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    Home | Our Blog | Metal Roofing - Pros, Cons, and Cost to Install in 2021

    Metal Roofing - Pros, Cons, and Cost to Install in 2021

    Reviewed by Tomas Kalkys. President.
    Qualifications: More than 20 years of experience in residential and commercial exterior remodeling.
    Founding farther of Legacy Service.
    Written by LegacyUSA Team

    posted on Apr 21, 2021

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    Metal roof panels have been used to cover all types of buildings across the United States for centuries. There’s a good reason for that. Not only is it one of the most attractive roofing types, but it’s also highly durable and boasts a long life expectancy. If you believe it’s time for a roof replacement on your home, and you’re considering metal roof installation, then you’ve come to the right place. At Legacy Service, we have decades of experience when it comes to installing metal roofing, and we can customize your project to specifically meet your needs. We also offer roof installation and replacement services for asphalt shingles, synthetic slate, cedar, and copper. And if you’re looking for a siding replacement, our team would be glad to help you with that as well. From vinyl to Everlast to James Hardie fiber cement, you can rest assured that we have what you’re looking for. This article is a 2021 Metal Roofing Buying Guide. We’ll discuss average costs you can expect to pay for labor and various materials, the pros and cons of metal roofing, maintenance and cleanings, and roofing alternatives. Let’s get started!

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    Why Are Metal Roofs So Popular Nowadays?

    There’s no question about it: Metal roofs have been steadily increasing in popularity among residential homeowners throughout the United States in recent years. Why is that? It’s no secret that they’re quite beautiful and will look charming with the rest of your house, but there are plenty of other reasons why more and more people are turning to metal these days. Depending on the material, residential metal roofing can last 40-70 years. It’s also fire-resistant, energy-efficient, and surprisingly lightweight. If you’re looking for metal roofing companies near me, you can turn to our team at Legacy Service. Now let’s take a look at the average metal roof prices.

    Metal Roofs

    Average Metal Roof Cost

    The cost to install a metal roof will differ from homeowner to homeowner, but we can provide you information about the average prices to give you an idea of what you might be paying for your project. From the average cost of materials per square to the average cost of labor, continue reading to see what you can expect. As of right now, the average cost to install a metal roof onto a residential home in American ranges between $9,000 and $45,000. It may cost more than a basic asphalt shingle roof, but it comes with plenty of advantages that we’ll discuss in more detail in a later section.

    Average cost of materials (per square feet)

    The average metal roof cost per square feet will depend on which form and material you choose. A square is a measurement that equals 100 square feet. There are three common forms you can choose from: shingles, sheet, and standing seam. Shingles typically average $200-$600 per square. Sheets cost about $75-$600 per square. Standing seam usually costs between $200-$1,000 per square.

    Average cost of labor (with removal of old roof/without removal)

    In most cases, the replacement price will be more than the cost to install a metal roof because you’ll need to pay an additional fee to remove the old roof and dispose of it. Depending on various factors including the size and shape of your roof, metal roof replacement cost averages between $6,000 and $27,000 while a new metal roof can cost between $5,000 and $25,000.

    Cost of accessories/tools

    If you’re planning to install it yourself, you’ll have to take the cost of various accessories and tools into account. Unless you have plenty of experience, it may just be better to hire a team of professionals to do it for you. This will ensure the job is done correctly the first time, which will maximize the lifespan of your roof.

    Metal Roofing Prices Per Square: Sheet vs. Panel

    As far as metal roofing prices per square go, you have several options. Depending on the material and form you select, you may be paying anywhere between $75 and $1,000 or more per square. The three most common forms include sheet, standing seam (panel), and shingles. In this section, we’ll compare the cost per square of sheet and standing seam (panel). Hopefully, this will help you decide which form would be best for you and your home. Let’s take a look at the metal roof cost per square.


