Steel vs. Copper: Which Metal Roof Is Better?

Steel vs. Copper: Which Metal Roof Is Better?

Metal roofs are a beautiful component of any home or building, and they are a great roofing material. They are extremely durable, come in a variety of colors and styles, and are energy-efficient, making them very modern and favored choices. When it comes to choosing the best metal roof, there are a lot of details and options to consider. We’re going to discuss two popular options for metal roofs to help home and business owners make a better decision for their roof needs: steel and copper.

Steel Metal Roofs

Steel roofs are iconic. The design has withstood the test of time as style trends go, and they have a level of nostalgia attached to them. Steel metal roofs are usually installed using metal sheets or panels that are two to three feet in width. They have seams or ridges that allow the sheets or panels to be fastened together or sealed into place.

Below are some additional pros and cons to help you decide if you want to go the steel metal roof route.


  • Steel lasts a long time, especially when compared to other roofing materials like asphalt shingles (steel roofs can easily last the lifetime of a home or building — 40+ years when taken care of and maintained properly).
  • Steel panels and sheets are typically covered in galvanized antirust coatings that are extremely effective against rust.
  • Steel is a hard metal and makes the roof very durable and impact resistant in areas of extreme weather where hail, for example, might be a problem.
  • Steel is also fire resistant and has high safety ratings.
  • Steel is known as a top energy-efficient material and reflects solar light and heat, saving owners a ton of money on AC bills.
  • Steel is a recycled and recyclable material and is a top green material in the roofing industry.
  • Steel panels and sheets can be painted a variety of different colors.
  • Steel roofs are easier to maintain and prevent mildew as well.
  • Snow and ice tends to flow off and dislodge from steel easier than other styles.


  • Even though steel roofs can be painted different colors, the steel style options are pretty limited to sheets and panels.
  • Although steel panels and sheets are typically covered in galvanized antirust coatings, these coatings do need to be redone and replaced over time to keep a roof rust free.
  • Steel does cost more up front  than other materials.
  • Steel roofs should be installed by a professional team, and DIY installation is not recommended.
  • While nostalgic, steel roofs are noisier than other roofs.

Copper Metal Roofs

Copper roofs truly give homes and buildings a different wow factor. They are considered an ideal investment that impacts a building’s resale value. Copper roofs have also been around for a very long time, and there are some buildings still standing with copper roofs well over 200 years old.

Below are some pros and cons of copper roofs.


  • Copper roofs arguably have one of the highest-rated curb appeals compared to other roofing materials.
  • The oxidizing property of copper changes the look of the roof beautifully over the decades and does not rust.
  • Copper roofs are a lighter metal, which is great for eliminating unnecessary weight on a building.
  • Copper is inflammable, so roofs are rated fire resistant.
  • Copper is also extremely durable and withstands the elements, including high winds and hail.
  • Copper is naturally mildew resistant.
  • Snow and ice are more easily removed from a copper roof.
  • With the proper maintenance and attention, a copper roof has one of the longest life spans of all roofing materials.
  • No additional coating is needed for a copper roof.
  • Copper is also a green material made from recycled materials.


  • Copper is an expensive material, and while the price will vary based on the size of the roof, copper can cost upward of $15+ per square foot (compared to asphalt shingles that are around $3 per square foot).
  • While many owners love that a copper roof oxidizes and changes color naturally over time, some do not (there are no polishes or varnishes to prevent this from happening).
  • Similar to steel, while nostalgic, copper roofs are also noisier than other roofs.
  • Copper roofs are also best installed and maintained by professionals, which can add more labor costs over time vs. DIY.

Serving Residents of Texas

At Paradigm Roofing, we have proudly served the residents and business owners of McKinney, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio for over 30 years. Our team of professional contractors is here to help with your next residential or commercial roofing project.

Give us a call, request a free quote, or visit us at one of our locations to learn more. We specialize in new roof installs, replacements, and repairs and also have siding, ventilation, and insulation services available.