The Cost of Metal Roofing per Square Foot – Materials and the Total Cost of Installation

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In recent years, metal roofing has become much more popular among sharp-witted homeowners, all for a very good reason. When comparing metal roofing to conventional roofing such as asphalt and shingles; it becomes clear that metal roofing offers many more advantages. With just a few of these benefits being lower maintenance costs, substantially longer lifespans, excellent durability, and superior energy efficiency, you may want to be considering metal roofing for your home! Let’s dive in deep to find out the cost of metal roofing.

Affordability

To give an idea of what to expect price-wise when considering metal roofing, installation and product expenses combined may vary from 3 dollars to 14 dollars per square foot. The low end will usually represent most ribbed and corrugated metal roofs, typically those with exposed fasteners. Alternatively, the higher price range will most often be associated with standing seam metal roofs, metal shingles, or stone-coated steel tiles. Of course, in addition to this, your geographic location, roof height & complexity, the amount of old roofing needing to be removed, and simply the contractor you’ve selected will tend to have sway in the total cost of installation.

Pricing | The Cost of Metal Roofing

To further elaborate on pricing, below we’ve compiled a brief list of the most popular metal roofing materials and styles along with their approximate costs per square foot installed:

1. Corrugated Steel and Ribbed Panels:  between $3.50 and $7.50 per square foot installed

2. Metal Shingles and Shakes: between $7.00 and $11.00 per square foot installed

3. Stone-coated Steel Shingles and Tiles: between $7.00 and $12.50 per square foot installed

4. Standing Seam: between $8.00 and $14.00 per square foot installed

5. Zinc: $10.00+ per square foot installed

6. Copper: $14.00+ per square foot installed

In addition to the aforementioned variables, some other factors to keep in mind when considering price would be roof steepness, level changes, dormers, chimneys, and skylights.

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Contractor pricing: It’s helpful to keep in mind that most contractors price their roofs in units of ‘squares’. A square is a 10ft x 10ft area (100 square feet). So, in order to simplify pricing into terms of squares so as to grasp an idea of the bare minimum you can expect to pay, prices could range anywhere from $300 to $1,500 per square foot installed.

Real-World Pricing Example:

To paint a picture of a common price to pay for a popular type of metal roof – Standing seam, by far the most popular and expensive metal roofing option, costs an average of $8.00 to $14.00 per square foot installed ($800 to $1,400 per square). Standing seam panels are available as painted aluminum, galvanized and Galvalume steel, zinc and copper.

In Comparison: The majority of traditional asphalt and/or shingle roofs will be priced ranging from $3.50 to $7.50 per square foot ($350 to $750 per square) installed, of course this will also be dependent on the specific materials of choice, the roof’s complexity, geographic location, and of course the quality and credentials of the contractor.

Keep in mind that: Roofs that are designed to reflect solar radiation and heat (this is typical in metal roofs), can help drastically reduce your electricity costs spent on cooling due to their innovative reflective design diverting solar radiation away from the roof, rather than absorbing it, which leads to lower internal temperatures.

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Metal Roofs vs Traditional Roofs: It can be taken as common knowledge that when comparing the pricing of metal roofs and traditional asphalt & shingle roofs – metal roofs will almost always be more expensive. This is due completely to the higher material and labor costs associated with metal roofing.

Choosing a metal roof comes with a quite complex and often tedious installation process which requires a high degree of professional skill and precision, and consequently, well-trained installers who have access to specialized, exclusive tools and equipment. In addition to this, some cost digression can be attributed even to the supply and demand curve of a specific area, with the materials being taken into account.

Material Costs

The costs for specific materials can be anywhere from $1.50 per square foot + installation costs for low-end G-60 (galvanized 29 gauge steel) corrugated metal panels with exposed fasteners and a lower-grade cheap acrylic paint finish, to about $5.00 per square foot + installation cost for high-end aluminum or Galvalume steel standing seam roof with concealed fasteners, more high-end finishes, and benefits such as lifetime warranties.

Mid-range G-90 galvanized steel shingles tend to be an appropriate metal roofing material choice for most homes, and still,  the cost for this roof will typically be about double the cost of asphalt shingles.

The cost of the materials alone for a roof such as the aforementioned G-90 galvanized steel shingle roof would be about $3.50 per square foot, plus the cost of the underlayment, which is usually about $40 per roll. After being fully installed, a roof like this can cost anywhere from $7.00 to $11.00 per square foot.

Now, incorporating these numbers into the average-sized single story house with a relatively uncomplicated roof and a surface area of about 1,700 sq. ft. (17 squares), would usually cost anywhere from $11,900 to $18,700 in total.

