Category Archives: metal roofing

How to Install Metal Roofing Do It Yourself

Are you planning on re-roofing your home this summer, or sometime soon? Have you considered installing a new metal roofing system on your home yourself?

Residential Metal Roofing Installation

Residential Metal Roofing Installation


Why go with Metal?

Steel Shingles Metal Roofing System

Steel Shingles Metal Roofing System

Why waste your time and money on the installation of common roofing shingles, when you can install steel shingles metal roof, a sustainable roofing alternative that, unlike asphalt shingles, is energy efficient, long lasting, and environmentally responsible. In this guide, I am going to show you how to prepare your roof’s deck, and provide instructions on how to do a basic metal roofing installation for your home.

Installation Instructions

Difficulty Level: Moderately Challenging

DIY Metal Roofing Installation requires you to know how to use basic home improvement tools and a ladder safely, and that you have a certain level of experience with general home improvements.

Tools You will Need

  • Sheet Metal Sheers
  • Chalk line
  • tool belt
  • Roofing hammer
  • tape measure
  • 90 degree square
  • color string
  • metal roofing materials
  • roofing underlayment
  • Safe Ladder
  • Personal Safety Harness

In this guide, I am going to demonstrate the basic principles involved in the installation of green metal roofing system made from metal, a green building material that can help you save over thirty percent on your energy costs. In order to show you the basic steps, I will show you how to install a metal shingle roofing system over a basic gable roof.

Metal Shingles Roof can be made from aluminum, steel, zinc, or copper. Regardless of what material your system is made out of, the installation techniques will be quite similar for metal shingle roofs.

Step 1

In step one, we need to decide weather, we are going to tear-off our existing roof, or install metal shingle roofing system over the existing roof. If your existing roof has only one layer of asphalt shingles, and the roof’s deck is believed to be in a good condition, then we can roof over top. But, if there are two or more layers of roofing shingles, or if the condition of your roof’s deck is questionable, then you have to tear off your old roof, repair the roof deck, and install a breathable roofing underlayment before installing your new metal roofing system.

A Roof Deck with rotten boards just replaced

A Roof Deck with rotten boards just replaced

If your roof deck is made of boards rather than plywood, and there are some spaces in between the boards (You can inspect your roof deck from the attic), then you may have to install 3/4 inch plywood over the entire roof’s deck in order to cover any spaces in between the boards, and to avoid driving roofing nails that secure metal shingles to your roof deck, into an empty space in between the boards comprising your roof’s deck.

roofing underlayment

Roofing underlayment plays a critical role of a roof underneath a metal roof. Installing a breathable
roofing underlayment underneath your metal shingles roof, will allow any moisture that may form due condensation, to evaporate rather than it becoming “trapped” underneath the underlayment, and thereby causing your roof deck’s boards to rot. Certainly, we do not want that to happen, that’s why we will install a breathable type of roofing underlayment over your roof’s deck, or over the existing roof provided that there is only one layer of shingles.


Installing underlayment correctly

Installing roofing underlayment

Installing roofing underlayment

Roofing underlayment has to be installed from the bottom-up with a six inch overlap over and after every row of underlayment. During the installation, your roofing underlayment has to be well stretched from side to side to ensure that it does not wrinkle, when you sit or walk on it. In other words, it is not enough to simply roll it from side to side and nail it in. There has to be some tension from side to side in your roofing underlayment.


Should I install Ice-and-Water over eaves and valleys of my roof?

If you happen to live in a northern climate with frequent snow fall, then you will need to install one row of Ice-and-Water over eaves, and in the valleys of your roof, if you have any. You can then continue installing your roofing underlayment with a 6 inch overlap over the preceding row.

Step 2

Installing a drip edge flashing...

Installing a drip edge flashing...

Once our roof deck is fully covered with a breathable roof underlayment, it is time to install a drip edge/starter metal flashing. We will start out by installing a starter/drip edge flashing, by securing it to the eave of the roof deck with a metal roofing system manufacturer approved fasteners. For aluminum shingles, it would be ring shank nails made out of aluminum, while for steel shingles it would be galvanized steel nails.

The drip edge flashing is usually installed starting from a left gable, and progressing towards the right. It gets secured to the roof deck by appropriate fasteners every 12 inches on center.

Once your drip edge flashing is in place, it is time to install a gable flashing. We will start at the bottom corner of our gable, and we will align our gable flashing to the side of the gable of our roof overlapping the starter/drip edge flashing. Each successive gable flashing will overlap the one below by a minimum of 2 inches. Gable flashings can be inserted into each other, but it has to be inserted in such a way that a rainwater running down never gets underneath the system.