    Sheets are typically less expensive than standing seam panels. You can expect to pay between $75 and $600 per square. The different types include R Panel, 5V Crimp, corrugated, and through-fastened, and they’re typically made of galvanized or galvalume steel. Other characteristics include exposed fasteners, painted and unpainted options, and 24-30 gauge. They tend to have an “agricultural” aesthetic.

    Standing Seam

    Standing seam metal roof costs can be a bit more on the expensive side. It’s usually somewhere between $200 and $1,000 per square. The different types include clip-fastened and through-fastened, and they’re normally available in galvanized or galvalume steel as well as aluminum, copper, or zinc. This popular style tends to have a modern aesthetic.

    Average Material Costs of a Metal Roof

    Now let’s move on to the metal roof material costs. This type of roofing has a variety of quality materials, and each has a different average price. Every material also has its own pros and cons that will help you determine which type you should choose for your property. The most commonly used metal roofing materials include stainless steel, aluminum, copper, tin, and zinc. Now, let’s learn more about the different costs you can expect from the different types of metal roofs.

    Steel (and Stainless Steel) Roofing Prices Per Square

    These two popular materials come at considerably different prices. Steel may cost $75 to $300 per square depending on the style. It’ll either be galvalume or galvanized and has both panel and shingle options. Stainless steel, on the other hand, usually costs between $400 and $1,200 per square. It has an excellent track record of durability and corrosion resistance.


    Galvalume has a steel core and an aluminum/zinc coating. You can typically expect to pay about $75 to $200 per square. It’s a lower-cost option, is corrosion-resistant, pliable, and comes in a variety of colors. However, the coloring is subject to fading over time.


    Galvanized products usually cost more than galvalume, coming in somewhere between $150 to $350 per square. They have a steel core and zinc coating to help resist rust, although they aren’t as resistant to corrosion. However, the good news is that they are low maintenance, have a long life expectancy, and help improve energy efficiency.

    Aluminum (with Insulated Aluminum Roof Panels)

    The price of aluminum will depend on whether it comes in sheet or shingle form. The range is normally between $150 and $600 per square. It has plenty of advantages, including its high natural reflectivity, energy efficiency, pliability, and the fact that it’s recyclable.

    Tin Roof (Terne)

    Tin roofing tends to have a broad pricing range, which can be between $350 and $1,500 per square before installation. Today’s popular tin products are called Terne. Only Terne’s coating is tin, not its core material, which is made of steel. This material is highly durable and naturally resistant to corrosion.


    Lead roofing tends to be on the expensive side, coming in at about $1,000 or more per square. Today’s products can have an alternative core with a lighter weight, like copper, along with a lead coating. Studies show that the material is safe, but check with your installer, the EPA, and your state legislature for regulations and restrictions.


    Copper roofing is one of the most expensive materials. You can expect to pay about $800 to $1,500 per square. It can also be difficult to work with, so it requires professional installation. However, it does have a number of benefits, including that it’s long-lasting, low-maintenance, and doesn’t rust.


    Most homeowners can expect to pay about $600 to $1,000 per square with zinc. One of the coolest things about this naturally occurring material is that it can heal itself. As it weathers, it forms a coating that protects the zinc and reseals it if it suffers scratches or dings. It’s a durable and long-lasting material.

    Rusted Metal

    Also known as weathering or “Corten” steel, rusted metal tends to cost somewhere between $200 to $300 per square for homeowners. This product will develop a protective layer of rust and is available in most panel styles. However, it’s not ideal for coastal homes.

    metal roof installation

    Prices by Metal Gauge

    Residential metal roofing costs can also vary by gauge, which is a measurement of thickness. Surprisingly, the smaller the number, the thicker the shingle or panel will be. So, 24-gauge is actually thicker than 29-gauge. The rate tends to range from $1.75 to $7.00 per square foot. You can expect to pay more for thicker products than thinner ones. Manufacturers will calculate them based on linear foot, so the price may be small in increments but it can add up pretty quickly. Let’s take a look at what you can expect to pay when it comes to the average cost of metal roof gauges.

