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Aluminum Roof Cost

The average cost of installing an aluminum roof is around $10,966.

In this guide

Cost factors
Pros and cons
Styles
Colors and finishes
Prep-work
Underlayment
Installation
Labor
Maintenance
Aluminum vs asphalt vs steel roof
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to install an aluminum roof?

A new roof is one of the biggest repair costs a homeowner will ever incur. A good roof is also essential for shielding you from the weather. Those who would rather not worry about replacing their roof in a few years often choose aluminum for its durability, attractiveness, and energy efficiency.

The average consumer will pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,966 to install slate-look aluminum panels using 30 lb. underlayment 1.

Cost factors

The size of your roof will play a role in its cost. What contractors are interested in is the square footage of your roof and not the number of feet in your home. So a two-story home may have a smaller roof than a single-story residence the same size because the square footage is “stacked.” That being said, it’s often more difficult to access the roof of a multi-story home because of its height.

The slope of the roof affects the cost, too. Contractors have to use more caution when working on very steep roofs, and the number of man-hours required to perform a job will reflect this.

Builders cannot install aluminum roofing unless the surface is structurally sound. It’s also especially important to ensure good ventilation, particularly when installing aluminum over top of shingles 2. So you could need additional repairs to replace rotten decking, repair soffits 3, or add ventilation. Adding a new ridge vent 4 can cost anywhere from $150 to $250.

Pros and cons

Aluminum roofs can last as long as 40-50 years. This is twice as long as asphalt 5 shingles, which have an average life expectancy of 20-25 years. Their sleek surface sheds precipitation easily, leaving little snow or ice buildup during winter, but even if snow does build up, aluminum roofing itself is so lightweight that you won’t have to worry about your roof collapsing. And since materials weigh less, they are easier to transport to your location and carry up and down a ladder.

Many manufacturers use recycled materials when making aluminum roofing, so it is a very environmentally-friendly option. It emits heat and reflects sunlight to keep your home cooler, so you will notice some energy savings from installing an aluminum roof as well. These roofs are easy to maintain, requiring only resealing every few years. Aluminum resists corrosion and is less prone to rusting than other metal types. It is also less susceptible to damage from sand or sea salt. That, along with its high wind resistance, makes it an exceptional roofing choice for coastal areas.

A disadvantage is that high winds can lift the edges of aluminum panels. As such, these roofs tend to be somewhat noisy during a windstorm. They are also prone to denting from hailstones. Like any metal, aluminum will expand and contract when temperatures fluctuate. This can leave fasteners 6 coming loose and compromising the integrity of your roof. To counteract this, roofing contractors often use concealed fasteners, or fastening clips which allow metal panels to “float.” Aluminum roofs can become very hot in the summer, and even the slightest leaves or debris can make them very slippery. Accordingly, they are very difficult to walk on should you ever need to make repairs.

Styles

When people think of aluminum roofs, they usually think of large pieces of metal attached to a roof. These days, you have more than just panels to choose from, as there are different aluminum roofing styles to suit nearly any taste. A few of the options you have available are listed below:

StyleCharacteristicsDimensions

Slate 7 panels

($400-$600/sq.ft.)

Panels that appear to be rows of several smaller shingles

Take on the appearance of slate tile

Contain a stamped pattern for greater authenticity

50”x12”

Shakes 8

($600-$800/sq.ft.)

Look like traditional wood shake shingles

Can be imprinted with a wood grain

12”x36”

Panels

($600-$800/sq.ft.)

Have a series of ribs running the vertical length of each panel

Installed using exposed fasteners

Ideal for roofs with a low pitch

42” wide

between 8-12’ long

Traditional shingles

($700-$1,000/sq.ft.)

Shaped like traditional asphalt shingles

Not individual shingles, but panels that mimic rows of asphalt

12”x36”

Standing seam

($900-$1,100/sq.ft.)

Contain raised “legs” on either side of the panel

Center is flat or contains only very thin “pencil” ribs

Designed for use with hidden fasteners or clips

42” wide

between 8-12’ long


Colors and finishes

Gone are the days when aluminum roofing was merely silver. These days, you’ll find roofing materials available in a wide array of colors. And if you do not find the color you like, you can always paint your roof a custom shade. The industry’s gold standard is a resin-based coating that also safeguards against UV rays. This type of paint will leave your roof with a high-gloss shine for years to come. Painting a metal roof a custom color can cost between $2.50 and $3.50 per square foot 3, which includes the price of labor and materials.

When choosing a color, keep your local climate in mind. Darker colors attract more sunlight and will therefore make your home warmer. They will also fade much quicker. So if you live in a warm, sunny area a lighter shade such as pale blue or gray might be better. On the other hand, if you have more cold days than warm ones, you may actually want to attract more sunlight. In those cases, dark gray or black could be perfect.

Of course, you should consider the other homes in your neighborhood as well. Your roof is one of the first things people will notice about your home, so you do not want it to clash with that of others around it. You should also check with your local homeowner’s association to see if certain colors or finishes are prohibited. And just as interior paint comes in a variety of glosses, so does metal roofing paint. A higher-gloss finish will provide greater durability, but will also reflect light more. Accordingly, many people choose a matte finish because it shows off the roof’s color without causing it to appear too shiny.

A matte finish combined with PVDF chemistry will provide added durability. PVDF or polyvinylidene fluoride finishes resist the chalking and fading that sometimes occurs with painted aluminum roofs. In addition, PVDF with an added ThermoBond coating provides even greater durability, and is often found on textured roofing. Super, siliconized, and modified polyester coatings are less durable than either PVDF or PVDF with ThermoBond, but also cost less. A polyester-coated roof will show signs of wear and could need repainting in as little as ten years. A PVDF roof, on the other hand, may never require repainting during its lifetime.

Prep-work

Depending on local building codes, you may be able to install an aluminum roof over top of your existing shingles. This is provided you currently have only one layer in place. To do so, your roof must be structurally sound with no leaks, dips, deteriorated decking, or sagging. To correct these issues, you may need to remove the shingles anyway. A layer of underlayment is required underneath your aluminum roofing. It can be placed directly over top of your roof’s decking or the asphalt shingles if you are leaving them in place.

When installing aluminum over top of shingles, a common problem involves moisture becoming trapped between the two layers. One solution is to attach furring strips for the aluminum roofing to sit on. This creates a venting layer between the metal and asphalt so that moisture buildup is less likely.

Underlayment

Roofing materials alone may provide inadequate protection against storm damage. Aluminum panels or shingles may partially lift off during a heavy storm, leaving the decking exposed. However, underlayment provides an extra layer of waterproofing that will hopefully hold you over until repairs can be made. This is primarily why the National Roofing Contractors Association recommends some type of underlayment over top of your roof’s decking, but you could also benefit from it during construction. Rarely can a roof be installed in a single day. If workers cannot complete a section, that area would be left fully exposed were if not for the underlayment underneath.

When it comes to underlayment, you have a few basic options to choose from. Most roofers include underlayment in their quotes, but you should verify this before signing any contracts. Make sure underlayment is included and that you know exactly what type you are getting and why.

For your comparison, we’ve listed the most common types of underlayment as well as their price:

TypeCharacteristicsPrice
Ice and water shield

Provides great protection against leaks

Not placed over the entire roof

Used mainly in valleys and along eaves 9

Ideal for areas that receive high amounts of snowfall

$0.40-$.050/sq.ft.
Felt

Water-resistant but not waterproof

Comes in two thicknesses: 15 and 30 pounds

Usually attached to the decking using staples

Made from refined crude oil

$15-$18

enough 15 lb. paper for four squares

or 30 lb. felt for two squares

Synthetic sheet or

non-bitumen synthetic

Made from polypropylene or polyethylene 10

Resists mold and other fungi

Holds up well against UV damage

Stays smooth and rarely tears around fasteners

Can be left exposed for up to six months

$80/1,000 sq.ft. roll

Polymer-modified bitumen 5

Contains polymers that give it a plastic or rubber-like texture

Has a selvedge edge that creates a more watertight seal

More waterproof than other underlayment types

$120-$135/4’x250’ roll
Rubberized asphalt

Self-adhering, requiring no fasteners

Water resistance comes from a bonded polymer film

Can resist temperatures as high as 250 degrees F.

$140/enough for two squares


Installation

It will take between two and three days to install an aluminum roof. Your contractor will first tear off any old roofing, if necessary. Next, eave trim is installed along all the eaves. This trim matches the color of your roof and protects your eaves from damage. Screws with rubber washers the same shade as your roof are placed every 24 inches along the front and underside of your eaves.

