How Much Does a Copper Roof Cost?

Average range: $50,000 - $70,000
Low
$20,000
Average Cost
$60,000
High
$80,000
(2,000 sq.ft. of flat seam copper panels installed on a gable roof)

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Reviewed by Nieves Martinez. Written by Fixr.com.

Copper roofs have a distinctive appearance that is eye-catching and recognizable. Copper does not rust, corrode, or break like other roofing materials, so many buildings constructed around the world in the 1700s and 1800s still have their original copper roofs. This durability, combined with a beautiful appearance, makes copper roofing still viable today. Copper can be installed on new or existing roofs, and the costs in this guide focus on replacing your existing roof with copper.

The national average cost to install a copper roof in a roof replacement is $50,000 to $70,000, with most homeowners spending around $60,000 for 2,000 sq.ft. of flat seam copper panels installed on a gable roof. This project’s low cost is $20,000 for a 1,000 sq.ft. copper shingle gable roof. The high cost is $80,000 for 2,000 sq.ft. of rolled copper roofing installed on a mansard roof.

Copper Roof Cost

Copper Roof Installation Costs
National average cost$60,000
Average range$50,000-$70,000
Low-end$20,000
High-end$80,000

Copper Roof Cost by Project Range

Low
$20,000
1,000 sq.ft. of copper shingles installed on a gable roof
Average Cost
$60,000
2,000 sq.ft. of flat seam copper panels installed on a gable roof
High
$80,000
2,000 sq.ft. of rolled copper roofing installed on a mansard roof

Copper Roof Cost per Square Foot

Copper roofing has a wide cost range depending on your roof type and style. The average copper roof costs between $20 and $40 a sq.ft. installed. Copper pricing is volatile, with material shortages and high demand causing fluctuating costs. The type of copper roof influences the cost per square foot because some types require larger continuous sheets of copper, which have the highest costs. Others can use smaller pieces with lower costs. This leads to wide cost ranges for any roof. Below are the average costs to install a copper roof based on the total size.

Cost to install a 1,000, 1,200, 1,350, 1,500, 2,000, 2,200, 3,750, and 4,500 sq.ft. copper roof

Cost to install a 1,000, 1,200, 1,350, 1,500, 2,000, 2,200, 3,750, and 4,500 sq.ft. copper roof

SizeAverage Cost (Installed)
1,000 sq.ft.$20,000 - $40,000
1,200 sq.ft.$24,000 - $48,000
1,350 sq.ft.$27,000 - $54,000
1,500 sq.ft.$30,000 - $60,000
2,000 sq.ft.$40,000 - $80,000
2,200 sq.ft.$44,000 - $88,000
3,750 sq.ft.$75,000 - $150,000
4,500 sq.ft.$90,000 - $180,000

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Copper Roof Cost per Square

Copper roofing, like most roofing materials, is sold and installed by the square. A square is 100 sq.ft. of roofing material. This means copper roofing costs between $2,000 and $4,000 per square installed. Most contractors work with squares as their basic measurement but may also give you a square foot cost. The number of squares your home needs varies depending on the roof size and complexity. Your home may need from 10 to 35 squares of roofing to complete. Below are the average costs to install a new copper roof based on the number of squares.

Cost to install 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, and 35 copper roof squares

Cost to install 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, and 35 copper roof squares

Number of SquaresAverage Cost (Installed)
10 Squares$20,000 - $40,000
12 Squares$24,000 - $48,000
15 Squares$30,000 - $60,000
18 Squares$36,000 - $72,000
20 Squares$40,000 - $80,000
25 Squares$50,000 - $100,000
30 Squares$60,000 - $120,000
35 Squares$70,000 - $140,000

Copper Roof Cost by Type

Copper roofs come in many types. These include shingles 1, panels of many styles, and rolled roofing. Copper shingles are the least expensive, while rolled roofing costs the most. Copper shingles are installed like other shingles - nailed to the roof using copper nails. Panels may be installed in various ways depending on the type, with standing seam being the most popular. Rolled roofing has the fewest seams and is the most durable but uses the largest sheets, increasing costs.