    24 Gauge

    24-gauge is the thickest type, so it’s going to be the most expensive. Most homeowners can expect to pay about $5.00 to $7.00 per linear foot for it. It’s best used in high wind areas.

    26 Gauge

    26-gauge is the second-thickest type, so it’s typically less expensive than 24 but more than 29. Local homeowners can expect to pay between $1.75 and $4.00 per linear foot. It’s best used for modular press-formed granular coated products.

    29 Gauge

    29-gauge is the thinnest type of the three options, so you can count on it being the least expensive. It typically costs about $1.75 to $3.00 per square foot, and it’s best used for residential construction. This is what you might want to consider for your house.


    You’ll also have to consider the cost of coatings. Sealing the roof can cost between $300 and $1,500. The price of a 5-gallon bucket tends to vary between $100 and $250, and one gallon can cover about 100 square feet. Coating will not only provide color but also help protect your roof from the elements. They’re designed to keep your roofing material from chalking, and most are also fade-resistant to an extent. Sealing is an important step and an estimate should be included in the service you choose. If you’re looking for metal roofing contractors, contact us to schedule a free consultation.

    Exposed vs. Hidden Fastener Metal Roofing

    The fastener type, either exposed or hidden, affects your roof’s price and efficiency. Hidden fastener styles cost about $600 to $1,400 per square after installation, and exposed fasteners cost about $250 and $700 per square after installation. Hidden fasteners tend to be more expensive, but since they’re hidden from the elements, they provide better protection from exposure and potential leaking. They also have a sleeker appearance. Exposed fasteners are a more economical choice, but the downside is that the fasteners are exposed to the elements, so the risk of leaking increases. A peel-and-stick underlayment can help minimize this risk.

    install a metal roof

    Labor Cost to Install a Metal Roof

    The labor cost to install a metal roof will differ depending on several different factors. If the surface has an ordinary shape without complicated features or steep slopes, the labor price’s average will be about $3,000. For structures that are more complex and materials that are higher-end, the cost to install a metal roof (labor only) might be as high as $10,000. Factoring in other features, including gable edges, drip edges, pipe flashings, valleys, ridge caps, fasteners, coatings, and more, can make the rate of the installation process three to seven times more than it would be for shingles or panels. However, it’s still recommended to use a professional company for installation.

    Metal Roof Underlayment Costs

    For a successful installation, underlayment and other accessories will need to be installed. For underlayment, you can expect to pay about $4.00 to $5.00 per square foot. You’ll want to factor this into the total price of installation. Underlayment is necessary for metal roofing because it helps deaden the sound of rain. Homeowners have reported their house sounding quieter after underlayment has been installed. If you’re looking for metal roof installers near me, look no further than our team at Legacy Service. We’ve been helping homeowners build their dream homes for decades.

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    New Metal Roof vs. Replacement Estimate

    Whether you’re installing a new metal roof or replacing an old one will affect the professional metal roofing installation costs. Pricing will vary depending on a number of factors, from where you live to the material you select, but on average, a new metal roof will cost between $5,000 and $25,000 while a replacement tends to cost about $6,000 to $27,000. Replacement usually costs more because of the additional fees to remove the old roof and dispose of it.

    Installation by Pitch

    Believe it or not, the pitch of your roof will affect the price of your project as well as the materials you can use. Here’s what you can expect:

    • Low pitch (<3/12) – A lower pitch will typically cost less since it takes less time and requires fewer materials and safety equipment. Just remember that metal shingles can’t be used on slopes that are flatter than a 3/12 pitch.
    • Steep pitch (>3/12) – A steeper pitch will have a higher labor rate because it requires more safety equipment and materials. It will also usually take more time because it can be more difficult to walk on.
    • Curved pitch – This is the most expensive option because it requires more care when applying the panels.

    metal roof installation

    Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs

    Before you make any decisions, you should get as much information as you can about the pros and cons of metal roofing. For example, if your deal-breaker is a higher up-front investment, then you should probably be looking for material like asphalt shingles. But if you’re looking to save money on your energy bills, then metal roofing may be the way to go. In the section below, we outline the pros and cons of metal roofing. Take a look and see if this helps you with your decision.


