Standing seam metal roofing becomes more common every day as homeowners learn how durable, low-maintenance, long-lasting, and energy-efficient it is. But you must be prepared to pay a high price for all those benefits. A standing seam metal roof costs between $18,000 and $40,000 for a national average price of $29,000.
The size of your roof and the specific metal roof panels you choose are the biggest factors in figuring out your standing seam metal roof cost. Rates, including labor and materials, usually range from $675 to $1,800 per square (one roofing square equals 100 square feet).
On This Page:
- How much does a standing seam metal roof cost?
- Cost by Roof Size
- Other Cost Factors
- Additional Services
- Pros and Cons of Standing Seam Metal Roofing
- Standing Seam Metal Roofing Cost by Location
- FAQ About Standing Seam Metal Roofs
How much does a standing seam metal roof cost?
- National average cost: $29,000
- Typical price range: $18,000 – $41,000
- Extreme low end: $8,500
- Extreme high end: $100,000
While most homeowners in the U.S. will spend about $18,000 to $41,000 for a new standing seam metal roof, your final bill could look a lot different. Many variables of your project can raise or lower your costs. How large is your roof? Will this be a whole new roof for a new construction home, or will the roofers need to remove old shingles? What is the cost of labor in your area?
Depending on your project specifics, you could end up with a total cost closer to the low end of $8,500. Projects in this price range include small homes of 1,000 square feet or less, cheaper metals such as steel, and higher-gauge steel (meaning thinner steel).
High-end projects can cost as much as $100,000. You can expect a high cost like this if your home is 4,000 square feet or larger. Premium materials such as thick copper and zinc can also drive your costs into this range.
Cost by Roof Size
When budgeting for your standing seam metal roof installation, the biggest factor will be the size of your roof. Roof size determines how many metal panels and how many hours of labor the project will take.
Don’t know the size of your roof? There’s an easy way to estimate it using the square footage of your home:
1.5 x square footage of home = roof size
This formula won’t give the exact size of your roof, but it will give you a ballpark figure you can use to estimate your budget.
The roofing materials themselves and the labor to install them cost between $675 and $1,800 per square, resulting in an average cost of $1,200 per square.
Note: Roofers measure roofing projects in “squares.” Each square is equivalent to 100 square feet of roof.
We used the average price of $1,200 per square to estimate a standing seam metal roof cost for homes of different sizes. If you plan to use a higher quality metal such as aluminum, copper, or zinc, you should calculate your approximate total cost using the high-end rate of $1,800 per square.
If you plan to use the most affordable materials possible, use $675 per square for your budget estimate.
|HOME SQUARE FOOTAGE||APPROXIMATE ROOF SQUARE FOOTAGE||NUMBER OF SQUARES||APPROXIMATE TOTAL COST (based on average per-square cost)|
Other Cost Factors
In addition to the size of your roof, the specific materials you use will determine where your budget falls on the price range. We’ll break down installation costs further by type of metal, type of locking mechanism on the panels, and color.
Cost by Type of Metal
There’s a common misconception that all standing seam metal roofing panels are made of steel or Galvalume, a type of steel that includes a zinc-aluminum alloy coating for corrosion resistance.
But if you’re willing to pay a higher price, you can find many copper, zinc, or aluminum standing seam panels. The main benefit of these premium metals is their natural rust resistance. Aluminum and copper won’t rust at all, and zinc, though it can rust in some conditions, is far more corrosion-resistant than steel.
Note: All steel, even galvanized steel or corrosion-resistant Galvalume steel, will eventually rust.
|TYPE OF METAL||TYPICAL PRICE RANGE|
|Galvanized or Galvalume steel||$325 – $775 per square|
|Copper||$600 – $1,450 per square|
|Zinc||$700 – $1,750 per square|
|Aluminum||$895 – $1,565 per square|
Cost of Snap Lock vs. Mechanical Lock Metal Panels
The difference between snap lock and mechanical lock panels lies in how the individual panels connect to each other
Snap lock panels have fasteners (aka “locks” or “seams”) directly attached to them. The panel itself and the fastener are all one piece. Panels simply “snap” together without any seaming or specialized tools. Snap lock panels are only an option for roofs with a pitch (slope) of 3:12 and up.
Cost of snap lock panels: The panels themselves might cost more than mechanical lock panels, but you’ll spend less on labor costs because snap lock panels are so much easier and quicker to install.
Mechanical lock panels, aka field-locked panels, take more work and expertise to install. Pros have to use a specialized tool to crimp and seal the edges of panels together. There are single-locked and double-locked versions. Both tend to withstand high-speed winds better than snap lock panels.
Cost of mechanical lock panels: Double-locked panels take longer to install, so they will cost you more than single-locked options. For either, expect higher labor costs and lower material costs than with snap lock panels.
Cost by Color
One of the benefits of metal roofing is that you can paint it pretty much any color you want, as opposed to the limited color options of traditional asphalt shingles.
