A standing seam roof is ideal for homeowners interested in a modern looking material with superior weather protection. It is a highly durable, long lasting and energy-efficient alternative to roofing shingles.
With an ever increasing popularity, ribbed metal roofing is a top choice for new construction homes, as well as high-end roof replacement. Boasting an impressive array of profile and color options, raised seam metal roof panels fit right into any architectural house style.
Average new Metal Roof Costs in US:
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In this guide:
Standing seam metal roof cost
On average, homeowners across the US report spending about $11,700 or $727 per square, to install standing seam on a 1,600 sq.ft. one storie, ranch or cape style house.
On the low end, you can install this metal roof for as little as $6.00 per square foot or $600 per square. This will be a 29 gauge steel, typically made on site, and covered with acrylic paint.
On the high end, cost per square foot can be $9-15 or $900-1,500 per square. This will be 0.032 inch aluminum with Kynar coating or 24 gauge steel with Kynar coating.
If you are willing to spend up to $2,000 per square, you can get multi-tone 0.040 inch aluminum roof with a Kynar coating, that looks simply stunning!
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These estimates include, removal of one layer of old shingles, all material and labor costs, and dump fees.
However, keep in mind that installation costs can vary. Major factors that impact the final price include:
– materials supplier
– metal gauge
– type of coating
– installer qualifications / experience
– local economic conditions
– type of house
– roof complexity
On average, you can expect to pay 25-35% more to install a raised seam metal roof than you would for metal shingles. The total is higher, because the process of installation is a lot more complex and involved.
Material options and prices
You may select the following types of metals. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks.
This is the most budget-friendly option. A classic rib steel roof panel is most frequently favored and installed on homes across the US. Its available either as stone-coated steel or stainless steel. Stainless starts at about $300 per square. Stone coated metal roofing is around $350-425 per square.
This is an ideal choice for homeowners who live in coastal areas. Because of close proximity to the ocean/sea, there is a high concentration of salt in the environment, which would cause corrosion in a steel roof. Aluminum roofing panels, on the other hand, are corrosion resistant, and will survive well in this environment. Pricing starts at $400 per square.
Zinc and copper roofs
Both are high-end, and are typically selected for their longevity and outstanding aesthetics. Any copper or zinc roof can last hundreds of years, maintaining a beautiful, distinguished look. Copper roofing is famous for developing a lovely green patina. In terms of durability, both metals offer the same level of protection as aluminum. Copper roof cost is about the same as zinc, and starts at $900-1,400 per square.
Things to know ahead of time:
In most cases, metal roof installation requires a slope of 3:12 or more. It is not recommended to install this system over asphalt shingles for a number of reasons:
1. old shingles will telegraph underneath the new roof. If a lot of snow piles up, it is possible for the shingles underneath to make horizontal dents in the metal. All of this will completely destroy your roof’s curb appeal.
2. More importantly, if you install it over asphalt shingles, the expansion and contraction of metal will make it rub against the stone coating in the shingles, causing rust and corrosion from underneath. This will shorten the life of your roof to about 5-10 years, whereas properly installed metal roofing should last a minimum of 40-50 years.
Another factor to consider is that steel will rust/corrode when installed within 1 mile from ocean/sea/salt water. Even “corrosion resistant” / galvanized / Galvalume / G90 / G100 steel roof WILL RUST. Use aluminum if you live near the ocean. Check out this roof near in Naples, FL (near Gulf of Mexico).
3. By leaving the shingles, you are trapping possible wood rot and making ventilation none-existent. This will shorten the lifespan of the substrate and you will have to remove your new roof and scrap it within 10-15 years, just to fix the substrate.
Thus, it is always advisable to remove old materials.
You should note that installation requires special tools, knowledge and technical skills. Therefore, it is critical to find a contractor who specializes in metal roofs and has extensive experience. Such an installer will charge more for his labor than the average general roofer, but you will have the peace of mind that the job is done right.
Types of metal roofing panels
A raised seam roof consists of vertical metal sheets that run from the top of the roof to the eaves. They overlap and fit together in order to conceal the fasteners. This is what creates the recognizable look of “ribs”.
There are four types:
Snap Lock (Dutch Seam)
A continuous panel with an internal seam. Since the lock and seam are an integral part of the panel, no seam caps need to be installed.
This means you will not have to worry about “blow-off” or “creeping” of the seam or cap. The dutch seam is a structural panel that can be fastened right on to the purlins or solid substrate. No mechanical seaming is required.
It requires a minimum roof pitch of 2:12 for proper installation. If your home has a flat roof, it is actually possible to convert it to the necessary slope with the addition of a light-weight truss system.
Economical, one-piece, positive-locking, with no extra caps, strips or clips.
