Steel Roof Cost and Homeowners Guide [2022]

Average Steel Roof Installation Cost: $17,500- $51,000*

  • Steel roofs are more crack- and erosion-resistant compared to other roofing materials
  • Galvanized steel roofing costs between $4.02 to $5.32 per square foot, while steel shingles cost about twice as much ($8 to $12 per square foot)
  • Steel shingles are more energy-efficient than asphalt shingles, saving homeowners up to 30% on cooling costs

*Costs include labor and are based on the U.S. Average 1,700 square foot roof

Ecowatch Author Kristina Zagame

By Kristina Zagame

Updated 11/21/2022

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While steel roofs can be more expensive, they’re a much better investment for your home. A steel roof is more resistant to cracking, erosion and shrinking compared to asphalt and some other metals, expected to last between 40 and 70 years. 

It’s also a great environmental choice, as the materials are typically 100% recyclable, energy efficient and a great option for homeowners interested in adding solar panels.

For the national average 1,700 square foot roof, the cost of a steel roof installation ranges between $17,500 and $51,000, making it a great mid-range option for metal roofing. Typically, steel roofs cost between $4 to $12 per square foot, but can vary significantly depending on the style of roof.

The reason for so much variation? Steel roofs come in many styles; you can select a corrugated steel roof, a steel shingle roof, a stone-coated steel roof, a standing seam metal roof and potentially more, depending on what your roofing contractor offers.

Jump To: Cost of Installing a Steel Roof | Factors That Affect Steel Roof pricing | Pros and Cons of Installing Steel Roofs | Lifetime and Durability of Steel Roofs | Are Steel Roofs Environmentally Friendly | Financing Your New Steel Roof | Cost of Maintenance and Repairs for Steel Roofs | Cost of Cleaning a Steel Roof | Are Steel Roofs Worth the Cost

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Cost of Installing a Steel Roof 

Stone coated steel roof

How much does a metal roof cost? Well, not surprisingly, metal roofing prices vary based on the type of metal and style of roof. For steel, roofing materials typically range from $4 to $12 per square foot.

Galvanized steel and galvalume steel are relatively affordable options, ranging from $4 to $5.32 per square foot. Galvanized steel is coated with zinc for increased durability, while galvalume steel includes a mix of aluminum, zinc and a small amount of silicon. Both are relatively affordable options.

On the other hand, stainless steel roofing is more expensive, coming in as high as $10 to $16 per square foot in some cases. 

There are also various styles of metal roofing systems that will alter the price tag. A galvanized steel roof or stone-coated steel roof can cost around $11,000 on the low end or up to $25,000 on the high end, while a steel shingle roof can cost between $10,200 and $20,400. Keep in mind those figures do not include labor costs.

Type of Steel Roof  Material Cost
per Square Foot
Cost per Square
(100 sq. ft.)
Estimated Price Range
for 1,700-Square-Foot Roof Installation
(Including Labor)
Galvanized steel $4.02 to $5.32 $402 to $532 $26,250 to $48,750
Stone-coated steel
(also called metal slate)
$5 to $12  $500 to $1,200 $30,000 to $51,000
Steel shingles $6 to $12 $600 to $1,200 $42,500 to $51,000

These prices are not exact and cost can vary based on roof pitch, size and slope. These numbers are based on U.S. average costs for a 1,700-square-foot roof, but installation costs may be higher in your area. The material costs do not include labor. Installation costs are based on the assumption that labor costs make up about 60% of total project costs.

How to Calculate the Cost of Your New Steel Roof

The only way to know exactly how much your steel roof will cost is to get a professional quote. But if you’d like to get a rough idea of how much you’d spend, you can use the following tips to figure out the cost of your new metal roof.

To calculate the cost of a metal roof, you’ll need to know the cost of the steel roofing material you want to install and the square footage of your home.

EcoWatch Tips for Hiring a Roofer

Note: the square footage of your roof isn’t the same as the square footage of your home. To find your roof’s total square footage, you’ll need to measure the length and width of each roof plane to figure out the square footage of each plane and add all the measurements together to get the total square footage.

Start by multiplying the material cost per square foot (as determined by our table above) by your roof’s total square footage.

Roofing material cost estimate = (Roof size x Material cost per square foot)

Again, this won’t give you the exact cost of your steel roof installation, as it doesn’t include labor cost estimates or other factors that can raise or lower the price of a new or replacement roof. A safe estimate is that labor will make up 60% of your total project cost.

If you’d like a professional estimate, you can get a free quote for your metal roof installation from a certified roofing company — no commitment necessary.

Factors That Affect Steel Roof Pricing

While the cost of metal roofing tends to be higher compared to asphalt shingle roofs, you get your money’s worth through increased lifespan, durability, energy efficiency and more.

So, what affects the total price of a steel roof? Let’s dive into common cost factors. 

Material Pricing for Steel

Corrugated Metal Roof
Courtesy: Trademark Roofing

The total cost of your roofing project will raise or lower depending on the material. Metal roofing material prices typically correlate with their durability. That means options like stainless steel and zinc roofing materials are more expensive, while aluminum and tin roof mixtures may be a bit cheaper. 

Steel is one of the mid-range metal roofing material options, as it’s more expensive compared to tin and aluminum roofs but cheaper than copper roofs. Corrugated metal roofing is the cheapest steel option.

Basic Labor Cost and Time to Complete Steel Roof Installation

Difficulty of labor, roof size and time of installation are the biggest factors when calculating roof cost. Thankfully it’s typically easier to install metal compared to many other roofing materials because it’s surprisingly lightweight.

The price of labor will also vary depending on where you live — not only because of the different costs of living — but also because of shipping costs and the availability of roofers in your area.

Removing Your Current Roof and Dump Fees

One of the benefits of metal roofing is that, in some cases, you can install metal roofing panels right over your existing roof, even if it’s made of asphalt or wood shingles.

However, you will be charged if your old roof, including flashing and underlayment, needs to be removed and disposed of.

Size and Complexity of Your Roof

Is your roof really steep? Do you have a chimney? How about skylight windows?

Anything that makes your roof more difficult to install metal shingles or standing seam panels on will increase the cost.

Pros and Cons of Installing Steel Roofs

Metal roofs are long-lasting and save you money on energy costs — if they’re installed correctly. To get all of the benefits of installing a steel roof, you’ll want to find the best roof contractors near you.

Below is a list of all the pros and cons of installing a steel roof:

Pros of a Steel Roof Cons of a Steel Roof
  • More affordable metal roofing material
  • Low maintenance
  • Longer-lasting than asphalt roofs (40 to 75 years on average), reducing your chance of needing a roof replacement
  • Weather and fire resistant, holding up against high winds and corrosion
  • Energy efficient, saving homeowners up to 30% on cooling costs
  • Environmentally friendly material, as steel is 100% recyclable, keeping roofing material out of the landfill
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • A new metal roof can increase resale value more than $28,0001
  • More expensive compared to other roofing materials
  • Expansion, contraction and fasteners — extreme temperatures can cause metal roofs to expand and contract, which may cause both concealed and exposed fasteners to degrade or dislodge
  • Limited style and color options
  • Can be hard to find a color match for roof replacement or expansion, as metal color can change over time or develop a patina from the elements
  • Difficult to DIY install a steel roof

Lifetime and Durability of Steel Roofs

One of the biggest advantages of installing a steel roof is its longevity and durability. On average, metal roofs last 40 to 75 years, with some materials lasting up to 100 years or more. That’s a major improvement compared to asphalt shingles, which typically only last 10 to 35 years.

Steel roofs are also a low-maintenance option, as they’re easy to clean and won’t get damaged by high winds the same way that asphalt shingles would. 

In climates with extreme temperatures, metal roof fasteners can loosen from expansion and contraction. So if you live in an area that’s extremely hot or extremely cool, you may want to consider standing seam metal roofs or steel tiles — anything that doesn’t require fasteners. 

Some cheaper steel roofing blends can become dented from hail and other elements. So again, we recommend choosing a more durable steel roofing material, like galvanized or stainless steel, if you live in an area prone to this type of weather.

Each metal roofing material should come with a warranty that will be a good indicator of its longevity and durability, so be sure to ask your roofing contractor about that.

Are Steel Roofs Environmentally Friendly?

Yes, steel roofs are an environmentally friendly alternative to asphalt roofs.

Firstly, metal roofing has higher energy efficiency. Because it’s reflective, steel roofs direct the heat of the sun away from your home rather than absorbing it. Most experts estimate that you can save up to 30% on cooling costs in the summer with a metal roof.

Despite its solar reflectiveness, steel roofs are still a great option for solar panels. In fact, many experts suggest that standing seam steel roofs are the most compatible roofing material for solar panels, thanks to their ribbed feature that makes for easy solar panel attachment without having to create any holes.

And as we’ve mentioned, steel roofs are 100% recyclable and also often made of recycled materials. So when it is time to replace the roof, rest assured that your old roof won’t end up in the landfill.

Costs of Maintenance and Repairs for Steel Roofs

Metal roofs are a more resilient roofing option, but that doesn’t mean they won’t need some TLC now and again, especially if you live in a harsher weather climate. For metal roofs, the most common repairs are fixing leaks, corrosion, fasteners or discoloration.

Roof repair costs vary by material, with the average cost range for a metal roof repair is between $550 and $1,350. Of course, your cost will depend on the size of the maintenance area, with prices estimated between $3 and $18 per square foot of maintenance.

Roof Painting Prices for Steel Roofs

One of the downsides to steel roofs is that they may not come in as many colors compared to other roofing materials, but homeowners always have the option to paint a steel roof to better match their home — and improve the roof’s durability.

The average cost for metal roof painting is between $1,200 and $3,600. 

Many metal roof paints are applied with primers and sealers or metal finishing products (like Kynar). Metal finishers and sealants not only protect the color of a steel roof but also better protect the roof from harsh elements like heat, cold, rain and snow.

Costs of Cleaning a Steel Roof 

Unlike asphalt or wooden shingles, a steel roof can handle a pressure washer, making it quicker and easier to clean.

Power washing is relatively inexpensive, putting the cost to clean a metal roof between $0.20 and $0.60 per square foot. For the average 1,700-square-foot metal roof, roof cleaning costs between $340 and $1,020.

Fortunately, steel is slick, so mother nature may do a pretty good job of keeping your panels clean with rain and snow. However, the smoothness of steel could lead to a lot of debris in your gutters, so you may want to couple your metal roof installation with durable gutter guards.

Be careful if you’re planning to clean your metal roof as a DIY project. Use plain water mixed with a mild liquid detergent. If you’re using a pressure washer, be sure to use a lower pounds per square inch (psi) pressure setting. If the force of the water is too strong, it can chip, dent or crack your roof.

It’s perhaps wise to hire a professional roof cleaning service to clean a steel roof, especially since the process is relatively simple and inexpensive and will save you from the risks involved with DIY roofing maintenance.

Financing Your New Steel Roof

A new or replacement steel roof is a hefty investment that most homeowners cannot pay for out of pocket. Fortunately, the top roofing companies offer in-house or partnership loan and financing options, including $0-down options, to make a new roof more accessible.

How to Save Money On a New Steel Roof

There are some incentives available to homeowners who install steel roofing systems, including:

  • Insurance reduction: In some states, metal residential roofing will earn you a discount on homeowner’s insurance because metal roofs are more weather and fire resistant and durable compared to asphalt roofs.
  • Federal tax credit*: Certain Energy Star-certified steel roofs may qualify for a tax credit for up to 10% of the cost, up to $500.2
    *The Inflation Reduction Act may increase the amount of this credit to 30% come 2023, although it has not yet been specified whether metal roofs will be included in this increase.

The ROI of Your Steel Roof 

While a steel roof is more costly, you have to think about it as an investment. Thanks to their durability, longevity and sleek appearance, metal roofs are known to increase home value.

According to the 2022 Remodeling Report, a metal roofing replacement raised home value by a whopping $28,196, leading to an ROI of 54.8%.

Are Steel Roofs Worth the Cost?

Steel roofs typically cost between $17,500- $51,000 for a 1,700 sq. ft roof, which is much higher compared to the average asphalt shingle roof, which ranges between $8,500 and $30,000 (including labor).

What we’ll continue to stress is that installing a steel roof as an investment will last at least twice as long as standard asphalt shingles.

Put it this way: if you were to install an asphalt roof on your home, you’d be looking to pay for a roof replacement again in another 10 to 30 years. Not to mention that an asphalt roof will lead to more frequent maintenance costs for roof repairs and cleaning.

Don’t forget that asphalt roofs are not as energy efficient, which can lead to higher heating and cooling costs. Thanks to their reflective nature, steel roofs have been shown to reduce energy costs by up to 30%.

According to the 2022 Remodeling Report, a new asphalt shingle roof replacement will increase property value by roughly $18,700, while a new metal roof will increase it by more than $28,000. That’s nearly a $10,000 increase on your home’s value!3

While many homeowners agree metal roofs are worth the cost, you have to choose the best roofing material for your budget, climate and lifestyle.

Speaking with a professional roofing contractor is the best way to find out which type of roof is right for you and your family.

How to Make An Informed Roofing Choice

The EcoWatch team spoke with Todd Miller, a roofing and HVAC expert that has been in the first for over 35 years. Here’s what he had to say about eco-friendly roofing materials.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Todd-Miller.jpg
Todd Miller, Roofing and HVAC expert and technician
Since 1986, Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the exterior building products industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of specialty residential metal roofing based in Ohio. Todd also serves on the Boards of Metal Construction Association and Metal Roofing Alliance and is a frequent speaker and author on topics related to roofing, condensation, ventilation, and leadership. Through his educational website, Ask Todd Miller, he answers hundreds of questions each year related to his fields.
Note: responses were edited for length and clarity.
Can a roof impact the energy efficiency of your home? Is this something that homeowners are considering when choosing a roof? 

I think that homeowners are increasingly starting to think about how their roof impacts their home’s energy efficiency. They’re looking at that not only from an operational cost standpoint but from doing the right thing for the environment as well.

And another thing is that oftentimes, a roof is really great real estate to put solar on up on a home. It usually doesn’t have as much obstruction and shadowing to it, and it’s often well-angled for the sun. So, roofs are increasingly thought of as being a great place to locate solar panels or a solar array.

How do you recommend homeowners go about selecting a roofing material? 

My advice really is to start out by setting your criteria– what it is you want to accomplish with your next roof. Once you set those criteria, you can use that to help you go out and use the internet or other resources to find a product that meets those needs.

My general advice is a little different than most roofing contractors are going to tell you. My advice is to find a product that first your needs and is right for you and your home. Then contact the manufacturer of that product to find someone in your area who has been trained or is in some way qualified to install that product.

Otherwise, if you go the normal route of just choosing a roofing contractor, you’re probably going to end up with a product that they want you to have, not necessarily the product you want to have on your house.

And frankly, the product that they want you to have probably is going to be the product that they’re the most familiar with, or in a lot of cases, the product they feel they can be most profitable on.

Other than color and style, what are some of these criteria that homeowners look for when deciding on a roofing material?

Because the roof is such a significant portion of a home’s exterior, homeowners are obviously going to care about life expectancy.

Chances are, if they are reroofing their house, they know how long that roof lasted. They may want to do better than that, and we certainly hope that they’re going to be interested in the carbon footprint of the roofing material that they are choosing.

Energy efficiency is another big thing. As you know, energy efficiency impacts the cost to operate the home. But, of course, it’s also an environmental choice.

I think that based on the climate they live in, homeowners are going to think about any severe weather considerations. Homeowners in Florida are going to be thinking a lot about wind resistance, homeowners in California are probably going to be thinking a lot about fire resistance, and homeowners in Texas and Oklahoma are probably going to be thinking a lot about resilience and hail.

What should homeowners know about the lifecycle of different roofing materials?

Another thing we’re seeing a lot is homeowners looking at the total product lifecycle. Folks are saying, Okay, what’s going to happen to this roof when it wears out? Is it recyclable? Some roofing materials are and some are not.

Another thing homeowners are asking is, I’ve got a roof up there right now, does that have to go into a landfill? Or would there be potential to install a new roof over my existing roof?

That being said, what roofing materials are made with recycled content?

There are some asphalt shingles out there that have recycled content, but about 15% is the highest I have ever seen.

Then there are polymer plastic roofing materials. Some of their manufacturers say they have some recycled content, but I’ve never seen any actual figures on that.

Steel roofing typically has at least 35% recycled content, and some steel mills are as high s 85% recycled content.

Aluminum, which is a highly recycled metal almost always has around 95% recycled content when it’s used as roofing.

Copper, which is a fairly high-end roofing material typically has around 35% recycled content.

What can you tell us about roofing materials that end up in landfill?

About 12 million tons of asphalt shingles go into landfills every year. Scientists estimate that asphalt shingles take about 300 to 400 years in a landfill before they will fully decompose.

And at the same time, asphalt shingles have a lot of oil content. So they are releasing that oil into the landfill as well. 

However, Building codes in most areas of the country allow up to two layers of roofing. So if someone does just have one layer of roofing on their home right now, they can go over that with another layer, which could be asphalt shingles.

But a lot of times they will also choose a lower-weight roofing material, such as steel or aluminum to go over those existing shingles.

FAQ: Steel Roofing Cost

Blog author image

Kristina Zagame

Kristina Zagame is a journalist and content writer with expertise in solar and other energy-related topics. Before joining EcoWatch, Kristina was a TV news reporter and producer, covering a wide variety of topics including West Coast wildfires and hurricane relief efforts. Kristina’s reporting has taken her all over the U.S., as well as to Puerto Rico and Chile.