Metal Roofing Prices – What Drives Them, & How To Take Advantage

Metal roofing prices have for long been a mystery to the uninitiated. Unless you were a roofing contractor or industry insider, you had no clue what determines the price one pays for metal roofing – or indeed whether it was fair and worthwhile. Well, the Internet has changed all that.

And with this short report, let’s whip the covers off one of the age-old myths about metal roofing prices and see what exactly lies behind the curtain. We’ll begin by acknowledging the elephant in the room… Metal roofing is costly.

Yes, even if this fact is skillfully camouflaged under a lot of verbiage and storytelling, the truth is that metal roofing does cost more to install than any other material. Roofing contractors are worried that knowing this will scare prospective clients away, and so they insist on a personal meeting where they can better highlight the value of a metal roofing system before hitting you with the price.

Even if costlier to install, over the lifetime of a roof, your metal roofing system will cost LESS than other choices. But that isn’t the topic of this article. This is about what determines the price of metal roofing, so let’s get on with it.

Residential Metal Roofing Prices

Metal has gone up in price recently. This has forced a rise in the price of metal roofing materials. Metal roofing products currently cost between $3.00 and $11.50 per square foot, or as roofers prefer to quote in squares (100 square feet), $300 to $1150 per square. What may not be clearly stated is that this is what you’ll spend in buying the material alone. Installation will cost you extra. The roof estimate however does cover other material costs like flashing, gable, ridge cap, clips, fasteners and nails for the roof installation process.

If you take the recommended route of adding a under layment for your metal roofing system, it will cost another $30 to $40 per square.

Types of Metal Used in Roofing

G-90 Galvanized Steel

G-90 galvanized steel is a steel sheet covered with zinc to resist corrosion and oxidation. When used for roofing, G-90 galvanized steel is enhanced with Kynar 500 or Hylar 5000 coatings for longer life and protection. This comes in the form of interlocking roof shingles and has excellent fire and wind resistance.

Installation prices for this kind of roofing is approximately $700 per square. But consider this as a base price, which could go higher with special needs like needing to tear off an existing roof, or work around chimneys, dormers or other unusual shapes and features.

Galvalume Steel

Galvalume steel, also called zinc-alum, is a sheet or coil coated with zinc and aluminum for corrosion resistance. Manufacturers charge around $450 per square for this roofing material, a price that covers trim and flashing.

Standing seam roofing is just as good as interlocking roof shingles, and are preferred for commercial roofing. Installation is slightly more expensive, running to around $1000 per square.

Stone Coated Steel

The material costs for stone coated steel roofs is around $400 per square. Used in both commercial and residential roofing, stone coated steel is available in various styles that mimic tile, slate and shake or shingle roofing. These are light weight, resist wind and fire and structurally strong enough to walk on.

Installation of roofing systems based on stone coated steel are $1000 a square and higher.

Aluminum Shingle

Interlocking aluminum shingle roofing lasts longer and is tougher than steel roofing. The cost is comparable to steel, ranging between $400 and $525 per square including trim. This makes it more popular than the other choices these days, plus installation is slightly cheaper at $850 per square.

Aluminum Standing Seam

Aluminum standing seam roofing is comparable to interlocking aluminum shingles, but is a little costlier at $500 per square. Installation, however, is much more complex and therefore expensive. $1100 per square and higher installation costs are not unusual.


Rarely used in residential buildings because of the forbidding cost, copper roofing begins at $1100 per square for the material alone.

Is Material Cost The Biggest Driver of Pricing?

Higher priced material certainly boosts the expense of installing metal roofing. But that isn’t all. It takes far more time and effort to install a metal roof. Metal roofing is complex and involved, requiring specific know how to fix properly. They take thrice as long to install, which is why installation expenses are an important part of overall cost.

Metal roofing installers need rigorous training and experience before they can handle a job. Skilled workers are always at a premium. And application of a quality metal roofing system needs highly trained pros.

So expect to pay $750 per square for relatively simple installations of metal roofing, and up to $1500 per square for more complicated work. And when you start to worry about this high cost, think about the fact that properly installed metal roofing will last a very long time, which is why metal roofing has the lowest life cycle cost of all conventional roofs today.

Let’s end with some good news. Because services are the large part of metal roofing cost, you may well be able to negotiate a good rate. Sharpen up those bargaining chops before you go hunting for a metal roofing contractor.

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