Types of Metal Roofing You Can Use to Improve Your Home

So, you finally decided to revamp your house. Topping your list is giving your metal roof an upgrade. Maybe it’s getting old or always leaking, or you just want to make it look better.

But you also understand that the entire roofing project can be expensive. For example, home services website Angi estimatesroofing replacement costs to be between $5,300 and $11,000.

What you don’t realize is that there are different types of metal roofing—and they vary in cost and benefits. So why stick to your old roof material if you could find a metal roof equally durable but affordable? Let this article walk you through your metal roof material options.

 What Are The Types of Metal Roofing?

metal roof

Aluminum

Aluminum is the most lightweight metal roof material available. Despite its lightness, aluminum is very durable. Its strength-to-weight ratio is higher than the other types of metal roofing for homes.

In direct definition, the strength-to-weight ratio is the ratio of a material’s strength divided by its density or mass. In simple terms, it refers to how long a piece of material can suspend on its weight when vertically placed and supported on top only.

It means that when you choose aluminum, you’ll get the same amount of strength from your roof without needing to work on heavy material.

Aluminum’s strength-to-weight ratio is higher than other metal roof materials, such as steel. You’ll get the same amount of strength without the heavy material.

The other advantages of aluminum are:

  • Long lifespan: Aluminum roofing has an average lifespan of 50 years. It is also easy to maintain. 
  • Corrosion resistance: Roofs made from aluminum do not rust, making them perfect for homes in coastal climates. Heavy rainfall or sea salt sprays do not affect them. 
  • Malleability: Aluminum can be configured into different profiles quite easily. It also comes in different colors, providing you with many design ideas for your roof.

In terms of disadvantages, aluminum is prone to denting. Because of its highly malleable nature, it’s softer than other metal materials. If you install aluminum roofing, you might notice visible damage after a hailstorm or from fallen debris.

Aluminum roofing may also be hard to find, especially if you’re not located along the coast. This is because fewer suppliers are offering this type of roofing today. The lack of availability is what makes it more expensive than most roofing materials.

To give you an idea, here are the cost estimates of two popular aluminum roofs:

 

Corrugated Aluminum Roofing

  • Cost per square foot: $2 to $4
  • Installation cost: $4 to $6 per sq.ft.
  • Estimated total cost (materials and labor): $6 to $10 per sq.ft.

Standing Seam Aluminum Roofing

  • Cost per square foot: $4 to $6
  • Installation cost: $6 to $8 per sq.ft.
  • Estimated total cost (materials and labor): $10 to $14 per sq.ft. 

red roof

Galvanized Steel

Steel is made from iron and other elements. For galvanized steel, it is iron-coated in a protective layer of zinc. Galvanized steel is one of three steel roof types:

  • Galvanized Steel – The most common steel roofing material
  • Galvalume Steel – A highly corrosion-resistant version of steel
  • Weathering Steel – Primarily used in heavy steel industries like bridge construction

Galvanized steel is often used on commercial buildings but is gaining popularity in residential properties due to its:

  • Low Maintenance: Compared to the other types of metal roofs, steel roofs require minimal maintenance. At most, you can have it checked and cleaned once a year or after major weather events.
  • Durable Material: If installed properly, you can expect your steel roof to withstand physical damage, hail, and even winds reaching 140 mph. Steel will not rot or have any problems with mildew. It is also very resistant to fire.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Despite having an average lifespan of 40 years, steel roofing is the cheapest roof material available in the market. It usually carries longer warranties as well.

Galvanized steel is inexpensive and is usually an ideal choice for remodels and restoration.

Here are the average prices of two types of steel roofing:

 

Exposed Fastener Roofing Panels

  • Cost per square foot: $1 to $2
  • Installation cost: $2 to $4 per sq.ft.
  • Estimated total cost (materials and labor): $5 to $8 per sq.ft.

Standing Seam Roofing Panels

  • Cost per square foot: $2 to $4
  • Installation cost: $6 to $8 per sq.ft.
  • Estimated total cost (materials and labor): $8 to $12 per sq.ft.

Galvanized steel does come with some disadvantages. For one, it’s a lot heavier than the other metal roofing types. It can add more load to your house and increase stress on the structure, so make sure your foundation is strong.

It’s also not as corrosion-resistant as other metal roofs. This makes steel roofing less effective and less durable near the coast or in an area with excessive moisture.  

roof

Copper

Copper is considered the grandfather of metal roofing. It’s been used around the world for centuries because of its unique and striking appearance.

Most houses use copper as an accent design feature instead of being the actual roof.

This kind of metal roofing is very lightweight and easy to install. It’s also 100% recyclable, making it an excellent green roof option. Some of its advantages are:

  • Long lifespan: Copper roofing can outlast any other type of roof. It can last for 60 to 100 years and more, depending on the environment.
  • Attractive: Copper roofing changes its color over time based on the climate it is exposed to. Typically, it changes from its original copper color to blue-green. If you’re looking for a traditional-looking roof, then copper is a wonderful choice.
  • Corrosion-resistant: It naturally develops a layer of protection against rust and corrosion. It makes this type of metal roofing safe to use near the ocean.

Copper is an extremely soft metal, making this type of roofing vulnerable to dent and other forms of damage caused by hail or falling debris. It is also one of the more expensive metal roofing options. This is why many houses use copper as an accent design feature instead of being the actual roof.

