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- Working time: Entire day
- Total time: multiple days
- Skill Level: Advanced
- Project costs: $2,000 to $5,000 for DIY installation; $5,000 to $12,000 for professional installation
REMARK: In the first half of 2021, there will be an unprecedented labor shortage as a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. In combination with this, the demand for materials and construction work has increased enormously. As a result, material prices may be higher than those listed in this article and lead times may be longer than normal for both labor and materials.
Nothing beats the durability of metal roofing, which will probably last 50 years, but installing metal roofing yourself is a chore. Do-it-yourself metal roof installation will knock thousands of dollars off the price tag, but there are several safety and building regulations to keep in mind. Expect to spend a few days installing a metal roof and some helpers. There are different types of metal roofing, so do some research before choosing which metal panels you want.
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When to install metal roofing?
If you’ve had multiple roof damage over the past few years, it may be time to switch to metal roofing. Metal roofing can withstand just about anything and requires little maintenance. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing and can be especially noisy during thunderstorms, but you won’t need to replace it anytime soon. Plan ahead by finding a window of a few days where the forecast is clear of rain possibilities before starting the project.
Because you work with metal and work high above the ground, you will need goggles, gloves and a safety harness on the roof. In addition, pay attention to cables and tree branches when you are on the roof. Be sure to consult with building codes prior to starting the project as there are specifics when it comes to adding metal roofing.
Tools and Materials
- work gloves
- work boots
- Fall Prevention Aids
- Circular saw
- Tape measure
- Chalkline and reel
- screw gun
- claw hammer
- Electric Stapler
- Knee pads
- tin scissors
- utility knife
- roof jacks
- Roofing harness
- Lock sheet metal tools
- closing strips
- sealing tape
- roof screws
- wood screws
- silicone sealant
1. Measure your roof
To get an idea of how much roofing material you will need, take some measurements of your roof. Measure the length, width and rise of one section. The rise is the distance between the lowest point of the roof and the highest point of the roof.
You need the slope number to calculate the slope of your roof. Slope is rise divided by run. Run is the distance across the roof. The slope factor is calculated by squaring the slope number and adding it to the square of the run number. Then take the square root of that number and divide it by the run.
Use the slope factor number and multiply it by the area measurement. That total will give you the square footage you need to cover. Repeat the process for each section of your roof, making sure to add 10% extra length for waste.
2. Remove or start installing metal roof over existing roof
Most building codes only allow two coats of roofing material, so if you plan on installing a metal roof over an existing roof, check the coats. Also check with a building inspector just to be sure, as building codes can vary. If you’re planning to replace your roof, start by tearing it down. Check the weather before you start removing the roof. You’ll need a day or two of clear weather to get the job done.
3. Repair any roof damage
Once the roof has been removed, now is a good time to take a closer look at the roof frame, cladding, insulation and ventilation.
4. Install the moisture barrier
Before installing metal roofing, you must apply a moisture barrier or insulation layer. Roofing felt paper will do the trick. Simply staple or nail into place.
5. Install drip edges and sealing strips
Start installing drip edges along the eaves and the roof rake. Use 1-¼-inch galvanized roofing nails to secure them and space the nails about 16 inches apart. If you need multiple drip edges, wrap them 1/4 to 1/2 inch and hold the nail away from the ground joint. While walking, pay attention to the gutters. Drip flashes should hang 1/2 inch over the gutter tabs.
Add sealing tape along the drip edge, then peel off the backing paper from the sealing strip to place it on the tape. Do not stretch the closing strip.
6. Install metal roof panels
Start installing metal roofing by overlapping the edge by 1/2 to 3/4 in., making sure it is perpendicular to the roofline. Remember to lay the metal roofing so that the small edge of the next panel overlaps the larger edge. Observe the manufacturer’s guidelines for screw installation. If you live in an area where hurricanes occur, there may be additional building codes you need to follow.
Start at the eaves and work your way up. Tighten screws as you work, but avoid over-tightening. Add silicone caulk to the underside of the short edge of the next panel for a watertight seal.
Continue adding panels and cut panels as needed to fit. Tin snips or a circular saw will work to cut the metal roofing.
7. Add Edge Cap
Once you’ve got the panels in place, you’ll need to add ridge caps. Note whether you need a vented closing strip or a solid strip. If the roof needs to vent to the ridge, you will need a vented closing strip, if not, you can use a solid closing strip.
Make sure the ridge cap overlaps evenly on both sides of the roof. Mark the panels where the ridge cap will rest by snapping a chalk line.
Place sealing tape along the edge of the chalk line, following the distance the manufacturer recommends, usually an inch. Repeat the process on the other side of the roof as well. Make sure the locking strip fits snugly on each side. Then pass another strip of sealing tape over the top of the closing strip on both sides of the roof.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the ridge cap, which usually means running screws at each average rib and overlapping sections of about 6 inches.
When to call a professional?
Roofing of any kind is not a recommended first DIY project. It is usually recommended that homeowners seek a professional to do the job, especially with metal roofing, which is heavy and requires careful handling.
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