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Standing Seam Copper Roofing Cost Guide

Standing seam copper roofing is great for shedding rain and snow, making it an excellent form of roofing for wetter, colder climates. Traditional shingle roofing techniques can resist the water from rain or melted snow but will not necessarily shed snow as easily. While shingle roofs will shed snow when sufficient snow has fallen, metal rooftops frequently won't allow snow to collect in the first place. As always, with these heft advantages, heft prices do follow.

The Costs 

  • Highest Average Cost: $200 per square

  • Lowest Average Cost: $100 per square

Copper seam roofing is relatively expensive when compared to standard roofing material. Basic asphalt shingles are approximately one third of the cost of metal roofing. Cost will vary primarily based on the number of specialized components necessary. The more uniform a roof's slope is, the fewer the outcroppings such as vents and chimneys to break it. Also, the better the roof is built, the cheaper the components will be.

Installation of copper seam roofing is considerably more expensive and specialized than other types of roofing. Many professional roofers who perform well with traditional shingles simply aren't up to the task of taking on metal roofing, and those that are tend to charge more. It is very important to pursue the labor of qualified, insured roofing professionals, especially where metal roofs are concerned. Losing metal roof material can cost quite a lot. It is also unfortunately common. Some roofing firms, particularly those without experience, will attempt to take on copper roofing jobs without the appropriate expertise. This often leads to the loss of work and materials. It is best to look at other work a roofer has done to verify their ability.

Purchasing copper roofing in bulk is a good idea whenever possible. Contractors may have access to bulk deals that homeowners do not, so it may be advisable to seek material purchase through a contractor for this purpose. However, before making a bulk purchase, it is important to consider what the roof will actually require. Any kind of irregularity in the roof, like a chimney or other outcropping, will require specialized components to interlock properly surrounding it. These will be more expensive, and purchasing them in bulk will not always be possible.


Copper roofing is superior in many ways to other roof material. Standing seam copper roofing material is relatively uniform in terms of material composition. However, there are a variety of different copper roofing forms to be aware of.

Snap-lock seam copper roofing is very popular, and the most popular form of copper roofing in most locations. Snap-lock panels are designed to interlock with one another. This obviates the need for external fasteners and allows roofing materials to be locked together into a single, roof-sufficient panel. This makes it considerably easier to install, particularly over a larger area, but it is less-suitable for irregular rooftops.

Mechanical-lock copper roofing is a little more complex than snap-lock copper roofing. Mechanical-lock roof materials require the use of additional tools to lock the plates together. This makes them relatively unsuitable for steeply sloped rooftops, but it allows them to interlock more tightly than snap-lock seam copper roofs. This tighter grip provides more thorough weather protection, however, which can make it a better choice when installers are available for it and the basic roof profile is suitable.

Advantages of Standing Seam Copper Roofing

Energy efficiency is the primary advantage of metal roofing, and it really shines with standing seam copper roofing. Metal rooftops reflect a lot of thermal energy while simultaneously keeping thermal energy in. This allows one to keep their home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter with much lower resources invested into the task. Metal roofing is frequently installed on an investment basis in this regard as it effectively makes one's climate-control appliances more efficient.

Copper roofs are also very notable for their durability. Copper roofs can easily be found offering 50-year warranties or greater. Metal doesn't shear or wear under heavy rain, and it is far heavier when installed than other roofing materials. This allows it to better resist high winds and storm conditions. It can be a fantastic option for stormy climates for just this reason, especially when it is also important that it stand up against excessive rain or snow.

Disadvantages of Standing Seam Copper Roofing

Copper roofing is not without its drawbacks. The first is simply that copper roofing is very difficult to install. The materials are very heavy and often require very specialized tools to properly assemble. Even when specialized tools are not necessary, specialized techniques are. Some roofing firms will take on a copper roofing job only to discover that copper roofing simply doesn't have anything in common with asphalt roofing. It can be difficult to find roofing specialists who have sufficient experience in copper roofing to perform the installation successfully.

Installation of copper roofing is not without risk. Copper roofs are very heavy and must be carefully installed to avoid structural damage to the home. Further, installation must be done properly. Metal is more susceptible to contraction and expansion in response to temperature than asphalt and other roofing materials. This means that copper roofing components must be appropriately interlocked to account for these margins of movement. Improper assembly will result in the roof tearing itself apart under the force of thermal expansion.

In some areas, theft can be a major disadvantage associated with copper roofing. Copper theft is growing more common, particularly in areas with high rates of drug use. Copper roofing is not the most common of targets. Roofing material is hard to steal when compared to other copper-containing items that might be held at ground level, and thieves always focus on unoccupied homes. All the same, the copper contained in a single roof slat would be relatively valuable if successfully sold for scrap, and reports of theft are not unheard of.

Last updated on Aug 28, 2014

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