Stone coated steel roofing is generating a lot of buzz (and sales) with homeowners that want a roof with staying power — one that combines good looks with outstanding protection against the elements including fire, wind, and hail.
It’s certainly a strong plus that stone coated metal roofing is energy-efficient, uses recycled materials and is recyclable, unlike straight-to-landfill asphalt shingles.
Here’s your complete guide for comparing products, costs, pros and cons, and other options:
What to Expect in Terms of Costs
Total cost to install the product is the first factor many homeowners consider, so let’s see if stone coated steel roofing is in the budget for your home. Note that 1 square = 100 square feet.
- Material Costs: $375-$550 per square for shingles, shakes and tiles and the underlayment, fasteners, ridge cap, trim and other accessories required
- Installation Costs: $275-$700 per square depending on factors affecting cost, which are listed below
Total Installed Cost: $650-$1,250 per square.
That seems like a broad price range, but the range for asphalt shingles can be even broader. The best asphalt shingles can cost 3-4 times the cost of the cheapest option.
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Did you know? Many online cost estimators fail to consider the cost of trim, underlayment, fasteners and other accessories, permitting, disposal and removal fees, etc, so their cost estimates can be inaccurately low.
Itemized Materials Cost
There’s a lot more to a roofing system than the stone coated steel panels. Here’s a list of materials with their average costs.
Materials that are priced per square:
- Roof decking (only if replacement is required due to damage): $35-$45
- Sound-proofing underlayment designed for metal roofs: $75-$125
- Stone-coated steel roofing panels (shingles, shakes, tiles): $175-$375
- Battens (used on some roofs to create a grid to nail roofing material to): $45-$75
- Fasteners: $3.00-$4.50
Materials that are priced per linear foot:
- Moisture barrier for valleys/eaves/rakes: $1.50-$2.75
- Drip edge: Up to $1.25
- Ridge vent, typically installed on both sides of the ridge with center open: $3.35-$5.50
- Stone coated steel ridge, hip and rake cap to match shingles/shakes: $6.00-$9.00
- Flashing and fascia: $2.00-$4.50
Factors that Affect Cost
No two stone-coated steel roofing projects are the same. Each has materials and installation variables to consider.
Material cost factors:
- Style: The specific type of panels include shingles (lowest cost) to shakes (moderate cost) to barrel-style Spanish/Roman/Florida tiles (highest cost)
- Panel thickness: The gauge of the steel ranges from 28-gauge (thinner) to 24-gaugue (thicker), and thicker materials cost more
- Type of coatings: Stone coated steel roofing is coated on both sides with various materials to improve resistance to corrosion and loss of stones.
- Batten vs. Batten-less (direct-to-deck): Battens are installed in most applications. Installation without battens, or direct-to-deck installation, is possible too.
Did you know? In high-wind areas such as High Velocity Hurricane Zones (HVHZ), battenless installation with the stone coated steel roofing nailed directly to the roof deck is recommended because it holds the material more securely. Both methods have pros and cons that should be discussed with your installer. This factor affects installation costs too.
Installation cost factors:
- Removing old roofing: Expect estimates for $75-$150 per square to remove old roofing. If there are two layers of asphalt shingles on a roof, they must be removed. Some stone coated steel roofing can be installed over a single layer of asphalt or other materials.
- Single-story vs. multistory homes: In general, installation on multistory homes costs 15% to 25% more than on single-story homes because it is more difficult and time-consuming to get the crew and materials onto the roof.
- Roof complexity: The more inside and outside corners, peaks and elevation changes a roof has, the higher the stone coated steel roofing installation estimates will be.
- Roof pitch: Installing any material on a roof with a very steep pitch requires extra equipment and a higher cost.
- Time of year: Installation costs are highest during peak season for roofing and in very cold weather.
- Who does the work: Your options are DIY, a handyman service, roofing contractor or company hired by a general contractor. Since stone coated steel roofing takes more skill and experience to install than asphalt shingles, we can’t recommend DIY installation or hiring a generalist like a handyman service.
Pro Tip: You’ll get the most competitive installation estimates AND ensure the best workmanship when you get written estimates directly from several licensed and insured roofing contractors. The cost will be higher if you pay a general contractor to handle the hiring process, and you’ll have little control over the roofing contractor that gets hired.
Are you wondering what all this looks like for your home?