Gable Metal Roofing Flashing Installation

Gable Metal Roofing Flashing Installation

Step 3

Now, it is time to install our first metal roofing shingle. When installing metal shingle, it is usually recommended to start with half of a shingle, or 3 quarters of a shingle length depending on the system design and manufacturer’s specs. Some metal roofing systems, have small indents that indicate where and when to make a cut, and for which raw of shingle in order that metal shingles are laid out and installed in a correct pattern.

Refer to the pictures of metal shingles being installed below to get an idea. Note that a metal shingle has an interlocking design. We lock our first shingle into both gable and starter flashing. We will have to use metal sheers to make a small cut in the bottom left corner of the shingle to allow gable flashing protrude through the bottom of our first shingle. All we have to do is make a small cut in the lock of a metal shingle about six inches away from the left side of the shingle, and bend that small portion of the lock tightly to the shingle itself.

Thus, it will be as if the first six inches of the lock were never there. The rest of the locking mechanisms of the shingle get locked into both the gable flashing on the side, and at the starter / drip edge flashing, at the eave / bottom. Once our first shingle is installed, we secure it with nails or special screws in accordance with metal roofing system manufacturer’s specifications.

Metal Shingles Installation - Locking into a gable and starter flashing

Metal Shingles Installation - Locking into a gable and starter flashing

Now that our first shingle is installed and locked into gable and starter flashing, it is time to cast some straight lines in order to ensure that all metal shingles are installed in a correctly aligned fashion according to vertical and horizontal alignment lines.

We will use a special tool called “square” and a level in order to cast the lines, and then we will use color strings to be our visual guidelines of the straight lines that we can adhere-to when installing successive rows of metal roofing shingles.

steel roofing installation

Steel Shingles Roofing Installation

Steel shingles are being installed using a so-called row-and-column diagonal installation methodology, which makes it easy to add and secure metal shingles working your way up from preceding / lower rows of shingles upwards along a diagonal.

Metal Roofing Installation using a diagonal methodology

Metal Roofing Installation using a diagonal methodology

When we reach an opposite, or a far side of a gable, we have to cut off a part of a shingle so that it will fit and lock into the gable. Use carpenter’s pen to indicate where a shingle needs to be cut in order to insert it into the gable flashing.

Step 4

At this point you have reached a ridge of the roof. Now, you may choose to install a ridge vent before installing ridge caps that come with the system. You will want to install a ridge vent, only when and if you also have soffit vents in your roof. If you do not, then installing a ridge vent will be useless, and you will get a better ventilation of your attic by installing gable vents, or system specific passive vents, instead.

Should you choose to install the ridge vent, make sure that you lay it out nicely, and secure it with the ridge cap that gets installed over the ridge vent as you go along. I recommend using some straight line guides to ensure that your ridge vent and system specific ridge caps are installed in a straight line.

Ridge Caps are installed by nailing it down on each side, and inserting next piece into the preceding ridge cap

At this point you are all done, congratulations!

I have intentionally left out chimney and skylight flashing in order to keep the instructions easy to follow.

Here is the picture of the chimney flashing to give you an idea how it is done. This step is quite complicated and I recommend hiring a pro to show you how it should be done. You will also need to use caulk and water stop when installing a metal flashing.

Chimney Metal Flashing Installation

Chimney Metal Flashing Installation

We have covered the basic steps to install metal roofing yourself, and at this point you should at least have a basic idea of what is going on. Now, may wonder how to get metal roofing materials, and what kind. You will want to buy Energy star rated metal roofing materials that qualify for green building tax credits. I recommend using steel shingles roof system that can be obtained at a professional Metal Roofing Supplies warehouse for contractors.

Tips, Facts, and Warnings

Metal is an Eco-friendly roofing material that can offer as much as forty percent in energy savings, lasts two to three times longer than conventional roof, weighs significantly less than asphalt, helps to pay for itself over time, provides energy efficient tax credits, and helps to appraise the value of your property.

When a new metal roof is installed correctly, it eliminates the need for any on-going, costly roof maintenance and repairs.

Safety is the key. Make sure your ladders are properly secured at the top and at the bottom. Wear a safety harness, and make sure that you know how to properly use your fall arrest equipment. Never work alone. Install your safety anchors into the studs of the roof, and not just into the plywood. Use quality screws, rather than the cheap nails that will pull out should you take a fall.

