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How Much Does a Metal Roof Cost?

Average National Cost
? All cost data throughout this article are collected using the RSMeans construction materials database.
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$8,500 - $39,100

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Updated On

December 29, 2023

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I’ve put on many metal roofs in my career, and they’re a great option for most homeowners. They’re easy to install, rugged, and I’ve never heard a client regret choosing to go metal. 

But as with most major decisions about the home, the biggest question is cost. Metal roofs do tend to be more expensive than your traditional asphalt shingle roof.

In this article, I break down costs based on data I’ve gathered and my own experience as a roofing contractor. I’ll also discuss the different types and materials used to create metal roofs and how that affects the costs. By the end of the article, you’ll better understand how much they cost and what factors determine it.

If you already know you want to replace your old roof with a new metal roof, consider checking out my recommended roofing companies to get a quote today and learn about their roofing options.

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Highlights
  • Metal roofs, on average, are similar in price to traditional asphalt shingle roofs. However, roofs from more expensive materials like copper can be significantly more expensive.
  • The biggest factors in the price of your metal roof will be the type of metal you choose and the size of your roof.
  • Installing a metal roof is not a DIY job. Fortunately, most roofers will install metal roofs.

What Is the Cost of a Metal Roof?

Metal roof installation costs can vary widely, from $8,500 – $39,100 for an average-sized roof. Most of that cost will depend on metal roof options like the type of material used and the roof size. Roofs made from cheaper metals, like aluminum or steel, are similar in cost to asphalt shingles and fall on the lower end of the range. On the other hand, luxurious metals like copper carry a substantially higher bill. 

There are other factors that influence the cost, too, like roof pitch and complexity. Those obstacles require extra work to set up equipment like scaffolding and roof jacks to allow the roofers to work safely. Having utilized both extensively, they’re fantastic but time-consuming to set up, move, and tear down. 

Another factor is the yard or property. If the roof is difficult to access because of trees, bushes, or other buildings, it slows down the installation. As trivial as it sounds, getting a dumpster near the house is an enormous time saver for roofers. It not only reduces the time to bring debris to the dumpster, but it also reduces the ground clean-up, which saves roofers even more time and you more money.

To get started, here’s a brief overview of the cost of a metal roof — material and installation:

Cost Range of Metal Roofs
Low$8,500 – $14,000
Medium$15,000 – $21,000
High$22,000 – $39,100
*Based on the national average 1,700-square-foot roof

What Is the Cost of a Metal Roof by Type?

The type of metal roofing material is a major cost factor, so I compiled a brief chart to illustrate the relative differences in cost:

Metal TypeAverage Material and Installation Cost per Roofing Square (100 square feet)Average Total Cost (based on the national average 1,700-square-foot roof)
Steel$560 – $1,570$9,520 – $26,690
Stainless steel$800 – $1,700$13,600 – $28,900
Aluminum$390 – $975$6,630 – $16,575
Copper$1,610 – $2,300$27,370 – $39,100
Zinc$580 – $1,100$9,860 – $18,700
Tin$380 – $1,400$6,460 – $23,800

Steel

Steel roofing is a staple of metal roofing. Most metal roofs I’ve ever seen are made of steel — and for good reason. It’s a strong, flexible material that resists impacts well. It’s readily available and economical. It takes paint and other metal roof coatings and finishes well. Properly cared for, a steel roof can outlast an asphalt shingle roof. At $560 – $1,557 per square, it’s also approximate in cost.

Steel comes in most styles available for metal roofing in general. Standing seam metal roofs are popular, and shingles are becoming more popular. You can even get corrugated. Within each of those styles, there are further sub-styles, so there’s a wealth of choices for a homeowner.

Photo of a steel roof on a commercial building
Credit: Canva

Stainless Steel

You don’t often see stainless steel on roofs, though it is used. While it’s a fine roofing material, its biggest drawback is it’s often unpainted.

A shiny gray roof isn’t for everyone, and the argument for stainless steel over regular steel is a tough one. Steel being stainless is an attractive quality, but painting standard steel achieves the same effect while also giving homeowners the option of having any color they want. You can expect stainless steel to run you $800 – $1,700 per square.

Tin

Tin metal roofs are made of a base metal plated with tin. Historically, the base metal has been iron, but today, it’s most often aluminum. The benefit of tin is that it’s cheap. The drawback is tin doesn’t perform as well as other metals without regular, thorough maintenance; it tends to rust, corrode, and otherwise degrade under the elements. 

