It’s very common to speak to a potential customer whose question takes the form, “How much does a copper roof cost?” It’s difficult as an “insider” to avoid getting frustrated by the much-too-broad question, as a useful answer can only be given once a number of other questions are answered.
Copper roofing is almost always made of sheet copper, and copper in this form is categorized by thickness and hardness. The roofing made from these sheets of copper will have different characteristics depending on these variable of thickness and hardness. The thinner and softer the copper, then easier it is to form and bend, and as the thickness and/or hardness increases the formability decreases and the strength and durability increases. It's not difficult to understand. This means it’s possible for a thicker version of roofing copper to be double the thickness of a lesser version - and have a correspondingly higher price.
Copper roofs not only come in various thicknesses, but they also come in a big variety of shapes (called “profiles”). Vertical or horizontal panels, tiles, shingles, diamonds and all kinds of customizable types are possible copper roofing options. These differing profiles are sometimes more suited to one thickness or another. Some profiles are more efficient in the use of material (the “yield” of the sheet metal) than others. And some copper profiles and thicknesses of copper are more appropriate to certain types of roof lines and geographic regions. So, the profile of the copper roof and the yield it offers is another factor that will directly affect the price of a new copper roof.
The pitch and complexity of the roof is another consideration that will affect the price of a copper roof. A steeper roof - especially one in “snow country” - may call for a more robust choice of copper roofing than a low slope roof in a serene desert location. And the more complicated the roofline, the more planning and care in selection of the copper roofing will be required. Often, a steep, complex roof will cost more than a low slope, simple roof.
In addition to these three sets of options, the accessories and details you choose can also affect the final price of a copper roof. Details can be simple, small, straight lines or elaborate, large, curved pieces made of multiple components. There can be as much as a three to one ifference between these opposite ends of options.
To sum up, the answer to the question of copper roof prices requires some determination of all of these considerations before a useful number can be determined. And these only affect the copper material prices. There are even a few more things to quantify on the labor side - although answering all of these material questions will go a long way toward nailing down the labor prices, too.
If all of this is too confusing, it’s time to consult a copper roof expert before shopping for prices so you can have some assurance that you’re at least comparing apples to apples when the time comes to choose.