Top Metal Roofing Systems Compared Side by Side

As a professional installer with expertise in standing seam, metal shingles, and corrugated panels, I often get a lot of questions about many different types of metal roofing systems and whether or not they would work in certain situations, of which the most mentioned problem is preventing ice dams. Interestingly, here in southern New England (Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut), we have a rather unique situation in regards to residential metal roofs. On one side, metal roofing is not very wide spread here and therefore most people are unaware of these excellent and permanent roofs. However, because of our close proximity to New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, many homeowners who consider a longer lasting roof than asphalt shingles, usually mention a metal roof that they’ve seen while “driving through New Hampshire”.


Because of this often-skewed perspective, most people that are aware of metal roofing, think that New Hampshire style vertical panels (standing seam) are the only type of metal roofs in existence, or are the best kind because that is what they’ve seen.

Despite this fairly prevalent belief about standing seam being “the only” or “the best” metal roofing system, this is just not true. I will mention that although standing seam metal roofs are very good, and time proven systems, they do, in fact, have a few negative aspects to them, which make them “not the best” for me personally. You can read my complete overview of why standing seam is actually an inferior system compared to interlocking metal shingles at the end of this article.

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Pricing: How to Get the Best Deal on a Metal Roof

Standing seam If you have your heart set on a metal roof for your home, but you cringe at the thought of how much it will cost, the good news is that there are ways to save even on such a premium product as metal roofing. Having some insight into different metal roofing materials and styles, as well as better understanding ways roofing contractors operate can help you save thousands of dollars on the cost of materials and installation. Check out these tips and make your dream of owning a metal roof a reality!

Go for Steel as your material of choice

It goes without saying that metal roofs can be made out of different types of metal, but what many homeowners don’t know is how greatly the price for these different metals may vary. The cheapest (but also lowest quality) Galvanized corrugated steel starts at $175 per square. The next BIG step up in quality is Architectural steel, which starts at $250 per roof square (100 sq.ft) for metal shingles and $350 per roof square. for standing seam. The next upgrade is aluminum, costing, $350+ per roof square for metal shingles and $425+ per roof square for standing seam. Premium metals, such as copper and zinc are outrageously expensive: $900-1400 per roof sq. The smarterst financial move is to go for a steel shingle roof, because it offers architectural quality and style at a cost close to corrugated metal panels. – You can read more about it here.

Avoid Seasonal Material Price Increases

In the roofing industry, most roofing material suppliers hike up their prices during busy roofing seasons, which are typically during the spring and early fall in most states across the US. You can avoide these seasonal price increases and save money by scheduling your installation at a different time of the year, convenient for you (summer or winter).

Save Big with Metal Roofing Shingles

While you may have initially fallen in love with the clean, contemporary look of standing seam metal roofing panels, the reality is that this style is about 25% more expensive than its more classic counterpart: metal roofing shingles. Metal shingles can offer a wide variety of style and color options, imitating traditional materials such as slate, clay tyle and ashphalt shingles.

When it comes to longevity, durability, weather protection and energy efficiency, metal shingles will preform just as well as standing seam. So why do they cost less? The reasons are simple:

1. Metal roofing shingles are easier to install than standing seam panels, so contractors will charge you less for installation. For example, installing steel shingles costs around $750 per roof sq. (without tear-off), while installing steel standing seam panels costs around $1,000 per roof sq. (without tear-off). A similar price difference holds true for aluminum: shingles installation costs $900 per roof sq. (without tear-off), while standing seam installation costs $1,100 per roof sq. (without tear-off). Overall, it costs about 20 to 25% less to install metal roofing shingles than standing seam.

2. Metal shingles are manufactured from a thinner metal than standing seam, and as a result cost less. As you can see in the prices for different metals quoted above, regardless of the material, shingles cost as much as as 30% less as standing seam.

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Metal Roofing Shingles – BAD paint job

Image of Aluminum Shingles Metal Roof - Pealing Paint

I took this video when I was doing an estimate in a coastal Maine in 2009. In this video you can see an Aluminum shingles metal roof with paint coming off near the left and right sides of most shingles, which indicates a manufacturing defect.

Please watch the video below and I will discuss my thoughts as to who made these shingles and why the paint is coming off:

Why is paint coming off these metal shingles:

It appears to me that the defect is related to manufacturing and occurred in a plant that produced and painted the metal coil for these shingles.

It is also apparent to me (though i’m not 100% sure) that these shingles were made by one of the Canadian aluminum shingles manufacturers. Here is why:

The shingles were stamped from a coil approximately 24 inches wide. The press cuts them perpendicular to the direction for the coil, because all paint is is coming off on the right side of the shingles. This is based on my theory that paint defect comes from the coil supplier – when coil was painted, there was a continuous defect running on one edges of the coil.

image of Aluminum shingles roof - paint defects

Why Canadian Manufacturer?

The only two US manufacturers of such Aluminum Metal Shingles that I was able to find (and I spent MONTHS looking for them) are in Utah, and they use 11″ coil, and stamp shingles parallel to the direction of the coil! You just cannot stam a 16″ wide shingle out of 11″ coil if you do it perpendicularly!

At the same time, when I visited on of the manufacturers’ plant in Canada, they used a press that stamps perpendicular to the direction of the coil.

