Metal Roof Installation

workers installing new metal roof Highland Home Services

Metal roofs have many benefits that are difficult to overlook. They can withstand hurricanes, storms, hail, and fires. They have a long lifespan of up to 50 years or more, making them hardy. Due to their capacity to reflect heat from the sun, they can reduce energy use. They practically require no maintenance when fitted properly.

Important public structures in America began to get copper and lead roofs in the 18th century.  As mass-produced steel started to cover common homes and barns by the middle of the 1800s, metal roofing continued to become increasingly widespread. By the 1920s, paint coatings that gave color and durability to both aluminum and steel roofs as well as lightweight, no-rust metal had entered the market.

Metal roofing is once again in demand today. In the past 20 years, its popularity has almost quadrupled. A metal roof can increase a home’s resale value by up to 6% in some areas, while costing more because the components and professional labor are expensive. Next, we’ll look at some materials and design options to think about, as well as how to complete the project correctly so your house will remain dry and cool for years to come.

Professional Installation

Every year, an increasing number of homeowners choose metal roofing. No other roofing solution can match a metal roof system for your home or commercial property’s lifespan of 40 years or more, energy efficiency, and low maintenance expenses.

You might have concerns about the installation of a metal roof, which we shall discuss in this article, as with any building project.

Finding a reputable contractor with experience installing metal roofing is one of the most crucial aspects of your new metal roof. Similar to traditional shingle roofs, improper installs and subpar workmanship can cause problems with performance (such as leaks) and appearance.

You may choose the ideal metal roofing system for your budget, building, or house with the assistance of a roofing contractor with experience and knowledge in metal roofing.

Both selecting the right metal roof system and hiring a skilled and experienced contractor are crucial for your metal roof installation.

Your roofing contractor will be able to respond to inquiries about your metal roof job once you’ve hired them. Here are some broad ideas on what to anticipate with a normal metal roof installation in the interim.

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Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs for Your Home

Here are some things to consider whether you’re thinking of installing one or buying a house that already has a metal roof.

There are a variety of materials available, whether you’re building a new house and need a roof or your old roof needs to be completely redone. Metal roofs, however, can be a desirable alternative due to their durability, low maintenance requirements, and energy efficiency, regardless of the type of roof you have. Steel (galvanized, galvalume, or weathering), aluminum, copper, zinc, and tin are among the available materials. There are three different product types: vertical seam, pre-formed panels, and granular coated panels. You can choose a particular look for your home, such as shingles, slate, tile, shakes, or vertical panels.

Make sure your metal roofing product has undergone stringent wind, fire, and impact resistance rating testing and is labeled, listed, and approved by a testing agency like UL. Please keep in mind that installation can differ depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations, the manufacturer’s instructions, and the local building codes.

Advantages of Metal Roofs

Numerous advantages of metal roofing include:


Depending on the material, metal roofs can endure 40 to 70 years. The lifespan of conventional asphalt roofing materials is thought to be between 12 and 20 years.


Some metal roofs, when properly built, can withstand wind gusts of up to 140 mph, won’t corrode or split, and may even be impact-resistant (depending on which product you choose). Furthermore, metal roofs don’t require the regular, expensive maintenance that other roofing materials frequently need. To ensure that no repairs are necessary, they should be examined periodically.


During a wildfire or lightning strike, metal roofs won’t spark and catch fire.

Energy Efficiency

By reflecting the UV and infrared light rays from the sun that contribute to radiant heat on the roof surface, metal roofs can reduce cooling expenses by 10 to 25 percent.

Environmentally Friendly

Metal roofs are 100 percent recyclable at the end of their life as a roof in addition to having a recycled content of 25 to 95 percent, depending on the material used. In comparison, up to 20 billion pounds of shingle tear-off garbage annually is added to the building-related waste stream.

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Disadvantages of Metal Roofs

Metal roofs provide a number of benefits, but they could also have some disadvantages.


When compared to other roofing materials, metal roofs can cost up to two or three times as much. Although a metal roof has a significantly longer lifespan, buying one only makes sense if you intend to live in your house for a long enough period of time to benefit from the cost savings.


