Pleasanton CA metal roof installation being painted red

Why Are Metal Roofs So Unpopular?

Why Are Metal Roofs So Unpopular?

metal roof installation in Pleasanton, CA by Element RoofingMany well-known buildings have metal roofs. However, it’s not too often that we see metal roofs used for everyday homes or commercial buildings. This got us wondering why metal roofs are so unpopular, especially since they have so many endearing qualities:


  • They last 3x longer than shingle roofs
  • They’re eco-friendly
  • They’re better at keeping heat out
  • They’re ideal for snowy climates
  • They’re a great selling feature
  • They look beautiful


So what is it that prevents metal roofs from being more popular? We explore several major reasons below.

They’re Expensive (initially)

The price for a regular asphalt shingle roof is approximately $1.75 per square foot. The cost to install a metal roof, however, can be anywhere between $3 and $14. The price varies widely based on which metal roofing material you choose, of course.

Metal Roof Pricing

  • Copper: $9-$15 per square foot
  • Aluminum: $4-$6 per square foot
  • Steel: $3-$5 per square foot
  • Zinc: $10-$20 per square foot


Copper, while being the most aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting of the metal roofing materials, is also by far the most expensive. However, if you’ve got the money to purchase a copper roof, you might never have to buy another roof again (copper roofs can last for over 100 years).

Metal Corrodes

If you live near the coast, then you know that saltwater does some nasty things to metal. While this doesn’t rule out the option of a metal roof entirely, it does limit your options. Typically, aluminum is chosen as a roofing material for coastal homes because it holds up better in the salty climate. However, if you live near the coast, you’ll have to take into consideration the potential risks associated with metal roofing, as well as the potentially high repair costs.

Metal Roofs Require Specialized Contractors

There are different techniques and regulations for installing metal roofs than for installing traditional shingle roofs. For instance, it’s possible to install a metal roof on top of your existing asphalt roof, but you’d need a professional to advise you as to whether or not it is possible for your particular situation. Because metal roofs require specialized skills, they also require higher labor costs upon installation.

If you could afford a metal roof, would you get one?

We want to hear from you about why you think metal roofs are so unpopular, and whether or not you’d purchase one yourself. Leave a comment below! Element Roofing is a full-service roofer offering roofing in Concord, roofing in Pleasanton, roofing in Livermore and the rest of the Bay Area.