Installing a standing seam metal roof isn't as easy as it may seem at first. "Yeah", you might think: "What is there to do? Just put up those panels!"

Not so quick, now! Standing seam installation process can actually involve a lot of tedious work, so let's cover it in a step by step fashion to see some of the challenges it may entail. Shall we?

| 1. Basic Prep Work Required |. .

| 2. Necessary Tools, Materials, as well as Supplies |. .

| 3. Installation Process |

1. Basic Preparation for the Job

The most important thing about installing standing seam, is to measure the roof correctly as well as precisely. Here is why; Each standing seam panel is cut to the exact size, as well as if your panels are too short, you'll run the following costly issues:

A) If a panel is only 2? short, you may not be able to use your ridge cap as it will not cover the ends of the panels. In this case you'll have to get or make a wider cap. In this case it will go from 12 to 16? wide cap (remember - panels are 2" off on each side, so we add 4? to the ridge cap)

B) If panels are short by 4-6? you may not be able to get a cap that wide, so now you've only two options: Ether panels are useless, or you splice them. Splicing 6 inch metal panels, while sitting at the ridge of your roof is about as much fun as head-butting the curb! 😉 You'd probably want to get at least 2-3 feet long panels for splicing. You'll also need at least a foot of overlap on each panel

In either case you'll run into additional work as well as will likely have to spend a lot more money compared to what should have (and could have) been originally spent

A few words of advice before you get started:

Roofing, by its very nature, is a very dangerous work, as well as hence your safety should be your number one priority. We always recommend utilizing a full body harnesses as well as a properly set-up fall protection system consisting of roof anchors, 50? lifeline, as well as shock-absorbing lanyard

You can buy these in most Home Depot as well as Lowe's stores, or any roofing supply place or online

Using heavy duty steel screws or 3? framing nails with a double head for easy removal, install your roof anchors over the ridge, so each "ear" of the anchor is located on different side of the roof. Best way to install it, is to find roof rafters as well as put your nails into them. This will give you the best hold-down on the roof

When attaching the lifeline rope, always make sure that the arrow on the lanyard's self-tracking rope grab points up, toward the roof anchor. Otherwise it will not hold you in case of a fall

You should always have at least 3 anchors for an average size home. Each person on a roof should be tied off to his or her own anchor. You shouldn't have more than one person tied to one anchor (unless it's the end of the job as well as all other anchors have already been removed )

The very first thing you should do when you get up onto the roof, is to install the anchor. You should already be properly wearing a body harness as well as have a rope with you. Once the anchor is securely attached to the roof, snap on your rope, as well as now you can start measuring your roof

Step 1 - Measuring the roof:

So, in order to get the right measurements, you'll actually have to go up onto the roof as well as measure every Eave, Gable, Ridge, Valley as well as Side wall

Once you get the exact to-the-inch measurements, add two inches to each panel for the drip edge, which sticks out by an inch as well as gets bent back by an inch

Assuming your panels will be 16 inches wide, take the width of your home in feet, multiply it by 12 as well as divide the result by 16. This will give you the number of panels required for each side. I like to order my panels at least one inch longer than my measurements, as well as also at least one extra panel for any screw-ups that for some reason always seem to happen! 😉 I recommend you do the same

Step 2 - Prepare your roof:

Unlike steel as well as aluminum shingles, standing seam panels shouldn't be installed over the existing asphalt shingles. There's two main reasons; First of all, if you install a standing seam metal roof over asphalt shingles, there will be a so called "telegraphing effect" where shingles can punch horizontal lines in standing seam panels. This in neither aesthetically pleasing nor good for the metal panels. This gets us to the second reason not to install standing seam over shingles. Since most contractors as well as homeowners are looking to spend as little as possible, they usually choose to install a Steel Standing Seam, which is usually made of Galvalume or G-90 galvanized steel

Well, the truth is that steel can ultimately rust as well as corrode, especially if its coating wears off. As well as if you put steel standing seam over asphalt shingles that are covered with stone granules, the expansion as well as contraction of the metal will rub the underside of the panels against stones on the shingles. This will sooner or later cause the protective coating to wear off, thus inviting the rust spots to start popping up all over the roof

To avoid the above mentioned problems, you should tear-off all the old shingles as well as make sure there's no nails sticking out from the roof deck, before installing standing seam

