Metal roofs have been around for a while, but they are becoming more and more popular in recent years—for good reason.

They can last up to 50+ years, provide excellent insulation against the elements, and give your home a beautiful look all at once. If you’re thinking of installing a DIY metal roof on your property, this post is going to walk you through the process from start to finish!

How to Install a DIY Metal Roof (Step-by-Step)

Young man worker in blue overall fix a metal tile roof; diy metal roof

Now the fun part—how to install a metal roof from beginning to end. Now, although you can technically DIY your metal roof, this type of roofing requires some experience that many homeowners may not have. Therefore, never attempt to install your own roof without some semblance of knowledge and the right crew to help. When in doubt, always hire a professional to get the job done. That being said, here are the steps to install your new metal roof.

Step 1 — Measure the Roof, and Measure Again

Before you do anything, you must get accurate measurements of your roof. You’ll need to know the square footage, the length of each section, and the width of panels you’ll need to order. You’ll measure from the roof’s ridge down to the eaves. Then measure the width and determine your square footage for each section of the roof.

It’s easier when you have just two sides, but separate areas like over the garage or any dormers can complicate measurements, so keep that in mind. You can then order your materials based on square footage, plus add a few extras for mistakes or waste.

Step 2 — Remove Existing Roofing and Make Necessary Repairs

Tearing off the old roof is relatively easy, but you must be careful to do it without damaging any of the roof’s structure underneath. You will also want to make sure you watch out for any holes, water damage, or sagging that needs to be repaired and reinforced before placing the new roof. If you need help determining whether or not you should repair or replace your roof click here.

removing shingles

Step 3 — Install the Drip Edge

The drip edge seals the edges of your roof and keeps water from seeping into your attic and under the shingles on the edge of your roof. When installing the drip edge, use 1-1/4-inch galvanized roofing nails along the eaves and rake of the roof. Nail one roofing nail about every 14-16 inches.

Step 4 — Install Your Metal Panels or Shingles

Now, install your metal panels or shingles per the manufacturer’s instructions. Different manufacturers often have different installation procedures. Following these ensure you maintain any warranties and don’t face any damage or leaks earlier than intended. One thing to note: make sure your metal panels overlap the roof edge by at least 1/2 an inch. You’ll also want to ensure you use the proper roofing sealant and flashing to keep out water and ice. A well-sealed roof is key to it lasting for those 50 years or more.

Step 5 — Place the Ridge Caps and Gutters

Your ridge caps and gutters will be the finishing touch. First, lay your ridge cap so it evenly laps each side of the roof and mark on either side where it will sit. A chalk line connecting the marks will ensure you put it in the right place before securing it.

Then, run sealant tape the entire length of the ridge, up from the line you laid. Repeat on the other side of the roof. You’ll then run more sealant tape along the top and both sides of the roof on the closure strip.

You’ll continue installing the ridge caps by overlapping each by about 6 inches and adhering with your roofing nails or screws according to the manufacturer’s direction.

metal roof gutter installation

And there you have it! You’ve installed your metal roof—and hopefully, it went as seamlessly as you’d hoped.

What are the Many Benefits of Metal Roofing?

Metal roofs are one of the strongest, most durable, and longest-lasting roofing materials you can use for both residential and commercial roofing. They have many benefits that put them leaps and bounds beyond any other roofing material. Aside from slate and clay, metal roofs can last for a long time without the hefty price tag, thus, are a growing choice for homeowners, today. Benefits of a metal roof include:

Very Long Lifespan (50+ Years)

With proper installation and maintenance, your metal roof can last 50 years or more! Although they are more expensive up front, the longevity and durability of this roof give you an amazing return on investment. If you take really good care of your metal roof, it can last up to 70 years! One lifetime of a metal roof is the equivalent of 3 or 4 asphalt shingle roofs. We break down the average lifespan of roofing materials in another post.

metal roofing

Quick and Easy to Install

Metal roofing is surprisingly lightweight, so hauling the materials up on the roof and installing them is relatively easy. Plus, installing corrugated metal panels vs. shingles lets you cover multiple square feet at once with each sheet. It makes installation a breeze!

Energy-Efficient to Lower Energy Bills

Metal roofing is an incredible insulator and is also highly reflective. Both these features allow it to be incredibly energy efficient and your home will be able to keep the house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter without a rise in energy bills.

Great Fire-Resistance

Metal roofing is typically classified as Assembly-Rated Class A, which means the covering and supporting materials provide maximum fire protection—more than other standard roofing materials. This is one of the biggest selling points for people who live in areas prone to wildfires. A fire-resistant roof can help mitigate a lot of damage from falling embers and keep your home safe from catastrophic damage.

Environmentally Friendly—Made of Recyclable Materials

Metal is both made of recycled materials and also built to be 100% recyclable. Many other roofing materials like asphalt or rubber end up in landfills after they’ve been removed. Metal, however, not only lasts much longer, which means fewer tear-offs but the material can be melted down and reused for something else.

