How Much Does Standing Seam Metal Roofing Cost?

Last Updated on March 19, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

With their sleek, clean lines, expansive vertical seams, exceptional durability, and eye-catching architectural allure, it’s no wonder standing seam metal roofs have surged spectacularly in popularity for both residential and commercial buildings over the past decade.

But how much does installing this premium roofing option actually cost in comparison to more commonplace materials like asphalt shingles or concrete tiles? What metals provide the best value and resilience where you live?

In this guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of various gauge and finish options for the most common metals utilized, outline the many critical cost factors like chosen roofing metal, panel thickness, roof pitch complexity, geographic location, projected lifespan, sustainability benefits, and overall square footage.

How Much Does Standing Seam Metal Roofing Cost?

The costs of installed standing seam metal roofing typically range $8-$40 per square foot installed based on the exact specifications. It is an investment that can literally repay itself in enhanced performance, protection, efficiency, and minimal maintenance requirements over many decades if properly installed.


  • 24 gauge – $9-$12 per sq. ft. installed
  • 22 gauge – $10-$14 per sq. ft. installed


  • 24 gauge – $10-$14 per sq. ft. installed
  • 22 gauge – $11-$16 per sq. ft. installed


  • 24 gauge – $25-$35 per sq. ft. installed


  • 0.8-1 mm – $25-$40 per sq. ft. installed

Material costs fluctuate over time with commodity market swings. Always get multiple installation bids from qualified local contractors.

According to the Western States Metal Roofing website, standing seam metal roofs cost between $10 to $16 per square foot, with variations based on the type of metal chosen like steel, aluminum, copper, or zinc.

Installing a standing seam metal roof can cost between $24,000 to $42,000 for a standard 3,000 square foot roof, with prices ranging from $5 to $26 per square foot for materials, as the Modernize website notes.

Bob Vila says the cost of a standing seam metal roof typically falls between $13,600 and $20,400, with national averages varying based on factors like roof size and materials used.

Forbes writes that painted aluminum standing seam roofs cost around $9 per square foot on average, offering durability and corrosion resistance, although aluminum may dent more easily than steel.

Overview of Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Standing seam metal roofing consists of broad 12”-24” inch wide metal panels fabricated from materials like aluminum, steel, copper, or zinc, featuring vertically raised seams mechanically joined together and secured to the underlying roof deck.

Benefits of standing seam metal as a roofing solution include:

  • Extreme weathering resistance and longevity exceeding 50+ years
  • Energy efficiency from highly reflective surface properties
  • Reduced environmental impact using high recycled content metals
  • Superior fire resistance ratings for safety
  • Low lifetime maintenance requirements compared to other roof types
  • Visually appealing integrated architectural accent

Factors Impacting Roof Costs

Some of the primary details that affect overall installed cost include:

  • Metal type – aluminum, steel, copper, zinc all have different material pricing
  • Metal thickness gauge/mil – Thicker 24+ gauge carries a greater base cost but also enhances longevity considerably
  • Roof size– More square footage equals more materials and labor time
  • Geographic location – Prevailing labor rates and material availability vary significantly by region
  • Accessibility – Multi-story buildings and very steeply pitched roofs incur higher installation costs and safety investments
  • Roof slope complexity – Numerous angles, valleys, dormers, and other details add fabrication intricacy resulting in higher project costs

Standing Seam vs Other Roof Types

Asphalt shingles – Approximately $4-$8 per sq. ft. installed

Wood shakes – Approximately $8-$12 per sq. ft. installed

Concrete/clay tile – Approximately $8-$20 per sq. ft. installed

Slate – Approximately $15-$25 per sq. ft. installed

Standing seam metal roofing, despite its higher initial cost compared to traditional materials, offers exceptional long-term value due to its extended lifespan, weather and fire resistance, minimal maintenance needs, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal.

You might also like our articles about the cost of Tamko shingles, roof trusses, or tire roof repair.

When considering these benefits over decades, standing seam metal roofing provides homeowners and commercial property owners with an outstanding overall investment.

Additional Cost Factors

Other aspects of your roofing project that can influence bottom-line pricing:

  • Protective underlayment beneath the metal panels – $1-$3 per sq. ft.
  • Soundproofing and thermal insulation – $1-$4 per sq. ft.
  • Flashings and fasteners– Required accessories – $0.50-$2 per sq. ft.
  • Custom colors– Specialty coatings and finishes – $1-$5+ per sq. ft.
  • Permits/inspections– Requirements vary regionally – $200-$500+

An experienced roofing contractor will account for all your project specifications, local building codes, and individual needs in their detailed quote to avoid surprise add-ons later.

Final Words

Standing seam metal roofing, with installation costs typically ranging from $10 to $40 per square foot, varies based on factors such as metal types, gauges, location, roof complexity, and size.

However, the high lifespan spanning generations, weather resilience, non-combustible fire resistance, minimal upkeep needs, energy efficiency, and remarkable architectural aesthetics position standing seam metal as a premium investment for those prioritizing long-term performance and protection for their property.

Just be certain to get quotes from qualified local specialized roofers to ensure proper detailing and waterproofing for 50+ years of beauty and security. Your home or building deserves nothing less!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a standing seam roof last?

A standing seam metal roof can achieve a service life of 50 years or longer with minimal maintenance when premium materials and finishes are selected, compared to asphalt shingles that are typically warrantied for only 15-30 years at best before replacement is needed.

The most durable aluminum and steel standing seam designs will often outlast the building itself when properly maintained.

Can a standing seam roof be painted?

Field painting factory pre-finished standing seam roof panels is generally not advisable and can potentially void warranties. Paint coatings will negate the carefully engineered reflective solar properties of the original pigment finish, while paint adhesion issues down the road can also occur, leading to cracking and peeling.

It is best to carefully select a durable baked-on finish coating like Kynar 500 that will retain its original color for 50 years rather than attempting repainting later during ownership.

What are the disadvantages of a standing seam roof?

The primary disadvantage to standing seam metal roofs for some homeowners is the higher initial installation cost compared to materials like asphalt shingles. Acoustic insulation properties are also not as effective as some other roofing materials, so additional underlayment and soundproofing elements may be required in living spaces underneath.

Visual appeal is also quite subjective and varies based on architectural style – the linear paneling may not suit all existing homes aesthetically. The panels are also generally less malleable than other roof coverings once formed.

How flat can a standing seam roof be?

Standing seam metal panels can effectively shed water off roofs with as little as a 1:12 roof pitch (1 inch of rise for every 12 inches of horizontal roof run).

However, at pitches under 3:12, manufacturers often require additional detailing such as sealed blocking or hemmed panel edges to ensure adequate weatherproofing protection to qualify for warranty coverage. An experienced installer can advise on best practices for low slope applications.

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