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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Mar 8, 2022 1:00 PM

Residential Standing Seam Roof Panel Installation

For homeowners interested in environmentally friendly roofing options, metal roofing is often considered the product to beat. Since metal roofs routinely last 2-3 times longer than shingles, they’ve become an increasingly popular choice for residential applications.

Beyond their long life, though, metal roofs also offer reduced heating and cooling costs, greater recycling opportunities, and much higher resistance to the increasingly common wraths of mother nature.

As might be expected with the outstanding benefits, metal roofing can cost more to purchase initially than shingles; however, cost comparisons over the life of ownership show it to be the most economical roofing product available. To learn more about the costs of metal roofing, check this out.

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to install the product yourself, or a contractor looking to pick up some tips, you’ll probably find this installation video of our Meridian panel helpful. 


While demonstrating the steps to a successful metal roof installation, our video also hits on critical elements like product selection, system design, ordering tips, and things to consider before starting the installation. Beyond that, it's full of practical easy to implement tips for both contractors and do-it-yourself installers.

Product Selection

It’s important to realize that the decision-making process isn’t finished once you’ve decided to purchase a metal roof.  You’ll need to consider things like paint systems, panel thickness (or gauge), and panel style.  Our residential eBook addresses all of those questions and more.  Download it here!

Learn everything you need to know about Residential Metal Roofing.

System Design

It’s also important to consider how you want the overall system to function. The topic of system design covers everything from ventilation to attachment methods. For example, our video does a great job of showing the option of folding (or eave notching) the panels at the eave to avoid exposed fasteners in the system.

While eave notching the panels may cost a bit more (usually about $0.50 per panel), it offers tremendous labor savings during installation. Additionally, the finished roof looks much cleaner and more professional than those with panels field notched during installation.  

Ordering Tips

Our video also highlights some things to consider before placing an order for metal roof panels. For example, most manufacturers will produce the eave trim (also called drip edge) to match the roof's pitch.

But without the necessary information, manufacturers often revert to a standard design.  When the eave trim doesn’t match the slope of the roof deck, it can result in poor panel attachment at the eave.  It can also cause water to pond at the eave location, leading to issues down the road.  

Another tip we share in our video is to order trim in the longest lengths possible instead of reverting to the standard 10’ trim length that most manufacturers offer.  While the trim might cost a little more, the labor savings (since you won’t have to create a lap condition between two shorter pieces) typically offset the higher material price. 

Additionally, and perhaps even more importantly, using one-piece trim eliminates the potential for leaks at trim laps. 

Lastly, if you’re interested in some helpful tips to determine panel length, we also address those in our video.  

Before Installation

Before starting metal roof panel installation, it’s also important to consider roofing underlayments and your panel layout.

Roofing underlayment is an essential component in your overall metal roofing system. While most metal panel manufacturers still allow 15 and 30# felt, synthetic underlayments and peel and stick underlayments provide superior protection. Learn more about underlayments.  

It’s also important to develop a panel layout before starting any installation.  While novice installers often opt to start with a full-width panel and simply work their way across the roof, experienced installers begin with the end in mind. 

For example, they may choose to cut 3” off both the first and last panel so that the overall look is more symmetrical than what it would be when starting with a full-width panel.  To see an example of this, watch our video.

Installation Steps

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.  But if you prefer to see the basic steps of metal roof installation in writing, here you go.

  1. Install underlayment over the entire roof deck.
  2. Install the drip edge/eave trim to the deck with pancake head fasteners @12” OC.
  3. Install the rake cleat with pancake head fasteners @12” OC.
  4. Dryfit the first panel and ensure panel squareness to the ridge, rake, etc.
  5. Install the first panel per manufacturer instructions.  For example, our Meridian panel attaches to the roof deck via the pre-punched flange at 16” OC.
  6. After installing the first panel, finish the rake trim by snapping the rake trim into the rake cleat you installed in step 3.  Installing the rake trim at this point saves you from walking back across the finished roof to handle the trim installation.
  7. Install the remaining panels in a similar fashion.
  8. Follow manufacturer installation instructions for conditions at the ridge, high side, tie-in conditions, etc. 

Standing Seam Roof Installation Tips

Over the last 59+ years in business, we’ve learned some tips that can make a big difference when installing a metal roof.  

  • Butyl-based caulks and sealants should be used for optimized performance instead of silicone-based products.
  • If two pieces of metal are placed directly on top of each other capillary action can cause water to wick in between the two pieces and cause a leak.  Instead, place Butyl tape or caulk between the two pieces of metal.  Click here to learn more about metal roofing sealants. 
  • Tap a rubber mallet along the length of the panels from eave to ridge to ensure they are correctly engaged and snapped together. 
  • You’ll need at least two people to help with the installation. (Longer panel lengths may require more people.) One person should be positioned at the eave to ensure the panel stays square and doesn’t sawtooth during installation. The other is positioned at the ridge to ensure proper panel engagement and coverage.
  • Panels and trim usually arrive with a thin layer of adhesive film.  This film helps protect the products during manufacturing and transportation, but it’s essential to remove the film during installation. 
  • Many people refer to parts and pieces in metal roofing with different names. For example, people often use the terms rake and fascia interchangeably.  Ask questions, and don’t be intimidated.
  • When using concealed fastener trim details, ensure the panel is hooked correctly and engaged with the drip edge trim.

While installing metal roofing may require more care and finesse than other options, the techniques aren’t complicated. Some homeowners install metal roofing as a DIY project.

Others hire an experienced professional to install their new metal roof. If you’d like help locating an experienced contractor in your area, check out our website's Find A Contractor page.  

And most importantly, when considering metal roofing for your home, work with a panel manufacturer you can trust. Contact us; we’re here to help! 

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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: Standing Seam Systems, Residential, Installation, Meridian

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