Material and total cost per sq.ft. to install a shingle, panel, and rolled copper roof

Material and total cost per sq.ft. to install a shingle, panel, and rolled copper roof

TypeAverage Cost per Square Foot (Materials Only)Average Cost per Square Foot (Installed)
Shingles$13 - $16$20 - $30
Panels$18 - $21$25 - $35
Rolled$23 - $26$30 - $40

Copper Shingles Cost

The cost of copper shingles is $13 to $16 a sq.ft. for the material. The cost of these shingles installed averages $20 to $30 a sq.ft. Copper shingles are shakes 2, tiles, or shingles. They can be plain squares or more decorative tiles with scalloped edges. Like other shingles, they install individually. Because copper is so soft, they must be installed carefully with copper nails for the best results.

Copper Roof Panels Cost

The cost of copper roof panels is $18 to $21 a sq.ft. for the material. Installed, these panels cost $25 to $35 a sq.ft. There are many copper panels, including flat, standing, and batten seam. Standing seam is the most common but must be installed on straight sections. Flat seam copper roofs can be installed on curved roofs or domes, making them more versatile. Batten seams are uncommon but may be used in roof replacements on historic homes for a specific look.

Material and total cost per sq.ft. to install flat seam, standing seam, and batten seam copper roof panels

Material and total cost per sq.ft. to install flat seam, standing seam, and batten seam copper roof panels

Panel StyleAverage Costs per Sq.Ft. (Materials Only)Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
Flat Seam$18 - $20$25 - $34
Standing Seam$18 - $21$25 - $35
Batten Seam$19 - $21$26 - $35

Flat Seam Copper Roof Cost

The cost of a flat seam copper roof averages $18 to $20 a sq.ft. for the material. The cost of this roof installed is $25 to $34 a sq.ft. Flat seam copper roofs use panels with an overlapping seam that lays flush between the panels. The panels can be laid in different directions - vertical or horizontal - with different dimensions. This panel can be installed on curved roofs and domes, making it unique. However, it is more prone to leaks than standing seam roofs.

Standing Seam Copper Cost

The cost of a standing seam copper roof averages $18 to $21 a sq.ft. for the material. The cost of this roof style installed averages $25 to $35 a sq.ft. Standing seam copper roofs come in several types. In a standing seam roof, the edges of each panel are called legs and stand vertically off the panels. The fasteners 3 are hidden inside the legs, making this roofing durable and weathertight. Copper standing seam panels can be installed horizontally or vertically. They also come in many sizes, including long panels, which are extra long and wide with fewer seams.

Copper Batten Roof

The cost of a copper batten roof is $19 to $21 a sq.ft. for the material. The cost of this roof style installed averages $26 to $35 a sq.ft. Batten roofs are uncommon but may still be used in roof replacements on historic buildings. The roof is made of panels, but over each seam is a thin strip of wood called a batten. The batten is covered with a thin layer of copper. This lifts the seam rather than leaving it flat to make the roof more decorative. These panels cannot be used on curved roofs like flat seamed.

Copper Rolled Roof

The cost of a copper rolled roof is $23 to $26 a sq.ft. for the material. The cost of this roof installed averages $30 to $40 a sq.ft. Rolled roofs are made with long sheets of copper formed to the roof on-site. This is the most costly and labor-intensive method of creating a copper roof. However, this method has the fewest seams and is the most durable. It can also be used on curved roofs and domes because it is made to conform to any roof shape.

Cost of a Copper Roof by Shape

Roofs come in many shapes and complexities. Generally, the more complex a roof, the higher the cost to install a roofing material. This is true of copper roofs. Gable, hipped, Dutch, and butterfly roofs are fairly simple to install material on because they are made of straight lines and angles with a moderate pitch. Dormer, A-frame, and mansard roofs are more complex and have higher costs per square foot to install a copper roof. Copper can be molded to a roof, unlike aluminum. Roofs like mansards, which curve, can easily have a copper roof installed, while aluminum does not work. Dormer roofs, which are of varying shapes with windows coming from the roof, are also excellent for copper because you can change the roofing shape with the window shape, enhancing its appearance. The total cost per roof still varies based on the size. Some roofs require more roofing material. For example, hipped and dormer roofs need more material than gable roofs installed on homes of the same size. Below are the average costs per square foot to install copper roofing on roofs of varying shapes.

