Category Archives: Metal Roofing

Corrugated Metal Vs. Standing Seam – Myth Busters 2017-2018

Who Invented the Original, Corrugated Iron / Steel Roofing Style?

Henry Robinson Palmer learned his civil engineering under Scotsman Thomas Telford, the greatest builder of roads, canals and bridges in the British Empire in the early 19th century.

In 1821 Palmer applied for a patent for a single elevated rail supported by pillars spaced ten feet apart that sported wheeled carriages hanging down from either side that would roll along the rail when pulled by a horse. Henry Robinson Palmer had invented the world’s first monorail.

Standing Seam Vertical Panels

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If you research Palmer’s life today, every source details the creation of the monorail. For most thumbnail sketches of Palmer’s life that is the end of the story, but Palmer himself did not concern himself much with the monorail after building the first one in 1825, about one mile long, in Cheshunt, a town twelve miles from London.

Two years later the 32-year old Palmer landed a job as resident engineer for the London Dock Company. It was his responsibility to construct the walls along the Thames River to keep the world’s busiest port humming.

The aging wooden docks were in constant need of upgrade. To keep up Palmer patented a lightweight metal building panel that was self-supporting due to a series of waves or folds molded into the sheets.

Palmer’s manufacturing process consisted of pushing his sheet metal across fluted rollers to create the ridges that gave the metal strength. He called this “corrugation”, from the Latin word for “wrinkled.” It remains a common method for manufacturing corrugated metal today.

Palmer erected the world’s first corrugated building on the Thames River docks in 1829 and he continued to patent improvements in the construction of arches and roofs.

It is ironic that today Henry Robinson Palmer is remembered for the invention of the monorail, which is rarely encountered outside of amusement parks, airports and a classic Simpsons episode. He is scarcely recognized for the development of corrugation, which became so ubiquitous in the 19th century for cheap shelter that most people – and historians – assumed it had been with us since antiquity.

Historical Significance of Corrugation

corrugated metal roof

Without corrugated metal there would have been no rapid development of the United States frontier, a less frantic California gold rush, much slower settling of farm land on the Great Plains and much harsher living conditions on the battlefield.

The strength to materials imparted by corrugation extended beyond the metal sop to other industries; it was critical to the development of the cardboard, for instance.

Metal Roof Construction

metal-roof-on-a-log-home

By stiffening the metal sheets, corrugation permits a greater span across a lighter framework, ideal for the balloon construction techniques that became widespread in the 19th century.

But metal for roofing has been used for centuries, although it was rare in early America. Thomas Jefferson was a metal roof fanboy and installed tin-plate iron on the roof of his beloved Monticello in rural Virginia.

A metal roof could be fabricated with shingles or a “standing seam,” a technique which involved folding the edges upwards and laying the sheets over one another. Fasteners would hide under the upraised ridge where the sheets interlocked, producing clean, aesthetically pleasing lines.

monticello roof

Metal Shingles Vs. Standing Seam Vs. Corrugated Metal Sheets

Steel Shingles Roof

While metal shingles are also available today and can be produced to mimic any material, standing seam and corrugation remain the two most common types of metal roofs. Let’s have a look at them side by side as you consider your upcoming remodeling project.

elegant standing seam metal roof By Gast Architects

Install Roof Shingles

$7,500
Average price
Install Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
Install Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

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Materials

The earliest metals used in roofing were lead and copper. Both could last for centuries, which is fortunate since those metals are prohibitively expensive. Today, lead is most often found in roofing as a coating for steel and copper is mostly reserved for flashing or architectural details.

Tin and its close cousin terne, a lead-tin mixture that appears lackluster (hence its French name which translates as dull), were the most common metal roofing materials of the 19th century and are important in authentic historical renovations.

Zinc had a brief run of popularity in the early 1800s as a roofing material, but it became most critical to metal roofing in 1837 when French metallurgists coated iron and steel with zinc to invent galvanization and (mostly) rust-proof metal.

In the 21st century, galvanized steel is the go-to metal roofing material. It is the least expensive roofing material and can be coated in many ways for appearance. Corrugated metal can be fabricated from a G-60 steel that is thinner grade and less expensive. Standard standing seam roofs can be made from G-90 grade steel, a higher-end Galvalume steel, or aluminum.

Galvanized steel is fabricated in a range from 9 gauge (0.1532 inches) to 32 gauge (0.0134 inches). Standing seam metal panels typically begin as rolls of 24-gauge steel (G-24) or the thicker 22-gauge (G-22) before ferrous metal coatings are hot-dipped. Corrugated steel paneling can be formed from G-26 or G-29 steel, which makes its cost less expensive; standing seam roofs will never use steel thinner than 26-gauge.

standing-seam-panels

Even galvanized steel can corrode. Galvalume is a trademarked product from U.S. Steel that takes carbon steel and coats it with an aluminum-zinc alloy that performs like galvanized steel on steroids.

But even Galvalume will eventually lose the corrosion battle against the salt spray of ocean near the coastal regions. In such cases, aluminum is the metal of choice. Although more expensive than steel, initially, aluminum’s longer life expectancy helps level the eventual bottom lines.

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Metal Roofing Cost vs. Asphalt Shingles: Metal Roof Prices 2017-2018

If you are a homeowner considering installing a new metal roof on your house, then undoubtedly, one of the burning questions on your mind is how much will it cost?

