2021 Steel Roof Costs, Pros & Cons – Steel Roofs vs. Asphalt Shingles

For many decades, composition shingle roofs have been the overwhelmingly popular choice for new roof installations and re-roofing applications.

However, thanks to the rapidly growing consumer awareness of all the benefits of modern residential metal roofing, many savvy homeowners are now considering steel sheet panels and stamped tiles as a viable alternative to asphalt shingle roofs. Hence, it is hardly a surprise that metal, which is by and large steel, has become the fastest growing segment in the residential roofing market.

Why Steel Roofs?

Many homeowners concerned with aesthetic appeal are often positively impressed with the wide variety of contemporary styles, profiles, and vibrant colors available in modern steel roofing. Other benefits that help make steel roofs stand out among other roofing products, include low overall life-cycle cost, durability and longevity, superior energy efficiency, and sustainability.

New Shingle Roof

$7,500
Average price
New Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
New Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

See costs in your area Enter Your Zip Code

For anyone who wants their roof to be an asset for years to come, rather than it being a constant source of problems, steel roofing can be a wise choice.

Steel is Exceptionally Strong and Durable

Steel is one of the strongest, most durable building materials, which is why it is so widely used in commercial and industrial construction. Your home can benefit from superior durability of steel in several different ways; The inherent material properties of steel make it highly resistant to cracking, warping, curling, or peeling — all of these are common problems associated with asphalt shingles.

Did you know? A steel roof will not be susceptible to rot, decay, discoloration, mold growth or termite infestation. The superior durability of steel will free you from the expensive and time consuming maintenance and repair issues that are often a necessary part of owning most other types of roofing systems.

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2021 Standing Seam Metal Roof Details: Cost, Colors, and Pros & Cons

Standing seam is a descriptive industry term for vertical sheet metal panels. It’s one of the most popular metal roofing styles for homes, thanks to its beauty, durability, longevity, simplicity, versatility, energy efficiency, and its remarkably clean, bold looks.

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If you like the modern style of raised metal seams and clean vertical lines on a metal roof, then consider installing this system on your home. A standing seam metal roof will not only compliment your home, but it will also give it that contemporary look and feel, providing unmatched durability, longevity, and energy efficiency. 😉

Standing Seam Metal Panels in a Nutshell

Standing seam is a high-end upgrade and an undisputed step up in quality and longevity from the classic corrugated and ribbed style metal roofs. Unlike its predecessor, corrugated steel roofing, which is still being widely used today for many commercial, industrial, and even some residential projects, standing seam has an improved design featuring concealed fasteners.

The ingenious design of standing seam metal roof featuring its characteristic raised seams, with no exposed screws in the roof, helps minimize the chance of a roof leak down the road.

New Shingle Roof

$7,500
Average price
New Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
New Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

See costs in your area Enter Your Zip Code

How Does Standing Seam Compare to Metal Shingles?

Standing seam metal roofs can sometimes cost 20% to 30% more to install than metal shingles on more complex roofs. This is largely attributed to a more tedious labor necessary to install standing seam panels on a more complex roof with multiple dormers and valleys.

In terms of performance, there is no significant difference between the two systems, however the quality of your installation and strict adherence to your system’s manufacturer’s specifications is by far the single most important factor determining longevity and performance of any residential or commercial, high-end metal roof.

How Much Does it Cost to Install Standing Seam?

Total average cost to install a new architectural standing seam metal roof on a house can range between $10.00 to $16.50 per square foot or $1,000 to $1,650 per square, depending on the roof size, accessibility, home style, and project location. — This price range includes any required building permits, materials and supplies, professional labor, and workmanship warranty from the installer.

Standing seam roof on a two-story house

For a typical 2,000 square foot residential roof, it will cost between $20,000 and $33,000 to install standing seam. More, if there is also a detached garage to re-roof.

Estimated Roof Costs (1,700 sq.ft.)
Asphalt Shingles
Metal Roofing
Flat Roof
$7,500
$14,500
$8,225
See Roof Costs in Your Area

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How Hurricanes and Wildfires Drive Demand for Metal Roofing and Why?

Demand for metal roofing is rising because there is compelling evidence it offers better protection from hurricane winds, hailstorms, and airborne embers from wildfires landing on the roofs of homes and commercial buildings.

A standing seam metal roof on the house

That theory has been tested in 2017 as the hurricane season has been among the worst in recorded history and wildfires in the West destroyed more than 8,400 structures in California alone and damaged countless more.

Related: How to Deal with Roof and Home Damage from Hurricanes like Irma and Harvey

About the forest fire season, Chris Wilcox of the National Interagency Fire Center said, “This one has been a longer season. It really hasn’t stopped since the fall of 2016”.

Eagle Creek wildfire burns as golfers play at the Beacon Rock Golf Course in North Bonneville, Washington. REUTERS/Kristi McCluer

Let’s review the advantages of metal roofing using fire and wind data that supports the rise in demand.

Metal Roofing vs. Fire Flames

Max A. Moritz, fire ecologist at UC Berkeley, when discussing fire prevention says, “The most effective thing to consider is the roof.” Metal roofing has a Class A fire rating, the highest available. Roofing given this rating must withstand flames up to four hours and resist tests using 15 cycles of gas flame turned on and off.

While other materials including fiberglass mat composite asphalt shingles have a Class A rating, nobody in the industry suggests asphalt roofing materials offer the same level of protection against fire driven by wind.

The FEMA paper states, “Some roofing materials, including asphalt shingles… are often less resistant to fires than others.

When wildfires spread to homes or businesses, it is often because burning branches, leaves, and other debris buoyed by the heated air and carried by the wind fall on roofs.

If the roof of your property is covered with wood or asphalt shingles, you should consider replacing them with fire-resistant materials such as standing-seam metal roofing.”

When finished with PVDF-applied Kynar coating, standing-seam metal roofing meets the American Society for Testing and Materials ASTM-84 building materials test Zero Flame Spread Index and Zero Smoke Developed Index, tests most other roofing materials cannot meet.

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