Quotes from a contractor for a metal roof will often be very near the same as a shingle roof. But if you buy your material from a manufacturer on line, you should find considerable savings. Add to that the time saved in not tearing up old shingles, and the savings really add up.
The first step to a do-it-yourself metal roof installation is planning. You will need to measure all individual sections of your roof. Metal roof panels can be ordered in whatever length you need. When you have completed this step you can contact the manufacturer and compare prices and styles. Take advantage of personal contacts available to make sure you know all the parts you may need. But do not order yet.
Your next step should be to read the code requirements for your area for residential metal roofing applications. A copy of your local Building Code should be available at your local library or online.The measurements for screw placement will be there. Find it. Most communities will allow you to lay a metal roof on top of an existing shingle roof. Make sure your area is one of them. If your roof has a slope of 12 to 2 or less, you may need to use a butyl rubber tape at panel overlaps.
The importance of knowing exactly what you need to meet code requirements can not be over emphasized. The last thing you want to do is pull off the metal roof you just installed because you missed something your community thinks is important.
After you feel comfortable meeting your code requirements, plan where you are going to store materials. ‘Delivery’ will mean dropping your materials off a flatbed semi-trailer. If you want them someplace the delivery person can’t drive to, you will have to move them yourself. Also consider access to your roof when planning storage.
You should get your roofing permit before you order your materials, just in case. A permit should last for 6 months to a year, and can be extended in most cases, so you should have plenty of time. If you know permitting won’t be problem, order your materials.
You have already checked out manufacturer, styles and colors, so let’s discuss tools. You will need a powerful drill. Small battery operated drills may not do the job. A 14 volt drill should be powerful enough, but make sure you have at least one spare battery charging at all times. If you choose to use a corded drill, you must consider protecting your extension cord from any sharp edges. Metal roofing can cut a cord in half, or strip insulation, causing dangerous shorts.
The same caution goes for your hands. Always wear leather gloves when handling metal roofing panels.
You will need something to cut metal panels for any angles you have on your roof. A skill saw can be used with a metal cutting blade. This gets really loud. You should use ear protection for yourself. And maybe some for any close neighbors who come to complain. Other options are electric metal shears or nibblers. If you don’t want to purchase these expensive items, they can be rented. Plan your cutting well in advance to avoid paying long term rental fees that could equal a purchase price.
If you are able to lay your metal roof on your existing shingle roof, you don’t need to worry about light rain. Other weather conditions could cause problems. Your finished roof should withstand any wind conditions, but any panels that are not completely screwed down (which may be required to slide a panel under an edge) are vulnerable. Always complete your screw placement of the last panel before you quit for the day, even if that means pulling some screws back out the next day.
If you have the time, capability and the tools, installing your own roof can be a rewarding activity, in terms of both money and personal satisfaction.