Cost per sq.ft. to install a gable, hipped, dutch, butterfly, dormer, A-frame, and mansard copper roof

Cost per sq.ft. to install a gable, hipped, dutch, butterfly, dormer, A-frame, and mansard copper roof

ShapeAverage Cost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
Gable$20 - $35
Hipped$20 - $35
Dutch$20 - $35
Butterfly$20 - $35
Dormer$22 - $37
A-Frame$23 - $38
Mansard$25 - $40

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Labor Cost to Replace a Copper Roof

Replacing your existing roof with a copper roof has labor costs of between $7 and $14 a sq.ft. Copper can be difficult and time-consuming to work with, regardless of the style. Shingles are soft and must be nailed individually. Panels can be time-consuming to install, regardless of the type, and rolled copper roof is formed to your roof on-site. This makes copper installation costs generally higher than other metal roofing types.

Some copper roofing types can be installed over an existing roof. This is not true for rolled roofing, flat seam panels, or shingles, but other panels can be put over a shingle roof that is in relatively good condition. This can save $1 to $2 a sq.ft. compared to a tear-off, where the old roofing is completely removed, a new underlayment 4 is put down, and the new roof is installed.

The roofing installation process varies depending on the roof type and style. In a roofing replacement, the old roofing is usually torn off first, and the deck must be inspected before installing the new roof. The deck must be in good condition before installing a new copper roof, so loose fasteners or rotting sections must be addressed. Felt underlayment is generally laid down first, but this can vary depending on the roof. Below is the average cost breakdown for replacing your existing roof with a copper roof.

Labor cost per sq.ft. for copper roof materials, tear off (optional), and installation

Labor cost per sq.ft. for copper roof materials, tear off (optional), and installation

Project AreaAverage Costs per Square Foot
Tear Off$1 - $2
Installation$6 - $12
Materials$13 - $26

Cost to Install Copper Roofing on New Construction

The average labor costs to install a copper roof on a new home or during new construction is typically $6 to $12 a sq.ft. for a total cost range of $19 to $38 a sq.ft., depending on the type and roof complexity. Copper roofs are incredibly durable, lasting hundreds of years when installed properly. This makes them good for new homes because they have lasting value. The installation process is the same for new construction as a replacement, without removing the old roofing material first. This makes the total cost of installation slightly less than for a replacement. Otherwise, the materials and methods are the same.

Copper Roof Accents Costs

Copper roofing is one of the most expensive materials for your home. It is also beautiful with a distinctive appearance. Many people add copper accents to their roofs and homes while using a less expensive material for most of the roof. This lets you get some of the beauty of the copper while saving the difference.

You can add a copper accent to your home in many ways. These include copper flashing 5, gutters, chimney caps, cupola roofs, bay window 6 roofs, finials 7, awnings, dormer roofs, weathervanes, and other small areas. Each accent has different costs, depending on the size, style, and location. Many accents can be installed together to add several areas of copper color and interest, or you can choose just one or two. For example, if you have a bay window, you may want to roof it in copper and complement it with copper gutters. Or, if you have a cupula, you may want to roof it in copper to make it stand out and become the focal point. Finials, weathervanes, and other decorative accents are also ideal for copper because it calls additional attention, letting them stand out from the home. It also makes sense to use copper for vents and valleys because copper is long-lasting and does not wear like other materials. Below is the average cost of some of the most common copper roof accents.

Cost to install a copper roof accent by type: gutters, chimney caps, awnings, weathervane, bay window roof…

Cost to install a copper roof accent by type: gutters, chimney caps, awnings, weathervane, bay window roof…

AccentAverage Cost (Installed)
Finials$80 - $1,500
Weathervane$150 - $1,300
Open Valley$250 - $900
Dormer Roof$250 - $1,200
Vent$600 - $1,700
Cupola$700 - $5,500
Chimney Caps$1,500 - $2,000
Awnings$1,500 - $7,500
Bay Window Roof$1,500 - $7,500
Gutters$3,750 - $6,000

Copper-Colored Metal Roofing Prices

True copper develops a patina 8, going from the color of a new penny to a dull blue-green. For those who like the initial color and do not want the added expense of a true copper roof, you can purchase aluminum roofing with the color of copper. Aluminum roofs are frequently finished in a wide range of colors, including copper colors and tones. Aluminum is less expensive than copper and changes color. It does not last as long as copper, with an average lifespan of 50 years. The average cost of a copper-colored aluminum roof is $6.50 to $21 a sq.ft. installed, depending on your roofing.