Next, workers will add a layer of underlayment to the entire surface of your roof. If an ice and water shield is needed, it will be placed along the valleys or eaves. When installing panels or standing seam aluminum, they’ll begin along one edge near the steepest peak of your roof, using fasteners to hold the metal in place. Roofers will place screws approximately every 12 inches along the length of the panel. They’ll continue with each adjacent panel, overlapping each one by about an inch or so. Sealant tape or a silicone sealer will be placed in between each piece of metal. This ensures the aluminum adheres to the roof and creates a tighter, more waterproof seal.

When placing shingles, shakes, or tiles, contractors work from left to right and from eave to ridge. Roofing is nailed in place using roofing nails, and each subsequent piece is secured to the previous one by hooking it into the outer groove and then sliding it into position. Some pieces will need to be cut by hand using tin snips 11 to create the perfect size.

Labor

Several things can happen if aluminum roofing is not installed properly. For example, if the first panel is not placed square with the eaves, all that follow will be slightly tilted. This can leave space for water to penetrate your roof, and will also look unsightly. Some pieces might need to be cut by hand, and unless this is performed carefully it will result in a jagged edge. Since special skills and techniques are required, you should not install aluminum roofing as a DIY project.

Roofing technicians perform dangerous work and must therefore be covered under their employer’s insurance plan. They are also typically unemployed for at least part of the year. As such, the price of worker’s compensation insurance and unemployment insurance taxes largely drive labor rates. So a contractor in New York might charge almost twice the hourly rate as one in Mississippi, due to the higher cost of insurance and taxes. You could expect to pay around $4-$6 per square foot in labor charges. The average home contains approximately 1,700 square feet of roof space and has a pitch of 6/12 (the roof rises six inches for every foot of elevation). It takes between 2-5 hours of labor per square. 

Maintenance

You should inspect your roof at least twice each year, or following every major storm. During an inspection, you should remove limbs and other debris in addition to trimming back branches that touch your roof. Check the condition of your sealant, looking for discoloration, flaking, or peeling, which indicates it needs reapplying. Ensure there is no panel movement and that fasteners are still securely in place. If fasteners have come loose, you will either need to replace or tighten them. At the same time, any holes left behind will need to be sealed with roofing cement. Materials for this would be around $40.

Look for small indentations in your roof, which might indicate hail damage. These cannot be fixed and instead will require replacing. You will need to contact your insurance adjuster for an assessment of the damage. Clean your roof any time you notice stains, mold, mildew, or algae forming. Small stains can sometimes be removed with a bucket and long-handled scrub brush. But to clean an entire roof, you can expect to pay between  .

Aluminum vs asphalt vs steel roof

Most homeowners who are considering an aluminum roof want to know how it compares with some of the other more common types, such as asphalt and steel. Here is an easy comparison you can use to determine the differences between each one:

TypeProsCons

Asphalt

($2,380-$5,440/1,700 sq.ft.)

Least expensive option

Finding a knowledgeable roofing contractor is not hard

Comes in numerous colors

Less long-lasting

Heavier

Made from petroleum

Aluminum

($7,502-$10,966/1,700 sq.ft.)

Resists corrosion

Lightweight

Manufactured using recyclable materials

Highly malleable and can conform to different shapes

Can dent during a hailstorm

Sound of high winds is often very noticeable

Must be installed correctly or leaks can occur

Steel

($8,500-$17,000/1,700 sq.ft.)

Higher fire safety rating

Can withstand winds of up to 150 mph

Somewhat heavier than aluminum

Not suitable for flat roofs

Variable prices depending on market


Enhancement and improvement costs

Old roof removal

If you have to remove old shingles, expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $200 per square (100 square feet) for a single layer. You’ll pay around 1.5 times this amount if you have two layers of shingles, or double if your roof contains three. Removal costs account for disposal fees and labor to clean up afterwards.

Applying sealant

You may also want to have someone seal your roof at the time of installation, something that can cost between $136 and $255. Sealant provides an added layer of protection from the elements, helping your roof fight rust and corrosion. It also provides extra waterproofing so that moisture cannot penetrate the areas in between panels. Roofing sealant will therefore help extend the life of your aluminum roof.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Serious problems can occur if you use the wrong type of fasteners, fail to attach material correctly, do not prepare the surface properly, or overlap panels in an unsatisfactory manner. So unless you have extensive roofing experience, you should not attempt this project yourself. You should also avoid amateur contractors with no previous aluminum roofing experience.
  • Permits are not normally needed for roof replacement, but you should nonetheless check with your local building inspector first. A building permit can run anywhere from $400 to $1,800, with most people paying around $1,100. Building contractors will normally pull permits for you, and will tack the cost of getting one onto their estimate.
  • Aluminum roofing is 100% recyclable in most cases. In addition, some manufacturers offer materials that contain as much as 95% recycled product. A square of aluminum roofing materials may consist of more than 1,800 recycled aluminum drinking cans.
  • Homes in coastal areas are more susceptible to corrosion from salt and sand, but aluminum resists corrosion and is therefore less likely than steel to become damaged by sand or sea salt. Additionally, its extreme wind resistance makes it ideal for hurricane-prone areas. Depending upon your area, you could even receive a discount of 10% to 20% on your insurance just by installing an aluminum roof.

