Metal & Copper Roofing Blog

How to Calculate the Cost of a New Metal Roof

In the metal roofing biz, like many industries, you can expect to hear a handful of questions over and over again. One question stands out from the rest, since we hear a version of it nearly every day. "How much is a metal roof?" No matter how someone phrases it, the answer is always the same. "It depends!"

As unhelpful as that answer may be, it's completely accurate. The cost of a metal roof is conditional on a variety of things. When someone fills out a form on our site to download our free re-roofing report, for example, or our metal vs. shingle comparison sheet, and asks in the comment section, "What does it cost?" our emailed answer always explains that we need more information to answer that question. To provide any kind of useful number, we need to know which material and profile is being considered. We need to know a bit about the roof - its size, complexity and accessibility. We need to know whether a material total or a material AND labor total is being requested. Without basic information like this, asking what a metal roof costs is like asking what a car costs.

With that in mind, here are a few general guidelines that will help you create a rough budget before you begin your metal roof shopping in earnest.

First, what type of metal roof are you considering? From the least expensive finished steel to the priciest pre-aged copper, consider this scale:

MRN Graph

You can see on the chart that the most popular roof products are in the $2 to $4 a square foot range, with the popularity of more and less expensive option falling off in either direction. Once you decide what quality level of metal roof material you believe you want, you can decide what price range you can expect to budget.

Once you have that number, you need to add a percentage for accessories. If your roof is very simple, then 10% for trims (drip edge, ridge, gable edges, plumbing pipe flashings, etc.) should be a good approximation, and if your roof is complex, the number could go as high as 40%. Check our free re-roofing booklet for photo examples of simple and complex roofs.

To sum up, the price of a metal roof package will be the field material (from the chart) plus the accessories. For example, if you want to select a “typical” quality level, you would budget $3 a square foot. If you roof is of medium complexity, you’d add another 20% for accessories. So, if you need 2000 square feet of material and you want an average quality level of roof, you should budget 2000 x $3.60 = $7200.  

With this range of prices for metal roof materials as a guideline, you only need to add your installation costs and you will know what you should expect to spend.

If you need more specific and detailed formulas, use our free estimate request form and we can advise you personally.

Topics: metal roofing cost