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Can a Metal Roof Be Installed Over Shingles?

Metal roofs were used on 8% of new single-family homes in 2021. This material is quickly growing in popularity and for good reason.

While many people think metal roofs are only for new homes, you can use them on most houses. You can even put a metal roof over shingles in some cases.

Does this sound like something you want to do at home? If so, you probably want to know whether they can install the metal roof over your existing shingles. There are a few factors you need to consider before putting your home through a metal roof transformation.

This article will help you decide if a metal roof on your house is a good idea. Keep reading to get the information you need to make a smart and informed decision.


The option to place a metal roof over shingles is feasible in most cases. It can save you a lot of time and money.

A complete roof tear-off is expensive and could add weeks to the project. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind before deciding on this approach.

Weight Limit

The first thing you need to do is consult a professional, such as a structural engineer or roofing expert. They will ensure that a metal roof won’t compromise the rest of your home.

A metal roof can add significant weight. Your structure needs to be able to handle the added weight. A professional will confirm if a metal roof over shingles is viable for you.

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Building Codes

Your local jurisdictions likely have building codes and regulations that your home has to meet. You’ll need to do your research to ensure installing a metal roof over shingles is permitted.

The professionals you hire to check the structure should be able to provide information on local building codes as well.

Roof Condition

You’ll also need to assess your roof’s current condition. What do your existing shingles look like? If there are issues with water damage or rot, it could prohibit you from installing a metal roof.

There are times when removing the old shingles before installing the metal roof is required. You won’t know the answer until you inspect your roof’s condition.

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Benefits of Metal Roof Over Shingles

One of the primary benefits of installing a metal roof over shingles is the cost savings. You’ll be avoiding a complete tear-off of your existing roof.

By installing a metal roof directly over the shingles, you’ll save yourself a lot of money. The roofers won’t have to spend time removing the old shingles or disposing of them.

It’s also a time-saver. Having a roof installed isn’t the quickest home renovation project.

You may not want construction on your home to take weeks or months. By cutting out the removal process, they will do the project faster.

This time efficiency can be crucial, especially in situations where you want to minimize the time it exposes your property to the harsh elements of a construction process.

This can also be very beneficial in emergencies. If a storm has just come through or a tree landed on your home, you don’t want to wait a long time to have it repaired.

Rustic metal chimney on a corrugated iron roof against a clear blue sky.
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Prosofa Metal Roof

You may be wondering why you should invest in a metal roof instead of replacing your existing shingles. The benefits are evident and we’re going to list them for you below.

Durability and Longevity

The first key advantage of a metal roof is its longevity and durability. They can withstand extreme weather conditions and many last up to 50 years.

They often come with warranties as well. These are typically around 30 years or more.

If you live in an area that is prone to heavy rain, hail, high winds, and snowstorms, having a durable roof will give you peace of mind. You don’t want to be in your home during a storm worrying about your safety and your property.

Having a roof installed is also a big project. Once you do that, you don’t want to worry about replacing it again in the near future.

Energy Efficiency

Metal roofs are also energy efficient. They will reflect solar heat.

This prevents your home from absorbing it. This reflective property will allow you to reduce your cooling costs in the summer. It will also help keep your home warm in the winter, which is also ideal.


Another advantage that homeowners are drawn to is that they are non-combustible. This gives you a high level of fire protection.

This can be crucial for areas prone to wildfires. Even if you don’t live in an area where fires are common, house fires can happen anytime, anywhere.


As a homeowner, you know how much maintenance is required to keep your home in good condition. Having a roof that is high maintenance will just add one more thing to your to-do list.

The good thing about metal roofs is they are low maintenance compared to other materials. They don’t warp, crack, or rot, and they’re resistant to moss and mildew growth.

An occasional cleaning and inspection will be sufficient for your metal roof.


Metal roofing is also recyclable. You’ll be making an environmentally friendly choice when you choose metal roofing over other materials.

When it is time to get a new roof or the next owner wants to replace it, the metal material can be repurposed somewhere else.

Curb Appeal

We know you want to take pride in your home. This means focusing on aesthetics and curb appeal.

Metal roofs come in a variety of styles, finishes, and colors. You’ll be able to customize your home to match your preferences. There is modern metal roofing that can mimic the appearance of other materials without the added upkeep.

Added Property Value

Metal roofing has so many benefits and adds value to your property. Whether you’re planning on moving in the near future or not, you always want your property value to be high.

The durability, longevity, and energy efficiency of a roof will make your home more desirable.

Resilience Against Weather Elements

A metal roof, as you may have expected, is water and weather-resistant. The interlocking panels create a barrier that helps prevent water leakage into your home.

