Switching to Metal Roof Installation: Common Mistakes to Avoid

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As the days go by, metal roofing gains more popularity in both commercial and residential sectors, and contractors are not sleeping on it. They are finding ways to join the train, which is moving fast. Finding the best way to successfully switch to metal roof installation can be challenging. Hence, it is vital to know and understand the challenges of switching.

We are very aware of the possible challenges you may encounter. That is why we’ve put together this article, where we’ll discuss the things to be mindful of when transitioning from asphalt to metal roof installation and some tips for a successful transition. 

4 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Switching to Metal Roofing

1. Make the assumption that all metal roofing installations need the same skills

Different roofing systems require different skills, but one mistake people tend to make is to assume that one skill set works for all. You should avoid making that mistake. 

A good example is the significant difference between standing seam metal roofs and exposed fastener metal roofs

Standing Seam

Standing seam metal roofs may be pricey, but they are still in high demand. This is because they are long-lasting, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. A standing seam is a metal roofing system fastened with concealed fasteners. The seams are sealed manually or automatically, or a snap-lock approach snaps them together. 

The process of installing this metal roofing system requires a lot more labor than exposed fastener systems. It is also time-intensive and, most times, more complicated than exposed fasteners. Because people mostly use them for commercial purposes, they need warranties that are weathertight. Installations that come with weather-tight warranties demand more attention to detail.

Exposed Fastener

You can easily identify exposed fastener metal roofing systems by their visible fastener heads. People use them primarily on residential, agricultural, and industrial buildings. Compared to standing seams, installing an exposed fastener roof is easier. However, a successful installation still requires some level of knowledge and expertise. Because of its ease of installation, contractors transitioning to metal roofing opt for the exposed fastener roofing system.

When entering the metal roofing business, ensure you can identify the differences between these systems and choose the one you are most comfortable with.

2. Handle roofing materials wrongly

How you handle metal roofs differs from how you handle other roofing systems. You cannot walk on a metal roof with a little precaution, just as you can on a shingle roof without affecting its appearance. Working with metal roofing materials means you must be extra careful with handling and installation.

Proper care of the roofing materials will produce a visually pleasing end result, giving your building a contemporary look that will last. For a successful installation, it is essential to have a good understanding of handling metal roofing materials. It is also vital to work with materials of superior quality to make your work easier.

Once you successfully obtain the quality materials, their condition depends on how you and your team handle them during transportation and installation.

Another thing to keep in mind is knowing the type of material you are using for your roofing project. You know why? This is because combining materials of different kinds on your roof can lead to a corrosive reaction. Hence, consult a supplier who is an expert in metal roofing for guidance when in doubt.

3. Be ignorant about the product

When installing a metal roof, there is much information to consider, from roofing system differences to dissimilar metals and how you handle your roofing materials. Although mastering the ins and outs of metal roofing may take some time, going out of your way to find resources and industry experts can help you advance your understanding of the process and facilitate easier installs.

Seeking out installers with years of experience installing metal roofs will help you before you start working in the field. They can guide you and teach you certain best practices. A good metal roofing supplier could help you expand your network by connecting you with other industry professionals.  

4. Scale up too soon

After a successful switch to metal roof installation, you may find that you need to scale up as you gain some balance and confidence in the metal roofing industry to handle the volume of work coming your way. Knowing when you should scale up and how to go about it is essential to maintaining your business’s success.

Your company may run out of money if you purchase equipment or recruit more workers too soon. On the other hand, you can find yourself in a tight spot if you schedule more than thirty jobs in your first year without knowing how to accurately estimate and bid on metal work, don’t realize how long metal installation takes, or have a crew and sales team that lack expertise.

Before making the switch, bear in mind that you are going to need the following pieces of machinery:

  • Brake: You need to own a brake, whether automatic or hand. Owning one will aid you in bending trim for particular project specifics.
  • Shears: Installers can use shears to cut metal to precise specifications to obtain flat sheets sized perfectly to bend trim parts.
  • Rollformer: Your output will increase with speed with roll-forming machines, giving you complete control over your panel manufacturing. Although it is a significant investment, if your work rate is high, it might start to pay off rapidly.

How to Switch to Metal Roof Installation Successfully

Build an Experienced Team

If you want to create a portfolio for your metal roofing business, ensure you get the best installers on your team. Metal roofing isn’t as straightforward as shingles, so you shouldn’t settle for any available installer. Take your time to scrutinize them before getting them on board. 

Gradually Build Your Portfolio

Starting with more straightforward, smaller tasks when you’re just starting is the way to go. This will assist you in creating a substantial portfolio of work that you can present to other possible clients. As you gather experience, you can progress to more complex tasks.

For contractors interested in transitioning into the metal roofing industry, exposed fastener systems are an excellent alternative. They provide a more straightforward installation process than standing seam systems.

We advise that you begin with residential installations because they are less complex than commercial projects, which could require precise details and weathertight guarantees for completion.

Get the Appropriate Tools

It would be best if you considered the smaller tools you will need for installing metal roofing in addition to the machines. You might need to buy some of them, while others might be identical to the ones you would use on shingle roofing.

Know How to Sell Your Products

When you create a team of expert installers, the next thing to do is transform your sales team into metal roofing experts. How do you do this? It’s simple. Get them familiar with the information on your website or any available resources. Studying such resources will equip them for better delivery at their job.  

Note that your sales team is just as important as your team of installers. Their effectiveness determines, to a large extent, how much your business will boom.

Locate a Local Manufacturer

Before investing in your equipment, it is crucial to locate a bankable local panel maker. Get familiar with their business and offerings, including the panel profiles they have available, the range of colors and materials to choose from, whether they provide accessories, their typical lead times, and the alternatives for shipment and pickup. Understanding what you need is vital, as it will help you ensure that your needs and their offers align.


The metal roofing industry is an advancing market. Switching to metal roof installation is no child’s play, but with adequate information and knowledge, you can do it with ease and build an impressive portfolio for yourself. 

This article summarized the tips for a successful switch to the metal roofing industry. And now, we are confident you have a better picture of how it works and what to avoid in your journey. We wish you the best in your business adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you install metal roofing over asphalt?

People install metal roofing over asphalt to cut costs. So, yes, you can. However, we do not recommend it, as it comes with some problems.

What is a fact about metal roofing?

When it comes to hail resistance, metal roofs rank first. They can tolerate high winds and tornadoes. You can also save money by using energy-efficient metal roofing.

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