Your home’s roof takes a beating—especially here in Florida. The combination of intense ultraviolet radiation from the orb in the sky, copious rainfall, and periodically high winds makes for a challenging environment for all building materials. Different roofing materials, though, can be substantially different in their durability, with metal roofing coming in at the top of the heap. And though metal roofing may have a reputation as “expensive” roofing, you’ll find several choices, and they’re not all expensive. So what’s the cost for a metal roof for a 1700-square-foot home?
How To Price A Roof
When we look at a roof for providing an estimate, we first look at the roof type that’s already there. More than 70% of roofs in the U.S. are asphalt shingles. They’re the most prevalent and also have the shortest lifespan, apart from some of the flat roof materials. We most often see homeowners who want to upgrade from an asphalt shingle roof to a metal roof, so we’ll lay out that scenario here for a 1700-square-foot home, which is the average size for Florida.
By the way, the average installed price for the most popular architectural asphalt shingles is $340–$360. Keep that figure in mind for comparison.
In addition to the actual type of metal roofing material you choose, your estimate will include a few other line items. Those include tear off, repairs, replacement parts like boots for the vents, facia boards, and a dumpster. There can be more, but these items are most common.
We evaluate the condition of the existing roof and get measurements of its area. We price a roof by the square, which is 100 square feet. For most Florida homes with a standard 4:12 pitch hip roof or gable roof, that comes to about 1700 square feet, or 17 squares. For the estimate we’ll bump that a bit to 18 squares so we don’t run out of material in the middle of a job.
Here’s some more information about costs for the different material choices.
What Does the Total Cost Include?
Complete tear off is best option, though in some cases it isn’t mandatory. It is possible to leave shingles in place if they’re in good condition, but we don’t advise it. This practice is called re-roofing. It’s like painting your car with the best paint you can get but not doing any sanding before painting. It’s shortsighted and just won’t last as long as it will if we do it by the book. Tear off for one layer of shingles runs about $60 per square, while tear off for two layers runs closer to $80 per square. So for one layer that charge will be $1080, and for two layers it will be $1440.
Repairs really have to be estimated on a case-by-case basis. If you’re getting a new roof after one of our big storms, you’ll want to be prepared for some new plywood for the decking. That’s another reason to go for a full tear off: a thorough inspection. If you leave damaged and/or rotting wood in place under a new roof, it’s much harder to fix later on. And fairly expensive, too.
Your roof replacement will generate quite a bit of waste, so a dumpster is required. That’s about $400 for a normal job. Now, let’s look at the different material options.
You’ll find the most options with steel roofing, which can be configured as exposed fastener sheets, concealed fastener sheets, and tiles. In addition to those variations, you’ll find multiple colors on offer, as well as several different profiles. Most homes end up with one of the standard profiles, which tend to look pretty smooth and subtle. One of steel’s greatest advantages is its incredible strength and resilience. There’s a good reason that cars and appliances and so many other common items are made of steel. It can be formed easily and it’s tough!
The downside, of course, is rust. In a coastal area with salt air, your steel roof is more likely to show some rust over time. You can have that rust repaired, so it really doesn’t shorten the lifespan by much, if at all. Another advantage of steel, however, is how well it handles extreme weather. A steel roof is second to none for withstanding high winds and impacts. Your contractor might be able to install a seamless steel roof, which means one sheet from eave to ridge. The panels overlap edge to edge to make a watertight roof, so you end up with a beautiful, tough, and functional roof that will last more than 25 years.
Exposed Fastener Steel Sheets
This type of roof is the least expensive of all the metal roof types. Sometimes called “screw down” roofing, it’s important to know that it’s not allowed by some homeowner’s associations (HOAs). Some people think it looks agricultural or industrial, like a barn or machine shop. A screw down roof will last for decades—25 years and sometimes more—but it won’t typically last as long as the other types of steel roofing.
A screw down roof uses special screws that have a rubber washer attached. The washer gets squished just a bit by the installer to form a watertight seal where it meets the panel. This works well, especially when you have the right underlayment affixed to the decking. Those screws can loosen over time, though, so a bit of maintenance every couple of years is a good idea. It’s not a huge deal, but it is maintenance.
Cost for An Exposed Fastener Steel Roof
You’ll pay from $550/square for a screw-down roof, so that totals $9,900 for the installed price on our example. Some of the color and finish options will bump that price. You’ll also have the line items listed above, but it’s a useful ballpark figure to get you started.
Concealed Fastener Steel Sheets
An upgrade from a screw down roof, a concealed fastener roof uses special clips that the crew attaches to the roof deck. The sheets then snap onto the clips and hide them, eliminating the need for visible screws. Here again, you’ll have some choices on colors, finishes, and profiles, but you’ll end up with a very clean and tidy looking new roof that should have no problem lasting for 30 years, and probably more. You also will escape the need for retightening screws periodically, so that’s a bonus.
Cost for Concealed Fastener Steel Sheets
Material and labor costs for a concealed fastener roof will come in quite a bit higher than for a screw down roof, mostly from labor. You can expect to pay from $1000/square, so $18,000 in this example, plus the line items as mentioned above.
