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How Much Does a Metal Roof Cost?

How Much Does a Metal Roof Cost?

For homeowners trying to get a long-lasting, unique roofing option that will require less maintenance, metal roofing might be the right path to take.

Standing seam metal roofs are one of the more durable options out there for residential roofs, and when they are installed correctly, can last up to 70 years in good conditions. Screw-down metal roofs, when put over a barn, shed, or other unheated space, can also last for a very long time.

However, metal roofing materials can also be some of the more expensive ones out there, especially when you’re comparing it to something like asphalt shingles. But how much more does it actually cost to put a quality metal roof on your home?

In this blog, we’re going to talk about:

Let’s get started!

What is Metal Roofing?

A metal roof essentially consists of metal panels that are affixed to a frame, either by screwing them in, or locking them in, in the case of a standing seam metal roof.

Metal roofing is the second most popular roofing type in the country, only behind asphalt shingles, which are far more widespread due to their low cost.

Historically, metal roofs have been used in more rural areas, as in those places, the durability that they provide is far more valuable than the ability to match the homes around them.

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That pretty much holds up for the roof replacements that we do in the Raleigh, NC area. Most of the homes that we do in the neighborhoods in and around Raleigh are going to opt for an asphalt shingle roof, while metal is far more popular for homes in the more rural areas south and east of the city.


While metal and asphalt roofs do share some materials, like roof decking, and a kind of underlayment, they have plenty of differences.

For instance, metal roofs require a high-heat ice and water shield to be used as an underlayment, while asphalt roofs use a felt covering. One similar piece the two have, is a ridge cap. Asphalt roofs have specifically made shingles that cover the roof’s ridge, and metal roofs function similarly, with a specially made ridge cap.

Metal roofs also have their own version of a starter shingle, known as a lock strip. A lock strip is a piece of metal that is used at the roof’s edge to hold down the metal panels during high winds.

Types of Metal Roofs

There are two major types of metal roofs that you’ll find out there: standing seam, and screw-down panel.

What is a Standing Seam Metal Roof?

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A standing seam metal roof is composed of multiple, vertical metal panels that are locked at the seams, with the fasteners hidden underneath the metal. These roofs typically use a high-quality steel substrate, which is a raw steel panel coated with another metal, usually zinc, or in the case of Galvalume®, a zinc and aluminum alloy.

Generally, standing seams are considered the higher end metal roof, and are used in both residential and commercial settings. Standing seam metal roofs are highly weather resistant, making them an especially popular option for homes in coastal and rural markets, while their cleaner, more modern look is increasing its foothold in suburban areas.

What is a Screw-down Panel roof?

A screw-down panel roof, also known as an exposed-fastener roof, is a little simpler. For this roofing system, metal panels are screwed down on a roof in an overlapping fashion, similar to the way asphalt shingles are installed. For screw-down panels, many of the same materials are used, except these panels are more widely available than those used for standing seam roofs. In fact, if you wanted to purchase the metal yourself, you can find the panels at stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s.

This style of metal roof is more frequently used over uninhabited, unheated spaces, like barns, sheds, or carports. Why not on heated spaces or homes? Well, as metal heats up and cools, it expands and contracts accordingly, which, on a screw-down roof, can widen the holes around the screws, and open the roof up for some severe leaks.

How much does a metal roof cost?

If you’re seriously considering a metal roof replacement, you need to be prepared to pay some pretty heavy costs up front. The materials required for a metal roofing project are much more difficult to obtain and fabricate than asphalt shingle roofs, so the project can cost two to three times more than an asphalt shingle roof replacement.

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While we can’t give an exact cost for how much it would cost to put a metal roof on your home, we can do our best to help you estimate it for yourself. The cost of the installation will vary greatly depending on where you’re located, and how large and complex your roof is. Material prices though, are usually fairly similar regardless of the area.

Also, please note that as material costs continue to change in every industry, these numbers may be outdated.

For screw down panels, they will likely run you $4-5 per foot, but again, we can’t recommend putting these over a heated space, as they will have some leaks if the metal moves as it heats.

Standing seam, then, depending on the kind of metal you get, can cost $10-14 per foot.

Metal Roof Cost Factors

Though the type of panel you go with is one of the main factors in determining how much your metal roof will cost, there are plenty of other things that will affect it.

The biggest additional factor is going to be the size of your roof, as well as the complexity of it. It makes sense that a bigger roof will be more expensive, as more material will be required to cover that extra space. But what does it mean for a roof to be complex? And how does that affect the cost?

The complexity of the roof depends on how many ridges, valleys, hips, and penetrations your roof has. If the roof has no vents coming through it, and only has two sides, it would be far less expensive to replace than one that has multiple valleys, and penetrations in it.

What else should you know about Metal Roofing in Raleigh, NC?

Now that we’ve covered how much metal roofs cost, what else should you know if you’re looking for a metal roof in Raleigh?

In another blog of ours, we’ve talked about how long metal roofs last, how often they’ll need repairs, and how the weather affects them!

On Tops Roofing has been replacing and repairing metal roofs in Raleigh, NC since 1991. Whatever your roofing project requires, we’ve got the experience to handle it!

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