How to Install Metal Roofing Over Shingles: A Step-by-Step Guide

Installing metal roofing over shingles is an excellent way to upgrade your roof’s durability and longevity without the need for a costly and time-consuming shingle removal process. By following the right steps and using the necessary tools and materials, you can successfully install a metal roof over shingles and enjoy the benefits it offers. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through the process, from understanding the benefits to completing the installation and providing tips for maintenance and upkeep.

Benefits of Installing Metal Roofing Over Shingles

Benefits of Installing Metal Roofing Over Shingles

Before diving into the installation process, it’s important to understand the advantages of installing metal roofing over shingles. By doing so, you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right choice for your home.

  1. Cost Savings: One of the primary benefits of installing a metal roof over shingles is the cost savings. Unlike traditional roof replacement, which requires removing the existing shingles, installing metal roofing over shingles eliminates the need for tear-off labor and disposal costs.
  2. Durability and Longevity: Metal roofing is known for its exceptional durability and longevity. While asphalt shingle roofs typically last around 20 years, a well-maintained metal roof can last 50 years or more. By installing metal roofing over shingles, you can extend the life of your roof and enjoy long-term durability.
  3. Energy Efficiency: Metal roofs have excellent energy efficiency properties. They reflect sunlight, reducing heat absorption and keeping your home cooler in the summer months. This can lead to energy savings and lower cooling costs.
  4. Low Maintenance: Metal roofing requires minimal maintenance compared to traditional shingles. It is resistant to rot, insect damage, and fire, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.
  5. Aesthetics: Metal roofing comes in a variety of styles, colors, and finishes, allowing you to choose a look that complements your home’s architecture. It can enhance curb appeal and increase the value of your property.

Essential Tools and Materials

Essential Tools and Materials

Before starting the installation process, gather the necessary tools and materials to ensure a smooth and efficient installation. Here are the essential items you’ll need:

  • Metal roofing panels
  • Underlayment (optional, depending on the condition of the existing shingles)
  • Furring strips or battens (if required for your specific installation method)
  • Roofing screws or nails
  • Roofing felt or synthetic underlayment
  • Foam closure strips
  • Flashing materials
  • Ridge cap
  • Seam sealant
  • Roofing adhesive
  • Safety equipment (gloves, safety glasses, harness, etc.)
  • Power drill or screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk line
  • Roofing snips or shears
  • Ladder or scaffolding

Pre-Installation Preparation

Pre-Installation Preparation

Before installing the metal roofing, it’s important to prepare the roof surface and ensure that the existing shingles are in good condition. Follow these steps to get your roof ready for the installation:

Inspecting and Repairing the Existing Shingles

  1. Inspect the shingles: Check for any signs of damage or deterioration, such as cracks, curling, or missing shingles. Replace any damaged or compromised shingles before proceeding with the installation.
  2. Repair the roof structure: Examine the roof structure for any sagging or signs of damage. Ensure that the roof deck is sturdy and capable of supporting the additional weight of the metal roofing.

Cleaning and Smoothing the Roof Surface

  1. Clean the roof surface: Remove any debris, dirt, or moss from the existing shingles. Use a broom or a leaf blower to clear the surface, ensuring a clean and smooth base for the metal roofing.
  2. Smooth out the shingles: If the shingles have raised edges or any irregularities, use a hammer or a pry bar to flatten them. This will create a more even surface for the metal panels to lay on.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Metal Roofing Over Shingles

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Metal Roofing Over Shingles

Now that your roof is prepared, it’s time to start the installation process. Follow these steps to install metal roofing over shingles:

Installing the Edging

  1. Measure and cut the edging: Measure the length of the roof edges and cut the metal edging accordingly. Ensure a slight overhang to allow for water runoff. Attach the edging to the roof edges using roofing screws or nails, ensuring a secure fit.

Adding Insulation or a Vapor Barrier

  1. Install insulation or a vapor barrier (if required): Depending on your climate and building codes, you may need to add insulation or a vapor barrier between the existing shingles and the metal roofing. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation.

Laying the Metal Panels

  1. Measure and mark the roof: Measure the length of the roof and mark the positions for the metal panels, ensuring proper alignment and spacing. Use a chalk line to create reference lines for easier installation.
  2. Install the first metal panel: Starting from the bottom edge of the roof, align the first metal panel with the reference lines. Use roofing screws or nails to secure the panel to the roof, following the manufacturer’s recommended spacing and fastening pattern.
  3. Continue installing the metal panels: Repeat the process for each subsequent panel, ensuring proper overlap and alignment. Use foam closure strips between the panels to create a weatherproof seal and prevent moisture infiltration.

