Homeowners are always looking for ways to save money and energy while improving their home’s curb appeal. Installing a metal roof is one of the best ways to do both. This DIY guide will walk you through how to install metal roofing on your own home in 2021!
The Benefits of Installing a Metal Roof:
There are many reasons homeowners switch to metal roofs vs. standard asphalt shingles or other roofing materials. Metal roofs have one of the biggest ROIs you can get with longevity, durability, and beauty improvements.
While other roof materials might diminish in value as they age, metal roofs offer lasting benefits, including:
Strength and Durability
Metal is one of the most robust, most durable materials in the world, making it an ideal material for your roof. Metal roofs are often rated to last up to 50 years and longer, depending on the type of metal used, thanks to their high resistance to fire, hail, windstorms, and other natural disasters that can damage your roof. In comparison with asphalt shingles or wood shakes, metal has a much lower risk for water infiltration as well.
Some of the more premium roofing materials, such as tile and concrete, can put a lot of added weight on the structure of your home—up to 750-900 pounds per square. This added weight can be detrimental to your home’s structural integrity and has the potential to cause issues down the road. On the other hand, metal is only about 50 to 150 pounds per square, which is much more lightweight, reducing the weight on your home and making it much easier to install.
Metal roofs have proven to last up to 50 years or more. This long-lasting investment pays for itself over time, giving you an incredible return on investment. If you invest in a metal roof early on after you purchase your home, you not only will never have to worry about your roof but you’ll have a major selling point down the road.
For homeowners looking for a roof that they can “set and forget,” metal roofs offer some of the lowest maintenance requirements of all roofing materials. Their immense durability allows for less upkeep and a higher ability to withstand hail, wind, and thunderstorms without much maintenance.
Metal roofs are one of the most energy-efficient and sustainable options for your home. It is an excellent insulator which means it will keep your home cool in the summer and toasty warm in the winter. This added insulation helps keep your HVAC system from running extra hard to maintain your home’s temperature, saving you even more money in the long run.
If fire protection is a top priority for you, a metal roof is ideal because it is naturally fire-resistant. Metal roofs are certified with a Class A fire rating (the highest possible rating) which means they have one of the lowest flame spread indexes.
Opportunity for Discounts
Many insurance companies offer discounts on homeowner’s premiums if you install a metal roof because they’re fireproof and lessen wind damage from storms or hurricanes. This saves you and the insurance company money, so everybody wins.
Tools & Materials Required for Metal Roofing
If you’re looking to install a metal roof, there are some very specific tools and materials you’ll need to get the job done right. This is, of course, a generic list to get started, but if you don’t have all of these tools on hand, hiring a professional might be your best bet.
- Metal Sheet Panels or Shingles
- Gutters and Drip Edge
- Ridge Caps
- Fasteners or Metal Roofing Nails
- Safety Harness
- Ladder or Scaffolding
- Fastener Drivers
- Metal Snips or Shears
- Pitch Gauge
- Drill with a Metal Cutting Wheel Attachment (if cutting panels)
- Roofing Shovel or Pry Bar
Types of Metal Roofing
There are both different materials and styles of metal roofing to choose from, which can significantly affect how they are installed, price, and maintenance.
Five types of metal often used for roofing include:
Tin roofs are made from rolled sheets of tin and are usually installed in strips or shingles.
The most common type of metal roof is galvanized steel which is a lightweight, affordable option for homeowners who want to install their own roof.
Zinc is another metal commonly used for roofs. It is often galvanized before installation to add protection from the elements and fireproofing against damage caused by embers or flames.
Aluminum (or Copper)
Both aluminum and copper are expensive, but they offer great longevity — some types of these metals can last up to a century under certain circumstances.
Cladding any type of roof with copper will make it more durable because this material lasts longer than other options available while also adding an attractive beauty to your structure.
The three standard designs for metal roofing:
A standing seam metal panel is a seamless design that offers excellent durability and lots of insulation for your home and is installed by welding horizontal panels together.
Modular metal panels are installed by slotting the panel into a galvanized steel frame to form a tight seal.
Corrugated metal panels are installed by attaching them to a rigid substrate with nails, screws, or staples.
