Aluminum roof shingles are an affordable and low-maintenance solution for home roofing that stands up well to adverse weather conditions.
Besides being highly functional, aluminum shingles are visually striking, adding value to your home and increasing curb appeal.
To get started on your metal roof installation, contact your local roofing pros for FREE ESTIMATES!
What Are Aluminum Shingles?
Aluminum shingles are a popular metal shingle roofing system consisting of individual aluminum elements placed with overlapping edges and sides.
Depending on the product, aluminum shingles are attached to the roof using screws, special clamps, or built-in guides.
How Much Do Aluminum Roof Shingles Cost?
Aluminum roofing is generally considered affordable compared to other metal roofing options, such as copper, tin, and corrugated steel.
Among the aluminum roofing options, shingles are the least expensive.
On average, installing aluminum shingles costs between $2.50 and $6.5 per square foot. Therefore, covering an average 2,000-square-foot roof would require between $5,000 and $13,000.
|Roofing Type||Average Material Cost per Square Foot||Average Labor Cost per Square Foot||Average Total Cost for a 2,000-Square-Foot Roof|
The exact cost depends on many factors, including your location and the contractor you hire.
Getting quotes from at least three local contractors will give you the best idea of what to expect.
Cost Breakdown To Install Aluminum Shingles
The material makes up most of the total cost when installing aluminum shingles.
You can expect to pay between $1.50 and $3.50 for the materials.
The cost will be higher if you also need to purchase accessories, such as underlayment, valley flashing, and ridge caps.
Since aluminum is considered an easy material to work with, the labor rates are relatively affordable.
On average, a contractor will charge between $1 and $3 per square foot to shingle your roof.
Aluminum Shingles Cost Per Square
A square of roofing shingles is the material needed to cover 100 square feet of roofing area.
Therefore, a square of aluminum shingles will cost anywhere between $250 and $650.
You should become familiar with this term since many contractors use it to describe your roof size and give you a quote for the project.
When Were Aluminum Roofing Shingles Invented?
Aluminum, as a roofing material, has an astonishingly long history.
It was used by ancient Egyptians to reinforce their roofs as early as 2,000 B.C.
After that, it became the go-to roofing system in many European cultures.
Aluminum shingles made their big break in the U.S. over the past century. They quickly grew in popularity due to their longevity, affordability, and aesthetic appeal.
Did you know? Until recently, aluminum and other metal roofing options were only viewed as materials used by museums and other historical places. However, as landfills started overflowing with non-recyclable shingles, homeowners turned to metal roofing as a more environmentally-friendly option.
Who Makes Aluminum Roofing?
There are several notable manufacturers of aluminum shingles, including:
- Zappone Manufacturing
- Interlock Aluminum Roofing
- Buchner Manufacturing
- Reinke Shakes
- Mountaintop Metal Roofing
Who Sells Aluminum Shingles?
Most manufacturers of aluminum shingles sell their products directly through their websites, outlet stores, or through roofing contractors.
What Are The Advantages Of An Aluminum Roof?
An aluminum roof offers several benefits that make this roofing option highly appealing to home- and business owners looking for a high-quality roof.
Aluminum Roofing Is Durable
Aluminum is highly resistant to many issues plaguing other roofing types, such as wood shingles.
It is impact-resistant and windproof, allowing aluminum roofing to withstand adverse weather conditions.
In addition, it’s fire-resistant, protecting the property from external fire hazards. So, aluminum roofing can be installed even in areas prone to forest fires.
Moreover, property owners living in coastal regions don’t have to think twice about installing an aluminum roof. After all, aluminum is corrosion-resistant.
When it oxidizes, aluminum shingles will form a protective coating that seals the inner layers and shields the material from deterioration.
Aluminum Roofing Is Eco-Friendly
Since aluminum can be 100% recycled, this material is considered sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Approximately 95% of aluminum roof panels on the market are manufactured using previously recycled aluminum materials.
Aluminum Roofing Is Energy-Efficient
Aluminum has reflective properties, directing the sun’s heat away from the building.
As a result, it’s considered one of the most energy-efficient roofing materials on the market.
Aluminum roofing can help homeowners reduce utility costs by up to 40% and interior air temperatures by approximately 12 degrees Fahrenheit.
Aluminum Roofing Is Lightweight
Aluminum is significantly more lightweight than most roofing materials.
As a result, it puts less stress on the home.
Due to how lightweight it is, aluminum is also easier to transport, handle, and install. This helps reduce labor costs, saving homeowners money.
Aluminum Roofing Is Long-Lasting
Thanks to its sturdiness, aluminum is a pretty long-lasting roofing material, usually lasting around 40 years.
This is an impressive lifespan, especially compared to asphalt shingles, which rarely surpass 30 years.
Depending on the quality of the aluminum shingles and the roof’s maintenance, it can last even longer, up to 60 years.