Copper Penny Metal Roof Cost

If you like the look of a copper roof but not the expense or patina, you can get a copper penny metal roof. Copper penny is a specific copper color applied to painted metal roofs like aluminum and some types of steel to look like a copper-colored roof. This color must be applied to the metal roof before installation, meaning you need to indicate that you want your metal roof to have the copper penny color when ordering it. This material costs between $4 and $21 a sq.ft. installed, depending on the metal and roof style. While this finish gives your home the look of copper, the finish is duller than real copper. Aluminum and steel roofs do not last as long as copper roofs, and steel roofs should not be installed in coastal areas to prevent corrosion.

Copper dormer on a rooftop of an apartment house

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How Long Do Copper Roofs Last?

When properly installed, a copper roof can last hundreds of years, virtually maintenance-free. For reference, shingle roofs have a lifespan of about 20 years. Copper is so long-lasting because of the patina it develops. While a new copper roof starts out a bright copper color, it gradually turns brown and finally begins to verdigris or turn green. This process produces a natural patina that protects the roof from corrosion. Because this patina is the best defense the roof has, it is recommended to not clean the roof. Copper naturally repels things like algae and moss, so your roof is likely to stay in better condition than some other roofs.

Pros and Cons

Copper has many positive attributes that make it an ideal roofing material. It is lightweight, so it does not require much reinforcement to your roof deck. It is also long-lasting because it does not degrade or corrode, so it can last hundreds of years with little to no maintenance. A copper roof may be the last roof your home needs.

Copper can be recycled, and many copper roofs can be made of high recycled material content, making this an environmentally friendly roofing choice.

Like all roofing materials, copper has drawbacks. It is one of the most expensive roofing materials available, costing far more than other metal and asphalt roofs. Copper tiles, which are among the least expensive, are often soft and easily bent or dented during installation or a hail storm. While this does not impact the durability, it can take away from its appearance.

Roof shingles texture made from copper metal

Maintenance

Copper roofs naturally form a patina when exposed to heat, humidity, and air. This is not damaging to the materials, protects the roof from corrosion, and adds charm. This patina is why a copper roof lasts so long Removing the patina could damage the roof, so leave it alone whenever possible. Ideally, you want your copper roof to patina.

However, if you truly want a copper roof, not copper-colored aluminum, and want it to remain in its original state, you can take steps to preserve the color. This includes coating it in materials that help stop the patina process by sealing the copper from the air. This should be done as soon as possible after installation to prevent oxidation. These steps increase the roof’s maintenance and do not guarantee against the roof aging or corroding. The roof must be coated in a corrosion inhibitor and a clear UV-protectant top coat. Very few of these products are available and must be reapplied every 2 to 3 years. This has a cost of $2 to $4 a sq.ft.

To properly maintain your roof, rinse it with clean water, especially when the rain does not remove dust, grime, or bird droppings. Do not clean the roof with anything caustic or use pressure because this can remove the patina and damage the roof. Fasteners may loosen, so it is a good idea to check them regularly with periodic roof inspections. If a hailstorm or other harsh weather occurs, have the roof inspected by a professional to ensure no serious damage was done. Copper is soft and may dent if enough force is applied. Dents can often be repaired if needed.

Cost of a Copper Roof vs Metal

Copper roofs are a subtype of metal roofs. Several materials can create a metal roof. Aluminum is the most common because it is lightweight and easy to work with while resisting corrosion. Aluminum is also much less expensive than copper or zinc but costs more than steel.

Copper and zinc are the longest-lasting. Both develop a patina and are virtually maintenance-free. Aluminum is usually factory coated or painted, while steel may be galvanized or painted, depending on the type. Tin is rarely used and has fewer options than the other types. Of the various types, copper is versatile because it comes in tiles, panels, and rolled roofing. Zinc is available in many of the same types but is less common than copper. Zinc, copper, and steel have variable costs, making them hard to compare in the long term. Below are the average costs of a copper roof compared to the cost of an average metal roof.

Comparison of the cost per sq.ft. to install a metal and copper roof

Comparison of the cost per sq.ft. to install a metal and copper roof

RoofAverage Costs per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
Metal$6.50 - $21
Copper$25 - $35

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Painting a Copper Roof

While painting a copper roof is unnecessary, some homeowners choose to change its color. Painting a copper roof is possible but increases the roof’s maintenance. Painting copper is difficult and determined by your roof type. Expect costs of between $4 and $6 a sq.ft., including material and labor. Painting the roof does not help preserve it like the natural patina.

