Long-Lasting Metal Roof Panels

DIY metal roof panels that look great!

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