When you’re considering a new metal roof, standing seam definitely deserves a spot at the table.
This roofing system combines the durability and longevity of metal roofing panels with an installation method that is one of the most durable and weather-tight systems available.
If metal roofing is a great option for you, standing seam installation only makes it better.
4 Common Standing Seam Panel Profiles
Standing seam panels come in different profiles to fit different roofs. Each profile creates a different look on the roof.
Depending on the size, type, and slope of your roof, one profile may work better than another.
1. Snap-Lock – This standing seam metal roof profile is one of the easiest to install but not ideal for low-slope roofs. This panel has male and female legs that are snapped together during installation. They are attached to the roof deck using a clip attached to the seam and fastened underneath the panel. Snap-lock profiles are best suited for steep roofs and work well in any environment. They are faster to install, making them less expensive than other profiles.
2. Mechanical – Mechanical and Snap-Lock look alike but are installed very differently. As opposed to the male and female legs in a snap-lock system, a mechanical panel uses a special tool called a seamer to bend the edges and lock the panels together creating a standing seam. Mechanical seams can be either single locked, or double locked if you live in an area with harsh weather.
3. Batten – In a batten standing seam profile roof system, two legs of panels are placed next to each other and a metal cap is used to create a seam over the top. The cap is secured into place with either a mechanical seam or a snap-lock method. Batten works well in harsh weather and is more weather-proof than other profiles. This profile also works well for curved and steep roof shapes.
4. Nail/Fastener Flange – On the surface, the nail flange is similar to the snap-lock panel system. However, instead of using a clip to attach the panel to the roof deck, the male leg is directly fastened down to the roof deck and the female leg of the panel snaps over the entirety of the male leg, hiding the fastener head. This is the cheapest option for standing seam because it requires fewer accessories. However, it can also cause problems in the future because the system counts entirely on the head of the fastener to keep the panels attached.
Standing Seam Panel Sizes
All standing seam metal roof panels come in different widths and seam heights. The size of the panels affects both the aesthetics and the performance of the roof. Generally speaking, the narrower the better, but wider panels are more cost-effective.
- Panel Widths – The panel width can greatly influence the look of your home. Unlike exposed fastener panels that come in a wider profile, standing seam panel sizes range anywhere from 12” and 18” in width, with 16” being the most common.
- Seam Heights – Seam height can affect the roof leak resistance. The lower the rib height, the easier it gets for the water to move to the edge. The height of a seam also affects the price, the higher the seam, the higher the price. Seams measuring 1½ inches and 2 inches are the most common options.
5 Benefits of Installing Standing Seam Roofing
Anytime you install a metal roof, you’ll enjoy a roof with low maintenance, a long lifespan, and increased energy efficiency.
However, standing seam metal roofs have a few additional benefits of their own you won’t get with exposed fasteners or other installation methods.
- Invisible Fasteners – The invisible fasteners protect the roof’s overall structure. When the fasteners are underneath the surface, they aren’t exposed to natural elements, which keeps them from failing over time. Additionally, your roof has a smooth clean look and a surface free from any holes caused by fasteners.
- Thermal Expansion and Contraction – Metals expand during summer and contract in winter. If your metal roof doesn’t get a proper thermal movement, your roof will start experiencing oil canning, fastener issues, increased noise, and more. Standing seam metal roofs are not pinned like exposed fasteners, so they get better movement during winter and summer.
- Sleek and Modern Look – When it comes to metal roofing, standing seams are a step above the rest with a more regal appearance. The invisible fasteners, customized color choices, and a classic straight-line profile provide a modern look to this classic roofing system.
- Customizable – With a standing seam roof you can customize the panel length, width, thicknesses, and seam types so it’s installed the way you like without interfering with the quality of the seams.
- Non-Penetrating Mounting Options – Roofing accessories like solar panels, snow retention systems, or other rooftop additions are easier to install in a standing seam metal roof. There are mounting options available that place these accessories security without making additional holes in the surface of the roof
How Much Does a Standing Seam Roof Cost?
A standing seam metal roof must be installed by a skilled metal roofing professional. They can be a complicated system and are definitely not a DIY project.
For this type of premium roofing product, the cost is the biggest disadvantage.
Factors That Influence the Cost
The total cost of a standing seam metal roof can cost between $13,600 to $20,400 with an average cost of $17,000.
Several factors contribute to the cost of your roof, including the following:
- Material – Whether you have a large roof or a small roof, the type of materials you use will greatly influence the overall cost. Wider panels and lower seams are more cost-effective options that can make the roof more affordable.
Additionally, you can choose a different type of metal, or a lighter gauge to keep costs low.
- Design – Different profiles come with different price tags. If you go for a Snap-lock panel, the installation is easy and the cost will also be lower. Whereas, if you aim for a mechanical standing seam design, it will cost you more because it is labor-intensive to install and labor costs will increase.
- Labor – Labor is one of the biggest cost factors. Depending on the type of material and the slopes of the roof, the labor costs can range anywhere from $2.00 to $6.00 per square foot. Anytime you increase the labor by using mechanical seams over snap-lock, or you have to remove old shingles or panels first, these will lead to extra costs.
- Color – Most metal sheets are pre-painted in neutral colors. If you’re planning to add an extra layer of paint or a custom color, that will come at an extra cost.
- Permits – The bigger the roof the higher the cost of a permit. Every time you install a new roof an inspector will come over and take a look and give you the permit. The permit is between $400 to $1,000 for a roof that is up to 2,000 square feet.
Is Standing Seam Worth the Investment?
There is no doubt that a standing seam metal roof is arguably the best metal roofing option for both residential and commercial applications.
It is likely the only roof you’ll ever need and will outlive you (and possibly your kids).
This roofing system holds up in all weather with minimal maintenance and is absolutely stunning.
However, if you plan on selling your property soon, or the budget simply doesn’t allow for this type of investment, it’s worth discussing all of your options with an experienced contractor.
Schedule a free consultation to have all your questions answered about your specific property and talk with a roofing contractor you can trust.