Aluminum Roofing Comes in Various Color Options
The aesthetic appeal of aluminum roofing is a major selling point for this roof type.
Property owners can choose from a wide range of colors, allowing them to customize their roofing and match the look and feel they’re going for.
Did you know? Neutral roof tones are becoming increasingly popular. Colors like beige or gray offer a classic look, allowing greater style flexibility and increasing the resale value.
Also, some aluminum roofing manufacturers offer styles that resemble natural stone or wood. These can be an excellent choice for property owners who prefer the appearance of natural materials but can’t afford their price.
What Are The Disadvantages Of An Aluminum Roof?
As appealing as aluminum roofing sounds, home- and business owners should consider the disadvantages of this roof type before making the final decision.
Aluminum Is Noisy
Like most metal roofs, aluminum shingles tend to make noise when rattled by high winds or heavy rain.
The noise can get pretty loud depending on the weather conditions, which some homeowners find highly annoying.
Pro Tip: To reduce the noise, install an additional layer of sound insulation.
Aluminum Can Expand When Heated
Due to its properties, aluminum can expand almost twice as much as other metals like steel.
This expansion can lead to tearing, causing the roof to leak.
Fortunately, experienced roofers know how to place aluminum shingles and leave enough room to avoid this worst-case scenario.
Aluminum Shingles Reviews
Aluminum shingles have generally positive reviews from customers. The aspect that gets the most praise is the roof’s low maintenance feature.
Unlike asphalt shingles, aluminum shingles require almost no maintenance.
Still, you should inspect the roof regularly to ensure there’s no damage.
If you notice any loose screws, tighten them or replace them altogether.
Also, you should deal with any holes or separations promptly.
Other than that, you can ensure your aluminum roof lasts as long as possible by:
- Removing tree branches that rub up against it
- Cleaning debris before it accumulates
- Keeping your gutters clean
- Avoiding walking on the roof
How To Install Aluminum Shingles
Aluminum shingles are one of the easiest roofing systems to install, so any DIY-savvy homeowner should be able to complete this project.
Most shingles feature an interlocking design and are small enough to be installed without special tools.
Here are the steps you should keep in mind when installing aluminum shingles:
Step 1: Prep the Deck
Before installing aluminum shingles, the roof deck should be covered with solid sheeting like plywood or wooden planks without leaving any space between them.
Did you know? You can install aluminum shingles over existing asphalt shingles, provided there’s only one layer of shingles on the roof.
Step 2: Install the Underlayment
Roofing underlayment is a special product made out of breathable synthetic materials.
It provides additional protection from condensation.
Also, it allows your roof to breathe, thus preventing the rotting of the wood underneath the shingles.
Step 3: Install the Flashing and Trim Details
Once the underlayment is in place, you should install the following details:
- Starter flashing against the fascia board
- Gable flashing against the gable rake
- Wall flashing
Step 4: Install the Aluminum Shingles
Most aluminum shingles are installed from the bottom to the top.
They are first attached to the starter trim or drip edge. From there, you should work diagonally, raising each row of aluminum shingles gradually.
Pro Tip: Draw horizontal chalk lines to help you install aluminum shingles in a straight fashion.
Your safety should be your top priority when installing aluminum shingles on your own.
Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:
- Secure the ladder properly to ensure it won’t slip away or move under your weight.
- Use a fall arrest system anchored to your roof.
- Wear protective gear.
- Enlist help to hand you tools.
- Avoid working in adverse weather conditions.
If you decide to go the professional route, ensure the contractor you choose is properly trained and has solid experience installing aluminum shingles. They should also be licensed and adequately insured.
When To Use Aluminum Shingles
Aluminum shingles have specific properties that dictate when to use them as your roofing option.
Aluminum shingles will be an excellent choice if you live:
- Near the ocean, since they are corrosion-resistant
- In a heavy show region, the snow will simply slide off
- In a tropical climate, since it can withstand the harsh sun rays impressively well
When To Replace Aluminum Shingles
Similar to most metal roofing systems, aluminum shingles are known for their durability.
Given the right conditions, aluminum shingles can last more than 50 years.
Still, this material is bound to experience some wear and tear eventually.
All roofing materials will start to show signs of deterioration at some point. For aluminum shingles, this usually occurs after 20 to 30 years.
For this material, curling is a telltale sign that a roof section needs to be replaced.
Shingles can curl in two ways.
The first way is cupping, when the edges of the shingles detach and turn upward.
The second way is clawing, when the middle parts of the shingles deform and move upward.
Both ways usually result from excessive heat and can lead to leaks in the roof. For this reason, replacing curled aluminum shingles is crucial.
Besides curling, aluminum shingles can also detach altogether.
Replacing a few missing shingles isn’t an issue.
However, if you notice a large chunk of shingles missing, you should hire a professional roof repair company. The company will inspect your roof for internal damage and identify the underlying issue before replacing the missing section.
Make sure to inspect your roof regularly to spot missing shingles early on.