Once the tear-off is complete, repair as well as replace all rotten wood. You don't want to put a brand new lifetime metal roof over an old, rotted deck

Once the tear-off is complete, install a waterproofing underlayment, which will protect your roof in case it rains during the installation of your new roof as well as will be a second waterproofing barrier once the main roof goes on. I recommend utilizing GAF DeckArmor breathable synthetic underlayment, as well as strongly advise against Felt or tar paper, both for safety as well as performance reasons

Mask sure you start installing the underlayment working your way from the bottom up. On lower slope roofs, we overlap the underlayment by at least a foot. On steeper roofs, all you really need is 6 inches of overlap

Run the underlayment on all flat surfaces of your roof. If you've skylights or chimneys, run it to the base of the curb

Spend some extra time wrapping the chimney as it's very likely to leak if you seal it the wrong way. Start at the bottom of the chimney with a piece of underlayment that is 4 feet wider than the chimney, so it will have a 2 feet flap on each side. Run underlayment 6 inches up the wall on the chimney, as well as nail the flap to the roof along the straight line of the fold. Put only two nails for now, at each end of the fold line. Cut the corners sticking to the sides of the chimney at 45 degrees from the roof deck as well as wrap them around the chimney. Install your side flashing in the same manner as well as then the top flashing

Run a bead of caulking (we use Solar Seal 900) between the chimney as well as top 1 inch of the underlayment flashing. This will make your chimney watertight, as well as even if it rains, the water will not get through

Here is what your chimney flashing should look like:

2. Necessary Tools, Materials, as well as Supplies

A roofing hatchet or a carpenter's hammer I prefer a hatchet, but in some cases you do need a claw-hammer of some type to pull out nails. You can also use a flat bar, but it's not always convenient to have too many bulky things on the roof

Utility knife After trying out more than 50 different utility knifes, I came to a conclusion to use the single-use knifes with blades that are long as well as you just brake off a dull piece of the blade as well as the next on is sharp. You can buy them at a Dollar Tree - 3 knifes for $1. They are light as well as I don't care if I drop or loose one

Carpenter's pencil and/or Sharpie permanent marker. You can buy these at Home Depot or Lowe's

Sheet Metal Snips - I prefer the the 3? snips (with yellow handles) from Sears - they last the longest, cut easily while staying sharp, cost only $16 99 as well as (very important for me) have sharp, pointy tips that make the cut very clean, without ripping the metal

Tape measure There's many as well as many people have their own preference. For me, I find the best tape measure is the one from Lowe's, that costs $6 99. It's green as well as has a black release button. I like it so much because when you pull out the tape, doesn't retract back, but stays until you press the release button. All other tape measures work in the opposite manner, which I find VERY annoying

A tool belt Again, just as with tape measures as well as many other tools, there's so many choices, but a good belt can make your roof installation as pleasureful as one can be, while a crappy tool belt will make your life he will as well as you'll probably hate any kind of construction work for the rest of your life :). My personal preference is a $30 plus tool belt from Home Depot. It's made of blue heavy duty synthetic cloth. It has a metal ring (hammer / snips holder) on each side, large pockets, a special place to put a bulky tape measure, as well as is otherwise rate small, compared to other full size tool belts. It's also light as well as somewhat comfortable to wear on the roof. You can also take it apart - i e. remove among among one of the pockets which will make the tool belt only "half the size". The Velcro belt also makes it easy to put on

Sheet metal hand seamer / folder This tool is invaluable for any metal roofing work. In fact, when I just started installing metal roofs, hand seamer, along with the above tools where the only tools I had as well as needed to install a metal roof. Everything else is just for convenience / speed. With the hand seamer / folder, You can make such complex flashing pieces as chimney collar, side-wall, etc. You'll find it very handy as well as essential to the installation of a metal roof

The above mentioned tools are the bare essentials you'll need to install any metal roof, whether metal shingles or standing seam

Power tools:

Drill/Driver: Aside from these, you'll need a cordless drill. I recommend an impact driver with Lithium Ion batteries, as well as all my power tools are made by Hitachi. I used to work with Craftsman as well as still own them, but they are heavy, loose power fast, as well as break, while Hitachi ones are light, strong, have log battery life as well as do NOT break!