Standing Seam Metal Roof for Water Harvesting

Have you ever considered getting a rainwater collection system for
your home? A standing-seam metal roof with its smooth surface provides
an ideal platform for harvesting rainwater using a sloped metal roof.
Englert Inc., a metal roofing and leafless gutter manufacturing
company committed to the environmental cause is now offering a 3 in 1
fully integrated standing seam metal roofing system combined with a
leafless gutter, and enhanced with a rainwater collection system that
collects rainwater for non-potable use.

The way that the rainwater collection system works is very simple; It
starts with the rainwater running down the slope of a standing seam metal
roof system. Once the water gets into the gutter system, it flows down
the drain until it reaches the connecting point to a water storage
tank. It than flows through an initial filter that removes large
debris like leaves and twigs.

The rainwater is then collected in a water storage tank. Englert Inc.
offers the following water collection tank capacities: 225 gallons,
400 gallons, and 1700 gallons. Custom water collection systems can be
ordered as well for commercial, and institutional use.

Once in the water storage tank, the harvested rainwater passes through
more filters to remove any debris from it. The collected water is
then available for use through the use of a controller providing
pressurized water supply for use such as landscape irrigation, toilet
flushing and laundry needs.

Water is a finite commodity that needs to be preserved. The water
collected from rain is water saved. That is the water you do not have
to pay for. It’s good for you and it’s good for the environment.
Water collection system may be a good solution for the areas where the
water is scarce.

Areas that are prone to flooding can also benefit from the water
collection systems.

Architects and builders working on building green homes can integrate
an environmentally correct standing-seam
metal roofing system with a water collection system.

If you’re a homeowner considering investing in an Energy Star rated,
and a green building accredited standing-seam metal roof coupled with
the Englert leafless gutter system, and water collection system, then
contact Englert Inc. and they will put you in touch with a local
roofing company.

Benefits of Tin Roofing

Are you confused about the difference between Tin vs. Metal Roofing?

Some metal roofs are still referred to as tin roofing. The term dates back to the period of time when roofers used tin sheets to handcraft and install tin roofing panels that looked similar to modern standing seam panels. Back then, a roof that was made purely out of tin, would require a special coating applied to the surface of the roof every few years in order to prevent corrosion.

Old Tin Roof

If the special tin coating was not being re-applied every few years, then the tin would begin to deteriorate and ultimately become corroded with rust. Nowadays, pure tin is no longer used for roofing applications. Galvanized steel, and galvalume steel became synonymous with what was previously referred to as a tin roof. Steel roofs coated with a layer of zinc and aluminum provide a reliable solution for residential and commercial roofs that have a slope.

Modern steel roof is designed to last for a minimum of 35 years, which is at least a double the amount of lifespan you would ordinarily get from an asphalt shingle roof. A rise in popularity of metal roofing has given consumers a wide variety of choices in terms of colors, and styles of metal roofs.

Modern Steel Roof

Consumers find that modern metal roofs coated with a Kynar paint can provide energy savings of up to 35%. Consumers in the southern region of the United States report the greatest gains in terms of energy efficiency, and a far superior longevity of the metal vs. asphalt. Consumers in the north of the U.S. benefit from strength and durability of metal which performs far better than asphalt shingles in places with heavy snowfall. A specially coated metal roof helps prevent the heavy accumulation of snow on top of the roof, which causes the snow to slide off the roof before it has the chance to form an ice dam.

Architectural standing-seam roofing panels have become a most popular choice for residential metal roofing. Standing-seam panels are usually made out of galvalume steel, which provides excellent degree of protection and long lasting performance. Thin film photovoltaic solar laminates have been designed to be integrated with standing-seam metal roofing panels.

Thus, homeowners who want to take the energy efficiency of their home to the next level can choose to outfit their home with solar roofing panels that can be seamlessly integrated with a standing-seam roof system. The U.S. government has provided tax credit incentives to homeowners who choose to invest in a cool roof systems such as energy star rated metal roof in year 2010.

Additional federal and state solar energy rebates are also available to the building owners who invest in solar roofing panels for the purposes of generating electricity for their home, or commercial building.

The original roofs made out of tin, are no longer being installed in the U.S, at least not by the majority of roofers. However, a more durable and longer lasting type of metal that is still sometimes referred to as tin roofing systems, which is really made out of zinc and aluminum coated steel, can now prove to be a superb energy efficient alternative to the old fashioned tin roofs that used to be installed by handy craftsmen in the 19th and early 20th century.