - Because of the energy efficiency, metal roofs save between 10 and 30 percent on energy bills from reduced cooling costs.
- Wind, lightning, and fire resistant – Metal roofing will dilute the energy generated by a lightning strike. Also, compared to asphalt, metal roofs qualify for a Class A fire rating under the UL790 standards. Most metal roofs can withstand winds of over 150 miles per hour.
- Perfectly suited for low-pitched roofs
- Water runoff – Metal roofs do not hinder water runoff or allow water to seep back under the seams on low-pitched roofs as shingles do. The standing seam metal roof is the best installation option for this.
- Leaks – A metal roof leaves no exposed seams or places for water to get in because of the way the layers are staggered.
- Heavy snow – The steel support structure can support people walking around and the weight of snow during the winter months.
- Disposal –Metal roofing is recyclable so it won’t end up on a landfill. It’s typically made from recycled scrap metal, to begin with.
- Sustainability – Because metal roofs outlast all other roof types, they need to be replaced less often without producing extra waste.
- Space for solar panels – Various mounting track systems or replacement tile systems are available to provide adequate space and a solid base to install a significant solar panel array.
- Metal roof warranties – One should come from the manufacturer, of 10–30 years, and one from the roofer for up to two years for their work on the installation. Some manufacturers allow for a transfer of the warranty to a new owner in the event of a sale of the home.
- Noise – Historically, a downside to metal roofs was the noise that can be heard inside the home, but on newer installations, homeowners should not experience any more sound than with other roofing material options.
Downsides to Metal Roofing
- Price – Metal roofing prices are significantly higher than those of roofing with asphalt shingles.
Planning Your Metal Roofing Project
As you begin planning your roofing project, consider the following three tips to help make it a successful project: 
- Determine what is going to be done with your old roof—in some cases, you will not have to pay for the removal of the old roof, since it may be possible to install the metal roof on top of what is there.
- Check with your municipality/HOA before you buy—as with any modification to the exterior of your home, you might violate local HOA statutes by installing a metal roof.
- Ask the roofing companies you have requested bids from how long their proposal is good for. Any number of factors in the metals market could cause the price to go up if you sit on the bid too long before giving the go-ahead.
Metal Roof Colors
To make sure the roof on the house fits well with its surroundings and doesn’t stick out, most metal roof colors available are in fall and winter colors.
Bidgersteel sells the following types of paint:
- SMP - Silicon modified polyester paint is popular in the home roofing sector because it can be used on a variety of metals and does not crack, and it is effective at resisting abrasions, which earns it the title of being among the hardest paints available.
- PVDF – Premium polyvinylidene fluoride is aimed more at the commercial market, and its colors stay true because it is designed to withstand hard conditions like atmospheric pollution and ultraviolet rays from the sun.
Kynar is the leader in paint products for metal roofing products and comes in about 24 colors. Metal roofing manufacturers recommend Kynar paint for most metal panels other than stainless steel and copper, which are usually not painted. Galvanized steel is the only metal roofing that can also take zinc-dust or latex paint.
DIY Metal Roofing or Hire a Contractor
While one could think that there’s nothing to installing a metal roof, a lot could go wrong, which is why you’ll save much more in the long run if you hire a contractor who has been installing metal roofing panels and shingles for many years.
This is because newbies get a bit overzealous when screwing in the metal screws and adding sealant, and they overlap the panels without taking wind resistance and drainage into full account. They also do a poor job installing the metal around chimneys and vents, which can mean leaks down the road.
Additionally, they might not take the proper precautions when working with cheaper underlay. FEMA recommends exposed fastener panels and making sure clips are placed close to the eave if you live in a high wind area. 
Selecting a Metal Roofing Contractor
To pick the best metal roofer, use the following criteria when looking at the professionals here on HomeGuide before you make your final selection. Create a list of contractors who have as many of these as possible:
- Are A/A+ rated with the better business bureau
- Are licensed, insured, and bonded in your state
- Have been installing metal roofs for at least five years
- Present you with documentation detailing roof specs, all materials and costs, labor costs, manufacturer-approved installation methods, and available warranties—details of the base warranty package and upgrade options—in their proposal.
- Are highly rated on HomeGuide and Google
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