How to Install Metal Roofing
As you can see, there are so many different variations of metal roofing, but they all share the benefits of longevity, durability, and boosting curb appeal. Choosing to install a metal roof is a great option and can be done yourself by following a few key steps. Here’s an essential step-by-step guide to installing your new metal roof.
Thoroughly Measure Your Roof
Before you purchase materials, make sure that your metal roofing will fit on your home. This is easiest to do if you measure out the space and take measurements before shopping for panels or shingles. But once you know what size of material to buy (in inches), be aware that not all metals come in standard sizes, so it’s good to have a little extra just in case.
1) Measure the Height of Your Roof
Measure your roof to determine how many panels are needed for installation. Some metal roofs come with pre-cut lengths, but if not, you will need some sort of measuring device like an accurate yardstick, measuring tape, a chalk and line system, or laser leveler. For the best results, make sure to use a ladder so you can get accurate measurements.
2) Measure the Length of Your Roof
Once you know how many panels are needed for installation, measure the length of your roof and order that amount in panels or shingles. Start at one end and take a reading from top to bottom with your measuring tape to measure correctly. At that point, measure the distance to the opposite end and add those two measurements together for your total length.
3) Measure the Pitch of Your Roof
Another critical number you’ll want to know is pitch — this refers to how steeply sloped your roof is, or in other words, its incline measured from a horizontal plane. The pitch you want will depend on the type of metal roofing you buy because a steeper pitch means more material is needed for installation.
Purchase all of Your Materials and Tools
After you’ve measured your roof, the next step is to purchase all the materials and tools you’ll need for installation. Again, refer to our list of tools and materials above, but now you will know more accurately how many materials you’ll need to purchase based on your roof’s measurements.
Metal Roofing Sheets: These are usually available in three lengths (30″, 24″, or 16″) and can be purchased in either the sheet form or in pre-cut lengths.
Metal Roofing Shingles: They come with a variety of widths (ranging from 12″ to 24″) and have an option for round shapes used on steep pitches.
Galvanized Steel Frames: These frames are available in different sizes and are installed first to support the metal panels.
Remove the Old Roof
Now you’re ready to remove the old roof. Depending on how it was installed, this might be as simple as removing screws or nails and pulling up shingles. However, if your current roof is a standing seam design (which requires welding), then you’ll need to cut through some of the panels before being able to pull them off the roof.
Repair any Structural Damage
Once you’ve removed your old roof, it’s time to attach the new frame in place. If there is any structural damage or reinforcement that needs to happen, this should be done first. This will provide a solid foundation for attaching the metal panels or shingles onto and securing them by using nails, screws, or staples (depending on what type of material you’re installing).
After you’ve installed your frame, it’s time to install the drip edge. A drip edge is a strip of metal that edges over any seams between roof panels and prevents water from seeping through gaps in the material or dripping down onto walls below.
Install Your Metal Panels or Shingles
Now you can start installing the metal panels or shingles. To do this, first attach galvanized steel frame strips to your roof’s edge for stability and then use nails, screws, or staples (depending on what type) to secure them in place before moving onto the next row of material.
If you’re installing metal shingles, then you’ll want to install screw-on brackets. These help keep the roof’s shape secure and also attach any pre-cut lengths that might be available (saving you from measuring each piece separately).
Finish With Ridge Caps and Gutters
Lastly, you can finish by installing the ridge caps and gutters. Ridge caps are metal or plastic panels that run along the roof’s uppermost edge to protect it from water damage. At the same time, a gutter is a system for directing runoff rainwater away from your home’s foundation. These will be the finishing touches and give your new roof nice clean lines and no exposed seams or edges.
Metal roof installation can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing, but thankfully it’s not too difficult for homeowners who are willing to put a little time and effort into the project. However, due to the immense specifications of installing metal roofing, we always recommend you call the pros.
Northface Construction offers comprehensive metal roofing installation, rehabilitation, and repair. We’re your local experts that will provide your house the update you deserve while boosting curb appeal and the value of your home. Contact us today if you want to sit back, relax, and let us handle the tough stuff!