Metal roofs are expensive. But you get more value out of it than any asphalt shingle in the market. If you’ve got the budget for it, the aesthetics and practical benefits will be worth it.

So, if you’re planning on making the switch or installing a new roof with metal as the material, stick around. In this article, we’ll be discussing:

  • Things to consider before installing a metal roof.
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Pros and Cons

Should I Invest in Metal Roofing: Things to Consider

Metal roofing won’t be the best solution for every homeowner. You’d need a roofing inspection checklist which includes the following for metal roofing:


Your budget ultimately decides what type of roof you can go for. But that doesn’t mean you can’t affordable metal roofing materials.

For the overall installation, materials, labor, and miscellaneous costs, expect to spend $850 to $1600 per roofing square foot.

Metal roofing is heavier than asphalt shingles. It may require structural changes to your home to support it—which is another cost to consider.


Does your roof already have underlayment? Installing metal roofing directly over plywood will cost you more than the materials themselves.

Make sure to have underlayment such as felt and a slip sheet installed to avoid damage. Skipping this makes your metal roof prone to leaks or wood rot.


Metal roofing, with all its benefits, is still a great heat conductor. A bad roofing job leads to hotter summers and cold winters due to heat loss.

Common materials used as insulation for metal roofs include fiberglass batts, foam boards, and polyurethane foams. Get a quote from your contractors to find which one works best for you.

Breaking Down the Costs of Metal Roof Installation

The cost of installing a metal roof depends on where you are, the available materials, and the layout of your home. On average, you’re expected to pay anywhere between $1 to $25 per square foot of metal roofing materials. Labor can cost between $2 to $14 per square foot.

A large chunk of the budget for installation goes to the materials. There are several to choose from with the most popular being the following:

Steel Roof

Steel is incredibly durable yet versatile. The average price per roofing square ranges between $500 to $1700. The wide range already accounts for the different types of steel you can go for.

You can use corrugated sheets of steel, galvanized steel that is sold in tiles or shingles, or higher-end steel with specialized coatings to boost the aesthetic and strength of the materials.

For a more premium feel, stainless steel is an excellent choice. The lifespan of this metal roof can last up to 100 years. It’s great against harsh weather, rust, and corrosion.

Aluminum Roof

If you’re looking for a more sustainable metal roofing material, aluminum can be your go-to. Most products are made from recyclable aluminum.

It helps deflect sunlight, keeping your house cooler during hotter days. This alone can help reduce the need for AC and other cooling devices.

You can expect to pay $8 to $18 per square foot for both labor and installation. The best part is, even with minimal maintenance or repairs, aluminum roofs can last up to 50 years.

Copper Roof

The most expensive metal roofing material you could purchase is copper. Expect to pay between $20 to $40 per square foot for this premium material.

The average size of a roof in the US is roughly 3,000 square feet. That’s $120,000 for labor and materials.

Copper roofs can last for over a century. Exposing the patina in copper to sunlight also helps its aesthetics despite wear and tear over the years.

Zinc Roof

Zinc’s patina strengthens its durability against the elements. Harsh weather like storms, snow, and even hail would have a hard time damaging this material.

It’s not as expensive as copper but it does cost more than steel roofing at $16 to $25 per square foot for both materials and installation.

Luckily, you do save in the long run. Because of its protective layering and resilience to damage, zinc roofs won’t need much maintenance.

Tin Roof

Most modern tin roofs you’d find in your neighborhood are made from steel with a tin coating. This sets you back between $10 to $23 per square foot—materials and labor included.

The issue is that tin isn’t a popular choice for most homeowners. You’d need proper maintenance to make it last and it’s prone to rust, corrosion, and damage from the elements.

Metal Roofing Material Shape

The shape of the materials and how they’re packaged also affect the price. On average, homeowners pay the following per square foot of installation:

  • Metal shingles: $6 to $22
  • Tiles: $14 to $25
  • Standing Seam: $9 to $24
  • Shakes: $13 to $25
  • Corrugated sheets: $4 to $26

Pros and Cons of Metal Roofing

If you’re still on the fence about installing a metal roof, here’s a list of pros and cons to help you make a decision.

Metal Roofing Pros

  • Most metal roofs are strong and durable. Some can last up to centuries.
  • It’s aesthetically pleasing and can fit in almost any home design.
  • Metal roofs are often made with recycled materials. The roofs themselves are 100% recyclable.
  • Reflective coating on most metal roofs can help reduce electricity costs by up to 25% according to Metal Roofing
  • Alliance thanks to its ability to keep your house cool.

Metal Roofing Cons

  • Metal roofing materials can cost significantly more than asphalt shingles.
  • Not every home can install metal roofs, especially if it’s not structurally sound.
  • Large objects that hit your roof can cause dents.

Key Takeaways

Metal is an excellent choice for material if you want your roof to last. The biggest thing you need to be concerned with is your budget. It decides whether or not you can go for a metal roof.

But, before asking for a quote from your local contractors, consider the following:

  • Check if your roof’s underlayment supports metal roofing installation.
  • Insulation is essential to ensure your home doesn’t get too hot or cold.
  • The most popular choices for metal roof materials include steel, aluminum, zinc, copper, and tin.
  • The average cost for both installation and materials across all types is between $2 to $14.
  • Ask professionals to properly install metal roofing to avoid injuries and damages.

If you’re living in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, Trenton Roofing has you covered for all your metal roofing installation needs. Get a free quote today!

Alex Valentino

Alex Valentino – Vice President

Leading the way for the company’s second generation of family and employee ownership, Alex’s mission is to create lasting relationships built on trust and respect by providing uncompromising workmanship and unparalleled customer service. With a focus on safety and consumer education, Trenton Roofing strives to set the bar for the advancement of the roofing industry and the betterment of our local communities. When he is not working, Alex can be found traveling with his fiancée, watching football or playing a relaxing round of golf with his friends.