FAQ

  • How much does it cost to replace a roof on a 1,500 square foot house?

It would cost around $9,675 to place aluminum roofing on a 1,500 square foot home containing an average pitch.

  • Is a metal roof more expensive than a shingle roof?

An aluminum or steel roof will cost more money initially, but will also last longer than shingles. So you’ll spend more money up front, but the investment will more than pay for itself over the long run.

  • How much does it cost to replace a roof on a 1,200 square foot house?

Expect to pay around $7,740 to place aluminum roofing on a 1,200 square foot home.

  • Are aluminum roofs expensive?

Aluminum roofs fall somewhere in the middle of the cost spectrum. They are pricier than asphalt shingles, but less expensive than slate, clay, or copper roofs.

  • How much does an aluminum roof cost?

The typical consumer will pay around $10,966, which includes the cost of labor and materials.

  • Which is better, steel or aluminum roofing?

Steel holds more heat than aluminum, and might therefore be better in cold-weather climates. Aluminum stays cooler, making it a better choice for locations with more sunny days than cloudy.

  • Is it cheaper to get a metal roof or shingles?

A shingled roof costs less than a metal roof; however, you will also need to replace it sooner. Consider how long you plan to stay in your home when making a decision.​

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Underlayment: Roofing material laid underneath roofing tiles to seal the roof, preventing leaks
glossary term picture Shingle 2 Shingles: A smooth, uniform, flat piece of construction material, available in a wide variety of materials and laid in a series of overlapping rows, used to cover the outside of roofs or walls to protect against weather damage and leaks.
glossary term picture Soffit 3 Soffits: Construction material, typically composed of vinyl or aluminum, used to enclose the underside of eaves and ceilings
glossary term picture Ridge Vent 4 Ridge vent: Ventilation opening in a sloped roof, installed at its pinnacle to remove moisture and warm air from the attic area
glossary term picture Bitumen 5 Asphalt: A viscous, black mixture of hydrocarbons often used for roofing and waterproofing. It is also used in asphalt for paving roads
6 Fasteners: Hardware used to attach two or more objects to each other. A common example is a nail
glossary term picture Slate 7 Slate: A fine-grained rock, typically bluish-gray in color, that can easily be split into thin layers and is commonly used as a roofing material
glossary term picture Shake 8 Shakes: A rugged flat piece of wooden construction material with at least one grain-split face, generally made of either redwood or cedar, laid in a series of overlapping rows and used to cover the outside of roofs and walls to protect against weather damage and leaks
9 Eaves: The edge of a roof that connects with the wall of the building. Usually this part of the roof comes out further than the wall
10 Polyethylene: A resilient, pliable, synthetic resin made by polymerizing ethylene and primarily used for containers, packaging, corrosion-resistant piping, and insulation
glossary term picture Tin Snip 11 Tin snips: A tool used to cut sheet metal

Cost to install an aluminum roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

picture related to the guide

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albany, GA
0%
Allen, TX
+23%
Anaheim, CA
+21%
Anderson, SC
-23%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Augusta, GA
-13%
Austin, TX
+13%
Avon, NY
-14%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Bellingham, WA
-6%
Big Spring, TX
-32%
Binghamton, NY
-3%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Boydton, VA
-30%
Brazoria, TX
+2%
Broken Arrow, OK
-17%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Brownville, ME
-48%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Canton, OH
-8%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Columbia, SC
-10%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Euclid, OH
-1%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Harvey, IL
+11%
Hazlehurst, MS
-53%
Homestead, FL
-2%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Ipswich, MA
+19%
Jackson, MS
-10%
Katy, TX
+63%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Lynchburg, VA
-23%
Meridian, CA
-3%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Mesquite, TX
+7%
Miami, FL
+1%
Midland, TX
-15%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Mobile, AL
-8%
Muskegon, MI
-3%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   
Methodology and sources