Zinc is a long-lasting, weather-resistant roofing material that has swept the world for its excellent price-quality ratio. Roofs of this type are covered with zinc carbonate coating, making them suitable for coastal areas and regions with high humidity. Harsh weather conditions like high winds and hail storms cannot damage zinc roofing either, as its durable surface has natural self-healing properties. And due to its excellent thermal performance, zinc roofing also does well in hot climates, reflecting sunlight and reducing heat absorption.
If zinc roofing is where you want to invest your money, you should look into the cost formation of this roofing coverage, including supplies and installation. This guide dwells on all primary zinc roof cost-formation factors, including roofing type and services involved in the installation process. Keep reading to budget your project based on the actual 2024 pricing.
The national average cost of zinc roof
Zinc is considered a high-end roofing material that can only be compared by price and durability with copper. Aluminum and tin fall into the middle segment, seeing much more play in the local US market due to their lower purchase price and mass production. Nevertheless, zinc is still widely used in residential and commercial segments, particularly in public and historical buildings, churches, and agricultural facilities.
The national average cost of a zincalume roof varies from $15.000 to $50.000, with most homeowners paying $30.000 for the project as a whole. The price fluctuation might be explained by the difference in roof structure, slope, and size. The average-sized roofs (1,500 square feet with a 4:12 slope) cost around $16 per square foot or $160 per square to have zinc sheets installed on them. The general price range, though, goes from $10 to $20 per square foot, including material and labor.
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The national average zinc roofing cost per project
Average price range
$15.000 - $50.000
The national average zinc roofing cost per sq. ft.
Cost per sq. ft. (materials alone)
$5 - $10 per sq. ft.
Cost per sq. ft. (labor alone)
$5 - $10 per sq. ft.
Cost per sq. ft. (material and labor)
$10 - $20 per sq. ft.
The national average zinc roofing cost per square
Low-end cost per square
Average cost per square
High-end cost per square
The zinc roofing cost by roof size
The size of the roof is a primary factor influencing the roofing cost. The typical American home has a 1,500 - 1,700 square feet roof. Knowing the cost of zinc roofing per square and your roof size, you can easily budget your roof project.
Roof square footage
The average cost to install
$15.000 – $25.000
$20.000 – $30.000
$25.000 – $40.000
$30.000 – $50.000
$35.000 – $60.000
The average zinc roofing cost by panels type
Zinc roofing comes in shingles and standing seam sheets. Both materials are widely applied for residential and commercial buildings due to their long lifespans and low maintenance requirements. To choose between them, one should consider the existing roof structure and its sloping angle.
Zinc shingles are individual, interlocking pieces that are installed in an overlapping pattern on the roof. They are ideal for roof coverings sloped at 25° or above and wall cladding pitched at 45° or higher. They are simple to install and may be trimmed and edged as needed. This zinc roofing type is often used for roofing applications where a more traditional or decorative appearance is desired. Their cost varies from $5 to $8 per square foot or $500 - $800 per square (100 square feet).
On the other hand, zinc standing seam sheets are long, continuous panels that run vertically from the ridge of the roof down to the eaves. They provide a water-resistant roof covering at an inclination angle of 3-7° and above. Therefore, they are ideal for roofs with a pitching angle of more than 25°. Standing seam sheets are commonly used in residential and commercial applications, particularly for contemporary architectural styles. Zinc roof sheet prices vary from $6 to $10 per square foot or $600 - $1.000 per square.
Cost per sq. ft.
Zinc shingles or tiles
$5 – $8
Zinc standing seam sheets
$6 – $10
Labor costs to install zinc roofing
About two-thirds of spending on installing a zinc roof will be labor charges plus additional expenses. Various variabilities affect the cost, including the size and design of the roof, its accessibility, and underlayment condition. As a rule, the labor cost of installing zinc roofing varies from $5 to $10 per square foot or $50 - $95 per hour.
Please note that these are only the national average costs that might differ from state to state. Leave your request through MyHomeQuote to get the actual rates in your region. It is free and non-binding.
Additional factors affecting zinc roofing cost
From roof size and complexity to material style and gauge, dozens of factors affect the overall zinc installation cost. Plus, custom needs should be considered when budgeting the roofing project. For instance, if you need roof decking or painting, check the average prices of these services nationwide or in your region, and add them to the total estimate. Below you will find the list of additional factors contributing to the overall zinc roofing cost.
Getting building permits. Building permits are essential for most construction or renovation projects to assure the safety of the work and compliance with building and zoning standards. Getting roofing permits costs $150 to $500 for roof replacement and $70 to $250 for remodeling.
Roof removal and disposal services. Roof removal typically costs $1 – $5 per square foot, depending on the roof size and weight of the material. Most roofing specialists include transportation fees in their estimates, but if handling it yourself, you might pay $400 - $600 for rubbish removal.
Underlayment installation. Roof underlayment is a synthetic fiber or felt layer on the roof deck and beneath the shingles. This layer is a waterproof barrier to keep moisture out of the home and helps insulate the roof. Underlayment is the most affordable item in the roof project, costing roughly $0.50 per square foot. The installation will run between $2.00 and $3.00 per square foot.
