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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Copper Roof?

Low
$16,500
Average Cost
$30,000
High
$45,000
(1,500 sq.ft of copper pans installed over a new deck)

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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Copper Roof?

Low
$16,500
Average Cost
$30,000
High
$45,000
(1,500 sq.ft of copper pans installed over a new deck)

Get free estimates from roofers near you
Here's what happens next
Step 1
Answer a few questions
Tell us what you are looking for.
Step 2
Find out how much your project will cost
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Step 3
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Copper roofs have a distinctive appearance that is instantly eye-catching and recognizable. Copper does not rust, corrode, or break down 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 its beautiful appearance, makes copper roofing still sought after today.

This beautiful material runs between $11 and $14 a square foot or $110 to $140 a roofing square for materials only. The average 1,500-square-foot copper roof ranges between $25,500 and $30,000.

Copper Roof Cost

Copper Roof Installation Costs
National average cost$30,000
Average range$25,500-$30,000
Minimum cost$16,500
Maximum cost$45,000


Updated: What's new?

Copper Roof Cost by Project Range

Low
$16,500
Copper shingles installed over an existing roof
Average Cost
$30,000
1,500 sq.ft of copper pans installed over a new deck
High
$45,000
Copper rolled roofing, seams, decorative edges

Copper Metal Roof Cost Per Square Foot

Copper roofs are one of the most versatile roofing materials around. Copper can be rolled and cut into many different shapes, giving you tremendous options when it comes to designing and installing your new roof.


Copper Roof Cost

Copper Roof Cost


Roofing styleDescriptionAverage Cost

Cut shingles

Copper cut into shingles 1

May be installed straight or in a diamond pattern

$9-$11 / sq.ft.
Flat seam

18 x 24-inch copper sheets

Edges are folded over one another where they meet

$11-$14 / sq.ft.
Standing seam

14 - 18-inch wide pans

Fixed cleats hold pans together

$11-$14 / sq.ft.
Horizontal seam

Copper pans running

horizontally across the roof

Held by fixed cleats

$11-$14 / sq.ft.
Long panStanding seam roof with 30-foot long cleats$14-$16 / sq.ft.
Batten seam

Copper pans running parallel to the roof slope

Wood battens, covered in copper, separate the pans

$14-$16 / sq.ft.
Rolled roofSheet copper installed over the entirety of the roof, few seams$14-$20 / sq.ft.


Copper Roof Panels Cost

Copper roofs can be installed in several ways. The first of which involves panels, and these can be installed using a horizontal seam, where the panels run parallel to the side of the house. There is also a flat seam application where 18 x 24-inch copper sheets are installed with the edges folded over one another where they meet. A third option is batten seam roofing where copper panels are installed parallel to the roof slope, and wood battens covered in copper separate the panels. Another option is a rolled roof that involves large copper sheets installed over the entire roof, with very few seams exposed. Material costs are between $11 - $20/sq. ft. with simpler styles, such as the horizontal or flat seam, costing less than a batten or rolled roof.

Standing Seam Copper Cost

Standing seam copper roofing has a broad flat area called a pan that is between 14 - 18 inches wide. The fasteners are concealed, which protects against leaks, and the panels can expand and contract with the weather. A long pan is a form of standing seam application with 30-foot long cleats over the seams. Standing seam panels run $11 - 14/sq. ft., with long pan costing slightly more.

Copper Shingles Price

Copper shingles can be installed in a straight or diamond pattern. Diamond pattern shingles come in different angle sizes and dimensions, and the ones you choose will depend on the size and look of your roof. Copper shingles add character to the roof and can be molded onto gables, valleys, and other roof characteristics to create a distinguished look. Material costs are between $9 and $11/sq. ft.


Roof shingles texture made from copper metal


How Much Does It Cost to Install a Copper Roof

Installation of a copper roof is extremely labor-intensive. In many cases, the copper is fashioned on-site to fit the needs of the roof rather than being purchased in ready-to-install pieces. For this reason, the installation costs of a copper roof can be high, often averaging around $6 a square foot or $600 a roofing square. This is approximately $9,000 for a 1,500-square-foot copper roof.

Copper roofs install similarly to other roofing materials of the same style. An underlayment 2 is put down over the roofing deck to help protect it and provide a surface for the roof to be installed over. Copper shingles are nailed into place with overlapping edges like asphalt or other, loose shingles. Standing seam, horizontal seam, and long pan copper roofs are laid out piece by piece, and then fastened ​along their top edges, which overlap one another to form a watertight seam 3.

Flat seam roofs are laid out side by side, and then the overlapping edges are folded onto one another and fastened into place.

In many cases with a copper roof, the pieces used are often formed on site. Meaning that while prefabricated pans and shingles are available, it is more common for rolled copper roofing to be purchased, then cut and shaped at the job site prior to being installed. This customization allows for a better fit and can adapt to gables, valleys, vent caps, and other intricacies on the roof. It is also one reason a copper roof is so expensive to install.

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 40 years. Minor damage may occur from extreme weather or corrosive materials, but if they are addressed immediately, the roof will not need to be replaced.

Copper Roof Maintenance

Copper roofs naturally form a patina when exposed to the elements. This is not damaging to the materials, and it helps protect the roof from corrosion and adds to its charm. Exposure to rain or other elements in the atmosphere can be damaging. Rinse your roof with clean water, especially where the rain does not remove dust, grime, and bird droppings. Over time, fasteners may loosen, so it is a good idea to check them regularly. If a hailstorm or other harsh weather occurs, have the roof inspected by a professional and determine whether it can be repaired or will need replacing.

