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Steel Roofing Cost Guide

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National Roofing Costs

$350 per sq. ft. Minimum Cost
$1,100 per sq. ft. Maximum Cost

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Steel Roofing Cost Guide

When contractors first started using steel roofing, it did not have a very good reputation. It was extremely expensive and usually turned out to be of poor quality. Now, however, metal roofing has come a long way. It is not only more durable but more affordable. There are many types of metal roofing to choose from, but one of the most popular is steel. Although steel roofing may be more expensive up front than your traditional shingle roof, it will save you a ton of money in the long run.

The Costs 

  • Minimum: $350 per 100 square feet

  • Maximum: $1,100 per 100 square feet

There are a lot of different costs that affect the overall price of installing a metal roof on your home. The first cost to consider is the type of metal used. This article covers stainless steel, but there are other choices, such as copper and aluminum. The price of steel generally falls in the middle as far as cost goes. It is not as expensive as having a copper roof, but it does cost more than aluminum.

The next factor to consider is the size of the roof. When talking about buying roofing material, it is usually purchased in units called squares. It is important for homeowners to remember that one square is the equivalent to 100 square feet.

Another factor that affects the cost is the pitch of the homeowner's roof. A traditional house has a pitch of 6/12. This means that the pitch of the house elevates at least 6 inches for every 12 inches. The cost for installing a metal roof increases for a home that has a steeper pitch. This is because it takes more work and requires special tools for contractors to secure steel roofing to a roof with such a steep pitch.

The last factor to consider when talking about cost is the gauge of the steel roofing being installed. Steel roofing comes in many gauges, including 29, 26 and 24. The larger the number, the thinner the material. Usually, 29 is the thinnest material allowed for residential roofing. Lower gauges provide more protection and last longer, but cost significantly more per square.


Here is a closer look at the materials needed for installing a steel roof:

  • Steel: There are two main types from which homeowners can choose; stainless steel or galvanized steel. In general, galvanized steel is a little bit cheaper than stainless steel, but stainless steel lasts longer. That being said, even galvanized steel lasts around 50 to 60 years if the homeowner gives it the proper care.

  • Insulation: Contractors often use felt or special roof insulation for steel roofs.

  • Batter Boards: These are pieces of wood that are secured to the roof to help keep the steel roofing in place. 

Advantages of Steel Roofing

Steel roofing has its pros and cons just like any other roofing material. However, in the case of steel roofing, the pros heavily outweigh the cons. For example, steel roofing lasts a lot longer than traditional roofing material. It should also be noted that steel roofing helps add value to a home and adds to curbside appeal. Unlike traditional roofing, steel is nearly impervious to most weather. It sheds snow easier than asphalt roofing and is resistant to fire. Due to the reflective nature of steel, it also helps keep homes cooler during summer months, which cuts down on cooling costs. Lastly, steel roofing is recyclable. As a result, homeowners can earn Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) credits from the federal government.

Disadvantages of Steel Roofing

On the negative side, steel roofing can cost nearly three times as much as a traditional roof, depending on the gauge. Steel roofing can sometimes be difficult to match in color as well, which can give your house a roof with many different shades of steel. This type of roofing also tends to expand and contract a lot. As a result, if the roofing material is not installed properly and given room to breathe, it can work itself loose over time. This biggest con for steel roofing, however, is the price. Despite this, steel roofing will eventually pay for itself over time because it requires less upkeep than traditional roofing material and has to be replaced less often. It also helps pay for itself by reflecting sunlight, which helps reduce cooling costs in the summer.

Existing Roofing Materials

Unless a homeowner's house is just being built, there is a good chance that the home already has existing roofing material. This makes many homeowners wonder about having to remove the current roofing materials before installing a steel roof. This choice is usually left up to the homeowner because steel can be installed on top of existing material in most cases. This tends to save on labor costs and disposal fees. Choosing to remove the existing roofing material will increase the overall price of installing a steel roof. In some cases, however, the condition of the roofing material on the house or local building codes might be the deciding factor.

Myths About Steel Roofing

Steel roofing has gotten a bad rap over the years due to a number of myths. For example, one myth is that all metal roofs are noisy. This likely came about due to the fact that barns with metal roofs give off a pinging sound when it rains. Residential steel roofs are installed on a solid roofing deck. On top of that, homes have more insulation, which also helps prevent unwanted noise. In the end, steel roofs are no more noisy than traditional roofs.

Another myth is that steel roofing is more likely to be struck by lightning. In truth, lighting usually targets the highest point in a given area; so a house with a metal roof is no more likely to be targeted by lightning than a house without one. It should be noted, however, that a steel roof can actually help prevent damage done to a house in the event that it is struck by lightning. This is because it can dissipate the electrical charge.

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Last updated on Nov 8, 2018

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