How Much Does Copper Roof Installation Cost?
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Copper Roof Cost Guide
Updated: December 27, 2023
How much does it cost to install copper roofing?
The average material and labor costs to install a 1,700-square-foot copper roof come to $47,767. However, installation prices depend on the size of your roof, the thickness of the copper pieces, and which roofing company you hire. Additionally, replacing an existing roof with copper costs thousands more than installing the material on a new roof deck. In some cases, homeowners spend over $100,000 to outfit their roofs with copper.
This makes copper roof panels, tiles, and sheets some of the most expensive — if not the most expensive — metal roofing materials for residential homes.
Despite these high costs, though, there are many good reasons to roof your home with copper. For one thing, its warm luster can greatly increase your home's curb appeal and resale value, yielding you good returns on your investment.
Copper is also highly durable. It’s more resistant to weather, algae, impacts, and fire than most materials, and it never rusts, unlike other types of metal roofing. These properties allow copper to last up to 100 years if properly cared for (which is pretty easy since it’s relatively low-maintenance), making it a lifetime material. Even in its old age, copper is beautiful, as it develops a lovely green patina that many homeowners treasure.
Lastly, copper reflects sunlight and radiant heat instead of transferring them, so it’s remarkably energy efficient. This means that copper roofing can reduce your home's heating and cooling costs and shrink your carbon footprint.
All these benefits make copper roofing worth the price if you can manage it. Still, there’s no denying that metal roofing costs can be prohibitively expensive for many homeowners. Unfortunately, the variability of all the factors makes it impossible to predict your total costs until you meet with a roofing contractor.
Still, you can get a good idea of what you might pay to install your copper metal roof by familiarizing yourself with all the cost factors. We can help with that.
Keep reading, and we’ll explain everything you need to account for. We’ll also help you determine which type of copper roof will work best for your home and your budget.
Factors that affect copper roofing costs
The size of your roof
The first cost factor is size. Copper roofing typically costs around $34 per square foot — or $3,407 per roofing square (100 square feet) — to install. So, the larger your roof, the more you’ll pay to outfit it with copper. The average roof in the U.S. measures 1,700 square feet, which is why the average cost for this roofing project shakes out to roughly $47,767.
If the size of your roof differs drastically from this average, peruse this list of prices for typical roof sizes to find your price range. If all else fails, you can multiply the square footage of your roof by the average per-square-foot price of copper roofing to find a ballpark estimate.
Copper roof installation costs by roof size
Average price range
800 sq. ft.
1,000 sq. ft.
1,300 sq. ft.
1,700 sq. ft.
2,000 sq. ft.
3,000 sq. ft.
These prices include the labor and material costs to install everything a copper roofing system needs, such as underlayment, fasteners, drip edges, and flashing.
If you have to remove old roofing
As previously mentioned, replacing old roofing with copper is more expensive than installing the material on bare roof decking. This is because roofers have to demolish and dispose of old materials to make way for copper when they do a replacement. On average, removing old copper roofing costs between $0.97 and $1.76 per square foot.
Here’s a breakdown of how much copper roofing replacement costs for roofs of different sizes. These prices include demolition, disposal, and installation.
Copper roof replacement costs by roof size
Average price range
800 sq. ft.
1,000 sq. ft.
1,300 sq. ft.
1,700 sq. ft.
2,000 sq. ft.
3,000 st. ft.
The pitch and shape of your roof
Pitch is a term used to describe how steeply your roof inclines. The steeper your roof, the greater its pitch. The greater your roof’s pitch, the more it will cost to install copper roofing.
Most roof pitches range between 4/12 and 8/12, meaning that for every 12 inches of run, these roofs rise four to eight inches. If your roof is on the high end of this range or falls outside of it, you should expect to pay more than average for your copper roof.
Similarly, the more complex a roof’s design, the higher the price of copper roofing. If your roof features several dormers, bay windows, or unusual ridges and valleys, you’ll likely pay more than someone with a simpler roof of a similar size.
The type of roofing copper you get
Copper roofing comes in four standard varieties, each with its own unique benefits and installation process. The different types come at different prices, so the kind you get will impact your total costs.
- Copper shingles get installed in overlapping patterns in much the same way as asphalt shingles. This overlapping design means that each shingle covers the gaps between the ones below it, providing a solid defense against the elements. Shingles are typically the most affordable type of copper roofing.
- Copper panels are larger than shingles, and while they’re often flat, they can be corrugated to form rain channels. Some panels — called “standing seam” panels — feature interlocking designs, while others — called “flat seam” panels — are meant to lie completely flat and overlap. One practical benefit of a copper panel roof is that it has fewer gaps than a shingle roof since the pieces are larger, though they’re usually more expensive per square foot than shingles as well.
- Rolled copper sheets come in large rolls like paper towels. They get unrolled on-site and glued down to a roof’s underlayment. This type of copper roofing is often used just for flashing, but it can also be used to cover an entire roof. Depending on local market conditions, this type of copper roofing might be the most expensive in your area.
- Copper tiles are similar to copper shingles in that they’re meant to lie slightly on top of each other to cover gaps. The key difference is that they’re typically thicker and meant to interlock for a more watertight seam. They also come in a larger variety of styles and textures. They’re typically the most expensive copper roofing, though this isn’t always the case.
Each of these copper roofing types is also available in varying thicknesses. The thicker the copper, the more durable it will be. However, thicker pieces also cost more.
