Metal Roofing Buying Guide: Facts, Myths, Installed Prices, FAQs

If you are looking to replace that old asphalt roof on your home with a metal roof this Spring, Summer or Fall, but still have a few lingering questions or concerns, then here are the top 70 metal roofing facts, myth-busters, FAQ, plus an overview of costs and pros and cons to consider before making your buying decision.

A Rustic House with a Multi-Level Standing Seam Metal Roof Designed to Shed Ice and Snow Build-up

via Birdseye Design

Did you know? A metal roof can be a sensible way to protect your home, especially if you happen to live in an area that experiences a lot of storms, rapid temperature changes, beaming sun that melts asphalt, large hail, or heavy snowfall. — Just ask any homeowner in Florida, Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, upstate New York, Northern New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and they will readily attest to this! 😉

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To help you navigate this long list, we broke it down into the following categories:

Materials Pros & Cons Standing Seam Metal Roof Galvalume Color

Cost of Materials
Cost of Installation
Colors & Styles
Weather Protection
Energy Efficiency
Environmental Impact
10 Bonus Facts

Metal Roofing Materials Pros & Cons:

  • standing-seam Metal roofs can be made from a variety of metals and alloys including
    — Galvanized G-90 steel (hot-dip zinc galvanized high-end steel), and G-60 steel (a less expensive, thinner-gauge steel, often used in low-end, lower-cost corrugated and ribbed metal panels)
    Galvalume steel (zinc and aluminum coated steel) has a more expensive and longer-lasting coating compared to G-90 galvanized steel.
    — stone-coated steel (G-90 galvanized steel), aluminum, copper, zinc, terne (zinc-tin alloy), and stainless steel.
  • The downside of galvanized steel (G-90, and especially G-60) is that it can corrode, eventually, especially when exposed to moist, salt-spray environment such as when your home is situated near the ocean or near the coastal areas.
  • Steel is the most frequently used material in both residential and commercial applications, mainly due to its lower cost.
  • Aluminum is the second most popular material. It is more durable and longer lasting than steel, but only costs a fraction of the price of premium metals, such as copper or zinc.
  • Aluminum is also one of the best metals to use for roofs located in coastal areas (think those beach homes), where there is a heavy presence of salt spray in the environment.
  • Copper roofs are the most durable and can last for hundreds of years. However, due to prohibitively high cost, few people choose to install an entire roof made from copper. Instead, home and business-owners choose copper for architectural details/accents on the roof (bay windows, towers, porches, low slope roof sections, Etc.).

copper standing seam bay windows

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Roofing Materials & Installation Costs: Shingles, Metal, Flat Roofs

Are you exploring the most suitable roofing options for your home? If so, roofing material types and their costs must be top of mind.

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This guide will help you explore the most popular residential roofing materials, including pricing and installation costs.

Roofing Materials Costs

Asphalt Shingles:

Dimensional shingles roof on a house

Asphalt shingles are generally less expensive than other roofing materials like metal and are relatively easy to install (unlike metal roofing), resulting in a lower overall cost for a new asphalt roof. However, premium (designer) asphalt shingles, such as those from GAF, CertainTeed, and Malarkey, can be as expensive as high-end roofing materials like metal. Here’s a breakdown of different types of asphalt shingles:

3-tab shingles (strip shingles):

  • Materials Cost: $90 to $120 per square (100 sq. ft.), excluding trim.
  • Characteristics: Least costly, thin, not designed for longevity, flat appearance without much dimensionality.
  • Top Products: GAF Royal Sovereign, CertainTeed XT 25, Owens Corning Supreme.
  • Wind Rating: Up to 60 MPH.
  • Installation Note: Care needed for alignment to avoid vertical lines running off.
  • Disadvantage: No manufacturer’s warranty for hail damage.
  • Expected Lifespan: 10 years to 20 years, depending on local climate and roof maintenance.

Architectural (dimensional) shingles:

  • Materials Cost: $100 to $150 per square (100 sq. ft.), excluding trim.
  • Characteristics: Midrange, multiple layers, dimensional appearance, thicker, and sturdier.
  • Wind Rating: At least 110 MPH, up to 130 MPH with the 6-nails per shingle installation.
  • Top Products: Owens Corning Duration, GAF Timberline HDZ, CertainTeed Landmark
  • Specialty: CoolRoof rated shingles eligible for rebates in California.
  • Disadvantage: No manufacturer’s warranty for hail damage.
  • Expected Lifespan: 15 years to 25 years, depending on local climate and roof maintenance.

Premium (designer) shingles:

  • Materials Cost: $200 to $400 per square (100 sq. ft.).
  • Characteristics: Custom-looking, multiple layers, distinctive appearance, performance on par with high-end architectural shingles.
  • Top Products: CertainTeed Grand Manor, Owens Corning Berkshire, GAF Camelot, Malarkey Windsor.
  • Disadvantage: No manufacturer’s warranty for hail damage.
  • Expected Lifespan: 20 years to 35 years, depending on local climate and roof maintenance.

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Roof Cost Factors: Material Costs, Installation, Detailed Examples

Is your roof due for a replacement soon? If so, you may be wondering about how different cost variables like materials and labor may impact the overall cost of the project.

An asphalt shingles roof with three skylights

Here is a detailed list of key roof cost factors to consider when planning and budgeting for a new roof:

  1. Material type (asphalt shingles, metal, tile, slate)
  2. Roof size and complexity (simple gable roofs vs. complex designs with multiple dormers or valleys)
  3. Professional installation costs (varies by location and contractor)
  4. Removal of old roofing (if applicable)
  5. Roof pitch (steep roofs may cost more due to difficulty)
  6. Geographic location (costs can vary significantly by region)
  7. Seasonality (some seasons may have higher costs due to demand)
  8. Underlayment and accessories (such as gutters, flashing, and ridge caps)
  9. Quality of materials (higher quality materials generally cost more)
  10. Permits and inspections (as required by local building codes)
  11. Accessibility of the roof (ease of access for workers and equipment)
  12. Warranty options (offered by the contractor or manufacturer)
  13. Energy-efficient features (like cool roof technologies or solar panels)
  14. Unexpected repairs (discovered during the roofing process)
  15. Environmental factors (like the need for weather-resistant or fire-resistant materials)
  16. Gutters (if the old gutters are damaged or sufficiently old to require replacement)
  17. The number of roof penetrations (beyond one chimney and exhaust pipes or passive vents) such as skylights (and whether those require a complete reflashing or replacement) can impact overall project costs.
  18. Choice of a contractor doing the work – full-service home remodeling companies can charge up to 20% to 30% more than specialist contractors. Companies with stellar reputation and high-end product lines/clientele will command higher prices.

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