What Are The Labor Costs For Installing Metal Roofing?
If you are researching metal roofs online then you will find that most of the information relates to the type of metal and its cost rather than labor costs and installation. A good average to work to for general roofing labor cost is $75 per hour or if you want to look at it in terms of roof squares, $150-$300 per roof square.
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Labour costs of metal roofing
A good average to work to for general roofing labor cost is $75 per hour or if you want to look at it in terms of roof squares, $150-$300 per roof square. A roof square is just an industry measurement and equates to 100 square feet so if you know the current area of your roof then just divide it by 100 to find the number of roof squares. Some roofing contractors will quote an all-inclusive rate per roof square so labor, materials and tear down charges whereas others will split the amount into materials and labor.
The type of metal you choose has a really significant impact on the overall cost of a new roof but did you know, it can also impact quite dramatically on labor costs as well?
Labor costs plus other incidentals like scaffolding hire will account for roughly two thirds of the price for installing a metal roof. Labor costs will reflect the degree of difficulty of the installation and the type of metal chosen but here are some good, well researched figures to work to.
Metal Roof Labour Costs Table
|Metal Roof Type||Cost per Roof Square|
|Standard metal roofing single lock panels||$350 - $400|
|Standing Seam metal roof||$500 - $550|
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What are the variables which can affect the labor costs of a metal roof?
- Roof size
- Roof design – if the roof is very complex with different planes and elevations then it will take longer
- Roof features – skylights, dormer windows and chimneys will increase the labor costs
- Roof pitch, very steep roofs are harder to work on and may not even be possible to walk on without requiring specialist equipment
- Metal choice, some metals are easier to work with than others which can require significant expertise
- Whether the metal roof panels are snap lock or mechanical lock
If you are also interested in raising your roof whilst fitting a new roof, learn more about raising roof costs.
Why is there more labor involved in installing mechanical lock metal panels?
Mechanical lock panels have a cheaper price point but are harder to put together, taking longer and potentially impacting on labor costs. Also called field-locked panels, mechanical lock panels take more time and expertise to install. The roofer needs to use a specialised tool to crimp and seal the edges with either single-locked or double-locked panels available depending on preference. Compare this with snap lock panels which have locks or seams to link them together with the securing or fastening device all one piece.
Snap lock panels are only recommended for roofs with a pitch of 3:12 and more which is why some homeowners have to resort to mechanical lock panels. They might cost more to install but mechanical lock panels are a good choice if you live in an area which is prone to high winds or you have a property in an exposed location as they are more durable in these conditions than single lock panels.
Reducing labor costs on a metal roof installation
With labor charges taking up over half of your estimate, there is a real incentive to cut down as much as possible on this element of the spend so how can you cut costs without losing quality?
- Avoid tear down and do it yourself? This is not really recommended by any roofing contractor, first off you could do yourself some serious damage trying to work at height without the right equipment and second, you could damage the roof deck if you walk on it in the incorrect way. However, if you have a single storey home then this could be an option
- Go for roof overlayment as this saves on tear down costs as well as dump fees. It’s a good idea but if you are committed to the idea of a metal roof then you are already committed to a significant cost so the tear down costs may not make that much difference. Your metal roof could last you half a century so it seems a bit counter intuitive to overlay a great roof on top of others which you won’t be able to access or repair and which will come to the end of their shelf life much more quickly
- Make sure site access is as clear as possible – this is one thing the homeowner can do to help save labor costs. Time spent tearing down old roofing material and carting it by hand to a dump truck is your money wasted. Make sure dump trucks and delivery trucks have good access to pull up alongside the property
- Choose a straightforward metal and panel design, some metals like copper require quite specialist installation and this will all impact on your bill
Saving other costs on metal roof installation
The other key proportion of your roofing estimate will clearly be the roofing materials and there are two ways you can trim costs here:-
- Choose an affordably priced metal
- Don’t choose a metal which requires specialist installation like copper
- Ask your roofer whether you can split the project into two stages, is it possible to do some of the work like adding vent pipes at a later date so you can spread the cost?
What other costs are there for installing metal roofing?
