What Is Different About Metal Roofing?

Metal roofs are an option that many people consider, especially when comparing them to options like using shingles. Doing residential metal roof installation work, though, is a fairly specialized trade. That may have you wondering exactly what's so different about a metal roof installation. Four factors distinguish metal as a roofing material from other potential choices.

Price and Cost-Benefit

One of the more challenging issues to address with regards to using residential metal roofing is the question of cost. The upfront price of a metal roof is undeniably greater than using something like asphalt shingles. Pricing for metal roofs ranges from $3.25 per square foot for the cheapest aluminum options up to $11 per square foot for zinc. That compares to $1.50 to $5.50 per square foot for asphalt shingles.

Where the analysis gets a bit trickier is evaluating cost-benefit. In particular, shingles may deliver between 7 to 14 years of service against 40 to 80 years of services for metal. Even corrosion is less of an issue than you might expect because most metal materials are treated to prevent corrosion. Except for extremely high-salt environments, there's a pretty good argument for the long-term advantages of going with metal.


Strong metal roofs generally hold up better to heavy loads, and that delivers durability over decades. If you live in a region that gets lots of snow, for example, a metal roof stands a much better chance of holding up over decades. With shingles, there's a real risk that once a shingle gets torn up by the wind, snow settles onto the damaged spot, and water invades the house. In environments with difficult weather, metal is a strong choice as far as roofing materials go.

Installation Challenges

One downside with metal roofing is that the installation process is challenging to work with. Most folks are not going to tackle a residential metal roofing project as a DIY job to be done over a weekend or two. The task requires the right tools to make sure the sheets of metal are snapped together tightly, and the people using those tools need to be trained in their proper usage.


Aesthetics might not be the biggest deal to some homeowners, but metal roofs come in a variety of materials and colors. You can go with a bare, treated metal that adds tons of shine. Also, metal roofing can be engineered to nearly any color you like, making it a fun choice.

To learn more, contact a company like Pacific Sheet Metal today.