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Standing Seam Sheet Metal Roofing

Standing seam sheet metal roofing has become popular for residential roofing. It is a sleek, stylish roofing for vacation homes, contemporary homes, and more.

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standing seam sheet metal roofing roofing

Standing seam metal roof caps this contemporary vacation home, providing durable and beautiful protection. Photo courtesy: David Vandervort Architects

Sheet metal roofing  begins as “flat stock” (flat metal panels) that roofing manufacturers or fabricators form into roofing panels and components. With many types, manufacturers also apply a finish.

Some metal roofing installers fabricate flat stock into roofing materials on-site; of course, this requires the proper forming equipment. Problems with this method are wide variations in the quality of the work, limited possibilities for finishes, and usually very limited warranties (one year or less). With site-formed roofing, you also don’t have the reliability of a large manufacturer behind the product.

Manufactured sheet metal roofing is sold in large panels—normally 26-gauge coated steel that weighs about a pound per square foot. Other materials include painted aluminum, solid copper, zinc alloys, and terne-coated stainless steel. Because of the large panel size, this roofing works best on large, unbroken expanses.

Types of Sheet Metal Roofing

The two main systems are named after the method of joining panels together: “Standing-seam roofing” has a self-sealing, raised seam, and “batten roofing” employs a wider cover cap. Special matching metal parts are made for ridges, hips, edges, and connections.

Sheet metal roofing materials are typically priced by the square foot. Prices vary widely, depending on the material and finish, ranging from a low of about $1.50 per square foot to about $6 per square foot. Figures typically include panels, fastening clips, caps, and all trims and flashing. If you ask for ballpark square-foot prices, be sure they’re inclusive of all necessary parts.

To get bids, begin by calling the manufacturer, who will usually put you in touch with a local representative or installer who will bid (or arrange for several roofers’ bids) on your job. Be sure to clarify whether or not labor and freight are included in the price. Because freight can be very expensive, it usually pays to choose a manufacturer in your region.

Brands of Sheet Metal Roofing

Here’s a closer look at some popular brands of sheet metal roofing. Depending on your geographical region, prices may vary significantly from those given here; the best way to get precise prices is to request bids.

* Microzinc Roofing System from W.P. Hickman is manufactured from a zinc-copper-titanium alloy in both standing-seam and batten systems. This metal weathers naturally, developing a gray patina in six to 18 months. It’s beautiful and very expensive; materials run from about $4 to $6 per square foot, depending on quantity and freight.

* Follansbee Steel terne-coats standing-seam roofing for ease of soldering during construction and excellent paint adhesion. On standard steel, this finish, a mixture of 80 percent lead and 20 percent tin, must be painted. But on stainless-steel panels, it can be left to weather naturally (stainless steel doesn’t rust). Stainless-steel terne-coated roofing is both durable and beautiful; with oxidation, terne coating transforms from a shiny metallic finish to a matte gray. This type of roofing material runs about $3 per square foot plus installation. The lead content of the terne coating is a concern to some. Gloves are recommended for installers to protect against lead poisoning. During initial oxidation, some lead washes off the roof, and traces may be detected in the soil around the structure.

* Berridge offers a wide variety of metal roofing and siding materials. Of these, the Victorian and classic shingles, prefinished or unfinished in Galvalume, are particularly interesting. These shapes are especially appropriate for older-home restorations.

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About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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