Perhaps these sample job estimates based on common roofing projects will help:
Ranch, 20 squares of roofing, 4 corners, 6/12 pitch:
- Stone coated steel shingles without battens: $13,000
- Stone coated steel tiles with battens: $16,000
Ranch, 20 squares of roofing, 6+ corners, 12/12 pitch:
- Stone coated steel shingles without battens: $17,800
- Stone coated steel tiles with battens: $19,300
Multistory, 20 squares of roofing, 4 corners, 6/12 pitch:
- Stone coated steel shingles without battens: $15,700
- Stone coated steel tiles with battens: $17,400
Multistory, 20 squares of roofing, 6+ corners, 12/12 pitch:
- Stone coated steel shingles without battens: $19,800
- Stone coated steel tiles with battens: $23,000
What is Stone Coated Steel Roofing?
If cost hasn’t turned you off, then you probably want to know more about what stone coated steel roofing is.
The core of stone coated steel roofing panels is structural-grade steel. It has the right combination of tensile strength to withstand loads and enough elasticity to allow for stamping into shingle, shake and tile profiles without cracking.
Here’s what DECRA brand adds to the steel base to produce its stone coated steel roofing products. Gerard uses a near-identical processes, as do most other brands:
- Aluminum-zinc alloy coating: Panels are dipped for a full coating. The coating protects the steel from corrosion. Zinc has been proven to resist corrosion where the steel is exposed at cut edges, fastener holes and where scratches occur.
- Acrylic or similar coating: This coat acts as a primer that improves the adhesion of the next layers of coating. The acrylic is applied to both sides of the material.
- Resin paint coat: Applied to the top of the material, the acrylic resin coat acts as a binder while also protecting the underlying material from the elements including water and UV rays. The resin coat is tinted to blend with the stone that will be applied over it.
- Ceramic-coated stone granules: These granules are much like those applied to asphalt shingles but smaller. They’re applied in a dense coat. The granules are tinted to provide the color blend for the product. They resist, and in some cases, reflect, UV light while protecting against impact.
- Glaze: A coating of acrylic glaze holds the stone in place while producing a slightly glossy appearance.
Did you know?
While stone coated steel roofing has been around since the 1960s, the products being installed today feature upgraded materials and manufacturing processes developed in the last 20 years.
It’s yet to be seen whether these products will last 50 years, but based on the success of other metal roof types that have been in use for more than a century, it seems likely stone coated steel roofing will live up to its warranty protections.
Pros and Cons
Now that you’re familiar with pricing and product information, let’s review the good and bad about stone coated steel roofing.
Here is what we like:
- Distinctive styles in 4-6 lines of shingles, shakes and tiles from most brands, with decent color selection too
- Very durable, with 50-year warranties but with the potential for 60+ years of use.
- Most brands use some recycled content, and all stone coated steel roofing is 100% recyclable
- Steel is naturally resistant to impact, and many brands are rated to withstand hail up to 2.5 inches in diameter
- Stone coated steel roofing has a Class A fire rating, which means it is non-combustible.
- Designed to withstand 120mph winds with direct-to-deck, aka batten-less, installation and interlocking panels
- Reflects solar-radiant heat to prevent heat gain/penetration into your home
- Superior energy efficiency compared with asphalt and wood shingles and shakes when installed with battens
- Boosts resale value due to its attractive appearance and other “pros” listed above
- Comparable in weight at 1.0 to 1.6 pounds per square foot to asphalt shingles, so easy to work with
Here is what falls under the umbrella of drawbacks:
- Material and installation costs are higher than for most other roofing materials
- While selection is good, there aren’t as many brand or color options as you have with asphalt shingles
- Finding an experienced installer can be more difficult, so be sure to get multiple estimates, and question each contractor about the experience of the crew that will install the roofing system
- Noise can sometimes be a factor: Since metal transfers noise more easily than asphalt shingles or wood, sound-dampening underlay may be an option to consider on some roofs (though some homeowners enjoy the sound of rain on the roof), especially on roofs of homes with no attic space.
There’s much more to a stone-coated steel roofing system than just the shingles, shakes or tiles.
We’ve mentioned all the components, but here they are in a list form with notes:
- Underlayment: While asphalt-saturated felt paper used beneath asphalt shingles is acceptable for steel roofing, many homeowners prefer rubberized underlayment that reduces noise transfer.
- Water/ice barrier: In wet and/or cold climates, additional moisture barrier is installed in valleys and along eaves and rakes (the vertical edge of a roof above a gable) for added protection to the roof deck.
- Ridge venting: Standard plastic ridge vent is installed on both sides of a gap in the roof decking left at ridges and hips. It allows heat and moisture from the attic to dissipate.
- Wood battens (optional): Most projects require battens secured through the underlayment to the roof deck. The roofing pieces are nailed to them. They provide a “dead space” that improves insulation, ventilation and energy efficiency. Standard batten installation includes 2×2-inch wood battens installed horizontally. Counter-batten design includes a grid of 1×4-inch battens and 2×2-inch battens installed perpendicularly between them.
- Shingles, shakes or tiles: The stone coated steel roofing pieces are nailed to the battens or directly to the roof deck, depending on the specific application.
- Panel vents (optional): When battens are used, panel vents the same size as the standard panels can be installed at various points in the “field.” Where they are installed, a hole is cut in the roof decking to allow for the escape of heat and moisture.
- Ridge, hip and rake: These pieces cover the bare edges of roofing pieces and produce a finished look for your roof.
There are four basic styles, called profiles because they are differentiated by shape:
- Shingle: This profile looks much like an architectural asphalt shingle or cleanly cut wood shingle, though Metro Roof makes a product it with a rustic look called the Cottage shingle.
- Shake: Most stone coated steel shake designs look like rustic wood shakes.
- Standard tile: These are low-arch tiles mimic clay tiles. DECRA calls them Mediterranean style and Gerard compares them to Old World roofing clay tiles.
- Barrel tile: These are high-arched tiles that DECRA calls Villa tiles and Gerard calls “Spanish tile or Roman tile.”
Top Brands of Stone Coated Steel Tiles
Here are today’s leading brands and an overview of their product lines:
- DECRA: This brand and Gerard dominate the market. DECRA makes five panels styles: Shake, Shake XD, Shingle XD, Mediterranean-style Tile with u-shaped design and barrel-style Villa Tile. The XD products have a more pronounced profile that adds shadowing to the roof.
- Gerard: There are four lines. Granite Ridge shingles have a stone-like look.
Gerard Tile offers an Old World Roman style.
- Metro Roof Products (Now Boral Roof): You’ve got five options with Metro. The MetroShingle is flat and clean, modeled after wood shingles. MetroCottage shingles are rustic with a more undulating profile, and MetroShake is very rustic in design, like hand-chopped shakes. The MetroTile and the traditional u-shaped design while the MetroRoman tiles are classically influenced by Old World design.
- Terrabella: Terrabella makes four common designs in six total lines: shingle, shake and two styles of tile including classic Roman style. The shake and shingle are made in standard construction and Terrabella’s proprietary Znap line that look identical but feature an interlocking design for easier installation.
- Roser: The Roser Piano shingle has a bold, raised tab design. The brand’s Stonewood shake is influenced by classic wood shake design but with higher definition than most. Cleo tile offers a high-arched barrel design like many Roman/Spanish tiles. Finally, the Roser copper tile is a high-end, low-profile tile that can be allowed to develop a patina naturally or treated to hasten the process.
Comparison of Stone Coated Roofing to Other Options
How does stone coated steel roofing compare to other popular materials?
- Standing seam: Stone coated steel roofing has a more classic, upmarket look compared with the utilitarian styling of standing seam. Its granule surface better reflects UV rays. Material cost is higher, while installation costs are similar. Durability might not be quite as good.
- Architectural/dimensional asphalt shingles: The appearance is similar, though stone coated steel panels have bolder profiles than some asphalt shingles.
Stone coated roofing lasts 2-3 times longer and is much more expensive, but cost evens out over a period of 40-50 years when asphalt roofing must be replaced 2 or 3 times.
Steel roofing uses recycled materials and is recyclable. Neither is true of asphalt shingles.
- Wood shingles and shakes: Similar appearance, though stone coated steel roofing won’t weather with time.
Steel resists fire, while wood is the worst type of roofing where windblown embers from wildfires are a hazard.
Stone coated steel panels cost 2-3 times more installed, but have the potential to last two to three times as long.
- Clay and concrete tiles: Concrete and Clay tiles can cost twice as much as stone-coated steel tiles.
Stone-coated steel roofing has a slight edge in durability and is more resistant to impact and wind.
It is much lighter, so it is easier to transport to the roof and install.
- Natural slate: Natural slate can cost twice as much as stone coated steel roofs.
Stone-coated panels are available in more styles than slate has to offer.
Slate is one of the most durable roofing materials available with longevity surpassing 100 years, compared with an expected 40-70 for stone-coated steel panels.
Slate tiles are notoriously heavy, and unlike stone-coated steel, will require reinforced roof structure.
- Tesla solar tiles: Tesla roofs cost 2-3 times what stone-coated steel roofs cost, but they have the potential to cut or eliminate your electricity costs by generating it instead of pulling it from the grid.
Tesla solar tiles are still an unproven product with no performance data.
Stone coated steel roofing is available in more styles than Tesla solar tiles.
Stone-Coated Roofing Care and Maintenance
Stone coated steel roofing panels require very little maintenance. Leaves and debris should be removed seasonally to prevent staining.
Algae and mold can become issues in humid climates, just as they can on asphalt shingles and wood roofing materials, and can be chemically treated and removed.
Is Stone-Coated Steel Roof in Your Future?
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