Installing Metal Roofing

metal roof

Installing metal roofing on a home is a very challenging project for the average homeowner. It requires an assortment of metalworking tools, and skill at fitting metal sheets around chimneys, skylights, and odd angles. Although it is difficult, it is not impossible if you are determined to do it yourself.

Choose Your Metal Roofing

Metal roofs come in different types and a selection of colors. This allows each homeowner to choose the type best suited for his individual home. Whether you long for a red roof, or prefer shingles, metal roofing can provide the look you want.

Most types of metal roofing are easy to care for, and there is little difference other than the way it will look on your home. Choose your roof according to what you like and what will go best with the style of your house. Most experts suggest that you step away from the roofing materials in the showroom and look at them from at least twenty feet away. This gives you a better idea of how the roof will look once it is installed on your home. Remember, a metal roof has up to a fifty year life expectancy so you don't want to make any mistakes with aesthetics!

Challenges of Installing Metal Roofing

There are many challenges and possible dangers when installing a metal roof. Always be sure to read and follow the manufacturers' instructions carefully.

  • The steeper the slope of the roof the more difficult and dangerous installing metal roofing is.
  • The edges of the metal are sharp and can cause a serious cut when improperly handled.
  • Shards can fly off during installation and damage the eye.
  • Each different piece must be placed exactly right, or the roof may not be structurally sound.
  • The installer must be aware of the potential for expansion and contraction in the roof during times of heat and cold and install it with these factors in mind.
  • If the manufacturers' instructions are not followed exactly the warranty may be voided completely.

Installation Materials

If you are still determined to install your own metal roof, then you will need the following materials.

  • Permits and inspections required by your town
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Stepladder
  • Extension ladder
Metal roofs come in many colors.
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk line and chalk
  • Drill
    • Regular bit
    • 5/16 inch bit for a screw head
    • 1.4 inch bit for a screw head
  • 5/16 metal Screws
  • 1/4 inch Wood screws
  • Hammer
  • Half pound of 1 ¼ inch roofing nails
  • Ten pounds of three inch head screws
  • Metal snips
  • A carpenter's apron

Remove Old Shingles

You may need to remove old shingles before the new metal roof is installed. Even if you are hiring someone for the installation of your roof, you can save quite a bit of money by doing the tear off yourself. This does not take a lot of fancy equipment or skill. Use a pry bar and a claw hammer to loosen the shingles and then scrape them off with a flat shovel. This creates a lot of trash so you will want to have a pickup truck nearby or rent a dumpster for the weekend.

Installation Instructions

Each manufacturer will have certain instructions that are specific to installing their roofs. Always follow the manufacturers' instructions completely. There is usually a help line number to call with questions and problems.

Extreme How-to has a very informative overview of metal roofing and their installation. They provide the steps needed to figure the slope of your roof and begin the installation. There is also a diagram of a roof showing the different components of the metal roof and where they are installed.

Easy Metal Roofing is a company that has created an easier-to-install metal roof. They have several down-loadable files explaining how to install one of their roofs.


If you decide to use a contractor always check references and make sure he has the proper licenses and insurance before he begins your roofing job. Whether your metal roof is installed by you or you hire a contractor, it is a great investment in your home.

Installing Metal Roofing