Depending on the type of decking, such as spaced or solid, used during installation, metal roofs may be noisier than other goods during a strong downpour or hailstorm . This issue can occasionally be resolved by increasing attic insulation, however doing so could raise expenditures.

Fasteners, expansion, and contraction

Large panels made of metal roofing material assembly are intended to expand and contract with temperature changes. However, the lifespans of exposed and hidden fasteners differ. Neoprene washers and the screws used during installation may deteriorate and become loose over time depending on the temperature.

Color matching

Years later, if a repair is necessary or a home addition is made, it could be challenging to find an exact match for the metal.


Anywhere on the roof where water collects due to subpar installation or repair can eventually result in significant damage. Additionally, low-grade metals may have thinner gauge and be weaker. Some metals are more prone to rusting in particular environments or denting during installation or hailstorms than others.

Metal Roof Installation Methods

Both new construction and retrofit projects use metal roofs.

New Construction

The installation of the metal roof panels takes place once the building shell is finished in new construction. The installation of the roof is frequently anticipated by the general contractor since once it is done, the building should be waterproof and interior finishing work may start.


Metal panels installed over old shingle roof with underlayment Highland Home Services

The roofing contractor’s basic choices for retrofit jobs are recover/overlay or remove and replace. The recover/overlay option keeps the current roof in place and avoids the necessity for and cost of removing and disposing of the old roof and supporting materials.

The contractor may advise using a remove and replace approach when recover/overlay is not a practical alternative. There are many considerations that go into this choice, but here are two typical justifications for removing and replacing.

Local construction codes frequently determine whether a remove and replace is necessary. The majority of municipalities permit recover applications for either one or two layers of shingles already in place. The current roof will need to be removed if the number of shingle layers is too many per code.

There may be water-damaged wood decking that has to be replaced if the current roof had any leaks. To find out if there is water damage, your roofing contractor should thoroughly inspect the current roof.

Tear off the old roof

Although old asphalt shingles can be covered with heavily embossed metal panels, a complete tear-off of the existing roof is advised. By doing this, the danger of a leak can be decreased since the sheathing and flashing can be examined (and, if necessary, changed) before the new roof is put in position.

If everything else is equal, your new roof will be finished more quickly the less tear-off, demolition, or repair work that needs to be done and the less expensive your installation will be.

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Metal Roof Installation Components

Any installation job for a metal roof must have the following essential elements.


The material used to cover the rafters and joists is referred to as the substrate. To form the roof surface for the underlayment and metal panel attachment, this is typically made of plywood, planking, or OSB (oriented strand board), which is fastened to the top of the roof frame components.


In contrast to felt paper, an early generation underlayment, most metal roofing contractors use synthetic underlayment, which have many advantages. Underlayment made of synthetic materials are simpler to install, more durable, and able to withstand prolonged exposure to the elements.

Metal Roof Panels

To fit every type of property and price range, metal roof panels are available in a variety of sizes and colors. Your metal roof contractor or supplier can assist you in sorting through all of your possibilities.

Fasteners and clips

Your roofing contractor will use clips and/or fasteners to secure the roofing panels to the decking, depending on the type of metal panel you choose.

Trim and Flashing

workers installing flashing and trim around metal roof penetration Highland Home Services

The parts that are installed at the intersections and terminations of the metal roofing system to seal the roof and stop water from entering the roofing system and building envelope are referred to as trim and flashing.

Sealants and Caulking

For metal-to-metal connections, such as laps or junctions that cross trims and panels, butyl tapes and sealants are employed.

The sealant must stick to painted metal surfaces and offer some flexibility (for movement) as the metal stretches and shrinks in response to the varying weather.

Job Site Requirements

Although every project site is unique, the following crucial factors should be taken into account to make sure that the installation of your new metal roof proceeds as smoothly as possible.


Establish a level location for your contractor’s installers to park their vehicles, store materials, and use a dumpster (if necessary). The installers will want open space on all sides of the building to place and install the panels and trim, depending on your roof.

Power Supply

For their cutting and fastening tools, your contractor will want power. Make the installers use various outlets to power their tools and equipment to prevent tripping breakers all day.

Some builders provide their installers access to a generator.

Safety Concerns

Safety should always come first, especially when people are inside the structure or nearby when the metal roof is being installed.

