How to Apply a Metal Roof

Installing a metal roof on your home requires a few tried-and-true techniques that have been developed by the roofing construction industry.

This metal roof has been added as an upgrade to an old barn.This metal roof has been added as an upgrade to an old barn.
However, the average do-it-yourself enthusiast can install a metal roof in one to two days, depending on the size and scope of the project. You will, however, need a basic understanding of tool operations and functions.
This picture displays the roof end, which is also called the rake end.

Layout the roof surface using a tape measure and chalk line. Measure off of the end of the roof 39 inches at the top and bottom of the roof and place a pencil mark. This measurement will account for a 40-inch wide sheet of metal and will allow the metal to overhange 1 inch past the rake end of the roof. Snap a chalk line from the bottom to the top of the roof to connect these marks. This line represents the left edge of the first sheet of metal.

Lay the first sheet of metal onto the roof, aligning the left edge with the chalk line. Allow the bottom of the metal to overhang 1 inch to match the rake end overhang. Install metal screws into the flat surface of the metal, spacing them 12 inches apart and beginning 2 inches from the bottom of the metal sheet. Do not place the screws into the raised ridges of the metal. This will damage the metal by bending the ridges. The metal screws are fitted with rubber washers that will seal off the holes caused by the screws. Install the subsequent sheets by aligning them with the previous sheet, allowing the sheets to overlap at the joint. These sheets are designed to overlap and interlock at the raised ridges by 2 inches off of the left or right edge.

This ridge cap covers the roof at the point where the two metal sides meet.

Install the metal roof ridge cap onto the ridge of the roof after the metal has been installed on both sides of the roof. The ridge cap is manufactured in 10 foot sections and must be overlapped by 6 inches upon installation. Insert metal screws through the roof ridge cap and into the metal raised ridges every 12 inches. Do not insert the screws all the way into the plywood decking beneath the metal. This will bend the raised ridges and damage the metals waterproofing properties. Trim off any additional metal using metal snips.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Chalk line
  • Screw gun
  • Metal snips
  • Metal roofing
  • Roofing screws


About the Author

Billy McCarley has been freelancing online since April 2009. He has published poetry for Dead Mule, an online literary publication, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University Of Alabama where he is also a first-year graduate student in history.