Copper Roofs vs Other Metal Roofs

If you cannot decide between installing a copper roof or choosing another roofing material, here is a comparison that might help you:

MetalDescriptionCost
Tin

May come in shingles or other roofing types

Less expensive

Lightweight

Lasts 30 - 50 years

$5,000-$6,000
Aluminum

Mostly standing seam

May corrode

Lightweight

Mid-range expensive

Lasts 50+ years

$6,000-$8,000
Steel

Comes in standing seam or tile

Heavy, may need reinforcement

May corrode

Expensive

Lasts 50+ years

$6,000-$20,0000
Zinc

Durable

Lightweight

Expensive

Mostly standing seam

Lasts 100+ years

$15,000-$24,000
Copper

Expensive

Living finish changes over time

Many styles to choose from

Lasts 100+ years

$30,000-$50,000


Prep Work to Install a Copper Roof

Copper roofs do not require as much prep work as other roofing types. While they can be installed over some existing roofing materials, this can only be done if the existing material is in good condition. If the existing material is broken, curling, or in disrepair, then it should be removed. Copper should only be installed over an existing roofing material if is in good condition, so any material currently on the roof must first be examined and possibly repaired or removed.

The roof deck should be examined as well. While copper roofs are lightweight and the deck will not need reinforcement, any rotting sections should be replaced, and any warped or sagging areas should be repaired. The deck needs to be completely dry, smooth, and flat before installation. So, any existing nailheads or other fasteners 4 that are standing up from the deck should either be more securely fastened or removed.


Copper dormer on rooftop of apartment house


Copper Roof Pros and Cons

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

Copper can be recycled, and many copper roofs can be made of high recycled material content, making this an environmentally friendly roofing choice. Copper roofs come in many styles. And while they start out a bright, polished color, they eventually oxidize and take on a beautiful verdigris 5, blue/green finish that is striking.

Like all roofing materials, however, copper has drawbacks. It is one of the most expensive roofing materials available, costing far more than other metal or asphalt 6 roofs. Like other metal roofs, it can sometimes be loud during a rainfall, particularly if installed over open rafters. Copper tiles, which are among the least expensive type of copper roofing, are often soft and easily bent or dented during installation or a hail storm. While this will not impact the durability of the roof, it can take away from its appearance.

Preserving Copper Roof’s Color

Copper roofs are designed to change color over time to a beautiful patina. However, if you want to preserve the shiny natural color, this can be done through chemical or natural means. A do-it-yourself and natural option is a mixture of lemon juice, white vinegar, and salt. Use this to clean the roof, and then rinse it thoroughly with clean water. You can do this often or as a precursor to a more permanent solution, which is to coat the roof with a clear polyurethane or lacquer. The cost to paint a roof is about $3 per square foot and lasts 5-10 years, depending on the manufacturer.

Enhancements and Improvements

Old Roof Removal

In most cases, the old roofing material needs to be removed before the copper roofing can be installed. Copper ideally needs a smooth, flat surface to be installed on. Old asphalt that is curling, broken, or rotting can mean that the roof deck is damaged. For this reason, it is best to remove the old roofing.

Roofing removal is around $1 - $2 per square foot, and this is usually factored into the total cost of the installation. Roofing over an existing roof will save you this amount.

Painting a Copper Roof

While painting a copper roof is not necessary, some homeowners choose to paint accents. For the paint to stick properly, a primer and proper brushstrokes are required. Restoration of an old painted copper roof involves repairing the weak spots and applying a liquid copper paint to return the look to copper instead of the current paint color. Liquid copper paint costs $40 - $140 for a gallon. It is best to hire a professional to paint the roof and costs $900 on average.

Copper Ceiling Tiles

While they are on the inside of your house, adding a copper ceiling can add a beautiful accent. Available in a variety of sizes and patterns, they are nailed to furring strips installed on the ceiling. While this is a DIY job, make sure you have a helper, make precise measurements, and use proper safety measures because the edges can be sharp. Cornices can be installed as well. A 2-foot square tile costs $13 - $24 each, plus furring strips for the installation. Copper cornice molding prices are $20 - $40 for a 4-foot section. If you hire a professional, costs run $550 - $800 for an average-size room.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Copper roofs increase the resale value of a home. Because they are expected to last so long, the new owner will not need to think about roofing replacement in a few years. For this reason, like any roofing replacement, you can see a minimum return on investment of around 68%.
  • Not many roofers or contractors work with copper or have the expertise needed to do so. For this reason, qualified roofers may charge a premium for the installation, which is part of the high cost.
  • 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.
  • Copper may be added to small sections of a roof as an architectural accent. This can help keep costs down, while still bringing some of the beauty of copper to the roof.
  • If you want the look of copper on your home, you may also want to consider copper gutters.

FAQ

  • 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 will change 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?

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

  • Why do architects use copper roofs?

Many architects choose to use copper roofs for their beauty, and the way they enhance the structure both visually and monetarily.

  • Are copper roofs expensive?

Yes, copper is one of the most expensive types of roofing. A 1,500-square-foot copper roof will cost around $30,000 on average.

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.
2 Underlayment: Roofing material laid underneath roofing tiles to seal the roof, preventing leaks
3 Seam: A fold, line, or groove where two pieces of material join together
4 Fasteners: Hardware used to attach two or more objects to each other. A common example is a nail
glossary term picture Patina 5 Verdigris: 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
glossary term picture Bitumen 6 Asphalt: A viscous, black mixture of hydrocarbons often used for roofing and waterproofing. It is also used in asphalt for paving roads

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

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

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.