How much does metal roofing cost?

Dec 23, 2019

Everyone wants to know the cost of metal roofing, before any other fact. But, it’s not so simple. To understand the costs of metal roofing, you have to consider the lifetime of the roof and all that goes into it. We briefly touched on this in our metal roofing ultimate overview article. And we also dove into the long term cost value of metal roofing in this article.

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However, for this article, we explore the 2 key factors that go into the initial cost of installing your roof. In this article, you will learn to calculate your own roof coverage area and subsequent cost. Then you will educate yourself on cost altering variables like materials, coatings, and custom features.

And with this information, you can accurately estimate what you pay up front. Getting you prepared for your journey into metal roofing.

2 Key Factors to Estimate Roofing Costs

1. Your Home | Business

2. Your Material Choice

1. Your Home | Business: Square Footage, Customization, and Location

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Square Footage: Getting the right number

The first step, and often the first mistake, is when one begins to estimate the square footage of your home. For you newcomers, this square footage is actually different the then the flat square footage of your home. However, calculating the actual number is not difficult in most situations. Every roof has a pitch, or angle at which it is installed. And this pitch, is taken into consideration no matter the roof you wish to have installed, metal or shingle. So, how do you calculate area, then pitch into your metal roofing cost estimates? Easy…

Basic Homes

The first thing you must do is calculate the base area of land that the metal roof will cover. Area can be figured by multiplying the length and width of a box, aka your roof as seen from above. Simple, if you have a square or rectangular home. Just measure one side of your home then multiply it by the perpendicular side. Metal Roofing Cost made easy.

More Complicated Homes

However, more complicated homes will need to be broken down into smaller areas, and then added together. Even overhanging roof, or eaves must be added to get the most accurate number. Still not so tough, though.

The Easy Approach

However, to get a pretty close estimate, you can simply use the square footage of your home. Just remember that added floors do not equal more roof. A 2500 sq foot two story home, will only need a roof that covers 1250 sq feet, for example.

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Sample roof area calculation:

Let?s start with a rectangular home that is 10 feet wide by 125 feet long.

Area = Length x Width

A = 125 x 10

A = 1250 sq feet

Calculating Your Roof Pitch

We then need to consider the pitch, mentioned above. This is a key factor in metal roofing cost. In order to calculate pitch, you measure how much your roof increases in height for every foot of length. For example, your roof raises 8 inches for every foot it goes toward the highest peak. That leaves you with a 8/12 pitch.

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On your own roof, simply take a straight edge and place it horizontally level alongside your roof. Then measure 12 inches, along the horizontal, toward the peak. Then take another straight edge and measure the distance up to the roof, from that 12 inch mark. Place that height measurement over 12 and that is your roof pitch.

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The We Combine the Two: Area | Pitch

And finally, you multiply your area with your pitch multiplier value. The pitch multiplier value is a number given to different pitches by individual manufacturers. However, they usually only vary slightly, so your metal roofing cost estimate will be fairly accurate. For this case, we will use 1.202 for the 8/12 pitch, based pitch value chart we provided below.

Square Feet = Area x Pitch Multiplier

Sq Ft = 1250 x 1.202

Sq Ft = 1502.5 sq ft.

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Now you have a more accurate estimate of roof installation size, key to estimating your own metal roofing cost.

To get your final estimate, just multiply the Sq. Ft. by your choice of roofing material.

(Sample metal prices, estimated by material provider)

  • Bare and painted Galvalume (24-gauge):$0.75 to $1.25 per square foot
  • Painted Aluminum (.032? to .040?) :$1.05 to $1.60 per square foot
  • Stainless steel (.015? to .024?) :$3.00 to $8.00 per square foot
  • Copper (16-oz to 24-oz):$4.00 to $8.00 per pound
  • Zinc (.7 mm to 1.5 mm):$3.00 to $6.00 per pound

Don’t forget, every type metal has its own stats you can explore here.

Shingle drawing your attention, explore the differences between shingle and metal.

Explore Paints and Treatments, and own a complete understanding of your materials.

Note: precious metals like copper and zinc are based off weight and thus need a bit more effort to calculate. Just give Roof Repair Guys a call, and we would be happy help you through it.

Understanding Roof Cost Variables

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Variables that Alter Sq Ft Costs

Now those previous calculations were done with the most simplified roof you could imagine. However, chances are that you have one, or many other factors that play into pricing. Some costs alterations may occur due to having multiple pitches for different sections of your roof. Also, if your roof has any small protruding shapes, you may need more metal to cover those extended elements. These variables lead us into the next consideration for your metal roof cost, customization.

Customization and Cost

As metal roofing is becoming more standard, there is less and less price increase from customized metal work. Good news in Roof Repair Guys’s case, we do all of our own custom work, reducing those costs further. However, those of you with very complicated roofing structures will require extra skilled hours for installation.

When it comes to custom, get it done once and get it done right!

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This also applies for those of you with a lot of roofing features or accessories. Skylights, chimneys, pipe vents, and other specialized features could all carry additional costs. All of these take skilled work ethics and need added attention to perform optimally for 50+ years. Therefore, they can increase your base costs, due to time. Custom colors or metals also applies, when factoring metal roofing cost. However, at Roof Repair Guys, we often include all of these elements in our packages, to give you the best possible price.

