If you’ve found yourself here, you’re either a roofer who wants to learn more about metal roofing or a smart homeowner who wants to weigh their options. No matter what, you’re in the right place. This essential guide to installing a metal roof in the Denver area will walk you through the steps, materials, and dos and don’ts.
What is the Benefit of Installing a Metal Roof?
The answer to this broad question is that there are many benefits. Metal remains one of the most popular roofing materials chosen by homeowners today. Metal roofs now come in more than just panels. You can even find metal shingles that look like any standard shingle roof but have the durability, aesthetic appeal, and longevity of a metal roof. Other benefits include:
- Long lifespan of 40-70 years
- Low maintenance, aside from regular inspections and keeping it free of debris
- They have a unique curb appeal.
- They are highly energy-efficient. Because it is a natural insulator, a metal roof reflects the sun’s rays and can reduce cooling costs in the summer and winter. Annual savings of up to 40% are possible for homeowners.
- Metal roofs are made of 30–60% recycled content and can be 100 percent recycled when they are no longer useful.
These are just a few of the many advantages of a metal roof, and if it’s in your budget, we highly recommend making this long-term investment with a high ROI.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Metal Roof Installation
Now it’s time to get started. The steps for installing a metal panel roof on a newly constructed home or as a total roof replacement are outlined below.
Step 1: Measure Your Roof
Your first step will be to measure your roof. This will help you figure out how much material you need, and you can set a budget before you start. Both contractors and homeowners need to know this. You must be sure you can finish the project without any stalls.
Step 2: Roof Tear Off (Not Applicable for New Construction)
If you are replacing an old roof, you must completely remove the old roofing material. This will take a while, and you may need to rent a dumpster or come up with another way to get rid of all the waste.
Once the old roof is off, you should check the roof decking to ensure a new roof will go on top of a good one. During this time, fix anything that needs to be fixed.
Step 3: Apply the Underlayment
The roof’s underlayment is a tightly sealed ice and water shield that keeps water from getting into the attic and provides an excellent solid base for your roofing panels to lay on top of. This step is essential to protect your home from the elements. When installing the underlayment, lay it flat and press out any air bubbles or wrinkles for a smooth surface.
Step 4: Pre-cut Panels if Necessary
Before you begin, order your panels and have them cut to size. This can save a significant amount of time during installation. Just make sure you do your math correctly and only cut what you need or get too far ahead of yourself.
Step 5: Bend Your End Trim Pieces
At each corner of the roof, your trim will have an end piece that needs to be bent to fit. This is easy to do with your aviation snips or tin snips, and the metal seamer can be used to bend the metal. This will be done on your eave trim, gable trim, ridge cap, and any other piece that meets a corner.
Step 6: Fasten Your Eave Trim/Drip Edge
After your panels have been cut, you can begin installing them. Start at the eaves, which are the lower parts of the roof that hang over a wall, and work your way up.
Begin by nailing your eave trim or drip edge around the edges of your roof. You should use 1-1/2′′ metal roofing screws every 6 to 8 inches along the trim.
Step 7: Fit Your Trim Pieces Together
Your trim piece will likely not be long enough to cover the entire trim length. So you’ll overlap each piece and seal it with roof sealant or caulk before screwing it in place. This creates a watertight seal and prevents them from slipping out of place.
Step 8: For Even Installation: Create a Square Reference
A square reference is a roofing technique that begins with a 3-4-5 triangle area and then expands to cover the entire roof. If your roof area is 20 feet wide, your large-scale triangle could be 20 x 27 x 34 feet. This ensures you get straight rows of panels and that everything lines up properly. You will snap a line to each corner, and this will be your guide.
Step 9: Lay Your Panels in Place
It’s time to install your beautiful metal panels. You’ll start at the edge of the eave, where you’ll place a foam closure strip and cover it with adhesive. This strip provides a bug-proof barrier while also cushioning your panels. Place each panel on top of this, making sure to line up it with the edge. Then, using your chalk lines as guides, overlap each panel over the next.
Step 10: Use Screws to Fasten
Screw your metal panels in place with care. This is an extremely important step. One crooked or loose screw can leave your roof susceptible to leaks right away. Don’t overtighten, and keep the screws no more than 24 inches apart. Use rubber gaskets as a bolt underneath your screws for additional water sealing—you’ll be glad you did.
Step 11: Continue Installing by Overlapping Your Panels
Steps 9 and 10 should be repeated until your metal panels are completely installed!
Step 12: Install Your Gable Trim
The rake edge, also known as the gable trim, is the roof’s edge that runs vertically with the panels. This end cap is sealed with a gable trim, which keeps rain, snow, insects, and rodents out of your roof and attic. This step is critical for sealing your new roof panels.
Step 13: Finish With Ridge Cap and Gutters
Finally, install the ridge cap at the very top of your roof. First, put strips of butyl tape around the roof’s edges, four inches from the peak. Like you did on the eave edge, put a steady bead of sealant on this foam closure. Then put the ridge cap on the peak and screw it to the roof deck with 2-inch screws.
Is Metal Roof Installation DIY-Friendly?
In short, metal roofs are easy enough for most people to install. With a few tools, some help from friends or family, and a guide for installing a metal roof, you can do it yourself and save much money.
Of course, installing a metal roof yourself comes with some risks, just like any other home improvement project. No matter what kind of roof you have, if you install it yourself, you could hurt yourself, damage your existing roof, void any warranties, install it wrong, or spend more money in the long run.
Choosing The Right Metal Roofing Contractor For The Job
While it is possible to install your metal roof, we do not recommend it. Instead, hire a reliable roofer who knows what they’re doing. Our metal roofing company in Denver, Colorado, has been installing metal roofs for many years.
We have been installing high-quality roofs for many years and want to assist you in getting a roof that will last. Get in touch with us immediately to get started on your dream roof.