Who manufactured these metal shingles:

This I honestly do not know. When I asked the people living in the house who manufactured and installed the roof, they did not know, as they were tenants, and owner of the house was not there.

Of course it might have been made by some mysterious company that I do not know of, but I went out of my way to find suppliers of these shingle, because we also install the same metal shingles (the US made shingels form Utah).

Video of how we install Metal Shingels roof:

At the same time I know of at least TWO canadian makers of these shingles – one is a large company with dealers all over US and Canada, and the other one is a local installer who also manufactures and resells these shingels. The second one had a similar issue with a very complex Dome roof which they installed (pictures of this roof were floating around interweb a few years ago and can probably still be found.

If you know anything about the manufacture of these shingles, please let us know in the comments below.

Also please watch more metal roofing videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel here:

METALCON 2012 in Chicago, IL

MetalRoofng.TV is going to MetalCon 2012 in Chicago. MetalCon is an international trade show for metal roofing and metal construction industry, including metal frames manufacturers, steel building manufacturers, and of course metal roofing makers from around the world.

Our interest is of course in metal roof part of the show, and we will bring you detailed reports on latest trends in metal roofing, new and interesting designs, special machinery for field producing of metal roofing panels (such as the Bemo Metal roofing that we covered in our previous post), tools for contractors, and other interesting stories.

METAL CON will take place form Oct. 9 to Oct. 11. You can still register to attend this free show here. There are also paid sessions for contractors and other people in the industry, teaching you about installation, marketing and sales aspects of Metal Construction and Metal Roofing.

Watch this short trailer to get the feel of what MetalCON is like:

BEMO Metal Roofing Systems

BEMO metal roofs may not be as well known or be a first choice for many people considering a new metal roof. However, many contemporary architects and large builders around the world, recognize BEMO as a top supplier of architectural metal roofing systems. BEMO roofs are made primarily for large commercial projects such as airports, universities, malls, convention centers, etc.

Modern architectural design for commercial and industrial buildings is rapidly advancing, with clients demanding innovative solutions that meet high standards for durability, longevity, eco-friendliness, budget constraints, and aesthetic appeal. Roofing in particular is one area where architects and builders are asked to deliver superior solutions, and metal roofing is quickly becoming the go-to-material on many major construction projects across the globe. With its longstanding reputation for providing the most advanced and versatile metal roofing solutions for large-scale commercial buildings, BEMO metal roofing systems is a leader in the field. Its superior standing seam metal roofing systems can be found all over the world from the Convention Center in Boston, MA to the new international airport in Doha, Qatar.

Sophisticated design

So many architects choose BEMO metal roofing because of the great design versatility the system offers. The architectural flexibility of BEMO roofing systems is not limited by simple standard roof designs and configurations, and can be customized to highly complex and sophisticated roofing designs. BEMO roofing system is able to meet the latest demands for building roofs not only using steel and aluminum, but also other premium metals such as copper and zinc. There is also a wide range of colors and finishes available to complement a wide range of architectural styles, for a truly customized look.

The unique beauty that can be achieved with BEMO roofing systems is evident in such cutting-edge architectural designs as the Flower Center in Dubai International Airport, University of Cincinnati, Recreation Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Saipan Airport, Northern Mariana Islands. Indeed, sky seems to be the limit for BEMO metal roofing systems, as exemplified by the original style of the Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo, Michigan, which boasts 14 different radii on the roof’s concave, convex, and serpentine curves.

image of BEMO Metal Roof on Borgess Medical Center

Suitable for all environments

Too many roofing systems fail to live up to the basic requirement that a roof should meet: remain weathertight and protect the building against the elements. Especially when it comes to large commercial buildings such as airports, hospitals, hotels, convention centers, sports arenas, etc, it is essential to install a roofing system that you can be sure will be leak-free for decades to come. By installing a metal roofing system such as BEMO, you can rest assured that you are making a solid investment and this roof will remain resistant to adverse weather conditions such as temperature fluctuations, rot, rust, mold, heavy rain, snow, hail, UV rays, hurricane level winds and even earthquakes.

While metal roofing is in general superior to most other roofing materials in terms of strength, durability and longevity, BEMO metal roofing systems offer particular advantages and are a superior product among metal roofs. BEMO is precisely engineered and tested so that all of its components such as hook-clips, exclusive halters, gable halters, combination closures, snow-retention systems, etc are designed to enhance the overall performance of the roofing system and resist a wide range of climactic conditions. In addition to climate, BEMO engineers consider many critical factors when designing a roof for each client, including the roof’s geometry, size, shape, radii, thermal requirements, roof attachment accessories, and much more.

In fact, its BEMO’s superior quality and engineering design that make it the choice roofing supplier of the largest construction project in the world: the international airport in Doha, Qatar. BEMO has taken on the project three years ago, and the airport is scheduled to be complete on 12.12.12.


Unique design of BEMO roofing system actually makes it possible to reduce the overall cost of a project, which for large-scale commercial and industrial buildings can mean significant savings of tens of thousands dollars. Such savings are possible because of the structural nature of the BEMO roofing systems, which minimize steel requirements. Frequently, it is possible to reduce the costs even more by completely eliminating the need for metal decks. Additional long-term savings are realized as a result of the fact that BEMO USA metal roofs far exceed other metal roofs in terms of their longevity, requiring virtually no maintenance, and will not need to be replaced for decades.

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