Wood cutting: For minor wood repairs, a cordless Sawzall such as the one by Hitachi will be more than adequate. Actually, I rarely bring my corded tools to a job site any more


To properly install a metal roof you'll need a properly attached underlayment as well as properly flashed as well as sealed roof penetrations. After trying out many products, I have my favorites that I now exclusively use on every job:

Underlayment: We use GAF DeckArmor breathable underlayment on every one of our roofs. Why? Because it's the best we found at reasonable price (there is a similar product, but it costs 4 times more as well as isn't any better in actual performance). DeckArmor is durable, slip resistant, water tight, light-weight as well as comes in 4'6? wide rolls which makes installation much faster, compared to 3? rolls

DeckArmor prevents most moisture problems associated with the synthetic underlayments, where the moisture is trapped between underlayment as well as roof deck, as well as makes the wood rot, causes mold, mildew as well as problems for contractors utilizing them

Deck Armor works like a human skin, by letting the water vapor molecules pass through, while keeping the water out. This way, any moisture from the inside escapes as well as runs down, between the underlayment as well as the actual roofing material, instead of being trapped inside

You can easily walk on the underlayment, after securely attaching it to the roof deck, as well as you can leave it exposed up-to 6 months as well as not worry about leaks

Nails: We use 1 1/2? plastic cap nails to attach the underlayment to the roof deck. They are rust-proof, light-weight as well as will not damage the underlayment, unlike regular roofing nails. You can buy a large bucket of these nails at Home Depot or Lowe's, but I recommend not to get 1 inch nails, which the above-mentioned stores usually stock. Get the longer ones, as well as it will be much easier for you to work with them

Sealant / Caulking: Each roofer has his/her own preference when it comes to sealants, as well as my love goes to Solar Seal 900. I found it to be the best caulking that is water-tight, cures fast, has very strong adhesion, is rather inexpensive as well as comes in a variety of colors

3. Standing Seam Metal Roof Installation Process

Step 1 - Installing the drip edge

Installation of the drip edge is usually a rather simple process, but for a novice roofer it can be a challenge. I'll take a step back to the first part of this guide - when prepping your deck, make sure that the old drip edge is completely removed as well as all rotten wood (boards or plywood sheeting) is replaced

There are several opinions as to whether install drip edge under or over the underlayment. In theory if you install drip edge over the underlayment, then run-off rainwater may get underneath it. In reality, metal drip edge gets installed so tightly, that water just rolls over it. So I always install underlayment first, as well as then go over with the drip edge

Advantages of installing drip edge after the roofing underlayment has been installed, are as follows: You don't waste any precious time during the installation of the drip edge; when as well as if your roof is open as well as it rains, you may not have enough time to cover it, that is where having water as well as vapor barrier in place really comes handy. Second reason is the safety. When I install underlayment, first I can trim the edges as I please, in case that a hang off portion of the roof is too lengthy. If your drip edge is already in place, as well as underlayment hangs off of it, trimming it may be rather dangerous, while sitting on the edge of the roof. Lastly - it really doesn't make much difference in terms of performance. A properly installed metal roof will keep the water out, as well as the only water on the underlayment will be condensation. If rain water does get onto the underlayment after a metal roof has been installed, then you've bigger problems to worry about! 😉

Install your drip edge utilizing either screws or nails about 8-12? On center (O C ) in a staggered pattern for optimal rigidity. Overlap individual sections by at least 2? as well as don't forget to open up the lip of the overlapping section for a better fit. Install the drip edge along all eaves (horizontal ends of the roof)

If you've a hip roof, trim your drip edge so it overlaps the batting section

Note: Usually you'll receive a drip edge with 1 1/8? face. You can optionally order 2 1/8? face or any other size as well as vented drip edge, in case you want to do the soffit / ridge ventilation as well as you don't have any soffits

Depending on your metal roofing supplier, you can order pretty much any type of a trim detail custom made to your specifications. Unless you specify, you'll usually get the standard trim that your supplier has. I once got a 2? face drip edge while I was expecting a 1? as well as 2 inches didn't work, so I had to exchange them. Think about such things ahead of time, as well as you will not be wasting your time as well as money - always specify what you want to get. Most fabricators / suppliers will accept your drawings, even hand-drawn on, a piece of paper

