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Long-Lasting Metal Roof Panels

Interlocking metal roofing panels are expensive, but they’re DIY—friendly, they look great, and they’ll last 50 years or more. Get an overview of installation and costs.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Getting started with metal roofing panels

Metal roofing systems that you can install yourself are readily available, but you need to feel comfortable working with metal (and you’ll pay a pretty steep price). The only specialty tool you'll need is a locking sheet metal tool (available at roofing suppliers or online).

Metal roofs are fire resistant (you may earn a discount on your homeowner's insurance), they look nice (which can improve curb appeal), and melting snow easily slides off (which eliminates the extra weight on the roof).

Edco (shown in the photo; edcoproducts.com) and Tamko (tamko.com) both make interlocking metal roofing panels that are installed with clips and roofing nails. The systems have specially designed starter strips, valleys, gable trim flashing and flashing for dormers, chimneys and skylights. Each panel interlocks with the underlying and adjacent panels or with the flashing. Manufacturers say the most common question homeowners have concerns noise. Don't worry; rain hitting the metal roof won't be noticeably louder than rain on an asphalt roof.

Metal roofs cost about $250 per square (1 square = 100 s.f.). If you do it yourself, the average roof would cost about $4,000, significantly less than hiring a contractor to install three-tab shingles. And while the price of materials is six times as much as low-end three-tab asphalt shingles (which start at $35 to $40 per square), metal roofs last 50 years or more, so you won't have to worry about reroofing. Metal roofs can be special ordered in a variety of colors at lumberyards and roof supply companies.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Hammer
    • Chalk line
    • Knee pads
    • Stapler
    • Safety glasses
    • Utility knife
    • Tin snips

You’ll also need roof jacks, a roofing harness and a locking sheet metal tool.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Roofing felt
    • Ice and water shield
    • Roofing nails
    • Interlocking metal roofing panels and accessories

Comments from DIY Community Members

Share what's on your mind and see what other DIYers are thinking about.

1 - 5 of 5 comments
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July 23, 6:24 PM [GMT -5]

I own a roofing company and take your statement as an attempt to grossly mislead your readers. The shingles I install are LIFETIME, with a non-pro rated warranty. That means it is the last roof you ever have to buy, at one third the cost. There are other issues with metal roofs you have not explored. If there is a fire in the attic, fire fighters can't chop through easily with an axe. They must use a cutting saw. They can't stand on the roof, which is wet from the fire hoses.
You need to install avalanche protection, or risk being killed by a sheet of ice sliding off the roof when you slam the door.
There are many issues with roofing as a DIY project. I have been called countless times to repair items done poorly or not at all. Do you know how many vents to install? Proper venting is the key to shingle life and lower cooling costs, not reflective shingles. Do you have an exhaust fan in the bathroom? Is it vented through the roof? Does it have insulated pipe? Is there mould involved? The best time to deal with attic mould is when you have the shingles off. Otherwise, all of the work has to be done with the mould environment open to the living space, and that can create major issues.
Roofing can be done by anyone, just like driving a race car. You may finish, but you didn't win, and you may crash.
PTH-Richard

July 23, 5:04 PM [GMT -5]

These shingles, while nice looking are not that much different than Zappone Brand which has been made and sold in Spokane, WA for about sixty years. They are mostly made in aluminum but also in solid copper for special applications.

Hip

July 23, 1:56 PM [GMT -5]

How does one find out about light-colored metal roofing-shingle panels?

Who says that black roofing-shingle panels will last for as long a time as you say?
The coloring, alone, is subject to disintegrate, and expose the metal shingles to oxidation---and, if the metal is not the kind that rusts, there will at least be a color change--- which might be tolerable.

When answering the above, please include a less convoluted contact means.

July 23, 12:41 PM [GMT -5]

We had a metal roof installed on our home last summer (2011). The asphalt shingles and old roof felt were removed prior to the installation of a new felt product and then the shingles. Our roof pitch is 7/12. Even though I am an avid DIYer....this is NOT a project that I would personally attempt to do. Yes, it was very expensive but we are satisfied with our decision. We have seen significant lower electric use (air conditioning) since the metal shingles reflect much more of the suns rays and our asphalt shingles were black which only made it worse. Should be the last time we have to shingle this house.

July 23, 8:40 AM [GMT -5]

My experience varies somewhat from yours. It seems roofing suppliers around here (NE Pennsylvania) are:
1) Few and far between
2) Mostly interested in asphalt shingles
3) Nopt anxious to sell to DIY'ers

Exactly where in NE PA can I find one of these suppliers???

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