Now of course, as there is with everything, there are many more high-end, more “exotic” roofing styles such as stainless steel millennium tiles. A roof like this will cost roughly $10.00 per square foot – after accounting for variables and installation costs, this number can near $16.00 to $20.00 when fully installed. Another useful piece of information to keep in mind is that Higher prices like these are comparable even more so to things like premium-grade copper roofing.

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Understanding All the Details

One of the main things to understand about metal roofing, which may seem completely intuitive, is that your cost will ultimately be determined by your choices, there is not “required minimum” payment for metal roofing.

In addition to this, it’s important to understand that, “metal roofing” is a rather broad term that encompasses a roofing style constituent of many different materials and stylings, ranging from the basic G-60 low-end steel and G-90 galvanized steel to high-quality Galvalume steel, aluminum, zinc, copper, titanium, and stainless steel.

Another useful piece of information to take note of when considering metal roofing is that G-60 corrugated steel is by far one of the least expensive options. Alternatively – zinc, copper, titanium, and stainless steel typically represent the higher end of the spectrum so far as pricing goes.

However, since for this specific type of roof there tends to be a true abundance of materials and installation specialists, most homeowners will opt for either metal shingles, stone-coated steel tiles (especially in Florida), and standing seam metal roofs.

Metal Shingles are most often made from either G-90 steel or aluminum. On the other hand, standing seam panels tend to be roll-formed from Galvalume steel, G-90 galvanized steel, aluminum, zinc, and copper. Ultimately though, regardless of overall material or structural suling, most residential-grade metal roofs are painted with a high-quality paint finish such as Kynar 500 or Hylar 5000.

So far as pricing for metal shingle roofs, most will usually cost anywhere from $700.00 per square and up for both materials and labor costs. In contrast to standing seam metal roofs, which can easily tally up a number higher than $1,100.00 per square due to the higher quality materials being more price-restrictive, and the aforementioned high labor cost.

Things to Keep in Mind When Considering Installation and Styling.

It’s vital to review the total cost of installation as a homeowner. Just viewing the cost of materials can lead to unexpected expenses occurring during the lifetime of the installation process. For example, labor costs can easily sway a large percentage of the total cost of the roof, much more so than the metal materials themselves. However, this is certainly not to be interpreted as claiming that all metal roofs are prohibitively expensive to install.

On the other hand, there are options to minimize costs. For instance, if you decide to install a new metal roofing system over an already existing roof, you would find that, although maybe not the most structurally sound, convenient, or aesthetically pleasing, the costs can be quite manageable. However, if the previously mentioned negative sentiments are to be avoided, a more thorough job that involves stripping off the old roof entirely for the project definitely will raise the total project expense.

Now although pricing may seem initially high, taking a big picture look at a project means also considering long term savings. With a metal roof, there is no shortage of potential savings in sectors such as cooling, maintenance, general upkeep, and more. This very much so is a key redeeming factor of metal roofing projects.

Metal Roofs – Cost Over Time Examined

As is the case with most modifications/renovations to a home – installing a metal roof is quite the investment. In other words, even though initially the upfront cost may seem rather high – keep in mind that most metal roofs will last multiple decades, and higher quality roofs will almost always last as long as the home itself.

In addition to not requiring much maintenance nor replacement, another previously mentioned important factor about metal roofs when it comes to saving money and investing, is their energy efficiency. Less heat escapes in the winter and less heat gets in during the summer, this, as mentioned earlier, leads to a lower electricity bill for air conditioning and heating due to the well-insulated and well-ventilated effect provided by metal roofing.

These savings alone may very well recoup the total price of the roofing installment within 10 to 20 years, while also greatly enhancing the curb appeal and overall valuation of your home.

Did you know? Not only are metal roofs capable of solar reflectance, but they are also well-known for “thermal emissivity”. Thermal emissivity is a process in which, after the source of heat (the sun) has set, the object retaining the energy quickly disperses the heat into the cooler environment. However, this is opposed to asphalt roofs, which retain heat for rather long periods of time in comparison. In addition, carrying on from the previous point, both solar reflectance and thermal emissivity are key components in taking some strain off of your AC expenditures.

Final Statements/ Tips

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As has been elaborated on previously, it’s rather difficult to rely on an exact cost without planning all your specific expenses and variables – however, while trying to make sense of the cost of metal roofing may seem to be a daunting task at first, rest easy knowing that simply narrowing down your options can help you in reaching a decision rather quickly!

Above all, keep in mind also that even if you do choose to pursue a more expensive roofing such as stripping your existing roof and replacing it with aluminum or another high-quality material, you would still stand to gain a great deal by having low to non-existent roof maintenance costs, a highly energy and climate efficient house, and the confidence knowing that your roof is relatively friendlier to the environment and is protecting your house for decades to come

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