Metal panels in custom colors may cost more than standard factory colors. Some colors may also cost more because of high demand. You’ll have to talk to your installer or roofing material supplier to find out which colors that they offer and which are more or less expensive.
Most high-quality roofing panels come with a Kynar 500 coating, which protects from color fading and chalking (a white residue that can build up on painted metal surfaces). Kynar 500 coatings come with a 30-year warranty. They also increase the cost of materials.
Note: Light colors absorb less heat, so they keep your home cooler in summer and are more energy-efficient.
When you get a new metal roof installed, there are related services that you’ll inevitably have to pay for, too, whether now or later. We’ll go over the costs of some of those services here.
Cost to Remove Old Roof
Unless your home is a new construction project, it already has a roof. Roofers will have to do a roof replacement, which involves removing the old asphalt shingles, wood shakes, or whatever material you had before.
Removing an existing roof typically costs about $100 to $165 per square of material to be removed.
Cost of Roof Repairs and Maintenance
Metal roofs are low-maintenance, but that doesn’t mean you can leave them alone for 50 years and expect them to stay in good shape. They do need some occasional maintenance and — rare though they may be — roof repairs.
Possible repair and maintenance needs for standing seam metal roofs:
- Oil canning: Caused by mistakes in the installation or manufacturing process, oil canning gives metal panels a wavy appearance. Don’t worry too much about oil canning, as it doesn’t affect the function of your roof.
The annoying thing about oil canning is that there’s no way to fix it once the panels are installed. The wavy appearance might go away after the metal has a few years to settle, or it might not.
Oil canning is less visible in roofs with light colors and low-gloss finishes.
- Leaks: Metal roofs don’t spring leaks often, but loosening seams or panels can sometimes cause leaks. Repairs could range from sealing two panels back together (which shouldn’t be too expensive) to replacing a whole panel if it’s faulty or warped. Replacing an entire panel will cost a few hundred dollars because you have to pay for the material and labor.
- Cleaning: If you want your metal roof to last as long as it possibly can, have it professionally cleaned at least every few years. Metal roof cleaning usually involves a high-pressure wash, which costs about $0.20 to $0.70 per square foot.
- Recoating: Depending on the quality of the coating on your metal panels, you may need to have them recoated after a while. Kynar 500, one of the most common metal roof coatings, comes with a 30-year warranty, so you won’t have to worry about recoating for a long time.
Pros and Cons of Standing Seam Metal Roofing
Pros of standing seam metal roofing:
- Can last the entire lifetime of your home; many metal roofs come with a warranty of 50+ years
- Much less likely to leak or need repairs than other roof types
- EPA considers metal roofing a type of “cool roof,” which means less energy waste and lower HVAC bills
- Durable through severe wind, rain, hail, and snow
- More color options than shingles and other popular roofing materials
- Easier to install solar power panels on a standing seam metal roof because of the raised seams
- High ROI on resale: Typically in the range of 70% – 95%
Cons of standing seam metal roofing:
- High upfront cost
- May have a hard time finding local roofing companies that can install standing seam metal panels
- Not suitable for flat or low-pitch roofs
- Can be difficult and expensive to fix and may require a complete do-over, if incorrectly installed or if the roof is damaged
Standing Seam Metal Roofing Cost by Location
As with any roof type, a standing seam metal roof cost can vary significantly based on the cost of living in your area. Labor costs in metropolitan areas like New York City, Los Angeles, or Chicago will be much higher than in rural areas. Materials will typically cost more in urban areas, too.
Because accurate costs for you depend entirely on where you live, we recommend getting price quotes from at least three local pros. These quotes should give you a good idea of how much you can expect to spend.
FAQ About Standing Seam Metal Roofs
Standing seam metal roofs use metal panels that connect to each other with unexposed fasteners, which makes them more durable and less prone to damage than other roof types.
The metal used for standing seam roofing is typically thicker and more durable than other styles of metal roofs, such as metal shingles.
Yes, the materials and labor will cost a lot more for standing seam metal roofing than for traditional shingles. As a tradeoff for the extra upfront cost, you’ll spend less on maintenance, repairs, and replacements over the years.
A standing seam metal roof usually lasts at least 50 years. Some last up to 100 years. The better you maintain your roof, the longer it will last.
No. You should never attempt to DIY any large roofing project because of the many safety hazards. You especially shouldn’t try to install standing seam metal roofing because it takes expertise and specialty tools to do it right (remember, even most roofing pros can’t install it).
Standing seam metal roofing is one of the most expensive roofing options. A full installation typically costs between $18,000 and $41,000, or $29,000 on average.
If you can afford it, standing seam metal roofing is well worth the high upfront cost. It can last a lifetime, and it rarely needs maintenance or repairs. Plus, metal roofs reduce the amount of energy you need to heat or cool your home, decreasing HVAC costs.
In the long run, this pricey roofing material will actually save you money.
Are you ready for a standing seam metal roof installation? Find a metal roof specialist near you to get started today.
Main Photo Credit: Cheryl A. Meyere / Shutterstock