Your roofer will give you an estimate with labor and materials but there can be other costs which are relevant and which won’t appear on the quote. These include:-
- Professional fees for an architect, surveyor or engineer if you are having a complete roof re-model or opting for an attic conversion
- Third party contractor costs like scaffolding hire – sometimes this is included on the roofer’s estimate, sometimes it is billed separately
- Building permits
- Upgrades to bring the roof structure in line with the local area roof code
- Unforeseen problems like rotten timber in the deck due to a leak which has gone unnoticed requiring repair or renewal of trusses or rafters
- Roof features like skylights, dormers or chimneys, you will need new materials and installing these features increases labor time compared to a simple ranch-style roof
- Rainwater goods, you might re-fit the ones which are there but equally they could need replacement
If you want to find an accurate estimate for labor and material costs enquire about roofing quotes here to find the best prices.
Why are metal roofs so popular with homeowners?
If you can bear the initial costs of installation and materials then a metal roof is a really great investment. Most metals are radiators of heat so will keep your home cool in the summer months, they also last forever if properly installed – metal is incredibly durable. Finally, metal roofs are virtually maintenance free too, saving the expense of an annual roof inspection.
Other advantages of metal roofs
There is a huge array of color choices and if you can’t find the one you like then you can paint the roof yourself. Changing color gives you the chance to totally make over your house every few years without needing a new roof.
Metal roofs can be very resistant to bad weather and most of them have a Class 4 rating which means they will withstand hailstorms without denting or cracking. Just bear in mind that impact resistance is different to hail resistance so if you are looking for roofing that will withstand hail and give you a discount on your home insurance then you need to make sure you have bought the right product.
This is a big concern for many homeowners and certainly, rust was a problem for metal roofs back in the last century but modern products mean that metal roofing is now not prone to rusting. Steel metal roofing is coated in zinc or aluminium or just zinc and this is not only rust-resistant but stays looking really good year in year out.
Finding the right roofing contractor for a metal roof
Most roofing contractors will fit metal roofs but it is important to choose one who has current expertise and who can advise you on the correct choice of roofing metal for your home.
Use roofingpricing.com initially to compare metal roof labor costs. Also ask friends, family or neighbours for some personal recommendations or look online via social media and see if one name keeps popping up. Good roofers are always in demand so try and plan ahead with your project so you can wait for the right company. Renewing your roof in the colder months might make availability better and cost as most roofers are less busy at this time of year.
Always obtain three quotes for your job so you can compare and contrast. Do not use a roofer who is not adequately insured and correctly licenced. Make sure you understand about the warranties and guaranteed for workmanship and roofing materials before you sign on the dotted line.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a standing seam metal roof?
Standing seam metal roofing is defined as a metal panel with a concealed fastener that has vertical legs and a broad, flat area between the legs. The seams are raised above the panel’s flat area hence the name. Standing seam can be used for metal roofing and also for metal walls. The key advantage with standing seam construction is that the fastener is hidden.
Are metal roofs popular with house buyers?
A good quality metal roof immediately says to your prospective buyer that here is a roof which is going to be largely maintenance free and it is really going to last the course so most buyers welcome them with open arms. A new roof will uplift the value of your property but is only of interest to buyers if there is a decent lifespan left at point of purchase, not always the case with some roofing materials like asphalt shingles.
Are metal roofs noisy when it rains?
This is a complete myth probably spread by people who remember standing in the shed with an old corrugated tin roof during a hailstorm! First off, you won’t ever hear the rain hitting the roof in the house at all unless you have converted the attic into living accommodation; weather noise is usually inaudible on the ground and first floor. Second, you can insulate metal inside if you are converting the roof void if you are worried about the sound of heavy rain or hail but in general terms, metal roofs are not noisier than any other form of roofing material.
Are metal roofs more prone to lightning strikes?
It’s a sensible question but no. Metal does conduct electricity better than some other materials but the likelihood is that lightning will strike the highest object first which is usually a pole or a tree not the roof of your house.
Are metal roofs colder in the winter months?
Metal roofs are not colder in the winter months and would be fitted with the same form of insulation as any other roofing material. In fact, metal is a better insulator than same asphalt shingles and will keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and this will also save money on your energy bills.
What is the best type of metal for a metal roof?
Treated steel is probably the best option as you have all the advantages of the robustness and toughness, avoid aluminium as it is quite soft and will dent easily and can lose its color over time too. Steel has always been popular as it is quite cheap and if treated or galvanized, offers all of the prime advantages in terms of weatherproofing and durability. Coating steel with zinc makes it more resistant to corrosion. Steel is also available in a wide variety of colors and usually comes ready painted and pre-treated with weather resistant materials making the homeowners life super easy.
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