Only installers should handle the sharp edges of the metal roof panels and trim.

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Metal Roof Contractor Consultation

It’s time to set up the consultations once you’ve completed all of your research and identified a few contractors who can satisfy your expectations. Consultations with at least three different metal roofing contractors are advised by experts.

The consultation gives you a chance to assess the contractor, learn about their company, test their talents, and ask them any questions you might have before deciding whether or not to hire them. You can anticipate the following during a consultation for a metal roof installation, which normally lasts one to two hours per contractor, depending on the size and complexity of your roof:

  • A take-off and field measurement of your roof are provided.
  • Examining the site for penetration sites, flashing zones, low places, varying roof planes, gutter requirements, roof access, and potential issue locations related to all of the aforementioned factors.
  • Meeting with the contractor to discuss possibilities and present you with some ideas regarding:
  • Panel type
  • Metal Type and Color Profile
  • Selections for underlayment, clamps, and fasteners
  • Other additions, including skylights, snow guards, etc.
  • A discussion of how payment is handled, including financing, paying with cash or credit, using a credit card, and using an insurance company.
  • Discussing the queries you have
  • Reviewing the proposal that the contractor has created based on the product selections, site inspection, and field measurements.
  • While some contractors provide “Good, Better, Best” alternatives that offer variable quotes based on the quality goods utilized at each level, others offer a single quote for the project.

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Installing a Metal Roof DIY

Metal roofing can be a fantastic substitute for asphalt shingles, whether you’re wanting to add a roof to a new roof or replace your current one. Hurricanes, hail, and wildfires can all be withstood by metal roofing. Depending on the material and the type of metal used, it has a life expectancy of at least 50 years.

Because metal roofing may reflect heat from the sun, it can also reduce energy use in some areas. Metal roofing installation is difficult and might vary slightly depending on the brand of panels or shingles you choose, even though the majority of metal roofing styles can be installed as a challenging DIY effort.

Measuring the Roof Area

Knowing the square footage of the roof is the first step in determining the proper length and quantity of materials, whether you construct a metal roof using stock corrugated panels or by putting a special order. You must know the length of each segment from the ridge to the outside edge of the eave in addition to the square footage. You can determine how long the panels should be based on this distance.

  • Start by measuring the rake of the roof, which is the way from the ridge to the outer edge of the eaves, for a basic gable roof. for instance, 15 feet.
  • Next, gauge the roof’s width: Including the eaves at each end, from one side of the roof all the way to the other. for instance, 34 feet.
  • To find the area of one side, multiply these two figures. For instance, 15 x 34 equals 510.
  • To determine the total square footage of the roof, multiply the result by two. 2 x 510, for instance, equals 1020 square feet.
  • Purchase roofing materials by the square foot, plus 10% for waste.
  • To avoid seams, try to order panels that are long enough to extend from the ridge to the eave.
  • To ensure that the colors match, order your roofing screws at the same time as your metal roofing panels.
  • A word of advice: Always start square when building a metal roof.

Remove Existing Roofing and Make Repairs

Although it is possible to put a metal roof over existing asphalt shingles, it is strongly advised that the previous roof be completely torn off. Before continuing, you can evaluate the sheathing and flashing and fix any issue areas by removing the existing roof. By doing this, the danger of a leak can be decreased since the sheathing and flashing can be examined (and, if necessary, changed) before the new roof is put in way.

  • Take off the old shingles, flashing, underlayment, and vents starting at the top of the roof.
  • Any large nails that were left exposed by the removal might be driven in or pulled.
  • Check the roof sheathing beneath it for damage, and then fix it as necessary with sealants and roofing glue.
  • As advised by the manufacturer of the roofing, place a layer of roofing underlayment, including a layer of felt paper or rosin slipsheet. It’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for underlayment since metal panels expand and contract at rates differing from the sheathing.