 

Corrugated Copper Roofing

  • Cost per square foot: $7 to $9
  • Installation cost: $5 to $7 per sq.ft.
  • Estimated total cost (materials and labor): $12 to $16 per sq.ft.

Standing Seam Copper Roofing

  • Cost per square foot: $9 to $12
  • Installation cost: $7 to $9 per sq.ft.
  • Estimated total cost (materials and labor): $16 to $21 per sq.ft.

Zinc

Zinc roofing is similar to copper in almost every way. It’s a beautiful and dependable type of roof material with a very high price tag. It’s a favorite among commercial projects because it can be transformed into various shapes. It’s also highly lightweight, with some contractors installing zinc on top of an existing roof as added protection.

Zinc roof has the unique ability to heal itself from minor damage like scratches.

Zinc roofing also changes color over time. An unpainted zinc roof will naturally turn from dark grey into a bluish-grey color. This can provide your home with a modern and striking aesthetic.

Some of the advantages of zinc roofing include:

  • Long lifespan: Similar to copper, zinc roofing is referred to as a “lifetime roof”. It has a lifespan of 80 to 100 years.
  • Corrosion-resistant: It creates a protective layer that prevents any form of corrosion and rust. This makes it another great choice for houses close to the beach.
  • Ability to self-heal: Zinc roof has the unique ability to heal itself from minor damage like scratches. It forms a layer called zinc hydroxyl-carbonate that allows it to recover over time.

One of its major disadvantages is its limited availability in the United States. Zinc roofing panels are difficult to find and purchase due to the limited number of suppliers in the country. Most of these suppliers have to import the material from Europe, where zinc roofing is more commonplace.

Due to its limited availability, it is the most expensive material available. It is not the right choice if you are on a strict budget.

 

Corrugated Zinc Roofing

  • Cost per square foot: $9 to $12
  • Installation cost: $5 to $7 per sq.ft.
  • Estimated total cost (materials and labor): $14 to $19 per sq.ft.

Standing Seam Zinc Roofing

  • Cost per square foot: $12 to $14
  • Installation cost: $7 to $9 per sq.ft.
  • Estimated total cost (materials and labor): $19 to $23 per sq.ft.

Popular Roofing Systems for Metal Roofs

Many roofing styles are popular in residential properties, such as asphalt shingles or fiberglass sheets. You may choose them if aesthetics is your main purpose.

However, these roofing materials are not as long-lasting and sustainable as metal. So, many contractors are now using metal to recreate traditionally well-loved roofing systems. Check out the different types of metal roofing systems you can opt to install.

Metal Roof Shakes

Metal roof shakes mimic the warm and wooden aesthetic of cedar roofing, but with added durability. It also provides more fire and insect resistance than regular cedar and will never split.

Metal shake roofing comes with a variety of designs and colors that will suit various architectural styles.

Metal Roof Tiles

Metal tile roofing is a lighter and sturdier alternative to concrete or clay tiles. It also comes in a variety of tile profiles and colors that fit any modern architectural style.

Metal roof tiles are more weather resistant than concrete or clay tiles. They are less likely to detach during high wind or lease during heavy rain. They are also earthquake resistant.

Metal Roof Slates

Metal slate roofing is the metallic version of the classic slate roofing. One of the main drawbacks of classic slate roofing is its extreme weight, especially if it’s made from asphalt or concrete.

Metal slate roofs have the advantage of classic slate roofs, such as energy efficiency and attractiveness, but without the weight.

Corrugated Metal Roofs

Corrugated metal roofing is a sheet that is roll-formed into panels. It provides the iconic “wavy” look you’re familiar with in traditional metal roofs. It is often called the quintessential American metal panel due to the many homes that have it.

This metal roofing system is known for its durability and structural stability. It’s also flexible and adaptable, making it the favorite of many builders.

Metal Roof Shingles

Metal shingles are a popular type of residential roofing. It offers an authentic and traditional look while providing a high level of protection, longevity, and durability.

It comes with different metal shingle styles and colors. Galvanized steel and aluminum are often used in this type of roofing system.

Galvalume Roofs

Galvalume roof sheets are an enhanced version of galvanized steel. Galvalume is an alloy made from zinc, aluminum, and silicon. It is designed as corrugated roofing sheets.

This type of metal roof has enhanced corrosion and heat resistance. It can also resist rust, harsh weather, and fires. It has self-healing properties as well, like copper.

Black Metal Roofing

Black metal roofs are a growing trend in modern house design and architecture. It offers the same level of protection and durability as most metal roofing systems but offers a sleek design. The unique and striking appearance of trendy black roofs will make your home stand out. It will also highlight details of your roof, like ridgelines and valleys.

Conclusion

metal roof

There are several material options available when it comes to metal roofing and a wide variety of popular roofing systems to choose from. Each material or style has its advantages and drawbacks. At the end of the day, the secret to improving your home effectively is your ability to plan.

Choosing the right metal will depend on how you want your home to look, how much you are willing to spend, and how competent your roofing contractor will be. With the right amount of planning and hard work, your home can look and feel like the best one in your neighborhood.

If you want to learn more about current metal roofing styles and other roof materials, get in touch with G.H. Clark Contractors. We offer reliable home improvements and roofing services in Maryland for any home design, preference, or budget.

RoofingTypes of Metal Roofing You Can Use to Improve Your Home