How to Install Metal Roofing — — All about Residential Metal Roofing at

How to Install Metal Roofing - - All about Residential Metal Roofing at

How to Install Metal Roofing

There are numerous high quality, cool metal roofing systems and profiles offering an energy efficient and Eco-friendly green roofing alternative to conventional asphalt shingle roofs. Today, homeowners can choose from a wide range of materials and systems including aluminum, galvanized and galvalume steel, zinc and copper. modern residential and light commercial metal roofing systems are available as standing seam, batten seam, simulated Spanish tiles, metal shakes and and metal shingles roofing systems.

For a homeowner who wants to take on the installation of metal roof, a metal shingles system can be one of the easiest metal roofing systems to install; It offers simplicity of interlocking metal shingles design and a wide selection of accompanying metal flashing trim.

What you will find in this guide:

This guide covers installation of an interlocking Metal Shingles Roofing system. Photographs and illustrations provided in this guide come directly from one of the metal roofs installed by New England Metal Roof on a residence located in the greater Boston area.

Installation Basics:

Step 1: Preparing the roof deck and installing roof underlayment.

For metal shingle roofing, our first step is to prepare a roof deck for the installation. Metal shingles roof can be installed over the existing asphalt shingle roof, as well as over solid sheathing such as boards or plywood in case of a new construction or after tearing off the old shingles.

A roof deck prep after a tear-off:

It is recommended to use a breathable synthetic roofing underlayment as opposed to a regular tar paper that is going to disintegrate, and it could actually stick to your metal roof from underneath. Make sure that your roofing deck is free of any exposed nail heads, then install your roof underlayment in an overlapping fashion. Use a minimum of six inches of an overlap.

Plywood and underlayment installation:

Step 2: Installing Drip Edge, Gable, End Wall, Chimney and Valley flashing:

Once our roof is covered with underlayment, it is now time to install drip edge / starter flashing, which gets installed against roof deck fascia with approximate half an inch spacing. For metal shingles roofing, we will secure starter flashing with wash head aluminum nails every 12 inches on center.

Drip Edge Installation:

Once a starter flashing is put in place, we can then install a gable flashing against gable rake, with a half an inch spacing. Note, that a gable flashing has to overlap the drip edge flashing (shown above) at the edge.

Gable Flashing Installation:

Now it is time to prepare the rest of your roof including chimney and wall flashing.

If necessary, we can pre-cut the ridge vent spacing leaving about two feet of solid roof deck on each side of the roof.

End-wall Flashing Installation (different project):

Chimney Flashing:

A video of Chimney Flashing Installation Details:

The above video shows how to properly install metal trim around a chimney. This video also demonstrates a relatively high degree of difficulty involved in most residential installations. I urge you to watch the video carefully so that you know what to expect. This will help you decide whether or not you can tackle a project of similar scope by yourself. In some cases, you may find that you can still do most of the work yourself (on a simple roof). Keep in mind that you can always hire a professional installer to help you with some of the more difficult aspects of installation such as chimneys, skylights, roof valleys, end-walls, and dormer flashing details.

Step 3: Installing Metal Shingles:

In this step, we will begin the installation of aluminum shingle. It is recommended to use vertical and horizontal chalk line guides to make sure that our shingles gets installed in a straight fashion.

Close-up of Metal Shingles Installation:

You should always start shingling with a half-a-shingle, starting from the left bottom corner where gable and starter flashings meet. After the first half a shingle is pit in place, you should follow with a full shingle to finish the first row of metal shingles. Our second row will start with a full shingle all the way to the end.

It is recommended to install metal shingles in a diagonal fashion (as shown in the picture above), gradually increasing the rows of shingles and their span. For more details on the installation of metal shingles watch the video below:

Step 4: Installing a Ridge Vent and Ridge Caps:

When we finally reach the ridge of the roof and flash all the end walls, sky lights, and chimneys, it is time to install the ridge vent and cover it with interlocking ridge caps.

  • Lets take a look at some of the before-and-after in-field photos:

    A newly installed metal roof:

    With Ridge Vent opening cut-in, only a ridge vent and ridge caps are remaining to complete the installation:


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