How to Install Metal Roofing

If you’re a DIY-er, you might have considered installing your own roof — perhaps you’ve already done so with an asphalt shingle roof. Metal roofing has become more popular in recent years, and for good reason: It’s durable, long-lasting, and energy-efficient.

However, metal roofing is also more difficult to install than asphalt shingles, and at Erie Home, we recommend having a professional handle the project. That said, we know some homeowners prefer to manage this type of home upgrade on their own, and we’re going to give you our best advice on how to install metal roofing yourself.

Can You DIY a Metal Roof?

The short answer is yes, in many instances, you can install a metal roof on your own.

That said, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Are you comfortable with climbing, carrying panels up a ladder, and working at the height of your roof? Do you have the tools and equipment available?

An Erie Home Installer - Installing a Metal Roof.

The next thing to determine is if you need a permit in your municipality. If you need a permit, you may also need an inspection. If the job isn’t completed to the inspector’s satisfaction, you may need to redo it or hire someone to fix it.

Finally, it’s worth talking to your homeowner’s insurance company. They may need to perform their own inspection, and there’s a risk they’ll drop your insurance if it’s not completed to their satisfaction.

Once you’ve assessed all these potential issues, you may decide that you’re no longer comfortable installing the metal roof yourself and decide not to attempt it after all. If that’s the case, contact Erie Home for a professional consultation and estimate. Consultations are free, so it’s worth getting an idea of what professional installation would cost — even if you’re still thinking about DIY-ing a metal roof.

Metal Roof Installation: How to Prepare

Once you’ve decided to tackle the project of installing a metal roof, you’ll need to do some prep work to make the job run more smoothly. Here are the steps to take before you get started:

  1. Take safety precautions. This is your top priority; you’ll be working up high with potentially dangerous tools. Another adult should be working with you, or at least be outside with you and able to hear you if you need something.

Appropriate safety gear is a must. Gloves, safety glasses, and sturdy, non-slip boots or shoes are all essential. Your ladder needs to be anchored properly, and you should wear a harness to prevent injury if you fall.

  1. Measure everything. The old adage is “measure twice, cut once,” and in this case, you’re going to measure twice and purchase once. Measure the length and width of all sections of your roof to calculate the square footage needed for materials.
  2. Gather the materials. Purchase the roofing panels, fasteners, sealant, flashing, and tools in advance so that you have everything you need at hand.
  3. Prepare the surface of the roof. While it’s possible to install a metal roof over existing shingles (with the use of furring strips), it may not always be advisable or even permissible in your area. So, you might need to remove the old shingles (or install furring strips), and you certainly need to inspect the roof for any leaks, damage, or debris.
  4. Install the underlayment. Before you put down the panels, you will need to install an underlayment to protect the roof and make it more energy-efficient.

Steps to Install Your New Metal Roof

Once you’ve completed all the prep work, you’re ready to start the actual installation.

Here are the steps:

  1. Install metal drip edge. You’ll put this along the eaves of the roof to protect the edges from moisture and, depending on your climate, possible ice dams.
  2. Install the roofing panels. Begin on one side and work your way across the whole roof. Overlap the panels as instructed by the manufacturer, and use screws to secure them to the roof deck.
  3. Trim panels as needed. You’ll need to work around vents, skylights, and your chimney if you have one. You can use tin snips or a metal saw to make the cuts. Don’t forget the “measure twice, cut once” rule.
  4. Install the flashing. Add flashing around vents and the chimney to prevent water from seeping underneath the roofing and into your home.
  5. Install the ridge caps. Install caps to seal the ridges along the top of the roof to seal this area against water.

Once everything is done, inspect the entire roof to make sure all the fasteners are thoroughly secured and that there are no gaps.

Should You Install a Metal Roof Yourself?

As you can see, installing a metal roof is a major undertaking that requires a lot of tools and know-how. If you’re comfortable with it, installing your own metal roof might save you some money that you’d be spending on professional installation.

However, it’s important to remember that installing your own roof means you won’t have a workmanship warranty. If the roof fails, you will be responsible for replacement or repair.

Compare that to a metal roof from Erie Home, which comes with a 50-year limited lifetime transferable warranty to prevent later costs associated with any manufacturing or installation defects.

Want to learn more? Call us toll-free today at 1-800-862-6400 for a free expert consultation and estimate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I install my own metal roof?

Yes, you can install your own metal roof if you have the necessary skills, tools, and understanding of roofing practices. Metal roofing installation requires precise measurements, cutting, and fastening to ensure waterproofing and structural integrity.

Improper installation can lead to issues like leaks, reduced lifespan of the roof, and voided warranties. Hiring a professional roofing contractor is highly recommended.

Does a metal roof need a vapor barrier?

Yes, a metal roof requires a vapor barrier to prevent condensation, which can impact the integrity of your roof and lead to costly damage over time.

Can you put a metal roof directly over plywood?

No, you can’t install a metal roof directly over plywood. You need to use an underlayment to serve as a weather-resistant barrier between the wood and the roofing panels.

What’s the easiest type of metal roof to install?

Corrugated metal panels are the easiest type of metal roofing panels to install. A bonus is that it’s also one of the most affordable types of steel roofing available.

How many years will a metal roof last?

A high-quality metal roof that’s been installed properly should last up to 50 years.

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