If your underlayment remains uncovered for a while, you’ll probably have to replace the roof entirely.
Besides looking at the shingles themselves, you can check your gutters. If you notice a buildup of bits and pieces broken off from your shingles, it’s probably time for a replacement.
Aluminum Shingles vs Asphalt
Asphalt shingles are the most widely used roofing material in the U.S., primarily due to their low cost.
In fact, asphalt is one of the few roofing materials less expensive than aluminum shingles.
Installing asphalt shingles typically doesn’t surpass $2 per square foot.
Although cheaper, asphalt shingles are also less durable than their aluminum counterparts. On average, they last between 15 and 30 years.
Asphalt shingles are vulnerable to harsh weather conditions and can’t withstand fluctuating temperatures as well as aluminum shingles.
Aluminum Shingles vs Steel
Steel is one of the earliest roof materials used in the U.S.
It provides a rustic look and comes in two styles: galvanized and galvalume steel.
These steel options run around $2 per square foot.
You can also choose stainless steel roofing for a considerably higher price: $4 to $12 per square foot.
Steel is sturdier and more fire-resistant than aluminum.
However, it’s also susceptible to salt damage when installed in coastal areas. This isn’t the case with aluminum, which is highly resistant to salt damage and corrosion.
On average, a steel roof lasts between 40 and 70 years when maintained properly.
Aluminum Shingles vs Copper
Copper is the most expensive metal roofing material.
Installing a copper roof can cost up to $25 per square foot.
Homeowners willing to pay such a high price typically do it because of the material’s unique appearance and exceptional durability.
Over time, a copper roof will fade to an attractive green color, making it the ideal choice for a white or grey house or building.
The roof will be naturally protected against corrosion and rust thanks to this oxidation process.
Besides corrosion and rust, copper is resistant to fire, hail, and mildew.
Copper roofing can last up to 100 years, owing to its strength and natural properties.
Did you know? The Statue of Liberty is mainly made out of copper. After more than 100 years, the Statue has remained virtually intact despite being exposed to biting sea winds and driving rains. Besides durability, this colossal statue is the perfect example of copper’s timeless beauty.
Aluminum Shingles vs Tin
In the old days, tin was used to top farmhouses across the countryside.
Today, a variation of this material is commonly used for more modern applications.
This variation is called terne.
Terne is only coated with tin, while its core is steel.
Although you can find some tin roofing options in the aluminum shingle price range, most products are costlier, going up to $15 per square foot.
Tin roofs are generally durable and can withstand rain and snowstorm well.
However, they can dent during heavy hailstorms.
Still, tin roofing tends to fare better than aluminum shingles in adverse weather conditions.
Tin roofing also lasts longer than aluminum shingles. On average, a tin roof will last between 40 and 70 years.
Aluminum Shingles vs Zinc
Zinc is an appealing alternative to costlier types of metal roofing like steel and copper.
Zinc is available as shingles and standing seam panels.
Although less expensive than steel and copper, zinc is still more expensive than aluminum.
On average, zinc roofing costs between $6 and $10 per square foot.
However, zinc can also last substantially longer than aluminum. This roofing option has an impressive lifespan of up to 100 years.
Zinc roofs owe their durability to the material’s properties that make it resistant to fire, insects, mold, and mildew.
Like copper, zinc undergoes a patina process that protects it from rust and weathering.
See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code
Are Aluminum Shingles Expensive?
Aluminum shingles aren’t expensive.
They might be slightly more expensive than asphalt shingles. However, they are still one of the most affordable roofing systems on the market.
What Climates Are Aluminum Roofs Best Suited For?
Aluminum shingles are well-suited for most climates thanks to their impressive weather resistance and durability.
However, aluminum roofs are best suited for coastal climates since they resist corrosion.
How Long Do Aluminum Shingles Last?
On average, aluminum shingles last about 40 years.
Of course, external factors like weather conditions can significantly impact a roof’s lifespan.
If an aluminum roof is installed in a favorable climate by a skillful roofing contractor and maintained well, it can last up to 60 years.
Is Aluminum Roofing Worth It?
Aluminum roofing can increase the home’s resale value and give homeowners an average return on investment (ROI) of about 60%.
Since aluminum is weather-resistant, it can also lower insurance rates, especially in states like California, which are vulnerable to forest fires.
Thanks to these savings and the material’s advantages, aluminum roofing is worth the investment.
Weigh Up Your Options
Aluminum has numerous advantages that make it an attractive roofing option for many home- and business owners.
However, it all depends on your needs, preferences, and budget.
If aluminum shingles suit your climate, match your personal style, and fit your budget, you can rest assured you’ll have a reliable roof for years to come.
For over 20 years Leo has run a successful roofing business in New England, specializing in metal roofing, as well as cool flat roofing technologies. Having replaced and installed hundreds of roofs in New England, Leo has first hand experience with pretty much every residential roofing material and roofing manufacturer available in the US.