Copper Ceiling Tiles

When installed inside, copper ceilings can add a beautiful accent. Available in various sizes and patterns, they are nailed to furring strips on the ceiling. Some copper ceiling tiles have a thin layer of copper over another material, while others are made of copper. The more copper in the tile, the higher the costs. Expect costs to start at $5 to $20 a sq.ft. for the material. Installation costs an additional $5 to $10 a sq.ft.

Copper Flashing Cost

Whether you have a copper roof or not, you can install copper flashing on your home. Copper flashing can inhibit algae growth while adding copper color and style. The flashing can be used anywhere normal, including around skylights and chimneys. The flashing patinas like a copper roof, eventually developing a verdigris finish. The cost of copper flashing is around $80 to $100 per roll.

Copper Gutters and Downspouts

Another way to get the color and beauty of copper for your home is to install copper gutters and downspouts. Copper gutters can be used with any roofing, including a copper roof. Copper gutters and roofing can give your home a cohesive appearance. Like copper roofing, the gutters and downspouts eventually patina. The average cost of installing copper gutters and downspouts is $3,750 to $6,000.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Value. Copper roofs increase your home’s value. Because they are expected to last so long, the new owner does not need to consider roofing replacement in a few years, making the home more attractive to buyers.
  • Roofers. Not many roofers or contractors work with copper or have the expertise needed. Qualified roofers may charge a premium for the installation, which is part of the high cost.
  • DIY. Copper roof installations are not suitable for DIY. Due to the specialized work and the heights necessary to complete the project, this is best left to professionals.
  • Accents. Copper may be added to small sections of a roof as an architectural accent. This can help keep costs down while bringing some of the beauty of copper to the roof.
  • Gutters. If you want the look of copper on your home, you may also want to consider copper gutters.
  • Permits. A permit may be required in your area. Speak to your local municipality for more information to find out which permits may be required.
  • Solar panels. You can install solar panels on a copper roof. However, the racking system must be made of stainless steel to not interact badly with the copper.
  • Warranty. Some manufacturers have warranties on their products, while some installers may warranty their labor for about 1 year. Speak to your installer to find out which warranties may be available for your new roof.
  • Seasonal timing. Install your roof during the warmer months. However, labor costs may be at their highest in the fall with cooler temperatures and the need to finish the roofs before winter.
  • Complex roofs. Complex roofs and roofs with many protrusions, such as dormers, skylights, and chimneys, may cost more to roof. Speak to your installer about how your roof’s complexity may impact your project.
  • Gauge. Copper roofs can be found in different material thicknesses or gauges. The lower the number, the thicker the material. Generally, thicker materials cost more.

FAQs

  • Are copper roofs worth it?

This depends on your goals. Copper roofs are expensive but also long-lasting. A copper roof may be the last roof a home needs, so you save long-term.

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

Copper roofs are metal roofs. They are more expensive than many other metals, including aluminum, steel, and tin. They may have similar costs to zinc.

  • How long does it take for a copper roof to oxidize?

It takes moisture to oxidize a roof. The more moisture in the air, the faster the copper changes colors. It can take 10 to 20 years to fully oxidize, depending on the climate, but you can use chemicals to achieve the look faster.​​

  • What are the benefits of a copper roof?

Copper roofs are extremely durable, long-lasting, and beautiful. When well-maintained, they can last over 100 years. They are also lightweight and low-maintenance.

  • Why do architects use copper roofs?

Many architects use copper roofs for their beauty and how they enhance the structure visually and monetarily.

  • Are copper roofs expensive?

Yes, copper is one of the most expensive roofing types. A 1,500 sq.ft. copper roof costs $30,000 to $60,000.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Shingle 1 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 Shake 2 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
3 Fasteners: Hardware used to attach two or more objects to each other. A common example is a nail
4 Underlayment: Roofing material laid underneath roofing tiles to seal the roof, preventing leaks
glossary term picture Flashing 5 Flashing: Pieces of sheet metal used on roofs to cover joints, such as where the roof meets the wall, or around a chimney or skylight, to protect them and prevent water leaking through
6 Bay window: A set of 3 or more windows that projects beyond the outside wall of a building. These are great for allowing light into a room
7 Finials: It is a metal rod with a pointed or round tip that allows the lightning to be caught and safely diffused through conductor cables to ground rods buried in a safe place. All three components together make up a complete lightning protection system
glossary term picture Patina 8 Patina: A thin film, usually green or blue in color, that forms over time on certain metals (such as copper, brass, bronze, and aluminum) or wood and stone surfaces due to natural oxidation

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

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources