Types of Metal Roofs

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Your roofs not only complete the aesthetics of the house but also protect you and the foundation of your house. Installing a robust roofing system is one of the many responsibilities of a homeowner. With so many options available in the market, it is easy to get confused. If you have been jumping from one blog to the other to research the types of metal roofing, your search stops here. In this article, we have critically analysed all materials that roofs are available in ensuring that you make an informed decision based on your needs and expectations.

Before you begin to analyse various metal roofing materials available in the market today, you must know that every material has its own pros and cons. The decision needs to made keeping in mind the following aspects:

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  1. The Weather in Your Area
  2. The Aesthetics of Your Home
  3. Your Budget
  4. The Durability Expectations You Have
  5. The Coverage Area of Your Roof
  6. Environmental Implications of The Material

When it comes to selecting the type of metal roof you are having installed it is important to keep in mind the benefits that each material can provide. Four of the most popular forms of roofing are zinc, aluminum, steel and tin, but what can these metals provide for your home?

Zinc Roofing

Zinc provides a malleable and efficient roofing option, which can allow for creativity when creating your roofing pattern, however, zinc comes with a set of downfalls. If zinc is left without a coat of paint the material can occasionally turn a blue-green colour, and leave a chalk like a residue. It is also one of the softer metals, which can leave it susceptible to damage in the event of hail or other extreme weather.

Zinc roofing is attractive

One of the most popular and energy-efficient roof types is zinc roofing. Not only is it an attractive alternative to other metal roofs, but it provides a protective layer of zinc carbonate. Over time, it will develop a stunning blue and grey patina that will give your home character and elegance.

Lifespan of zinc roofing

When choosing types of roofing, you want to be sure you are getting a design that will last for years to come. Zinc metal roofing has one of the longest life spans in the industry, lasting between 80 and 100 years, making them a sound investment for your home with a significant return.


Zinc is a budget-friendly option if you are looking for a roof that you will never have to replace for the lifetime that you own your home.

  • Corrugated Zinc Roofing Cost will be between $14 to $20 Per Sq. Ft.
  • Standing Seam Zinc Roofing Cost will be between $15 to $25 Per Sq. Ft.

Though it is considered one of the most expensive metal roofing options, it does provide you with the financial security that you will never have a roofing replacement expense again while you live in your home.

Availability of Zinc roofing

Zinc roofing is very popular throughout Europe and is beginning to gain popularity in Canada and the US. This has led to limited supply, however if you have the time to wait, it is worth putting in your order and planning on having a new roof installed within the delivery time frame.


Highly Durable: The durability aspect of zinc roofs makes it a preferred choice for homeowners looking for a good investment. It can last from 80 to 100 years and sometimes even longer.
High Resistance: This material is resistant to fire, repels insects and fungus and mildew. This means that you don’t have to worry about your house getting infested through the roof.
Patina Formation: The oxidation process of zinc, also known as patina, leads to the material forming a protective layer on it. This helps it resist dust and weathering and also reform itself from blemishes caused due to natural causes.
Aesthetically Appealing: Zinc roofs are appealing because they naturally change colour from classic dark grey to light grey and overall give a very sophisticated finishing to the exterior of your house.
Low Maintenance: If the zinc roof is installed properly, you do not have to call the contractors multiple times in its lifecycle to maintain the system.
Eco-Friendly: Zinc roofs are recyclable and can be used again for your roofing needs. 


Expensive: Zinc roofing may overall turn out as an expensive form of metal roofing as it ranges from $10 to $20 per square foot including materials and installation.
Unpredictable Patina Formation:  The oxidation of zinc is a natural process that also adds to its aesthetics. But this process is unpredictable as it can happen within 2 years or may take 20 or even 30 years.
Problematic if Installed Poorly: If zinc panels and the underlayment has gaps, corrosion and leaks can occur. This may also lead to mold. 

Steel Roofing

Steel is a metal which can provide an increase in structural strength to both aluminum and zinc, but it often requires a coating in order to protect against rust and corrosion. Steel is efficient in terms of retaining heat, which makes it an ideal metal for colder climates. It is one of the most recycled materials on the planet, meaning it can be made in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner.

Lifespan of steel roofing

Another popular metal roofing choice is steel roofing. These types of roofs are particularly popular in new homes, commercial buildings, and industrial buildings. The lifespan of steel roofing varies based on the type of steel, the gauge, and the finish. The location of your home and the type of environment you live in will help determine which type of steel roofing is right for your home. On average, a steel roof will last between 40 and 60 years.


The cost of a steel roof will vary based on the size and materials used. Traditional exposed faster roofing will cost between $7 to $12 per square foot, while standing seam roofing costs between $10 and $16 per square foot. It is also important to factor in any paint finishes such as two-tone paint systems, which can run between $1 and $1.50 a square foot. Remember to always factor in installation and labour costs into your budget.

Availability of steel roofing

Steel roofing is widely available in Canada and be cut to custom lengths to save on installation time. Remember to ensure that the steel roofing you are purchasing is fire-rated Class A to ensure your home is protected.


Long-Lasting: The durability of steel roofs makes it the most popular choice in the market today. A superior quality roof made from this material can last for over 100 years.
All-Season Strength: These roofs can withstand extreme weather conditions without weathering, curling or breaking apart. Since it is non-combustible and can withstand strong winds, snow, hail, and rains, it gives you a year-round protection. 
Availability of A Variety of Designs: Today, there are a variety of designs available in the market. You can choose from a variety of styles, colours and seam designs to make the whole exterior of your house look very appealing.
Low Maintenance: You do not have to call in for maintenance of your steel roof after every season. Since these roofs are resistant to curling or weathering, they can go on for years with little to no maintenance.
Energy-Efficient: The reflective qualities of these roofs keep the temperature within your house desirable. There are many coatings for these roofs that make them energy efficient.


Expensive: Though the overall cost is cheaper than zinc, steel is also an expensive option. Usually, installing these roofs may cause anywhere between $10 to $15 per square foot.
Noisy: If you live in an area with heavy rains, hailstorms or acorns, the metal roof made of steel may be too noisy.
Expansion and Contraction: Steel roofs expand and contract over time and if the wrong fastener is used, it may lead to leaks. Fixing this may be of an additional cost.

Tin Roofing

Tin has declined in popularity as a method of roofing due to the increased usage of, particularly aluminum, and steel. It lacks the durability of other metals and has thus become one of the more rare and uncommon sights in the larger picture of metal roofing selection.

Lifespan of tin roofing

Tin roofing has been popular in Canada and the US for nearly 400 years. Lightweight and easy to install, it is a simple and affordable roofing option that fits within most budgets. A tin roof does have a limited lifespan, generally lasting between 50 and 75 years, however it is easy to make repairs and replace panels, keeping long-term maintenance costs down.


A tin roof is an affordable option, running between $1.10 to $1.50 per square foot for 24 gauge corrugated and 75 cents to $1.15 for 26 gauge corrugated. For a small price increase, you can get a painted tin roof to give your home even more character.

Availability of tin roofing

Tin roof has limited availability and will have to be specially ordered. If a tin roof is unavailable in your area, you can achieve the same look with galvanized steel or aluminum.


Good for Diy Projects: If you are building a tree-house or a cabin in your garden, tin roofs can be considered as they are easy to install.
Fairly durable: By virtue of being a metallic roof, these roofs are durable. However, there are more durable metal roofings available in the market.


Not Easily Available: Tin roofs may have been replaced by stronger and more functional materials which is why they are not easily available in the market today.
Do Not Consist of Tin: When builders refer to tin roofing, they refer to another galvanized metal roofing version of steel which may not necessarily consist of tin but may only give a tin-like look.
Not so Popular: For homemakers who want their roofs to increase the value of their house, tin roofs are often rejected for another material.

Aluminium Roofing

Aluminum is a lightweight and malleable material with which to make a creative roofing design. Aluminum is highly resilient and resistant to corrosion and is often recommended for more coastal residents. Aluminum is protected from the damages of rust, and does not require a protective coating in order to prevent it.

Lifespan of aluminum roofing

One of the most popular modern types of roofing materials is aluminum. Designed to withstand all weather incredibly lightweight, this metal roofing material has taken the building industry by storm, replacing other metal roofing options such as tin and steel. Aluminum is also corrosion resistant, making it a great option for homes near water.


Due to its long lifespan, aluminum roofing is one of the most expensive types of roof materials, generally running up to 35 percent more expensive than other roof options. Homeowners should expect to budget between $9 and $17 per square foot, depending on whether you choose corrugated or standing seam aluminum roofing. It is recommended to choose a thicker material, as aluminum roofing is more prone to denting.

Availability of aluminum roofing

Though widely available, it will take longer to get aluminum roofing than other materials. High demand has increased wait times, particularly in areas near the water.


Durable: Just like steel and zinc roofs, aluminium roofing is also quite durable. It is resistant to corrosion which makes it long-lasting.
Good for Coastal Homes: If you live near the sea or in high humidity weather, this type of roofing is the best for you. Its resistance to corrosion and active adaptation to the weather makes it perfect for coastal regions.
Lightweight: As compared to steel and even copper, these roofing has more lightweight panels and may not be too heavy to be reconstructed on homes with older foundations.


Expensive: Despite the benefits it provides, some might consider this type of metal roofing system to be more expensive. The average cost of this roof comes up to $9 to $13 per square foot.
Requires Additional Coating: Unlike Zinc, this roof may require an additional coating to protect and painting to look more aesthetically appealing.
Not Suitable for Windy Areas: Because it is light weight, aluminium may not be the right choice when it comes to homes located in windy areas or areas prone to storms.

Copper Roofing

Copper roofing is one of the most appealing metal roofing materials due to its bold appearance, which quickly enhances curb appeal. Over time, this roofing option will develop a beautiful blue-green or brown patina that will give your home a lived-in look that will fit your neighbourhood as it becomes more developed.

Lifespan of copper roofing

Copper roofing has one of the longest life spans of metal roofing materials, generally lasting between 60 and 100 years. Some copper roofs have lasted hundreds of years, ensuring that a new copper roof will be a once in a lifetime investment as long as you own your home.


Copper is an investment in your home, and you should be prepared to pay between $13 to $25 per square foot, depending on if you are choosing corrugated copper roofing or standing seam.

Availability of copper roofing

Copper roofing will have to be order special for your project, as few distributors keep large quantities on hand. Your contractor will be able to provide you with a time frame when establishing a work schedule.


Most Popular Roofing: Copper is by far the most popular of all metal roof options because it is the most long-lasting material of all. It can last for over 200 years.
Noise Reduction: Whether it is during installation or during rain, modernised copper roofs do not produce a lot of noise and have sound-proofing qualities.
Softer Metal: The softness of this metal makes it easy to handle while installation or repair.


Expensive: Copper roofs jumps on the bandwagon of other metal roofs by being expensive. It may cost you between $11 to $15 per square foot to install this roof.
Easily Dented: The softness of copper also makes it prone to denting which may require maintenance from time to time. This also makes it unsuitable for areas prone to hailstorms.
Additional Costs: Managing, repairing and coating copper roofs come with additional costs.

Now that we know all the metal roofs pros and cons, it’s time to choose the right roofing company to help with more details and complete this task perfectly.

Corrugated metal roofing

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Corrugated metal roofing is made from rolled steel that is manipulated to give a wavy or boxy look. It is the most affordable of the two metal roofing design options.


Corrugated metal roofing is more affordable than standing seam and can vary in price based on gauge and paint. For example, a 26 gauge will be between $1.50 and $20 per square foot, while a 26 gauge paint will be between $2 and $2.50.

Lifespan of corrugated metal roofing

Most corrugated metal roofing systems have a life span of 50 to 74 years.

Availability of corrugated metal roofing

Corrugated roofing is available from most roofing manufacturers. Your roofing contractor can help connect you with distributors who can get you the best price on your corrugated roofing.


Lightweight, durable and long-lasting
Easy to install by both professionals and homeowners


Has an exposed fastener system
Requires more maintenance than standing seam options

Standing Seam Roofing

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Standing seam roofing is modern and sleek looking because all fasteners and hardware are carefully concealed. It is made from lightweight steel panels that instantly upgrade the look of your home.


There are several types of standing seam options with differing price points

  • Galvanized $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot
  • PVDF Painted Finish $3 to $4 per square foot
  • Specialty Painted Finish $4 to $5 per square foot

Lifespan of standing seam roofing

Standing seam roofing has a long life span, averaging 50 to 80 years.

Availability of standing seam roofing

Standing seam is widely popular and available in Canada. Your contractor will be able to provide you with a range of design and price options to fit your budget.


Standing seam metal roofing is weather tight, meaning you don’t have to worry about leaks.
It is modern and contemporary looking, meaning it fits into any neighbourhood aesthetic.
This metal roofing option requires less maintenance than corrugated.


Standing seam is a more expensive metal roofing option.
It is more difficult to install and not ideal for the DIY’er.

Metal Tile Roofing

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Achieve the look of tile with the quality and security of metal tile. This roofing offers additional protection from the weather without the cost and maintenance associated with clay tiles.


Metal roofing materials can range between $ and $6 per square foot, plus the cost of installation and any additional upgrades.

Lifespan of metal tile roofing

Metal tile roofing has a lifespan of 40 to 70 years.

Availability of metal tile roofing

Metal tile roofing has a high installation rate in Canada and the US and is widely available.


Metal tiles offer the advantage of being lighter than clay tiles
Metal tiles are also less expensive, making them a cost-effective option


Metal roofing can be heavy, so it is important to understand the roof load-bearing capacity before moving forward
May require additional structural upgrades

Factors that affect prices on all metal roofing materials

Factors that can affect the cost of metal roofing options include supply chain issues, addition home upgrades that may be required, and whether you choose corrugated or standing seam.

Dream Roof Chooses Steel Roof!

As you see from above, steel roof is a combination of best of two worlds – durability and environmentally friendly. It is also known to be the best material for the harsh cold weather, like the one we so often get in Ontario. Therefore, if you are looking for a reliable roofing contractor, give us a call.

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