There’s no doubt that a metal roof will cost more than traditional asphalt shingles.
You’re buying better protection and more reliability at a higher price. However, there are many factors that contribute to the cost of a metal roof and can change the bottom line dramatically.
The average cost for metal roofing materials per square foot ranges from $5 to $14 depending on the type of material used. Labor, time, location, and several other factors also affect the final cost.
We have broken down the cost of each type of metal roofing by cost per square foot and cost of installation, so you can compare apples to apples and make the best choice for your home.
This is one of the longest-lasting metal roof options . Aluminum reflects heat and maintains cool temperatures inside with a great cost for the value added to the home. Alumunum roofs have an average life expectancy of 50 years.
- Cost Per Square Foot – Material cost $3.00 to $9.00 per square foot.
- Cost of Installation – Installation cost $9.00 to $16.50 per square foot which is about $15,500 to $28,000 in total.
Copper is a high-end metal roofing material. It gives a beautiful aesthetic to the property and will last well over 100 years, but comes with a higher price tag.
- Cost Per Square – Copper roofs cost between $4.00 to $15.00 per square foot.
- Cost of Installation – Installation cost is around $21 to $39 per square foot which is about $23,00 to $48,000 in total.
3. Corrugated Metal
This is a strong metal option with a great lifespan and a low price tag. It is typically used for agricultural buildings because it stands up well in harsh weather conditions. The lifespan of corrugated metal roofing is between 30 and 45 years.
- Cost Per Square Foot –
- 26 Gauge Panels (SMP Paint) – $2- $2.50 per square foot
- 24 Gauge Panels (SMP Paint) – $2.50- $3.00 per square foot
- 24 Gauge Panels (PVDF) – $2.50- $3.50 per square foot
- 22 Gauge Panels (PVDF) – $3- $4 per square foot
- Cost of Installation – $3.50 to $6.50 per sq. foot
Steel is the most popular metal roofing option because it strikes the balance between a beautiful, reliable, and long-lasting roof at a reasonable price tag. The range of cost in steel depends on the thickness and type of steel alloy. Steel roofing can last between 40 and 70 years.
- Cost Per Square Foot –
- Stainless Steel – $4.00 to $12.00
- Galvanized Steel – $1.50 to 3.50
- Galvalume – $0.75 to $2.00
- Cost of Installation – The installation cost per square foot is between $5.50 and 15.50 which is about $17,000 to $25,000 in total.
Zinc is a beautiful option for ornate architectural elements because it is easily foldable. Despite its flexibility, it is still strong and durable, resistant to both erosion and cracking. Zinc roofing can last 80 to 100 years.
- Cost Per Square Foot – cost around $6.00 to $9.00 per square foot.
- Cost of Installation – The cost to install a zinc roof range from $12.00 to $18.00 which is about $30,400 to $47,600 total.
Factors That Determine the Cost of Metal Roofing
To accurately plan and budget for your metal roof, it’s important to know what goes into the total cost. When you receive a quote from a contractor, it will likely be divided into several different line items. Compare costs across contractors to ensure you’re getting the best price without paying for things you don’t need.
- Labor Cost of Installation- Labor is the single biggest factor in your new metal roof installation. The cost of labor is typically more than half the total cost of installation, but the cost will vary depending on your location. Plan for labor costs to be at least double, but even up to five times the cost of materials.
- Coating and Painting – Most metal roof panels come with a coating that will protect your roof. However, some homeowners opt to add an additional polymer coating or make the roof a different color. This can be done before, during, or even years after the installation. It can cost between $500-$1500 based on the size of the roof.
- Underlayment – The underlayment is what creates insulation and muffles the sounds from a metal roof. Typically, this is a felt covering that is about $0.07 per square foot. However, you can upgrade the underlayment to add additional soundproofing and insulation to your home. This synthetic option is usually priced between $0.06–$0.21 per square foot.
Additional Cost Factors
- Old Roof Removal – Technically, a metal roof can be installed on top of an existing roof but some states don’t allow that and we don’t ever recommend it. Before installing a new roof, it’s important to remove the old materials and inspect the roof structure for any underlying issues. The cost of removal is rolled into the cost of installing your new roof.
- Your Geographic Location – The location of your home can make a significant difference in the overall cost of your roof. Transporting roofing materials to rural areas might add charges to the total cost. In urban areas, the increase may come from higher labor costs.
What Makes The Cost Worth It?
When you look beyond shingles and slate, you’ll find metal roofing. While it may come with a higher price tag, it’s an investment that will pay for itself over and over again.
1. Energy Efficient – Homes that have metal roofs can save up to 30% per month on cooling costs because metal will reflect the UV rays rather than absorb them.
2. Have Longer Life Span – Having a roof that lasts longer means you don’t have to replace your roof often. For most homeowners, a metal roof installation is the only roof installation they will ever have to do during their lifetime.
3. Easy Maintenance – Most roofs need repair service in around 5 to 7 years but for a metal roof that’s not the case. Once installed correctly, a metal roof is basically maintenance-free.
How To Save Money on a Metal Roof
Although installing a metal roof isn’t a cheap option, there are a few things you can do to reduce your costs. Savvy homeowners know the tricks of the trade that can save them a few thousand dollars on their new metal roof replacement.
- Choose Your Timing – September, October, and November are the busiest months for roofers. If you can be flexible with your schedule, book your roofer in advance, or plan for a spring installation, you may be able to work out a deal with the contractor.
- Choose Less Expensive Materials – If you know you want a metal roof, but the estimates you get from different companies are still above your budget, consider a less expensive metal material or opt to add the additional coating in a couple of years rather than with your installation.
- Make Sure to Get Multiple Estimates – Don’t be afraid to get more than one estimate on your metal roof installation. Getting multiple estimates means you’ll be able to see what the most reasonable cost is and you’ll know immediately if someone is trying to rip you off.
- Negotiate Labor Cost – It is not uncommon to negotiate with a contractor to get a better deal. For example, if your roof is newer and you know the underlayment is in good condition, or if you have a very simple roof design, those can be areas to bargain.
- Check Your Insurance – If your roof has been damaged by an “Act of God” (AKA: weather) your insurance company may cut costs for you (or sometimes cover the entire cost). This is why it’s important to have the roof inspected for damage before replacing it. Always call the insurance company to check your coverage before you write that check yourself.
How Do I Calculate Metal Roofing Cost?
The basic formula for determining the cost of a metal roof replacement is this: