If you’re planning to install metal roofing, you’ve made an excellent choice. Metal roofing is a popular option for the many advantages it offers over traditional asphalt shingle roofing:

  • Efficient: Metal roofing reflects sun’s heat keeping buildings cooler during the summer
  • Durable: Metal roofs are resistant to impact, UV rays, fire, and wind
  • Long-Lasting: Metal roofing lasts more than 50 years with proper care
  • Sustainable: A metal roof can be completely recycled after its lifetime

Metal roofing requires a more experienced hand than asphalt shingles to install. Before you head up the ladder, it’s a good idea to grab a few people to help you and make sure you have the proper fall protection and safety equipment for roof work. Now, let’s go through the steps of how to install metal roofing.

How to Install Metal Roofing

Installing metal roofing requires a bit more attention to detail and skill than asphalt shingle roofing, but with the proper materials, preparation, and roofing expertise, you can install metal roofing on your shed, barn, or home — although we recommend assistance from an experienced roofer for the latter.

Supplies You’ll Need:

  • Metal panels: choose the type of metal roofing you want to install, either corrugated, modular panels, or standing-seam metal roofing.
  • Underlayment and leak protection
  • Closure strips and flashing
  • Roofing tools and fasteners 
  • A circular saw
  • A sturdy ladder
  • Chalk lines and reels
  • Tape measure
  • Safety and protection items like gloves, and work boots

Read Manufacturer Instructions

The steps to install metal roofing outlined in this blog should give you a general sense of what to expect from the metal roof installation process. But, before you get down to the actual work of completing installation, it’s important to make sure you’ve thoroughly read and understood the specific installation instructions provided by the manufacturer. 

This Metal Roof Install Guide from the team at Metal Sales is a great example of a comprehensive, manufacturer-specific guide that will work to ensure your new metal roof is installed perfectly, to last your home, garage, or outbuilding for decades to come. 

There are many different types of metal roofs, from those with exposed fasteners to standing seam metal roofs. While each type of metal roof follows this general process, the manufacturer may have specific instructions or recommendations to ensure your new metal roof is installed properly. Before you start any metal roofing project, it’s always best to make sure you’ve considered any of these manufacturer recommendations. 

Roof Preparation

Before you can install metal roofing, you need to prepare your roof by measuring the area, removing old materials, and installing protective drip edges and flashing.

Measure the Roof Area

In order to purchase the right amount of materials, you need to measure your roof. Calculate the square footage as well as the distance from the ridge to the eave — this will be used to determine the length of the metal panels. Another important component of your measurements is the pitch or angle of your roof. Top manufacturers like Metal Sales provide helpful installation guides that make it easy for you to calculate those angles to ensure you always order exactly what you need. 

Remove Old Roofing Materials 

Metal roofing is unique in that it can be installed over an existing asphalt shingle roof, but the best practice is to remove old materials first. This allows you to inspect the roof closely for signs of damage before installing the new metal roof. Replace any worn or damaged sheathing and make sure there are no signs of water damage before proceeding.

Install Drip Edge and Closure Strips 

Install the drip edge (depending on the type of metal roof you’re installing, this may also be called the rake or rake angle) along the eaves of the roof with 1 ¼ inch galvanized roofing nails at 16-inch intervals. If your roof will have gutters, make sure the flashing extends over the edge by a half inch to encourage flowing water to drop into the gutter and not seep behind it. Use sealant tape to finish the drip edge and prevent leaks. Then, place closure strips on top of the sealant tape, the metal panel will rest on top. 

Now you’re ready to install your metal roofing materials!

Metal Roof Installation

To install metal roofing, first install the panels, layering them carefully to avoid gaps, then top it off with the ridge cap.

Install Metal Roofing Panels

To install the first panel, line it up carefully to run perpendicular to the roof’s ridge, with ½ – ¾ of an inch over the edging. The panel will have a smaller edge, which should be on the side where the next panel will overlap and attach.

Use screws to fasten the panels to the roof following the manufacturer’s instructions, starting from the eaves and moving towards the ridge. Be careful not to fasten the screws too tight in order to prevent bulging or deforming the panel. 

Install the next panel with the short lip overlapping the larger one. For additional leak protection, use silicone sealant along the edge of the smaller lip and adhere the panels together. Continue in this manner until the roof is covered. You may need to shape panels with the circular saw to fit angles in the roof.

Install Ridge Caps

Before attaching the ridge caps, you’ll need to place another closure strip along the top of the metal panels, fitting closely along any contours in the panels’ surface. The type of closure strips you use here should match the type of ridge cap you plan to install: solid or vented.

  • Vented ridge caps are designed to allow hot air to escape through the peak of the roof. 
  • Solid ridge caps fit closely over the top edges of the panels, with no additional space for ventilation. 

Carefully set the ridge cap to line up evenly with the top of the roof, and make a mark on the panels of each side where the ridge cap ends. Use the chalk line to create a mark that runs all the way across the roof. About 1 inch above this line, add a strip of sealant tape, followed by the closure tape, either solid or vented.

WIth sealant and closure tape in place, you’re ready to install the ridge caps. They are typically fastened with screws every 6 inches at the center and overlapping edges of the metal panels.

Installing Metal Roofing FAQs

How much does it cost to install metal roofing?

A metal roof will be more expensive to install than an asphalt shingle roof, but with less maintenance and a longer lifespan, it can beat asphalt shingles in lifetime value. A standing seam metal roof, the most expensive type of metal roofing, typically costs between $7 and $14 per square foot.

How long will it take to install metal roofing?

How long it takes to install metal roofing can depend on many factors: the availability of materials, the size of the project, and the skills of the installer. Smaller projects, like a shed or small outbuilding, can be completed in less than a day, where a home’s roof may take an expert installer a few days to complete.

Where can I install metal roofing? 

Metal roofing can be installed on almost any structure, from small sheds to garages, pole barns, and other outbuildings. If you want to install metal roofing on your home, it’s a good idea to work with a professional roofer who can make sure all of the roofing layers are installed properly to protect your home the way they should. Professional installation may be a key factor in manufacturers’ warranties and home insurance policies.

Where can I find materials to install metal roofing?

Whether you’re roofing a garage, a barn, or a whole home, metal roofing is a lot of work. Make your job easier with the best products from top brands at Zeeland Lumber & Supply. We offer Metal Sales and Fabral metal roofing along with all the tools and supplies you need to install it. Give us a call or contact us online for more information