Metal Roof Cost: Steel & Aluminum Shingles, Standing Seam, Steel Tiles

Today, there are mainly two popular types of metal roofing for homes; metal shingles and standing seam.


Metal shingles form a four way inter-locking design and can last well over 30 years, providing reliable protection and energy savings for your home.

A metal shingle roof is a less expensive option than standing seam, because metal shingles are easier to manufacture, ship, store, and install.


Metal Shingles

A typical metal shingles roof may range in price from $19,000 to $29,000 for a steel shingles roof fully installed. This assumes a roof surface measuring 2,000 sq.ft. or 20 squares, ranging from $950 to $1,450 per square of metal shingles installed.

Note that the cost of aluminum shingles or shakes roof would normally be slightly higher than a similar system made of G-90 heavy gauge (GA 24) galvanized steel.

Copper Shingles

A copper shingles roof may range in price anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000 and more, depending on the size and complexity of your roof.


Standing Seam

A similar roof would cost $20,000 to $30,000 for a 20 square standing seam roof.

Copper Standing Seam

It would cost $45,000 to $55,000 for a 20 square standing seam roof.

The pricing for zinc standing seam would be between $25,000 and $35,000 for a similar-sized roof.

Historical Background:

Believe it or not, there was a time when residential metal roofing was pretty much unheard of in the United States. Then, came along the metal roof of Monticello, which was commissioned by our third president, Thomas Jefferson who was inspired during his stay in Paris where many roofs were covered with zinc, which is not only beautiful, but also happens to be a long lasting building material.

Thus, inspired by the idea of a long lasting and durable roof made of metal, Thomas Jefferson had further developed Monticello roof design, and that was how metal roofing became the new statement of high-end residential architecture in the US.

Although, several other people have followed the suit, residential metal roofing didn’t really take off in America (until recently – a couple of decades or so in the “fast-track” lane) the way it did early on Europe.


Of course, there were many residential hand-crafted tin roof systems installed in the 19th century. Some of them are still standing today. The problem with tin roofing is that it either requires special coating, or needs to be repainted every now and then to prevent rusting.

In Europe, where primary metal roofing material was zinc it was not a problem because zinc roofs can last well over 100 years with no maintenance required.

The long and short of it is that with the exception of corrugated metal roofs used in of agricultural and industrial buildings, residential metal roofing never really took off in the US until the end of 20th century, when it became quite highly regarded for its energy efficiency, longevity, durability, green building compatibility and environmental considerations.

Zinc Roofs in France


Nowadays, metal roofing is by far the fastest growing residential roofing product in America. It has gained a lot of awareness and credibility thanks to its superb reliability, great looks, energy efficiency, and architectural appeal.

Metal Vs. Composition Shingles

Although, asphalt shingle roofs remain the most dominant roofing product in the US, metal roofing has been steadily gaining market share and becoming popular with homeowners who want an energy efficient, environmentally-friendly (or green) and long lasting roof.

From the environmental perspective, metal is a far superior material because it’s fully recyclable.

Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, are a petroleum-based product that cannot be effectively recycled, neither can they last long enough to justify its detrimental affects on the environment not cost.

Our landfills are quite-literally filled with asphalt shingles, but the situation is starting to improve slowly as metal roofing is becoming more prominent in the US and Canada.


Materials and Systems:


There are two major types of residential metal roofing systems that homeowners can choose; standing seam metal and metal shingles roofs.

With standing-seam, homeowners can attain the modern look and style for their home. Although standing-seam roofs look modern, they have been used in Europe for well over a century.

Another option is a metal shingles offering a somewhat more traditional style that many people are accustomed to in the US. — It’s considered “traditional” in a sense that metal shingles resemble the look of traditional asphalt shingles, which may work well for some historical homes, and for anybody who wants a more “traditional” or classic style roof looks.

Cedar Shakes and Metal Tiles – Yes, they are really made from metal!

Red color steel shingles roof

There’s also an option of metal shakes, which can work great for somebody who wants to upgrade their roof to a style that resembles traditional cedar shake roofing. The difference of course, is that with metal shakes there is no concern with rotting, cracking, chipping and splitting commonly associated with cedar shakes.

For someone who wants to emulate the look of Spanish tiles, there are stone coated steel roof tiles available from companies like Boral Steel, with steel tiles weighing only a fraction of the weight of clay tiles.

One Reply to “Metal Roof Cost: Steel & Aluminum Shingles, Standing Seam, Steel Tiles”

  1. I didn’t realize that there was a time when residential metal roofing was unheard of in the united states. With so many practical benefits of having a metal roof that is pretty surprising to me. I would imagine that nowadays you can probably buy residential steel to use in your roof as well.

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