Installation is done by hooking the panel into the previous one and fastening it with mechanical fasteners through pre-punched holes. The fasteners are not visible as they are covered by the adjacent panel.
This design allows for expansion and contraction. It is also virtually impossible for the panels to come apart due to the positive locking action.
Eco seam can also be used as siding.
Field Lock / Mechanical Seam
This option is available in many different seam heights, and must be mechanically or manually (with hand tools) seamed in the field.
A double field lock allows for optimal water-tightness, and can be used on roof slopes of 1 and higher, whereas other types require a minimum of 3/12 roof pitch.
Seaming is done after everything is laid down in place, and clips are fastened to the substrate. FOr this it is possible to use a hand seamer that costs around $100 (inexpensive, but very time consuming option), or a robotic / mechanical seamer which costs over $2500, but saves a lot of time and labor.
Many roofing suppliers and tools sellers offer mechanical seamers for rent, at about $100-150 per day. So if a contractor only needs a seamer for 1 or two days, it’s often cheaper to rent it.
Non-Structural PC Panels
This metal roof consists of two parts: the flat panel itself and a separate seam or batten. Installation requires snapping the seam over the clips, thereby concealing the fastening system.
With the batten option, the panel is installed with a spacer clip and is snapped in place. Because these are not structural, they must be installed on to a solid substrate.
One significant benefit is that they can be used for tapered and curved installations.
Color and style options
Standing seam is available in a wide range of standard, premium, two-tone and custom colors. Typically, most manufacturers sell products finished with Kynar 500 coatings, which is the industry’s best. It offers superior protection against color fading and chalking, and comes with a 30 year warranty.
Below is a palette of standard and premium (multi-tone) metal colors which are available from nearly all manufacturers in US.
These are practically the same among major manufacturers, since they come from same 3-4 steel / aluminum coil producers and are usually painted with the same Kynar / Hylar or Acrylic coatings.
In terms of style options, you can select from 4 different looks:
Standard: smooth, continuous surface that offers a sleek and clean look.
Embossed: textured surface that adds visual interest and sophistication.
Stiffening Ribs: vertical ribs running across the entire roof, offering a more traditional look and feel.
Striations: a series of ridges/linear marks that add visual interest.
Here is an aluminum Patina Green Snap-Lock raised seam roof that my crew and I installed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 2008. We used aluminum because the house is near the ocean, and aluminum does not corrode, like steel would.
It was made from coil supplied by ATAS, and made locally by Coastal Metal (a division of Beacon Sales roofing supply).
Paneling was not manufactured on site – instead pieces were cut to a specific length, and I brought them over in my truck.
Durability and weather protection
It is hard to beat any metal roof when it comes to durability and unfailing protection against the elements. Unlike shingles, metal will never crack, warp, or rot. It offers superior protection against:
– wind uplift
– snow and rain
– UV-damage from the sun
– algae, moss, insects
Most importantly it is designed to be virtually impervious to leaks!
In fact, a metal roof is so durable that many insurance companies offer discounts of up to 35% for homeowners who have it installed.
Particularly in the snow country, it offers the best protection from ice dams, which can cause thousands of dollars in damages. It is designed as a snow shedding system, so it will not leak even in the most severe snow storms.
If properly installed, this roof will last at least 50 years. This length of service is specified in the standard manufacturer warranty. Moreover, it is not unusual to find metal roofs that have been perfectly functional for 100 years. During this time, you will not need to worry about regular maintenance or repairs.
A metal roof will make your home a lot more energy efficient. It will reflect solar heat in the summer months and retain it during the winter. On average, it can potentially save you 10-15% on heating and cooling costs, while helping reduce energy consumption.
It is important to realize that not all products have the same reflective and emissive properties. These largely depend on the special chemicals that are put into the paint coating by the manufacturer. Generally, lighter colors will be more “cool” than darker colors, but you need to carefully check the specifications of the color coating you are interested in.
Additionally, metal roofs are considered to be a green material, because they are made from at least 30-60% recycled content. At the end of the service life, they can be completely recycled, instead of going to a landfill.
There are hundreds of standing seam roofing manufacturers in the US. Since the technology is not patented (or patents have run out), anyone can make their own products. All they need is a $30,000 -100,000 investment in roll-forming equipment. In fact, hundreds if not thousands of contractors have the equipment and do this for their clients.
Still, the biggest and most reputable companies are:
Of these, ATAS is the most expensive for an unknown reason (that’s why it’s listed last). Overall, they all offer similar material warranties.
We recommend any one of these, because the reality is that they all buy their coil from the same 3-4 coil manufacturers in the US.
Cost per sq. ft.
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I've been a roofer for 13 years, and specialize in Metal Roofing and Flat Roofing.
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