Securing the Panels and Adding Flashing

  1. Secure the metal panels: Once all the panels are installed, double-check their alignment and secure them with additional roofing screws or nails as needed. Ensure a tight fit to prevent wind uplift and water penetration.
  2. Add flashing: Install flashing around roof penetrations, such as chimneys or vents, to create a watertight seal. Use roofing adhesive or sealant to secure the flashing and prevent leaks.

Tips and Best Practices

To ensure a successful installation, consider these tips and best practices:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific metal roofing product you are using.
  • Work in small sections to maintain control and accuracy during the installation process.
  • Use caution when working on steep roofs, and always prioritize safety by using appropriate safety equipment and following proper ladder and scaffolding protocols.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain your metal roof to prolong its lifespan and prevent any potential issues.
  • Consult with a professional roofer or contractor if you are unsure about any aspect of the installation process.

Potential Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

While installing metal roofing over shingles offers numerous benefits, there are potential pitfalls to be aware of. Here are some common challenges and how to avoid them:

  1. Building code restrictions: Check your local building codes to ensure that installing metal roofing over shingles is allowed in your area. Some codes may require the complete removal of the existing shingles.
  2. Inadequate roof structure: Ensure that your roof structure can support the additional weight of the metal roofing. Consult a structural engineer if needed to assess the load-bearing capacity.
  3. Improper fastening: Use the recommended fastening pattern and spacing as specified by the manufacturer. Improper fastening can compromise the roof’s integrity and lead to leaks and damage.
  4. Lack of proper underlayment: While not always required, adding underlayment between the shingles and metal roofing can provide added protection and prevent moisture buildup.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Regular maintenance and upkeep are essential for prolonging the lifespan and performance of your metal roof. Here are some maintenance tips:

  • Remove debris, leaves, and branches regularly to prevent clogging of gutters and drains.
  • Inspect the roof for any signs of damage, such as loose screws or panels, and address them promptly.
  • Clean the roof surface as needed, using a soft-bristle brush or a pressure washer on a low setting.
  • Check the seals around roof penetrations and flashing regularly to ensure they are intact and watertight.

FAQ: Installing Metal Roofing Over Shingles

Can I install metal roofing directly over shingles? Yes, it is possible to install metal roofing directly over shingles, as long as the existing shingles are in good condition and the building codes allow it. However, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for the specific metal roofing product you are using.

What is the best way to put a metal roof over a shingle roof? The best way to install a metal roof over a shingle roof is to follow the proper installation steps, including inspecting and repairing the existing shingles, cleaning and smoothing the roof surface, installing the necessary underlayment or insulation, laying the metal panels, and securing them with appropriate fasteners and flashing.

Do you need underlayment for a metal roof over shingles? While not always required, using underlayment between the shingles and metal roofing can provide added protection against moisture buildup and improve the overall performance of the roof. Consult the manufacturer’s recommendations and local building codes to determine if underlayment is necessary for your specific installation.

Can you put a metal roof over shingles without furring strips? In some cases, furring strips or battens may be required to create a gap between the shingles and metal roofing. This gap allows for proper ventilation and prevents moisture buildup. However, the need for furring strips depends on the specific installation method and the recommendations of the metal roofing manufacturer.


Installing metal roofing over shingles is a cost-effective and efficient way to upgrade your roof’s durability and longevity. By following the step-by-step guide and considering the tips and best practices provided, you can successfully install a metal roof over shingles and enjoy the numerous benefits it offers. Remember to consult with professionals and adhere to local building codes to ensure a safe and proper installation. With proper maintenance and upkeep, your metal roof will provide reliable protection and enhance the aesthetics of your home for years to come.

Remember to always prioritize safety and consult with professionals or experts in the roofing industry for specific advice related to your unique situation. Happy roofing!

Skylar Beamwright

Skylar Beamwright is a notable expert in roofing with over a decade of experience in construction and home improvement. He specializes in diverse roofing systems and has a background in Architectural Engineering. Skylar has implemented innovative roofing solutions, contributed to industry literature, and is a proponent of sustainable building practices. He is respected for his commitment to excellence, knowledge-sharing, and providing insights that empower homeowners and professionals in making informed roofing decisions. Skylar is also passionate about eco-friendly materials and technologies.

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