Copper roofing installation pricing tiers
The budget option
Because copper is so expensive, it’s usually a bad roofing option for homeowners on shoestring budgets. If you need to roof your home affordably, we recommend getting a high-end asphalt shingle roof instead. Alternatively, if you can’t afford copper but still want a new metal roof, look into affordable alternatives like aluminum or steel roofing.
If you’re committed to getting a new copper roof, though, and you need to keep the upfront costs as low as possible, opting for simple copper shingles is the best way to do this. These won’t look as fancy as fish scale tiles or standing seam panels, but they’ll give you all the benefits of copper for a more manageable price.
Even if you go with this option, you should be prepared for this project to cost $15,000 to $30,000 at minimum.
A word to the wise: if you’re considering installing your copper roofing yourself to save money, we don’t recommend it. Installing metal roofing is much more difficult than installing asphalt shingles, and doing it wrong can shorten the lifespan of your roofing while also voiding your warranty. All around, copper roofing is a bad candidate for DIY home improvement.
The mid-range option
If your home improvement budget has room to cover the upfront costs of high-end roofing, then copper might be perfect for you. The money copper can save you on future roof replacements — and your energy bills — make it a sound investment, especially when you also factor in the resale value it will add to your home.
If you can’t afford the most expensive copper roofing, opt for thick copper panels with standing seam designs. These will elevate your home’s exterior and provide more protection than copper shingles could.
Be sure to protect your investment by keeping up with routine roof maintenance.
The high-end option
Look to copper tiles for the most striking and stylish copper roofing that money can buy. These materials come in various shapes, patterns, and textures, allowing you to get a copper roof that perfectly matches your taste. If you’re in the market for something that will last a lifetime and make your home look good, opt for thick tiles with interlocking designs.
Just know that outfitting your roof with copper tiles like this will cost a pretty penny. You’ll likely pay much more than average, especially if you’re replacing an existing roof system or your roof is immense. Additionally, thick metal roofing sometimes requires rafter reinforcement to support its weight, adding thousands of dollars in additional costs.
Altogether, these factors make this one of the most expensive ways to roof a home, bar none. But it’s also one of the best ways to get a roof that will beautifully last your whole life. Only high-end slate tiles can last longer while maintaining their allure.
How to pay for your copper roofing
Even if you go with relatively affordable copper roofing materials, this project usually costs what many people make in a year. Luckily, there are various financing options that can make it a realistic option for just about any homeowner.
- Lumping your roof in with your construction loan makes the most sense if you’re building a new home from the ground up. This will allow you to fund the construction of your home with one loan you can refinance with a mortgage.
- If you’re replacing a roof instead of building one as part of a new construction, then your first option is to utilize installer financing. Roofing companies often have partnerships with financial institutions to provide customers with flexible payment plans. While you should still compare the terms and conditions of your installer’s financing plan with your other options, they could be much more favorable.
- Your next option is to take out a personal loan to fund your copper roof. Depending on your credit score, this option might have a steep interest rate, so it might take longer to pay back than your other options. On the plus side, though, it’s relatively low-risk compared to the following financing methods.
- If your credit score isn’t very good, but you’ve paid off a significant portion of your mortgage over the years, you may want to take out a home equity loan instead of a personal loan. With this method, you borrow against your house so that the interest rate will be based on your home equity. The downside is that if you fail to pay a home equity loan back in time, the lender can take your home from you.
- Your final option is to open a home equity line of credit or HELOC. These credit lines work similarly to credit cards in that you can use them to borrow money repeatedly. They also work like a home equity loan, though, in that failure to pay off the debt you accrue through a HELOC could result in losing your home to your lender.
Other factors to consider
Installing new roofing with an HOA
If your neighborhood has an HOA, you should check the community bylaws and contact someone from the association before you hire contractors to install your copper roof. Your HOA may have strict rules about how homes in the neighborhood can look, and if copper roofing doesn’t fit the aesthetic your HOA has agreed upon, they could force you to undo all the work — on your dime!
Pulling permits for roofing
When undertaking any big home improvement project, you must pull construction permits first. When you hire a roofing contractor, they’ll pull the permits for you and add the necessary fees to your total costs. Permits vary by area, but this usually costs around $500.
Caring for your copper
While copper is a famously low-maintenance roofing material, you should still do a few things to ensure it lasts as long as possible. First, you should clean your roof annually to keep the copper lustrous and prevent corrosion. You can either do this yourself with a special cleaning solution from your hardware store or hire a professional cleaning service.
Similarly, you should also keep your gutters clean. Copper doesn’t rust, and it’s fairly waterproof when installed correctly. However, clogged gutters can cause water to pool on top of your roofing, slowly seep between the copper pieces, and damage your decking. You can prevent this by removing leaves, branches, and other debris from your gutters once or twice a year.
Lastly, you should make necessary roofing repairs as soon as you notice them. Copper is a very sturdy material, but copper panels and shingles can still be dented or knocked out of place by hail, falling branches, and ice buildup. Because of this, you should inspect your roof at least once a year and nip small damage in the bud before it can cause bigger problems.
Installation costs for copper roofing
Copper is one of the most expensive residential roofing materials, but for good reasons. Its longevity and durability ensure you won’t have to replace it for decades, and its energy efficiency can bring down your power bills the whole time. What makes copper worth the high costs for many homeowners, though, is the classic beauty it brings to a home.
Now that you know how much copper roofing can cost and why, the next step is to find out how much it will cost for your roof specifically.