Step 2 - Gable / Rake trim:

With standing seam metal, there's at least two ways to trim the gables of your roof with many variations. Two basic once include either utilizing a special gable trim or a regular drip edge. I prefer utilizing a special trim as it's easier as well as safer to install

Installing your gable trim may should be done either in the beginning or at the end of the roof installation. This will depend on how you plan to layout your metal panels. If you start with a full or partial panel at the gable, then you can put up the gable trim as soon as your first (and last) panel is installed. You'll need to bend up 1-1 1/4? lip on the outside edge of your panel. This will serve as a hook for the gable trim. Optionally, you can cut out the outside part of a double lock on the panel itself, if you're utilizing a full panel. If you'll be bending the lip, you can either use the hand seamer / folder or a special roller (which costs about $500, as well as you may not want to invest into it, if you're only doing a single job). If you use the hand seamer / folder, your panel bend will not be perfectly straight, but don't worry about it as the gable trim will hide any imperfections. This will be a very tedious process, especially on a longer panel

If this will be your last panel, measure the distance between the edge of the roof as well as the edge of the last full panel - this will be the pan width of your last panel. Add at least an inch to this width for your fake lock. Make sure that you measure both top as well as bottom of the panel, as this width tends to be slightly off due to framing being out of square as well as panel creeping. You don't want your panel to bump out by an inch or two!

Once you've prepared your first as well as / or last panel, as well as created the fake lock to hook your gable trim to, line the panel up so it's flash with the rake board   If this is your last panel, as well as you measured everything right, the panel will be flash with the rake board or you may have it bumping in or out by 1/8 - 1/4? - this is normal, as well as will not be noticeable

Hook your gable trim into the fake lock,  pull it down with your fingers as well as drive in the color matching hex screws with rubber gaskets, approximately 12? oc to very safe it. In some situations, mostly for aesthetic reasons, I measured 2? from each end and  measured the remaining distance for equal spacing of screws (which usually came out to about 10? oc)

In some situations you'll be required, or may choose to use a drip edge as gable trim   In that case, instead of bending up 1 inch of fake lock, bend down about 7/8? lock to a 90 degree angle. Hook that side lock to the drip edge as well as fold in down with your fingers. Use hand seamer to tightly crimp the lock

All other trim, besides the drip edge as well as on some occasions the gable trim, will be installed as you get to it with your panels

Step 3 - Installing your first panel

Whether you're utilizing gable trim or drip edge for your rakes, the first panel will be the most important, because it will determine if your roof is squared, if any penetrations line up in the center of a metal pan or on a rib / lock. You definitely want to avoid having any penetrations lining up with the lock, because it would be quite challenging as well as problematic for a first-time installer to flash it properly. This should be solved ahead of time by making sure that your first panel has an proper width, so that you end up with a panel layout where you've all the penetrations through the center of a panel

Assuming your have the correct width of the first panel, as well as that all the drip edges are installed, you'll have to create the hook-lock at the bottom of each panel. This hook / lock should be 7/8 of an inch wide as well as folded down (see photo below). Also notice the little "ear" sticking off on the side of the double lock. You'll need to make this to wrap it around as well as crimp, once the panel is installed

Hook the first panel into the drip edge, align it flush with the rake board as well as install 1 screw through the pan, all the way at the top of the panel (about 1 inch from the upper edge of the panel). This screw will hot it in place while you're installing clips

Space your clips 10-12? OC, as well as utilizing special flat-head screws, attach the panel to the roof deck. To avoid dents in the panel, install screws into outside hole of the clips. If you're located in high wind area you may want to put two screws into each clip, but I'd actually increase the number of clips to 6-8? on center instead of utilizing two screws. Never put two screws if you've boards instead of plywood. Two screws will split the board, which will cause the panel attachment not to be very safe

Once the first panel is installed, snap on the next panel. I found that the easiest way to do this is to hook the loose panel into the drip edge as well as insert the tip of a single snap lock into the double snap lock, then push the panel all the way up, as well as only then start putting the lock together. See the video bellow:

Use a rubber mallet or the rubber handle of your hammer to snap the seams of the roof panels. Utilizing your palms will begin to hurt after just a couple of panels. Make sure that whatever you use is soft as to not dent the metal panels