I wouldn’t suggest tin for any roofing application. If you’re tight on money, aluminum is a far better choice, much more available, and just as cheap. If you currently have tin, I suggest a roof replacement sooner rather than later. Upgrading to something more lasting and durable will benefit you in the long run. If you can even find it, tin is $380 – $900 per square.

Photo of a red tin roof on a small outbuilding
Credit: Canva

Aluminum

Aluminum roofs are another great choice. Because aluminum is a flexible and malleable metal, manufacturers can shape it into various forms. It’s also naturally resistant to rust and corrosion. Add a layer of paint to it, and you have long-lasting material.

Because aluminum is so widely used across many industries, it’s readily available and cheap — in most cases, more affordable than steel at $390 – $975 per square.

Style-wise, aluminum is a chameleon that you can be whatever you want it to be. It can be manufactured to mimic tile or wood shakes, or made in a standing seam or shingle style. The possibilities are endless. I don’t see it used as often as steel, which I think is caused by a lack of awareness more so than other metals being better. It can be fashioned into any shape and painted any color — it’s durable and lasting — there’s not much to object to. 

Photo of an aluminum roof on a commercial building
Credit: Canva

Copper

Copper is a high-end roofing material with many fantastic qualities. It’s aesthetically attractive when it’s new and gains attractiveness with age. Many homeowners love the copper patina look, and I can’t argue with them. The long history of copper used in wealthy homes gives it a luxurious and stately air.

Looks aside, it’s malleable, strong, and has a long lifespan unsurpassed by any other roofing metal. It’s not uncommon for a copper roof to last a century or more. That’s not a guarantee, but it does illustrate its capacity for longevity. It’s not for every home or budget at $1,610 – $2,300 per square, but for the right application, there’s no better choice.

Photo of a copper roof with vent on a residential home
Credit: Canva

Zinc

Zinc is a sadly underutilized metal. Along with copper, it’s one of the longest-lasting metals used in roofing. With proper care, it can have a lifespan of nearly a century, perhaps longer, depending on conditions. It also gains a patina over time that some people find attractive.

The only downside is that it suffers from a similar problem as stainless steel in that it’s a bare metal type of roofing. While a zinc roof has a distinctive look, it’s still gray metal and not what every homeowner wants for their house. If you don’t mind that look, though, it’s a great roofing material that’s not too expensive at $380 – $1,400 per square and will likely last as long as you own the house.

What Is a Metal Roof’s Cost by Size?

The square footage of a roof is the single biggest factor in cost. Larger roofs require more material and, thus, more labor, which means higher bills. Unfortunately, there’s no way to avoid this. Roofing is manual labor, and hands can only move so fast.

In the table below, I broke down the range of roof costs based on the square footage of roof. These numbers aren’t ironclad, as other (more difficult to quantify) factors can play a role. Roofs with steep pitches or numerous hips and valleys can contribute to higher costs, meaning a small roof can be expensive if it has those characteristics.

Even then, the ranges in this chart are still wide and mostly attributed to the wide cost range of material. The difference between tin and copper is large, so for the extravagant numbers, remember they’re for the high-quality, luxury material. Most homeowners will fall in the low and midrange category, even for a nice roof. And keep in mind, a standard-sized roof in the United States is about 1,700 square feet.

Square Feet of RoofLow Range Mid RangeHigh Range
1,000 sq. ft.$4,180 – $7,524$10,939 – $16,830$18,975 – $25,300
1,200 sq. ft.$4,940 – $8,892$12,928 – $19,890$22,425 – $29,900
1,500 sq. ft.$6,460 – $11,628$16,906 – $26,010$29,325 – $39,100
1,750 sq. ft$7,220 – $12,996$18,895 – $29,070$32,775 – $43,700
2,000 sq. ft.$8,740 – $15,732$22,873 – $35,190$39,675 – $52,900
2,750 sq. ft.$11,780 – $21,204$30,829 – $47,430$53,475 – $71,300
3,500 sq. ft.$14,820 – $26,676$38,785 – $59,670$67,275 – $89,700
4,500 sq. ft.$19,000 – $34,200$49,725 – $76,500$86,250 – $115,000
*All costs assume installation.
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Which Factors Impact How Much a Metal Roof Costs?

There are a variety of factors that influence the cost of a roof. Things like the size and shape of the roof, metal type, and material style all play a role in the final price of a new roof. Some of these can be lowered by various strategies, and some cannot.

The best thing a homeowner can do is be conscious of the options available and choose the most appropriate one for their budget. Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean worse quality, so asking questions and researching is important. 

Though it’s impossible for all homeowners, talking to someone with the particular roof you’re considering getting for your home is the best way to get information and opinions. The kind of honest feedback another homeowner can provide is invaluable. 

Roof Size

Roof size is the biggest factor in the cost of a roof. More material equals more labor equals a higher bill for the homeowner. That’s not to say roofing a smaller house is always cheap. Because of the various options for roofing material and the complexities of a roof, a small home can have an expensive roof, too. 

But for the average home in a common style, the roof is straightforward, and the company installing it has likely done dozens of houses just like it. In those cases, processes are efficient and streamlined, minimizing costs. Most homeowners should find a metal roof roughly approximate to asphalt shingles. For an averaged size, common-style home, you can expect a bill between $12,000 – $18,000.

Metal Type

The type of metal used for the roof material also plays a sizable role in costs. High-end metals like copper can be substantially more expensive than economical metals like aluminum. The choice here is partly an aesthetic one, but there are longevity differences to consider, too. 

Metals like steel don’t last as long as, say, lead-coated copper. If you calculate that longevity into the up-front cost, you might find the more expensive metal will save you over the long term. Roofs are a recurring expense, so considering how often those expenses occur is important to the long-term cost considerations of owning a home. 

Metal Style

Among the minor cost factors is style. Some metal roofing systems, like standing seam or corrugated metal panels, are simpler and easier to install, which means lower costs. Other systems, like steel shingles, are more complicated and time-consuming. They are more labor-intensive to install and more labor-intensive to manufacture, so the material cost is higher than simpler systems of the same metal. Metal shingles, for example, are pricey in comparison to standing seams. Because of the more complex manufacturing involved, you can expect to pay noticeably more for them. 

Roof Shape

Roofs with steep pitches or complex geometry contribute to the labor needed to install a roof, so you can expect complex roofs to have a higher average cost. This isn’t strictly confined to metal roofing; any roofing material will cost more.

Another factor is waste. While metal has numerous advantages, it’s still susceptible to the wastage that asphalt shingles or shakes are susceptible to. You can expect about 20% waste on a complex roof, which means needing 20% more square feet of material than the roof. 

Region

Costs for material and labor vary according to region and the associated cost of living. Everything, including roofing, is generally more expensive in densely populated areas and cities, so considering that when shopping around is important to remember.

That said, the market nationwide for construction labor is relatively narrow. Labor in populated regions will cost more, but it shouldn’t cost substantially more. 

Utilities and Architectural Elements

An often overlooked cost is everything that can be on a roof and the labor required to waterproof and work around it. Things like chimneys and utility vents all require the roofing material to be cut and fashioned around them, as well as flashed. Dormers and copulas need to be flashed and shingled. Solar panels need to be removed and, when the roofing is done, reinstalled. Then you may want to consider installing gutters and gutter guards that are good for metal roofs.

Standard elements like sewer and attic vents (or even a chimney) won’t contribute to a higher cost. Still, if you have numerous different vents, equipment, and architectural elements on the roof more than the average home, the contractor will adjust the labor cost accordingly.

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What Are the Benefits of Investing in a Metal Roof?

Metal roofs of any type or style make for a great roof. In many cases, they last as long as asphalt shingles; in some cases, they last longer. They’re a durable material that resists punctures to the roof and arguably performs better under snow and ice. They’re also good at reflecting ultraviolet rays when an appropriate paint is used.

In my experience roofing and following up with clients, homeowners like metal roofs. I’ve never heard a homeowner regret their decision. They’re low maintenance and generally cause fewer problems than asphalt shingle roofs do. I’ve noticed that they’re particularly suited to older homeowners for those reasons. They also look nice and provide a different character to a house.

Metal roofs can also be environmentally friendly. Some manufacturers make metal roofing out of recycled material, and you can also recycle your old roof when you get a new one. Metal is also great for creating cool roofs, which increase the energy efficiency of a house by employing different strategies to reflect sunlight and reduce the energy necessary to cool the home. 

Read also: Spring Maintenance for your Metal Roof


Professional Vs. DIY Metal Roof Cost

Metal roofs are best left to roofing professionals. Some metal roofing materials (like standing seam) can be unwieldy and require multiple people to handle them without denting or deforming the material. Some systems require specialist knowledge.

