Metal & Copper Roofing Blog

Revisiting Metal Roof Prices

Not surprisingly, I get asked about the price of a “metal roof” almost every day. Even though I’ve been answering the question for decades, it’s still a challenge to be concise. There are just so many variables that a quick answer is nearly useless in as many cases as not.

Here are a couple of examples of the extremes that make metal roof prices so difficult to approximate quickly.



Roof A:

  • Value panel

  • 3:12 shed roof

  • Existing comp shingles in good shape

  • Owner install

  • Total price to owner for material package, including accessories and freight: $2.20 a square foot.





Roof B:

  • Pre-aged copper diamonds

  • Complex, steep roof

  • Removal of existing wood shingles and new plywood

  • Established contractor with the best equipment and full service

  • Total price to owner for all-inclusive material package and installation contractor labor: $28.70 a square foot.

In this example, the difference between the low and high cost to the owners for their new metal roof is a nearly 15 to 1 difference, but they are BOTH METAL ROOFS!

When I tell a story with a version of these examples to people who need to know the price of a metal roof, they often will then ask, “Okay - I understand these examples, but how much for a 'NORMAL' metal roof?” I can’t blame anyone for trying to get more specific for the purposes of setting a budget, but there are still a whole lot of variables within this much smaller set of “normal.”

Here's my best answer. If you’re thinking of a metal roof, I would suggest these scales for budgeting purposes:

Metal roof material packages (including materials, accessories, and delivery)

  • Low end: $2-4 a square foot

  • Medium quality (what I often call “architectural” grade): $4-7 a square foot

  • High end (copper, zinc, porcelain, and the like): $10-$20 a square foot

Typical installation rates you should add to the above:

  • Overlay new metal roof on a simple, low pitch roof (up to 6:12): $1-4 a square foot

  • Removal of existing roof and installation of a new, architectural grade metal roof on a low pitch roof: $2-6 a square foot

  • Installation of a, architectural grade metal roof or better on a steep and/or complex roof line: $8-20 a square foot

All of these labor numbers will vary not only based on the details of the job, but also by region in the country. Many locations in the South have considerably lower installation rates when compared to rates in the big cities on the coasts. Rates roughly correspond to real estate prices, so keep that in mind when approximating your installation budget. All of these budget calculations are good rules of thumb, but the numbers for any given job are almost entirely dependent on the size, configuration, pitch, accessibility, location and timing of the job. If you need help setting a budget, we’re always willing to offer our perspective. Check out our resources page for useful downloads too.

Topics: metal roof prices