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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Feb 12, 2020 8:00 AM

Which metal roof panels are best for my home?

The trend is clear - homeowners across the country are replacing their shingle roofs with metal. The reasons are numerous, but one of the biggest is that it’s just easier. After switching to metal roofing, homeowners no longer have the hassle of frequently replacing (and budgeting!) new shingles due to wind damage, hail, or simply deterioration from the sun. Shingles just don’t deliver enough value to meet the standards of today's discerning homeowners.


Metal roofing, on the other hand, offers much better resistance to weather and environmental conditions and it also boasts a significantly longer service life.

As a bonus, it's even more environmentally friendly than shingles. And your choices with metal are almost limitless! From aesthetics to color to different price levels, metal roofing puts you squarely in control.

If you’re ready to learn more about the idea of using metal roofing for your home, we’d love to help.

For starters, let’s look at the two basic “types” of metal roofing: Exposed fastened and standing seam.

Exposed Fastener Metal Roof Panels

Exposed fastener roofing consists of overlapping panels that are fastened directly to the roof deck or framing through the face of the metal panel This type of metal roofing is defined as “exposed” because the fastener head remains visible once installed. Don’t worry, they still look great because the fastener heads are painted the same color as the roofing panels to help them blend in. Typically exposed fastener panels are 36” wide, which means that fewer panels and less labor will be necessary to complete your project. Consequently, exposed fastener panels are the most economical form of metal roofing.

While the product family is called exposed fastener panels, there are numerous different shapes or profiles within that family. Each delivers the outstanding value of metal roofing but with different aesthetic options.

Max-Rib is a low-profile panel well suited to most residential applications. Take a look at Max-Rib Ultra - featuring a Galvalume® substrate with Kynar 500® (PVDF) coating. This is the preferred panel for residential roofs and any building where owners are concerned about the quality and long-term performance of their roof.

Want to explore other options? See all of the exposed metal roofing panel options here.

Concealed Fastener Metal Roof Panels

For homeowners that don’t want to see the screws used in exposed fastener roof systems, there are other options.  Standing seam (or concealed fastener) systems are rapidly gaining in popularity. For residential applications, the most common panel style in this product family is installed by inserting a screw through a hidden clip or pre-punched flange and then fastening it to the deck below. Then the next panel simply snaps over the top. Another sub-family of products in this category requires the use of a machine to physically seam the panels together during installation. This style is referred to as mechanically seamed. While mechanically seamed panels provide greater strength and wind uplift capabilities than snap-together panels, they also represent the highest price point of metal roofing so they tend to be used only in coastal/hurricane environments where uplift values are critical.

Regardless of the panel style and attachment method, standing seam roofs allow panels to expand and contract with changing temperatures, helping them to last longer and cause less wear and tear on the roof deck than the exposed fastened style panels.

There are a number of types of standing seam metal roof panels including:

Meridian - These panels look great and because they are “clipless” and install by putting a screw through a pre-punched flange instead of a clip, installation is super quick and cost-effective. Then the next panel simply snaps over the top to hide the flange/screw connection.

Instaloc - For homeowners looking for an economical option installed with “clips” instead of a pre-punched flange like the Meridian mentioned above, Instaloc is a great option.

138 T & 238 T - These metal roofing systems are classified as symmetrical standing seam systems and offer many advantages including patented recover solutions featuring the industry's best method to recover existing metal or shingle roofs. Recovering a roof instead of replacing it saves a lot of time and money and delivers additional benefits in terms of energy savings and durability. Not to mention, you’re not adding more waste to the landfill!

See all of the standing seam/concealed fastener options here.


With so many metal roofing options available today, any home can look great with a metal roof. In addition to a variety of colors, most manufacturers also have a wide selection of different panel styles.  If a vertical seam panel running from eave to ridge (bottom to top) is not right for you, there are metal options that simulate shingles, slate, cedar and tile roofs. We know there are a lot of options and choices to make when considering a metal roof for your home. That is why we offer the McElroy Metal Visualizer.

shingle-vs-metalUse the McElroy Metal Visualizer to see sample projects using all of the types of metal roof panels available as well as the colors and styles currently in production.

You can also upload a photo of your home and develop a do-it-yourself custom image of your home using any number of metal roof panel styles and colors.

In closing, while we focused mostly on the look of your new metal roof in this post, you also have some important decisions to make about the product that you don’t necessarily see. The metal substrate, paint system, and finding the best installer, all have a direct impact on how long your new metal roof will last. To learn more about these important topics, check out our free ebook.

Metal Roofing is an option many forward-thinking homeowners are considering. If you want to install the last roof you will ever need - make it a metal roof.

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Learn everything you need to know about Residential Metal Roofing. Check out our metal roofing resources for inspiration and answers to your questions.

About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.

Topics: Metal Roofing, Exposed Fastener Panels, Standing Seam Systems, Concealed Fastener Panels, FAQ, Residential, 138T and 238T, Max-Rib, Meridian, Instaloc

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