If you like the look of slate tiles or wooden shakes, you might consider steel tiles or shingles. They’re light in weight, unlike slate, and inflammable, unlike wooden shakes. They’re also strong and durable, with a “classy” look of those natural materials. What’s not to like?
Steel tile roofing uses a mounting system with hidden clips, so you won’t see any screws or other fasteners in the finished roof. As the panels lock together, they form a “monolithic” roof that acts as a single unit, but with some flex to deal with weather conditions. The panels will often have some texture that mimics slate tiles or wooden shakes. That texture is pretty effective at hiding small imperfections like small dents caused by hail and other impacts.
There’s another type of steel roofing you might come across, too. The photo below shows steel panels stamped to look like tiles. These may use the screw down method, but it depends on how they were designed.
Cost for Steel tiles/shingles
Unlike other types of tile, such as clay and concrete tiles, steel tiles are light in weight. That means you won’t have to upgrade your roof’s framing to upgrade from asphalt shingles. You can expect this type of roof to start at around $750/square. For this example, that amounts to $13,500 plus line items. It’s truly a long-term roof with 40+ years of service expected.
You can think of Galvalume as steel roofing with an extra coating. Or as giving you the benefits of aluminum and steel together. The raw sheets get a coating of zinc and aluminum, which resists corrosion. You can get unpainted Galvalume sheets with the coating as the visible surface. You can also get a paint finish called Kynar, which is quite durable and available in many colors. With a paint finish, Galvalume sheets look just like standard steel sheets. Without paint, it has sort of a dull gray finish that is not very attractive. Your Galvalume roof should be a 25+ year roof.
Cost for A Galvalume Roof
You’ll find Galvalume roofing with paint starting at about $600 per square. That totals $10,800 for the installed price, plus the line items like tear off and dumpster.
Sheet Aluminum Roofing
Roughly comparable to sheet steel roofing in most respects, aluminum sheets offer one clear advantage: they will not rust. If you live within a mile or so of the coast, this factor could be the deciding factor. You won’t find as many profile options for aluminum roofing as you will with steel roofing, but you can find a few common profiles and also opt for a standing seam roof with concealed fasteners. Aluminum’s natural color is an unattractive flat gray, but many colors are available.
Cost For A Sheet Aluminum Roof
Aluminum comes in as a mid-range material, with prices starting at about $1000 per square. That gives you a total of about $18,000 plus the line items. Considering that it will never rust and might outlast you, you might see that as a solid investment.
Just like steel shingles and tiles, aluminum shingles provide a snap-together monolithic roof. This type of roof is often stamped to resemble cedar shakes and has a painted finish. It’s quite attractive and ideal for coastal areas with the salt air, as the aluminum will never rust.
Cost for Aluminum Shingles
An aluminum shingle roof installed will start at around $900 per square, so your total comes to $16,200 plus line items. That’s in the midrange for this group of materials, but a properly installed aluminum roof is a solid choice anywhere in Florida.
Now we’re getting into the premium materials, one of which is zinc. Zinc’s natural color is a subdued pewter color, and it develops a protective patina over time that will “heal” itself if it’s damaged by an impact, for example. Some people don’t care for the patina and want to see the colorful paint as with steel roofing. To each his own, but a zinc roof has stood the test of time and should last 80–100 years. Both sheets and shingles are available and are popular among designers of high-end homes, who love the classic look of a zinc roof.
Cost for Zinc Roofing
At more than $1200 per square, our example home roof will cost $21,600 or so for zinc, plus the line items. Yes, that’s a big chunk of money but it’s also a lifetime roof. If you like the aesthetics and it fits the budget, you can’t go wrong with a high-quality roof like a zinc roof.
Choosing copper for your new roof is a bold statement. Nothing else looks like a new copper roof, all bright, shiny, and flashy. Over the decades, the copper will weather with the classic green verdigris patina. That patina is also self-healing and protective, and some people absolutely love that classic look. That’s why it’s used for impressive buildings like commercial buildings, museums, churches, and at universities. That said, a 100-year roof is actually a good value, if you have the budget for it. As long as it’s installed properly by an experienced crew, a copper roof will endure Florida’s challenging conditions at least as well as any other roof you can choose, regardless of cost.
Cost for A Copper Roof
Yes, at $1500 per square on up, you’re paying a lot. $27,000 for the installed roof, in this case, plus the line items. But if you plan to stay in your home for decades to come, a copper roof is definitely an investment, not a frivolous upgrade over asphalt shingles. It’s your last roof!
Experience is Crucial
It’s important to note that installing any metal roof is different from installing an asphalt shingle roof. It’s more complex and so it’s more challenging to get the roofing material and the flashing and the accessories installed properly so they function as a whole. Getting bids from several contractors and asking your network for recommendations is a solid idea.
We’re Here When You Need Us
If you’d like to talk about replacing your roof, give us a call at 813-373-9088. Our team has more than 40 years of experience in roofing. You can also use this form and ask us, “What’s the cost for a metal roof?” and we will contact you.