Roof decking/ sheathing. Roof sheathing or decking is a strong layer of wood planks attached to your roof beams to provide support. The materials for roofing plywood range from $0.50 to $2.00 per square foot. Thus, roof decking typically costs from $2.400 to $8.600, depending on size, slope, and complexity. Roof sheathing with installation costs between $2 – $5 per square foot.
Roof venting. The average cost for a roof vent installation range between $250 – $700, depending on the roof size, vent type, and the number of preparatory works.
The average cost to install
$350 – $600
$300 – $650
$100 – $500
$180 – $960
Powered electric vent
$200 – $1.200
Solar powered vent
$300 – $1.400
The ridge and soffit vent are the most common options for ventilation. They can also go in the same system. Air should circulate beneath the roof by being sucked up through a continuous soffit vent, across the attic area, and out the ridge via a constant ridge vent, creating the most efficient and smooth system.
Furring strips installation. Labor for wood strapping installation is about $0.50 – $2.00 per square foot. Furring boards are used in the building sector to create a uniform project surface. In addition, the slender wood strips can be applied for internal and external structural purposes.
Roof painting. If you want to apply a layer of paint on the zinc roof, you should expect to spend between $1.000 and $3.000. The cost typically varies based on the roof size and the paint quality. You may skimp on the labor, painting the roof yourself. But please, take precautionary measures before getting to work.
Fascia and soffits replacement. Roofing professionals recommend installing fascia and soffits to protect the roof structure from water damage while providing necessary ventilation in the attic and preventing heat accumulation. The cost of installing or replacing these elements ranges from $6 to $20 per linear foot, including material and labor.
Gutter replacement. Gutters are crucial in preventing water seepage. Water damage is expensive and difficult to fix, so installing new gutters is an inexpensive way to avoid more massive and costly problems. Gutter installation typically costs between $4 – $30 per linear foot.
Drip edge installation. This simple addition to your roof is another kind of required water protection. The average cost of installing metal flashing at the edges of the roof is $1 – $3 per linear foot, with most homeowners spending $150 – $1.000 overall.
What are the upsides and downsides of zinc roofing?
Zinc is resilient and weather-resistant roofing that has multiple hard-to-ignore perks. Nevertheless, this is not a one-size-fits-all material with a relatively high installation price. That is why one should consider all pros and cons before installing it.
Here are the major pros of zinc roofing:
Durability. Subject to the installation rules, the lifespan of zinc roofing is over a century. If the zinc surface is scratched or damaged, the patina layer will self-heal over time, preventing the spread of corrosion and prolonging the roof's life.
Corrosion resistance. Zinc can naturally resist corrosion due to the formation of a protective patina layer on its surface. This patina consists of zinc carbonate, which forms when the zinc reacts with the atmosphere, protecting the metal from further oxidation and corrosion.
Low maintenance. Zinc roofs require minimal maintenance, as they do not need to be painted or treated to maintain their protective properties. This low maintenance aspect adds to their overall durability and longevity.
Resistance to extreme weather. Zinc roofs can withstand harsh weather conditions without visible structural damage or deterioration. Their ability to expand and contract with temperature fluctuations prevents cracking and warping.
Elasticity. Zinc is a light and thin building material. That is why it allows you to make roofs of any geometry and form various architectural details of the facade.
High ROI. There is no need for constant renovations while the material remains in perfect condition. By the way, a return on investment (ROI) of 95% enables zinc to hold onto its value over time.
But for all the durability and elegance of a zinc roof, it also has a few drawbacks:
High price. Zinc is one of the costlier metal roofing along with copper and aluminum. Besides, finding this material for free sale is not that simple. But despite the initial investment being higher, the long lifespan and low maintenance requirements can offset the cost over time.
Installation complexity. Installing zinc involves soldering and sealing seams that cannot be accomplished without expertise. This may result in higher labor costs and a longer installation time compared to other roofing materials.
Incompatibility with other metals. Zinc can be susceptible to galvanic corrosion when it comes into direct contact with certain metals, such as copper or steel. This issue can be mitigated by using appropriate separation materials or coatings to prevent direct contact between incompatible metals.
How long does zinc roofing last?
Compared to other metal roofs, which can last up to 60 years, zinc has unmatched durability and corrosion resistance, serving for around 80 – 100 years. Therefore, properly constructed and installed, a zinc roof may survive for over a century.
Is zinc roofing worth the investment?
Being one of the most durable metal roofing materials, zinc has a good price-quality ratio, providing considerable investment return. This is an eco-friendly roofing choice with low maintenance requirements and a modern appearance that can complement various architectural styles.
What are the alternatives to zinc metal roofing?
Copper roofing and coated aluminum might be good alternatives to zinc metal roofing. An aluminum roof will delight you with its lightness and low price, but it will not be able to compare with a zinc roof's durability. The copper roof also has a long wear life and a higher price tag. The must-to-know advantages of a copper roof are its environmentally-friendly and aesthetic features.