Metal Roof Over Shingles Cost

The size of your home and the shape of your roof will make a significant difference in the cost. As you might expect, the larger your roof, the more expensive it’ll be. This is due to the increased amount of materials needed and the required labor.

A complex roof design, with lots of slopes and angles, will increase labor time and costs as well.

If you have a multiple-storied home, that’s steep, it’s going to be more challenging for the roofers. This means more safety equipment is required. A difficult-to-reach location will increase the time and effort.

The good news is that since the metal roof is being placed onto the existing shingles, there’s no removal cost. Disposing of trash from removing an existing roof can get expensive as well as labor.

Since this isn’t a requirement, you’ll save a little money. However, keep in mind that if any repairs are needed, the cost will shift a bit.

The material that you choose will affect the cost. Metal roofing can be steel, copper, or aluminum. Each has a different price point.

Steel metal roofing is a great option. It ranges between $6 and $16 per square foot. You may find aluminum roofs to be slightly cheaper and copper to be the most expensive.

The quality of each option will also make a difference. This isn’t a decision you should make lightly. The better the quality, the longer it will last.

While you may not have to remove your roof, a professional will likely install an underlayment. This will lie between the hinges and the metal panels. The cost of this material and other accessories needed will be factored into the overall cost.

Close-up of terracotta-colored roof tiles with visible signs of wear
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Metal Roof Over Shingles Installation

Before an expert starts, they’ll ensure they have all the right equipment and tools. This will include the following:

  • Metal roofing panels  
  • Roofing screws
  • Sealant or caulk  
  • Underlayment
  • Roofing nails  
  • Roofing felt
  • Metal trim and flashing  
  • Screw gun and drill
  • Metal cutting tools  
  • Roofing tape
  • Ladder and/or scaffolding  
  • Safety gear

The expert will ensure that your structure can support the additional weight of the panels, underlayment, and other materials.

Once it’s decided that it is safe to proceed with the installation, the underlayment will be installed. The roofers will install a high-quality underlayment which typically is roofing felt or synthetic material.

This will go over the existing shingles and act as a secondary barrier against moisture. It will make the roof more resistant.

To ensure the roof is watertight, metal trim and flashing will be installed. This will also make it more visually appealing.

These components are placed around the roof’s edges corners, and any vents or chimneys that you may have. They’ll use a metal cutter tool to ensure the trim fits precisely.

Once the installation is completed, the roofers will conduct an inspection. This step will allow the roofers to ensure the work is done correctly.

If there are any loose screws or issues with the panels or trimming, they’ll fix it. All components should meet the manufacturer’s specifications.

The professionals will then clean up and remove any debris that was accumulated during the installation process.

Debunking Common Misconceptions

There are a lot of metal roof over shingles installation misconceptions that we need to debunk. Unfortunately, misinformation spreads quickly and you don’t want to miss an opportunity to make your home better because someone else isn’t informed.

Trapped Moisture

One of the most common misconceptions is that moisture will become trapped between the metal roofing and the existing shingles. This could be an issue as it could lead to rot in other structural issues. A professional will ensure that this does not happen.

An expert will take measures to prevent moisture buildup by using an underlayment. They’ll use proper ventilation techniques.

These precautions will ensure that moisture will not be an issue in the future. This will preserve the integrity of both the metal roof and the underlying structure.

Inadequate Insulation

You may also be worried about installing a metal roof over shingles because of poor insulation. The last thing you want is for your home to be poorly regulated.

However, the opposite is often true. There is airspace between the metal and the existing roof, which creates a natural barrier.

This enhances insulation, helps keep indoor temperatures regulated, and improves energy efficiency. Since metal roofs are known for their reflective properties, you may see a lower energy bill.

Too Much Weight

Another myth or concern that many homeowners have is about the added weight of the metal roof over the existing shingles. This is a valid concern, as you don’t want your roof to be too heavy for your home.

Metal roofing materials are lightweight, which reduces this issue. Some have the specific purpose of being installed over shingles. This will ensure your home is not compromised.

Compromised Aesthetics

Lastly, you don’t need to worry about compromised aesthetics. Shingles are a great look on many houses, but so is a metal roof.

It’s smooth and sleek. A professional will know exactly how to install the panels to make them look seamless.

Potential Downsides

As you can see, the benefits of installing a metal roof of shingles are endless. However, there are some potential challenges and drawbacks to this method.

The majority of them are easily fixed, but you need to know about them first. This information could affect your decision.

If you do have concerns about your metal roof over shingles installation, you’ll need to talk with a professional. They will be able to advise if your concern is relevant.

Voiding Warranties

Before installing a metal roofing system, you’ll need to check the warranties. Some come with installation requirements, and installing a metal roof over shingles may void these warranties.