Repeat the process until all panels are installed  Measure as well as install your last panel as described above. Repeat the process on the other side of the house

Step 3 1 - flashing a vent (stink) pipe

If you've a vent pipe (most likely you do), you should have ordered an proper sized pipe boot with a metal/rubber flexible adjustable bottom, designed for corrugated sheet as well as standing seam metal roofs. I hope you aligned your panels so that the stink pipe lands between the ribs. As you approach the stink pipe in your installation of the panels, getting as close as possible with the last full panel that doesn't require cutting, finish installing it, as well as then measure the distance from the bottom to the center of the pipe, as well as from the side where the last panel is. Locate the spot where you'll be cutting in a hole in the panel for the pipe, as well as make sure to cut the hole such that it would be 1/2 - 3/4? wider than the pipe

As you can see in the picture above, we actually had the rib sitting 1? away from the pipe. We could not avoid this as well as had to deal with it, but for you, I strongly recommend to spend 5 extra minutes measuring as well as not doing it the hard way

Once you cut your hole in the panel, put it up, install the clips, as well as now you should be ready to install the pipe flashing. Put your pipe flashing on, align it with the panel, use pencil to mark the location of the flashing as well as pull it off. Apply a thick bead of Solar Seal 900 or an equal exterior grade sealant / caulking within the perimeter of the flashing. Then, set the flashing back in place so that its base is completely sealed by the caulking. Finally, fasten the flashing down with the hex head rubber gasket screws, spacing them about 1 5-2? apart

Once again, in order to avoid the situations where roof penetration lands in the center of the lock, measure carefully beforehand!

Step 4 - Installing Z-bars as well as ridge caps

If you're utilizing the ridge/soffit vent systems, make sure you're not installing it on a low slope roof, as water may get inside through the perforated z-closure

Cut your z-bar to the width of one panel. Make sure it fits tightly, but not too tight as to scratch the locks of the panel. Usually go about a 1/4 less than nominal width of the panel. This gives you enough room for a snap lock of the next panel to fit in, as well as it will help you to end up with the minimum gaps between the edges of

Cut a small piece of ridge cap (about 2? wide), align in so that it's in the center of the ridge, laying perpendicular with the locks. Mark the outer edges on the top of each rib. You'll align your z-bars as well as the ridge cap to these marks

Use the first piece as a template, as well as cut enough z-bars to accommodate every panel on your roof (both sides). Utilizing double-sided peel-n-stick foam or some type of exterior grade caulking such as Butyl, Urethane, or similar sealant, caulk the connection area between the panel as well as the z-bar. Attach the z-bar with 3 screws, as well as caulk the side gaps so that any wind-driven water would not be able to get in. As for the caulking type of choice, we always use a clear (or color matching) Solar Seal 900. It works awesome!

Once all of your z-bars are up as well as sealed, take a section of the ridge cap, as well as cut a 2-inch line down the center bend, on the end of the cap. At the same end, cut off 2 inches of the lock as well as bend down the two flaps. This will be your end-piece. Align the flaps you've just created with the gable trim as well as hook in one side of the ridge cap into the z-bar. If your z-bar is spaced too widely or narrowly,  you can bend it in or out so that it fits your ridge cap. Hook the second (unclosed) lock into the opposite z-bars all along the length of the cap. Once it's completely clipped in, use your hands to close the opened lock (lip) on one side of the cap, as well as then utilizing the hand seamer crimp both sides of the cap

Take the next section of the ridge cap, as well as cut of about 3? of locks at one end of the cap. Don't cut along the center. Apply two lines of caulking where the connection between two pieces will be made ad install second piece the same way you did with the first, utilizing the end where you cut off 3 inches of lock, to overlap the 1st piece. Don't use any screws. The connection should be watertight as well as it will not leak

Once all your ridge cap is in place, your roof is pretty much complete. If you've the stack or bathroom vent pipes, I'll show you how to flash them the right way in the next post. In the mean time, if you live in the snow country, you may want to have some snow-guards installed. Visit Berger, to find the style of snow-guards you like, as well as locate the supplier to buy it from


Hope you enjoyed reading this post, as well as that you found the information helpful. As a word of precaution, always remember to safety-in utilizing a proper fall arrest equipment as well as anchoring methods. Never ever work alone