How To Install Metal Roofing?

Metal roofs can provide a solid, durable and attractive finish to any modern house. Metal roofs can also be erected over existing roofs by using furring strips, and this will provide an additional layer of insulation and protection for homes.

One of the main drawbacks of metal roofs is that the materials can be more expensive than conventional products, and you will be looking at paying around $600 per square (100 square feet section). However this material is highly durable and most companies provide a minimum 30 year guarantee, so this can actually be good value for money. Metal roofs are also less flammable than cedar singles and asphalt roofs and so are ideal for higher risk fire areas such as southern California.

Materials and Tools

If you have good DIY skills you can install metal roofing yourself and you will need the following tools and materials:
• Extension ladder and stepladder
• Chalk line
• Good quality power drill with selection of drill bits (including a regular bit, 5/16-inch screw head bit and a quarter inch screw head bit)
• Heavy duty hammer
• Metal snips
• Roofing shovel
• 5/16-inch lap metal screws, quarter inch wood screws and three-inch long head screws.
• 1 ¼ -inch sized roofing grade nails
• V-crimp metal roofing sheets (this is the easiest type to install)
• Roofing felt

V-Crimp Metal Roof Installation

To calculate how much metal you will need measure the roof’s height and length and then estimate the overhang required. You can find out more about how to do this at DIY-HQ.

Step 1 – Base

It is best to remove the old shingles before you install your metal roof, and these should come off cleanly with a roofing shovel. Create the base for the new roof by laying down roofing felt. If you are laying the material over an existing roof then you could also use slat boards for the base, and these can be fixed with 3-inch screws. Slat boards should be fitted lengthwise working from the bottom up to the top.

Step 2 – Edging

Once the base is ready you can begin installing the roof with the edging strips, which run round the perimeter. Use the 1 ¼-inch size roofing nails for this job.

Step 3 – Metal Sheeting

Working from the top to bottom takes the metal sheets and use the ¼-inch wood screws (intervals of two feet) to fix the roofing onto the roof slats. V-crimp sheets will need to be fitted with the crimp at the top of the sheet slightly overlapping the crimp at the bottom of the previous sheet. Repeat this until the roof is completely covered and then trim any excess with the snips. Now fix the sheets in place with the 5/16 lap screws and install the metal trim. This will go along the sides of the roof and the top ridge and should be fixed with the quarter inch wood screws. The metal ridge finish should be installed last, using the wood screws.

Carry out a final check and ensure all the sheets are firmly fixed in place, and all the edges neatly trimmed.


Author: Neil

Neil Wardlow has been writing professionally since 1989. Neil discovered he enjoyed writing when he suffered an injury during his 15-year building construction career. Neil now writes full-time, whenever he’s not occupied with entertaining family and friends, growing things, or making repairs in and around his beautiful ranch house.

2 thoughts on “How To Install Metal Roofing?”

  1. My roof has a 12/12 pitch facing south, because I wanted to install solar someday. I also have 4 skylights in this 38’X 18′ area. the top is a simple 4/12 pitch. I would call it a 1 1/2 story, or some call it a 2 story. It is 15 years old and would need shingles removed. My questions are many. First do I want an aluminum or steel roof, and what are the differences. What thickness of felt do I lay down? 30#? You say I need furring. What thickness and should they be pressure treated?Do I need wider furring around the skylights? Is there a good book or video you can suggest, or recommend. Please reply to  Thanks

    1. Hodg, to answer some of your questions:
      Corrugated steel is less expensive and more durable than aluminum in most cases.  It’s also easier to obtain than aluminum is in most areas of the United States.  Both steel and aluminum can rust if not coated with an anti-oxidant coating.  Both come in many styles, grades and colors.  Aluminum is good for making a house more energy efficient as it reflects light and emits heat.  However, which one is best for your use depends on the location of the residence, as you will need to take into consideration the weather/climate conditions.  You’ll especially need to consider the wind and snow conditions in your local area and how much stress will be placed on the roof. 

      In some cases, metal roofing can be placed over the existing roof without removing the shingles.  It will mostly depend on the condition of the wood underneath the shingles.  However, it’s usually best to remove the shingles anyway, just so you don’t have to worry about the shingles deteriorating and causing a problem later.  Removing the shingles also ensures that the felt and metal are fastened more securely.

      The weight or thickness of the felt and furring will mostly depend on the building code stipulations for your local area.  Before beginning to put any type of roof on, you should check on the specific zoning and building codes for your location.  The company that sells you the metal should also be able to advise you on what weight/thickness of felt and furring you’ll need.

      If you type in “metal roof installation”  on YouTube, you’ll find numerous videos that discuss this topic.  However, most of them seem to be made for demonstrating specific types of roofing installation done by professional companies, and do not seem to give specific information regarding the details of the materials used, i.e. thickness of felt.  The type of metal used makes a huge difference in what video would be best to demonstrate the proper installation technique.

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