    Why do homeowners decide to go with metal instead of another material? There are plenty of reasons! Let’s take a look at some of the most noteworthy advantages:

    Durable and long-lasting

    It’s no secret that metal roofs are both durable and long-lasting. That’s typically the main reason why homeowners choose to go with metal instead of another material such as asphalt shingles. When it’s installed properly, metal can last 40-70 years depending on the material, helping your home withstand the elements for decades to come.


    A lesser-known benefit of metal roofing is that it’s environmentally friendly. Metal is a more sustainable material than asphalt shingles because not only does it last longer, but it’s also 100% recyclable when you need to replace it. It’s ideal for homeowners who are eco-conscious, whether they’re looking to add solar panels or a system to harvest rainwater.


    Metal may cost more initially, but it also has better energy efficiency, which can help homeowners save money on their heating and cooling bills each month. This roofing material reflects solar heat rather than absorbs it, and it can even reduce cooling costs by 10-40%.


    Your home will certainly stand out with a metal roof. You can choose from a variety of stylish and beautiful metals, including but not limited to aluminum, copper, tin, zinc, and galvanized steel in a wide array of shapes, finishes, and colors. Modern metal comes in 100 different color choices, with standard, premium, and customer hues. Get in touch with the experts to help you select a color for your roof.

    More pros

    There are plenty of reasons why you should choose metal! This material can often be installed over asphalt shingles, which helps reduce waste. It’s also quite resistant to the elements, from fire to harsh winds and rain. If you’re looking for a lightweight material that’s known to have a long life expectancy, then metal may be the right choice for you.


    Metal roofing may have plenty of advantages, but it’s not without its downsides as well. The good news is that a quality installer can avoid or treat many of them. Here are the most common disadvantages that you should know about:


    Installing a metal roof costs more than asphalt shingles initially, but if that’s not a deal-breaker for you, then we wouldn’t rule it out yet. Squares of the material, or 100 square feet, can usually cost between $120 and $900. If that’s within your budget, then metal may be a good choice for you. This material’s energy efficiency can also help you save money on your heating and cooling bills.

    Can be dented

    Although metal roofs are known for their durability and resistance to extreme weather, they can be dented by falling branches or large hailstones. Also, it might not be a good idea to walk on the roof depending on the material because it could damage the panels or shingles.

    Can be noisy

    A lot of people are hesitant to consider metal because they think it might be noisy when it rains. While that used to be the case, there are plenty of ways to reduce sound during heavy rain or a thunderstorm. Installing extra layers of insulation or solid sheathing beneath helps minimize the sound inside.

    More cons

    There are a few other disadvantages you should know about before committing to a metal roof. For example, depending on the fasteners you choose, the weather could make the roof expand or contract. Poor installation can also leave places for water to accumulate. If you’re still interested in metal, contact our team today.

    Metal Roofing Maintenance and Cleaning

    With the proper maintenance, you can maximize the lifespan of your metal roof. The good news is that it also requires little maintenance compared to other materials. A good pressure wash about once a year is all that’s needed to keep the roof clean. While cleaning, try to avoid tools like steel wool or wire brushes that can scratch your roof. Also, remember that long-term exposure to the elements will deteriorate any type of coating for your roof. A simple recoating using a polymer coating should get the job done and help restore your roof to like-new conditions. Kynar tends to be the most popular finish among homeowners.