Lightweight Design Relieves Pressure on Home’s Structure

If your home is older or isn’t built to withstand such heavy weight on the roof, it can be detrimental to your home’s integrity and foundation. Luckily, metal roofs are incredibly lightweight compared to other roofing materials. For example, some roofing materials such as slate, clay, or even premium asphalt shingles can weigh 2 to 6 pounds per square foot, while metal roofing might weigh around 1.5 lbs.

Resistance to Moss and Algae Growth

Asphalt and wood shingles often have a lesser life expectancy, and one of the reasons for this is their susceptibility to moss, mildew, and algae growth. Metal not only is resistant to this fungal growth but is also impervious to rodents and other pests that might be able to chew through other roofing types.

Excellent Snow and Ice Shed

Metal roofs are much more effective at shedding snow and ice from the roof compared to asphalt shingles. This is partly due to their nail-free design, which doesn’t allow for any debris to get stuck and clog the gutters while simultaneously letting the water roll right off of them. Also, metal panels can absorb the sun’s warmth, which melts snow and ice much faster and cleaner than other roofing materials.

metal roof snow

Are There Any Downfalls of a Metal Roof?

Metal roofing is an excellent choice for homeowners and businesses alike, but it isn’t without its downsides. Some of the more common drawbacks include:

Higher Price Tag

They might cost you $50 to $100 per square foot compared to traditional asphalt roofs, which go on sale for as low as $20/sq ft or cedar shingles for $30/sq ft.

Longer Time to Install

It can take from a few days to weeks to install metal roofing, depending on the size of your home and the complexity of installation, whereas an asphalt shingle roof will usually be installed in a day or two.

It’s important to note, though, that these negatives aren’t deal-breakers and may not apply in your situation. For example, if you have a professional roofing crew install the metal roofing, then you won’t have to worry about longer installation time.

Types of Metal Roofing Available

There are a few types of metal roofing available on the market today. It’s come a long way since just large metal panels were being used for pole barns or lean-tos. Metal roofing shingles today can nearly imitate asphalt or slate shingles, but with the benefits of metal.

Also, the type of materials used to manufacture metal roofs vary and are most commonly tin, zinc, steel, aluminum, and copper. There are four main types of metal roofs: metal shingles, through-fastened or corrugated panels, modular panels, and standing-seam panels.

Metal Shingles

Metal shingles are becoming a prevalent choice among homeowners who want to invest in their home’s exterior. They look like your standard shingle roof but are much more durable and long-lasting like we’ve described above. In addition, they can work with just about any home style or color and are easy to repair if needed down the road. Check out our post on Metal vs. Shingle roofs to learn the pros and cons of each.

Roofing materials. Metal House roof. Closeup House Construction; diy metal roof

Modular Panels

Modular panels are made of thin metal pieces that interlock with each other. They’re often used in industrial applications where they can be applied to building rooftops or walls, but they also have a lot of appeal for homeowners wanting the look and durability of galvanized steel on their homes.

Standing-Seam Panels

This type of metal roofing is a solid and durable option that allows the panels to overlap each other. It’s most commonly used on commercial buildings, but it also works well for some residential applications as well.

Corrugated Panels

This type of metal roofing is probably the most recognizable and resembles a tin or steel barrel. It’s one large panel that lays on your home similar to shingles but is usually thicker, heavier, and stronger than other types. In addition, they come in different colors, which you can paint right over if desired or left as-is for natural aesthetics.

metal roofing

Tools and Materials Needed to Install a Metal Roof

There are a few tools and materials needed to install metal roofing properly. They may vary slightly depending on the type of panel or shingle you’re installing, but here’s a general list:

  • 24 and 12-inch squares
  • Duckbill snip
  • Marking tools (chalk, marker, pencil)
  • Measuring tape
  • Panel hemming tool
  • Razorblade
  • Rivet gun (with 1/8″ rivets)
  • Seaming/bending tool
  • Straight edge
  • Safety equipment (safety goggles, gloves, roofing harness, hard hat)
  • Turbo shear

And of course, you’ll need your metal roofing materials which you can purchase at your local big-box home improvement store or online through the manufacturer.

roofing tools

When In Doubt, Get Help From The Professionals

As we said, the key to getting a truly proper metal roof installed is to call the pros. And when you decide to go the route of a new metal roof, make sure to call the experienced team at Gouge Quality Roofing. We’ll make sure you get the roof of your dreams and install it with the care and expertise you need. Contact us today for a FREE Quote


What is the biggest problem with metal roofs?

Some of the biggest problems with metal roofs include leaks, expansion, and contraction issues, noise, cost, and installation difficulties. With proper installation, maintenance, and repairs, metal roofs can last for many years and are a great investment.

Do you need a drip edge on metal roof?

Drip edges are an important component of metal roofing systems, as they play a critical role in protecting the roof deck and structure from water infiltration. While it may not strictly be required by code, it’s highly recommended to have them installed to maintain the integrity of the roof and meet warranty requirements.

Do you pre-drill metal roofing?

In general, pre-drilling is a good idea when installing metal roofing as it helps ensure a secure installation and prevent any potential problems down the line. It’s also important to note that some manufacturers require pre-drilling to validate the warranty.