On average, you can expect to pay between $5.50 and $12.00 per square foot of metal roofing installed. Granted, this is a pretty wide pricing range, but you can expect a metal shingle roof to average between $7.00 to $10.00 per square foot installed, while a standing seam metal roof will cost between $9.00 to $12.00 per square foot installed.

Now, assuming the average cost of $10.00 per square foot of metal roofing installed on an average-sized roof, it will cost about $17,000 to install approximately 17 squares or 1,700 square feet of metal roofing on a typical house.

The low-end cost for steel shingles installed over-top of the existing roof would be around $14,500 for the same roof, while the high-end cost of aluminum standing seam would be about $19,500 for a comparable roof.

Install Roof Shingles

$7,500
Average price
Install Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
Install Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

If you opt for a less-costly option such as corrugated or ribbed steel roof, your cost will likely fall within $3.00 to $6.00 per square foot installed, depending on the metal thickness (gauges for steel or mils for aluminum) and the quality of paint finish (acrylic vs. Kynar 500 or Hylar 5000) for the system being installed, as well as your home’s geographic location.

a-rugged-standing-seam-metal-roof

Important Points to Keep in Mind:

When it comes to residential metal roofing, you are not only paying more for a higher quality material than asphalt shingle, but you are also paying for a more costly, professional installation that requires specialized skills, expertise, and equipment.

Keep in mind that there are a number of factors that may influence your final price for a new metal roof. These include the type of metal and the roof style you choose, your geographic location, and the overall complexity of your particular roof.

Pricing breakdown by System and What to Expect:

1. Introduction to our Pricing Guide
2. Understanding the High Cost of Labor to Install Metal Roofing
3. Steel Shingles, Standing Seam, and Stone-Coated Steel Roofs
4. Aluminum Shingles and Standing Seam
5. Copper and Zinc
6. Paint Finish Quality
7. Metal Roof Colors
8. Effects of Location on Price
9. Why a Metal Roof is a Smart Investment

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1. What to Expect From This Guide

Our pricing guide will walk you through all the main factors determining the cost of a metal roof. You will learn how much you can expect to pay for most popular types of metal roofing materials and how much it will cost to install the system of your choice.

Once you understand how the pricing work and decide on the type of system you want to install, you can then confidently negotiate with any contractor, as well as shop around to get the best deal possible in your area, without sacrificing on quality.

Did you know? The Total Amount of Labor Required to Install a Metal Roof is the Most Significant Cost Factor!

A beautiful cabin with combination roof

As a general rule of thumb, the greater the square footage of your roof, the less you can expect to pay on a per square foot basis for your choice of metal roofing material, especially if you opt for standing seam panels. Did you know? Small-size orders requiring less than 300 sq. ft. or three squares of custom-sized sheet metal panels can be surprisingly expensive!

If you have a complex roof with multiple cut-up angles, dormers, sidewalls, chimneys and/or skylights requiring metal flashing, then your total installation cost will be proportionally higher.

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The Ultimate Guide to Getting a New Roof in 2017-2018 – Roofing Buying Guide

A new roof is a costly investment with practical and aesthetic implications – the roof is your home’s most important protection against rain and snow, and it can significantly impact the appeal of your home in the eyes of potential buyers.

GAF Timberline HD Shingles Roof

This guide will help you make an informed decision when it comes to reroofing (adding a new layer of roofing to the existing roof) or removing and replacing the old roof.

Seven Signs You Need a New Roof

Here are the indicators that your roof should be re-shingled or replaced to maintain your home’s defense against the elements:

  • Shingles are visibly worn: Are so many of the colored granules gone that your roof looks like it has bald spots? While the shingles might still be keeping moisture out, a lack of reflective granules allows excess heat into your home, raising the temperature inside your house and increasing your air conditioning costs.  Furthermore, once exposed, the underlying asphalt will soon dry out and crack, and then your roof will be susceptible to rain.
  • Shingles are cupped and curled:

    Curled-up old shingles

    This issue looks bad, but more importantly, it means wind-driven moisture can easily get under the shingles and into your roof deck where it might cause leaks and rot.

  • Shingles are cracked: The cracked areas aren’t keeping moisture off the deck, and the risk of leaks goes way up.

    Cracks or thermal splitting in asphalt shingles

    via Structure Tech

  • Your neighbors are getting new roofs: This is more than “keeping up with the Joneses.” When homes built about the same time as yours are being re-roofed, your roof is probably about due.
  • You’ve experienced multiple leaks: Your roof is an entire structure, not just the shingles. Deck paper, flashing, moisture barrier in valleys, starter shingles, vent stack boots and other components are part of an entire roofing system. As the roof ages and several of its components or locations fail, the roof should be replaced.
  • The roof has experienced major damage:

    hail damaged shingles

    via TJR Construction

    If more than about 35% of your roof is going to need repair due to wind or hail, especially if it’s already 12+ years old, the cost-effective decision might be to replace it all. Repair is costlier per square foot because it is more time-consuming to integrate new shingles into a roof “here and there” than to install them over the entire roof. Plus, a mix of old shingles and new just won’t look very good.

  • Your roof looks bad: Cosmetics do matter to homeowners and potential buyers. If your roof is worn, has algae staining that won’t clean up or has patches of moss on it, boosting its appearance with a new layer of shingles will make a very nice difference.

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If none of these reasons to get a new roof apply, then you’re probably done here! If you’re not sure about your roof’s condition, hiring a home inspector or roofing contractor to inspect it can be a preventative measure before a roof failure and the extensive and expensive damage it can cause.

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