Standing Seam Metal Roof

standing seam metal roof cost details

Standing seam metal roof is the best metal roofing system the market has to offer, when your're looking for aesthetically pleasing, weathertight, lightweight and durable roofing.

Standing seam roofing comes in four basic styles: one-piece snap-lock interlock, double lock seam, two-piece snap-lock interlock and symmetrical seam. These metal roofing systems are best for recreational, residential and commercial buildings; they can last up to 60 years. This roofing system is called standing seam, because the seam is normally standing as opposed to being flush-mounted.

In past years, many ordinary homeowners could only afford asphalt or composite shingles. Standing seam were only limited to very cool, avant-garde residential buildings and commercial structures because of their relatively high prices. However, they’ve now become common even among average homeowners. This type of roofing comes with greater durability and reliability and hence you will get your full return on the initial cost spent.

Why choose standing seam over asphalt shingles?

  • Asphalt shingles tend to get worn out over time; they have a tendency to slough off the upper mineral-based surface.
  • Composite shingles are derived from petroleum and hence their cost is often influenced by oil prices.

Note: asphalt or composite roofing materials are still popular with many people because they are quite cheap.

Features of standing seam metal roof

  • Composition and Width of Panels: they come with Galvalume-coated steel or aluminum panels; they are 12 to 19 inches wide.
  • Site-Formed vs Pre-Formed: Site-formed panels can be offered in the form of rigid panels while pre-formed panels are produced in an off-site factory.
  • Seam Fasteners: It is only possible to see a smooth continuous ridge extending from top to bottom because these fasteners are hidden. Their height ranges from 0.5" to 1.5".

Types of standing seam systems

In residential buildings, the most common standing seam system is field-locked. It joins the metal panels together using a unique seam locking tool.

Snap-lock standing seam: when one side is snapped-together or adjoined with the next one, it locks the panels together.

Shingle-based standing seam panels: these are vertical metal shingle panels that have the look of a standing seam.

How much does it cost?

The amount you spend for this roofing material is affected by labor, cost of materials, roofing system, and warranty.

Different materials come at different prices. To get the best deal, you should research and get quotes from various suppliers.

Depending on your location, type of metal, the system and supplier relationship, the custom-fabricated material costs range from $4.00 to $6.00 per sq. ft.

When we include labor, materials and warranty, the cost ranges from $800 to $1,400 per square (100 sq. ft.) on average.


  • Durable: When installed properly, standing seam metal roof can last between 30 and 50 years with virtually no maintenance.
  • Fewer Seams: Since the metal panels run unhindered from the top to the bottom, the roof has a less number of seams; also, there are no horizontal seams.
  • High Seams: Standing seam roofs have seams that are raised above the level of the roofing panel as compared to composition shingles. This is a great advantage because the high seams prevent any potential entry point for moisture.
  • Sleek Looks: Your house will get an "industrial" feeling that comes with a modern flair twist. They are ideal for some country-style or contemporary houses.
  • "Cool Roof": The US Environmental Protection Agency considers all metal roofing as "cool roof". Standing seam and other metal roofs can prevent solar heat gain when they are painted in any color, including colors from the darker end of the spectrum.
  • Colors: This roofing material offers a wider variety of colors as compared to composite/asphalt shingles, the colors include: forest greens, grays, earthy reds and browns. This variety caters for your individual style depending on taste and preference.
  • Tough: This metal roofing is quite tough as compared to other roofing materials that can be penetrated by heavy falling limbs or dented by a severe hailstorm. It offers reliable stability when dealing with hail, hurricane grade winds and even fire. It often comes with systems rated for up to 110mph wind uplift or higher.
  • Sustainable: It is environmentally friendly. Standing seam contains a significant proportion of recycled metal content. The metal can be recycled. Furthermore, the Cool Roof finish reflective attributes mean that you can significantly reduce your energy bills. Your attic is kept cooler because the roof reflects the sun’s energy, this means that your air conditioner will run less and you will save money.


Cost: This is an obvious weakness since some people might not be able to afford standing seam roofing, even though it comes with a longer lifespan. Metal is cheaper than high-end slate or copper but more expensive than conventional shingles. With this in mind, it is perceived as a moderately-expensive roofing material.

Fewer Roofers: A home owner may find it hard to find a good qualified metal roofer and this search process can waste a lot of time. There are very few contractors who can install metal roofing and even worse, only a few of them can do a good job. This can be quite frustrating, since the total cost of the project is likely to go higher due to the lack of competition in the metal roofing market.

Not Good For Flatter Roofs: Some types of metal roofs don’t work well with flatter (or completely flat) pitches. What is a roof pitch? It is the angle of the roof's slope.

According to roofing professionals, Snap-lock panel metal roofs are not recommendable for roofs with a pitch of 2:12 or less. However, you can go to a 1/2:12 pitch when you have a better quality mechanically seamed panel. It is even possible to bump the seams up to 2" with a butyl seal for those applications.

Remember, you're below the recommended minimum pitch when you get to these lower pitches. In general, they can safely go down to a 4:12 pitch, manufacturers of conventional shingles warrant their product down to 2:12.


Standing seam metal roofs are the fastest growing metal roofing choice among homeowners. These moderately-expensive roofing materials offer value for money since they can last for very long with no maintenance. Standing seam can be perceived as the roofing material of the future, being that it is environmentally friendly.

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