As I’m keen to point out, safety is another big factor. Wrangling potentially large metal roofing panels on a pitched roof carries many risks, especially in unideal weather conditions. Metal is also slick, so the risk of falling or sliding off the roof increases. Scaffolding, harnesses, and man lifts are all incredibly helpful and reduce risks, and though they’re available to professionals, they’re usually unavailable or impractical for a homeowner. To add to all of that, many tasks like cutting metal roofing can involve operating potentially hazardous power tools.

Installing a Metal Roof Yourself

While I recommend hiring a professional roofing contractor, I’ll give you a brief overview of how to do a metal roof. Even if you don’t do it yourself, it’s good to understand how the roofers install your roof. For simplicity, this description will be for standing seam metal roofs, one of the more common types.

The first step is getting the correct permits. How much the permits are, the process of getting them, and what they require of the roofing installation will vary according to location. Building codes are handled at the municipal and county level in most cases, so those should be your first places to check. Don’t overlook this step. Failure to comply with building codes and permits can lead to you begging legally required to stop work, undo work, or pay fines. 

Once that’s taken care of, the roofing can begin. It’s best to get metal roofs cut to order to avoid having to cut sheets yourself. After that, the process is as follows: underlayment and ice and shield, closure strips along the lower eaves, lay and affix the metal sheets, then install trim and ridge cap. 

The important thing is to get the sheets square to the roof, which you can do by using the ridge and lower edge of the roof as references. A chalk box is great here, as you can snap reference lines to keep you square.

Hiring a Professional for a Metal Roof

You can go about finding a roofing company to do your metal roof the same way you would with an asphalt roof. In fact, many roofing companies do both:

  1. Find local experts near you: Recommendations from friends and family who’ve had work done is a great place to start. The Internet is also fantastic for reading reviews and recommendations.
  2. Get a quote from a few options: Ensure you get a fair price by shopping around and soliciting quotes from multiple companies. Almost all roofing companies do free estimates, so it doesn’t cost you anything to contact multiple companies.
  3. Consult them about their recommendations: If you have any questions, let them know. Otherwise, the roofing contractor will give you their assessment on costs, timelines, and recommendations they have for your choice of roof.
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So, Is a Metal Roof Worth the Cost?

Metal roofs are definitely worth it. There are not many disadvantages associated with metal roofs, and they perform as well as any other roof (better in some capacities). Because of the wide range of metal roofing prices, there’s something there for everyone, no matter their budget. They’re an overall great choice of roof that can increase home value by boosting resale value and even boost energy efficiency.

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FAQs About Metal Roofs

Is it cheaper to get a metal roof or asphalt shingles?

Metal roofs and asphalt shingle roofs can be similar in total cost. It all depends on the type of material and the style. Metal roofs are made of various metals, all with different price points, and asphalt shingles come at different price points as well. For most homeowners wanting a standard option, the price difference between asphalt shingle and metal should be close. However, for more expensive materials like copper, a metal roof will be more expensive than an asphalt shingle roof.


Can you put a metal roof over a shingle roof?

Yes, you can put metal over an existing roof. Metal is a light material, so it doesn’t contribute as much to the overall weight of the roof structure as asphalt shingles. I wouldn’t overlay more than two layers of shingles, however. It’s common practice to overlay one layer of shingle with another new layer to avoid the cost of tearing off the old shingles. So, if your home already has two layers, I suggest having them torn off before installing metal.


What is the cheapest type of metal roof?

At the low end, tin and aluminum are nearly the same price. Depending on factors like your specific location and current availability, you might find one or the other to be lower in price.


Do most roofers install metal roofs?

I wouldn’t say most do, but many do. What kind of metal roofs they install will also depend. Systems like standing seam or corrugated sheet metal are so common most roofers can install them. However, certain other systems, like metal shingles, are less common, so you might have to find a roofing company that specializes in metal roofs to do those.


Editorial Contributors
avatar for Doug Sluga

Doug Sluga

Doug Sluga is a professional roofer and carpenter with ten years of experience in residential and commercial construction. His expertise spans the breadth of the roofing trade from minor repairs to laying shingles to framing trusses. These days he spends most of his time writing about roofing and the roofing industry.

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photo of Andrew Dunn

Andrew Dunn

Senior Editor

Andrew Dunn is a veteran journalist with more than 15 years of experience reporting and editing for local and national publications, including The Charlotte Observer and Business North Carolina magazine. His work has been recognized numerous times by the N.C. Press Association and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. He is also a former general contractor with experience with cabinetry, finish carpentry and general home improvement and repair. Andrew earned a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a certificate in business journalism. He lives in Charlotte, N.C.

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