Determine the roofing style before buying metal panels, and select the material based on the budget. Metal panels create an industrial, contemporary look. These panels are installed vertically, creating a raised rib pattern. Metal panels are not a good match for traditional structures but look well with mountain cabins and modern construction. To achieve a traditional look, use metal shingle roofing.
Metal shingles are made with metal that is shaped and finished to imitate slate, Spanish tile or wood shakes. Metal panels and shingles are made with steel, aluminum, copper, stainless steel and various metal alloys.
Steel is the most popular metal roofing material for its low cost. This metal is stronger and heavier than aluminum and comes treated with different coatings to prevent corrosion such as zinc and epoxy primer. Aluminum is soft and susceptible to dents. However, this metal is lighter and more durable than steel. This material is common in residential roofing and coastal areas for its resistance to salt.
Cooper, metal alloys and stainless steel are expensive materials used for high-end homes or to create accents. Copper is the most durable material for roofing, but it is also the most expensive. Copper roofing doesn't rust and it doesn't need protective finishing. Stainless-steel roofing doesn't corrode and often comes with a terne coating that gives the roof a matte gray color. The cost of metal alloy roofing depends on the type of alloy selected. Galvalume steel comes with the most durable coating, making it more expensive than galvanized steel.