Metal Roofing Cost Vs. Asphalt Shingles in 2020: Shingles, Standing Seam

Modern residential metal roofs offer a great number of important benefits, with prices similar to what you would normally expect to pay for cedar shingle or shakes, but less than clay tiles, and far less than the cost of slate.

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On average, a new metal roof is about two to three times more expensive than asphalt shingles, but residential grade metal roofing does offer many great benefits in return for its more expensive price tag.

The cost of materials and installation will largely depend upon the type of metal, the style and profile of metal roofing you choose, and the overall size and relative complexity of your roof. The cost of installation will also vary greatly depending on your location.

What to Expect in Terms of Costs to Install a Metal Roof?

You should be prepared to spend a minimum of $7.50 per sq. ft. or $750 per square (100 square feet) to have a new metal shingles roof installed on a typical house. — This would be the least price to have a steel shingles roof installed over the existing roof, with no tear off. However, you will have to pay more if you want to get a more premium/expensive system or materials.

For example, you should budget at least $10.00 per sq. ft. or $1,000 per square for the installation of a base-level steel standing seam roof such as the one pictured in below:

steel standing-seam-metal-roof

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Average Cost of Materials:

Steel shingle roofing materials cost about $275 to $400 per 100 square feet of roof surface, while custom-fabricated standing seam panels will cost about $400 and $550 per square (100 sq. ft.) for the materials alone.

The exact cost of materials will largely depend on the number of panels you need. — If you need only a few panels, then your costs will be quite a bit higher compared to a larger project on a per square foot basis.

Aluminum shingles/standing seam roofing is generally more expensive than steel G-90, or Galvalume Steel. Typically, you will need to spend a minimum of $400 per square (100 sq. ft.) for materials alone. — This does include all the necessary flashing and trim.

Total Average Cost to Install a Metal Roof Including Materials, Installation, and Warranty:

When you add the cost of materials plus the installation and warranty costs, it will bring your total average base cost to about $7.50 per square foot or $750 per square for a steel shingles roof installed on a simple gable roof.

Note that the cost could go up to as much as $12.00 per square foot or $1,200 per square for a more complex roof structure.

For aluminum shingles, which is a step up from steel, your total average installation cost would be about $8.50 to $12.50 per square foot or $800 to $1,250 per square of aluminum shingles installed.

For standing seam, whether it be aluminum, G-90 steel, or Galvalume, your total average base cost would hover around $10.00 to $15.00 per square foot or $1,000 to 1,500 per square installed on a typical house.

Copper and Zinc Roofs

Aged Copper Standing Seam Metal Roof Copper or zinc roofs are significantly more expensive than aluminum or steel roofs. The materials for a zinc and copper roof panels run between $6.00 and $10.00 per sq. ft. for zinc, and between $9.00 and $16.00 per sq. ft. for copper.

Installation costs will vary quite a bit, depending on the roof size, ease of access, overall complexity of the job, and your home’s location.

Installation Costs

It will typically cost between $4.50 and $5.50 per square foot to install copper or zinc shingles, while copper standing seam will cost approximately $5.00 to $10.00 per square foot to install, plus the cost of the materials.

Total Cost Installed for Zinc and Copper Roofs

When you add up the cost of materials and labor, it will cost roughly $10.00 to $12.00 per sq. ft. to install zinc shingles, while copper shingles will cost on average $13.00 to $18.00 per sq. ft. to install.

Zinc standing seam will cost about $12.00 to $18.00 per sq. ft. to install, while copper will cost between $15.00 and $25.00 per sq. ft. to install, depending on the thickness of copper panels, project size, and your property’s location.

Recouped Value and Property Appreciation

Metal Roofs can be a sound investment that pays for itself through energy efficiency resulting in lower home cooling costs, reliability and longevity eliminating the need for any unnecessary roof maintenance and repairs, and the risk of premature roof failures. Metal roofing also has a great resale return value, as can be seen in the data shown in the table below:

recouped cost and property appreciation

Life-cycle Cost

Metal roofing actually has the lowest life-cycle cost out of all other roofing systems as can be seen in a diagram below:


Metal roofs that were installed in accordance with a manufacturer’s specifications, are bound to last for a very long time, thereby saving you money on a few predictably-regular roof repairs and replacements that you would otherwise have to pay for with an asphalt shingles roof.

A good quality metal roof can last as long as your home or building structure itself, while requiring virtually no maintenance, lowering your homeowner’s insurance, and providing sizable gains in your home’s energy efficiency, particularly during summer.

Why Install a Metal Roof?

Once a metal roof has been professionally installed, it will not require the sort of regular maintenance that other roofing materials, particularly cedar shakes and asphalt shingles, may require.

Metal is a sustainable building material that is also very strong and durable. Your new metal roof should not require any unexpected repairs that are often associated with the often-premature failures of asphalt shingle roofs. Thus, you will have a long lasting and reliable roof that not only looks great, but also saves you money through energy savings and more.

standing seam

Metal roofing can also create an attractive building exterior and provide important benefits for energy efficiency by helping to keep buildings at an even temperature, particularly in warm climates where energy may otherwise have to be spent on cooling the home.

Class A Fire Rating

Unlike cedar shakes and many types of asphalt shingle, metal roofing is not a fire hazard, so it can be a safe option in areas that are at a high risk of fire.

Verdict: There are numerous benefits and many good reasons to installing metal roofing for your home, as long as you plan on living there for a while. For someone who only plans to stay in their home for a few years before selling, an asphalt roof will probably be a more appropriate option cost-wise.

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