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Location, Location, Location… and Cost

Even though it is far less likely, for homes or businesses in very remote locations to cost more to install. This can also be said for any urban areas that carry additional permits, applications and other costly paperwork before installing a new metal roof. Although, Roof Repair Guys was built around the remote forests of Pennsylvania. So, we have made connections that have almost entirely eliminated these cost variables.

Home Costs Closing Thoughts

As you can see, estimating the cost of your home goes far beyond its size. Even when measuring the basic square footage, there are multiple variables to consider. The more basic your home and needs, the simpler it is to get a price. But the opposite also applies.

Your Materials: Labor, Type, Style and Treatment/Paint

If you are still enjoying learning more about metal roofing costs, we still have the materials to dive into.

Skilled Labor

When exploring your new metal roofing cost, your materials play a major role. First, you are already upgrading to a higher class contractor with metal roofing. By nature, metal work is a more challenging trade, and therefore, you need better skilled laborers for installation. However, in our opinion, it is never a bad idea to get a higher tier of workers. Especially when you install something as important as your roof. However, it still adds initial installation cost over shingle roofing.

Top Roofing Mistakes by Amateurs.

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But understanding the cost fluctuations due to different metal types, treatments, sizes?. is where many can get lost, so we simplified the key concepts here.

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Metal Type

The first thing to consider is the type of metal. There?s Galvalume (bare and painted), Painted Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Copper, and Zinc as your standards. Each one carries its own inherent price point, with Galvalume usually being the cheapest and Copper the most expensive.

Learn more about each metal type and how they help protect your home.

See the growth of metal roofing across history.

Another cost note: premium materials can be hard to come by for many contractors. Market price and availability can also be in swing, causing prices to vary. But again, this is rare and often only for premium metals. Roof Repair Guys Roofing & Sheet Metal, for example, has been in the game for so long, that we partnered with a wide range of suppliers, so that we are always prepared. But, you may want to keep it under consideration if you are shopping around for other metal roofers.

Metal Type Cosiderations

Thickness, Pitch, Factory Standards, Paints and Treatments

The required thickness for certain metals can also alter the cost. Especially if you are doing industrial sized panels for business. Their are even certain instances where a specific metal should be used or avoided. A very high or low pitch, can alter choices and effect price, for example. However, these variables are usually reserved for the most premium metals and are fairly rare.

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Many times, certain metals have a specific width that they come off the factory line, as well. For example, you may want copper roofing, but it only comes in 18? width. This causes you to have over twice as many overlapping areas compared to the 48?aluminum choice. Even if the metal costs were the same, more metal = more cost.

Perhaps you are in the market for a very thick metal, but discover it only comes in standing seam. This happens after you originally wanted an exposed fastener panel. You then need to change to a new metal, which has a more complicated installation style. Another metal roofing cost factor.

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Style: Standing Seam, Exposed Fastener and more…

Get in-depth with our Standing Seam Vs Exposed Fastener comparison.

Specific metals may also have a set of standard colors or paint type, all influencing cost. Maybe you want the best paint available on the market, but none will agree to put it on your exposed fastener style. Or maybe you need to match a color to another portion of your home, but one seller does not offer it. These are actually fairly common, and often used to upsell potential clients. But, that?s not a problem with Roof Repair Guys. We have connections in place to get more options on more metals than anyone else.

Treatments and Paints

Dive further into paints and treatments.

One also considers the type of treatment and paint you want on your metal roof. Their are only a handful of metal treatment facilities across the United States. This results in somewhat limited availability for special combinations. While you can ultimately order and combination you would like (as opposed to shingle roofing), it may take some time to manufacture. However all readily available, as well as custom possibilities, will be made available to you. It?s about your needs, not ours.

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Installation Materials

Then you also have to consider the types of seams and accessories you may be using to install your roof. Just like any business, there are the cheap parts and the quality parts. One company may charge you 200 less, but use inferior screws that cause lasting damage to your roof. Another company then makes promises of using the best metal, but then shorts you on paint. This leaves that metal more exposed, causing premature wear. Between fasteners, trim, boots, clips?. there are thousands of pieces that go into your home. And Roof Repair Guys knows, you need to rely on all of them. But it is an area where inferior metal roofers try to hide poor work.

Master Craft tips, and 5 of the most common installation mistakes, explained.

And like we said, you also have your own personal choice on what you think looks the best. One style of seam is far more time intensive to install than another, affecting the price. Some metals are harder to bend, others may warrant a discount because they are more available. So almost every choice you make in your materials, has a say in the final pricing.

But that is why we offer our free consultation and estimates. Working out your own estimate is good to get things rolling. But, it?s best to have it done professionally and preferably free of charge.

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Metal Roofing Cost Summarized

Here we simplified two main factors that go into your metal roofing costs. On one hand we gave you the calculations to accurately measure your home or business. Then we showed you how to use those numbers with a choice metal to estimate a basic price.

On the other we gave you a list of variables that can alter those standard numbers. We dove into your contractor crew, location, metals, paints and other components to get you familiar with what you need to know for your metal roof contracting job.

The truth is, that you can get a fairly clear idea of how much your new metal roof will cost by using the formula we laid out above. However, one quick click and a few satellite images later, Roof Repair Guys Roofing and Sheet Metal can get you quoted on a real price, right now.


If you are more interested in the money saving benefits of metal roofing, then hop on over to this article that?ll explain just how well a metal roof can protect your home? and wallet? for decades.

Or dive into our metal roofing overview, and get a solid base for you roof hunt today!