Drip Edge and Closure Strips

  • Install drip edge along the eaves and rake of the roof using 1 1/4-inch galvanized roofing nails, driving one into the sheathing every 16 inches. Install drip edge in numerous runs, lapping each run by 1/4 to 1/2 inch while keeping the nail away from the lapped joint.
  • The drip-edge flashing should be put so that it hangs over the gutter lip by around 1/2 inch if the eaves have gutters.
  • Add sealant tape to the drip edge’s top and about an inch in from the drip flashing’s edge after it has been installed around the roof’s perimeter.
  • Place an inside closure strip on top of the sealant tape, which has been put along the drip edge, and then take off the top protective backing paper. If the closure strip is flexible, take care not to stretch it out too much because it won’t line up properly with the panel.

Panel Installation

  • Set the first metal roofing panel in place so that it is square to the roof line and has a 1/2 to 3/4 inch overhang over the edge.
  • Make sure the larger edge is placed out so that the next panel’s smaller edge will overlap it.
  • When placing screws on the panels, follow the instructions provided by the roof panel manufacturer. Some manufacturers demand that you screw straight into the ribs, while others prefer that the screws be placed in the flat. Follow the appropriate fastening procedures in accordance with local codes in hurricane-prone zones.
  • To prevent buckling, begin at the eave and work your way up to the ridge.
  • Don’t overtighten the screws when you secure them. The washer behind the screw head need to be flush with the panel surface and should not sag or move.
  • Apply a bead of 100% silicone sealant along the underside of the subsequent panel’s short edge. Install the panel such that the large and short lips overlap. A seal will be produced by the silicone’s spread and adhesion.
  • As directed by the manufacturer, screw the new panel into place.
  • Panels should be added until the roof is completely covered. Panels may need to be trimmed to fit angles. Using a circular saw with a metal-saw blade, one can cut metal roofing. A different option is to use tin snips.

Installation of a Ridge Cap

It’s time to top the ridge after the panels are in place. You must install an exterior closure strip in order to accomplish this. The outside closure strip is shaped to fit the ridges and flat areas of the metal panels, and it is installed over the top of them in a shape similar to the inside closure strip that was initially installed. Closure strips come in two varieties: vented and solid. You must install the vented type if your roof is intended to be ventilated at the ridge. As a ridge vent, the vented closing strip serves. The solid closure strips can be utilized if a ridge vent is not intended for your roof.

  • Make a mark along the metal roof panels where the ridge cap will sit, then center it so that it laps each side of the roof equally. To accomplish this, make a mark on the ridge’s ends and then link them with a chalk line.
  • Run a length of sealant tape up the ridge from where you snapped the line by the amount advised by the roofing’s manufacturer (typically about 1 inch). On the opposite side of the roof, repeat this procedure.
  • Make sure the closing strip fits snugly over the metal panel’s curves as you run it over the sealant tape. On the opposite side of the roof, repeat this procedure.
  • Along the top of the closure strip on each side of the roof, run a second strip of sealant tape.
  • Install the ridge cap as directed by the manufacturer, often by inserting screws into each main rib of the metal roof panel and placing succeeding pieces approximately 6 inches apart.

Metal Roof Installation Q&A

  1. How do I know if I need a new roof?
    There are a few telltale signs that you may need a new roof. If you have missing, cracked, or curling shingles, or if your roof is leaking, these are all indications that your roof is in disrepair and may need to be replaced. If your roof is more than 20 years old, it may also be time to consider a replacement, as most roofs only last about 20-25 years.
  2. How do I know if my roof can support a metal roof?
    The first thing you need to do is find out the weight of the metal roofing material. This can be done by contacting the manufacturer of the product. Once you have the weight of the product, you need to determine the snow load for your area. This information can be found online or by contacting your local building department. With the weight of the product and the snow load for your area, you can then determine the load capacity of your roof.
  3. How do I know what type of metal roof is best for my home?
    There are a few things you’ll want to consider when deciding what type of metal roof is best for your home. First, you’ll need to think about what type of climate you live in. If you live in an area with a lot of snow and ice, you’ll want to make sure you choose a roof that can handle the weight of the snow and won’t be damaged by the ice. You’ll also want to think about the wind speed in your area.
  4. Who will be responsible for the removal of the old roof?

The old roof will need to be removed before the new roof can be installed. The roofing contractor will be responsible for the removal of the old roof. They will need to safely remove all of the old roofing materials and dispose of them properly. They will also need to inspect the roof decking and make any repairs that are needed before the new roof can be installed.