Metal & Copper Roofing Blog

Roof Material Comparison: Zinc & Copper Roofing in 2017

There aren’t that many roofers who regularly install copper and zinc roofing products. Since metal roofs only comprise about 20% (although that number is increasing every year) of roofing material usage, it’s not surprising that most roofers don’t do it regularly - if at all.

A lot of roofers consider any metal roof a “high end” roofing product because it is typically at least double the material cost and the labor to install for a lot of systems is higher than a roof material like asphalt shingles (the most common here in the US.)

Given this set of facts, it’s even more rare to find a roofer who has experience installing copper and/or zinc roofs. These materials are among the finest of roofs and are most often seen covering the most distinctive residential, commercial, and architecturally iconic buildings. Compared to steel roofing materials, most copper and zinc versions typically cost in the range of two to four times as much.

Why? The reason for the very large spread is that there are multiple profiles available for each material (panels, shingles, tiles, diamonds, etc.) and each one can have a different cost depending on the complexity of the shape. Plus most metal roof profiles in any of copper, steel, zinc, or something else, can be had in different gauges (thickness of the metal used), and in the case of say steel or aluminum different finishes and colors can effect the price. Furthermore, the installers that are practiced at the premium metals like copper and zinc tend to be the most experienced craftsman and their attention to detail and knowledge of the proper execution of these types of roofs is usually at a premium - and most often worth a higher price.

Just comparing copper to zinc alone, and with all else being more or less equal, expect to pay about 10% more for copper as a very general rule of thumb. These metals move up and down regularly depending on the demand in the metals market (all metals are used for many different purposes other than roofing) and so quotes are usually not good for more than a few weks. If you want to know about these premium metal roofing systems and get up to date on the latest prices, you’re always welcome to contact us.


Topics: copper roofing, zinc roofing