    Alternatives to Metal Roofs (And Why)

    Along with metal tile and slate, there are plenty of alternatives you can use for metal roofing. Some of the most popular ones include aluminum, copper, steel, tin, and zinc. The type you select can be more or less expensive depending on the material. They each come with their own pros and cons, so certain types will be a good choice for some homeowners while another choice will be better for other homeowners. We recommend consulting with a roofing expert before you begin your project. Our team at Legacy Service provides free consultations for homeowners throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

    Should You Install a Metal Roof?

    The metal roof cost per square foot is typically more expensive than it would be asphalt shingles. This can turn a lot of people away from the material. However, it’s important to remember that metal roofs not only last longer than asphalt shingles, but they may also help improve your house’s energy efficiency, which can help you save money in the long run. If you’re considering installing a metal roof on your house, get in touch with your local roofing experts. They’ll be able to walk you through the process and help you understand the benefits for your home. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate.

    DIY Metal Roof Cost vs. Hiring a Local Roofer

    There’s no question that installing a metal roof yourself will cut out some of the expenses, which will help it cost less initially. But is it worth it? Most metal roofs are more difficult to work with than asphalt shingles, so unless you have plenty of experience and the correct tools, it might be best to hire a local team of professionals. Metal roofing needs to be installed correctly to maximize its lifespan. Improper installation can result in leaks and a less efficient structure. A team of professionals can not only help you with that but can also help you get better rates for materials. This can result in a lower metal roofing cost per sheet.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Metal Roofing Cost

    Here are some of the questions that we’re asked most frequently about the cost of metal roofing. If you’re interested in this material, please feel free to contact us at any time. We’ll schedule a free consultation with one of our technicians to go over the process with you.

    How much does a metal roof cost?

    The average cost of metal roofing per square foot can differ depending on a variety of factors, from where you live to the material you select. You can generally expect the cost to be within the range of $5.00 and $12.00 per square foot, though. This can translate to between $9,000 and $44,000 for the price of the project, with the average being about $27,000. Overall, metal roofs will typically cost more than asphalt shingles, but less than cedar, copper, and slate. The material’s appearance and durability have helped it become one of the most popular types in the United States today.

    Is it cheaper to get a metal roof or shingles?

    Asphalt shingles are generally less expensive to install than metal roofing. However, metal roofs are known to be more durable, energy-efficient, and last longer. In fact, you might even save money in the long run by choosing a metal roof for your home. The average lifespan of asphalt shingles is about 15-25 years while the average lifespan of metal roofing is about 40-70 years. Although the initial cost of asphalt shingles is cheaper, metal roofing will benefit your bank account in terms of longevity and resale value. Contact us to schedule an appointment and see which would be best for you.

    How expensive is a metal roof?

    Depending on the material you choose along with the size and shape of your roof, homeowners can expect to pay between $9,000 and $44,000 for their metal roof. The average tends to hover around $27,000. Many different factors come into play regarding roofing installation or replacement, so it’s best to consult an expert before making any decisions.

    Is it OK to put a metal roof over shingles?

    In many cases, you can place a metal roof over shingles. Plenty of metal roofing materials are lightweight and can be installed directly over the shingles without burdening the structural support of the roof. This is beneficial for you since you won’t have to pay for the shingle removal and disposal and it’s also beneficial for the environment. Check with your local roofing company to see if it’s possible for you.

    How much does a new metal roof cost for a 1,500 square foot house?

    A new metal roof for a 1,500 square foot house usually costs between $6,500 and $22,500. The type of material you choose, the region where you live, and the shape of your roof will affect the price.

    How much does a new metal roof cost for a 2,000 square foot house?

    For a 2,000 square foot house, a new metal roof will typically cost anywhere between $8,500 and $29,500. Where you live, the shape of your roof, and the material you choose will affect the price.

    your metal roof

    Let’s Get Started on Your Metal Roof!

    Now that you have an idea of the pricing, it’s time to get started on your project. At Legacy Service, we offer metal roofing installation and replacement services to homeowners throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. We also offer other home exterior services, including but not limited to siding installation and window replacement. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

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    Posted on Apr 21, 2021 in Roof

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