You don’t want to be left without protection. It’s crucial to consult with the manufacturer and installer to

ensure that all parties are aware of the implications. There’s a good chance there won’t be any issues, but you need to be confident before you start the project.

Concealed Issues

Even if your shingles are in good shape, wear and tear can become a bigger issue if it’s concealed. A hidden problem will only get worse over time, which will lead to extensive and costly repairs.

Inspecting your roof before material installation will ensure there aren’t any underlying issues.

Uneven Surface

Another challenge that you and your installer may face is the unevenness of the shingles. Installing a metal roof directly over your shingles may result in an uneven base.

This unevenness could be a big issue when it comes to its ability to lie flat and create a tight seal. If this is a concern, an expert will use additional materials such as plywood to create a level surface in the areas that need it. This could add to your overall cost, but it will be worth it to know that your roof integrity isn’t compromised.

Finding a Roofer

A roof replacement can be expensive, especially if you aren’t prepared for it. Some homeowners may think adding a metal roof to their property alone is a cheaper and better option. However, this is the furthest thing from the truth.

Not only is it dangerous to DIY, a roof replacement, it won’t be cheaper. Once you spend the time learning how to do it and purchase the materials and equipment, you’ll spend more than hiring a pro.

A professional will also ensure it’s done correctly and you’ll have peace of mind knowing it’s high quality. If you do it yourself, you’ll always be wondering if it’s secure.

Research Local Companies

Finding a local metal roof installation contractor can be challenging. There are a lot of professionals out there, but they aren’t all worth hiring.

Not only do you want the highest quality of work, but you want the entire experience to go well. Researching all your local companies can take time, but it’s a crucial step.

Working with a third party can also be very helpful during this process. Whether you’re new to the area or simply don’t have time to find a contractor, you can use a professional service finder.

Hiring a team to find the best professionals in your area will save you a lot of time and stress. You won’t have to worry about finding one for yourself.

Check Credentials

Your contractor should have a license and insurance. This will protect them and you.

You don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t have the necessary legal documents or

requirements. When you’re searching on your own, you’ll need to look for certifications from roofing material manufacturers.

This will indicate that they have training and knowledge. When you work with a team at Alpha Living, you won’t have to worry about this step either. We will connect you with reliable contractors.

Ask About Experience

Installing a metal roof over shingles is becoming more popular, but you’ll want to ensure the contractor has done it before. They should have a proven track record of successful projects similar to yours.

An experienced roofer will know what complications to look out for and how to handle them. They should anticipate issues and take proactive steps to reduce the risk.

Confer About References

It never hurts to ask for references. Talking to previous clients can be very eye-opening.

Before you sign a contract, ask them to look at some of their previous work as well. This will provide insight into their reliability and quality of work.

Get Written Estimates

You should always get a written estimate. You may want to get multiple, to ensure you’re getting the best price. These estimates should include details and show a cost breakdown.

A dollar amount with no indicators of where your money is going is a red flag. You should know how much the material is, the labor costs, and the timeline for the completion.

Architectural detail of a modern building with metal cladding and glass windows under a cloudy sky.
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Transparent Communication

Communication is very important when it comes to large home improvement projects. Without the process, it will be difficult and exhausting.

You want to work with a professional who understands that this project is important to you and keeps you informed. Nothing is more frustrating than being out of the loop when it’s your own home.

A good contractor will be transparent with you about the process, cost, and timeline. If there’s an issue, they’ll tell you and give you a breakdown of how they’re going to fix it.

Warranty and Guarantees

You should take the time to ask about warranties. Do they offer them on their workmanship and materials?

A reputable roofer will provide warranties in case there is an issue with your metal roof over shingles installation. If a contractor doesn’t offer a guarantee, you may want to start asking some questions. You want someone who has confidence in their work and will stand behind it.

Local Knowledge

Overwhelmed by all the moving parts? We hear you!
Home projects can be extremely overwhelming. Our Roofing professionals will help you make an informed decision and service your home with meticulous attention to detail and professional craftsmanship.

A good contractor will also know the area. Working with someone who isn’t familiar with the local climate and building codes will make the process harder. Their business should be located close by and they should be well-informed about which metal roof over shingles permit they need.

The Metal RoofAdvantage

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Your roof is a vital part of your home. It’s crucial that your roof is of high quality and not damaged. However, as you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Working with a qualified professional will ensure that your metal roof over shingles adheres to local building codes, and your structure can support the weight.

Our team here at Alpha Living has been helping homeowners just like you for years. We will find the best contractors in your area so you can feel confident in your home.

Enter your zip here and we’ll get you in touch with the best roofers!

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