In the previous five years, metal roofing has become incredibly popular in the residential roofing market. Homeowners are now more curious than ever to find out if this recent surge in popularity is right for them.

The key to finding the perfect metal roofing option is to ask yourself, “Which metal roof suits your needs?” At Shumaker Roofing, we recognize how important this choice is. For this reason, we’re committed to helping you choose the option that best suits your needs and tastes during the choosing process.

Our staff at Shumaker Roofing has been proudly empowering homeowners to make wise decisions for over 70 years by simply delivering clear and accurate information. To help you make a decision, I will compare the two types of metal roofs based on important factors. 

The following queries are addressed in this article:

  • What are the two metal roofing types?
  • Is a screw-down or standing seam metal roof better for you?
  • What kind of metal roofing is ideal for residential use?

two types of metal roofing: standing seam and corrugated metal roofing

What are the two metal roofing types?

Let’s first discuss the differences between the two main residential metal roof systems: screw-down panels and standing seam systems, before getting into the important differences. Comprehending their unique attributes facilitates a more perceptive juxtaposition, empowering homeowners to make knowledgeable choices suited to their individual roofing requirements.

What is a standing seam metal roof?

A standing seam metal roof comprises interconnected panels, secured seamlessly or mechanically, concealing fasteners beneath the surface. Often termed a “hidden fastener metal roof,” this design ensures a sleek, unblemished appearance. Its seamless integration enhances both aesthetic appeal and structural integrity, making it a preferred choice for discerning homeowners.

Securing panels with clips beneath ribs, and standing seams facilitates seamless expansion and contraction, a pivotal feature in adapting to temperature fluctuations. This design ensures structural integrity while accommodating environmental changes, showcasing the meticulous engineering behind metal roofing systems.

What is a screw down metal roof?

The screw down panel metal roof, known as the exposed fastener system, comprises panels secured directly to the decking through the metal. Its moniker originates from the visible screws and washers atop the panels. This robust roofing solution offers durability and ease of installation, making it a popular choice for many property owners.

The panels can’t expand and contract freely because they are screwed down. Over time, this leads to the wallowing out of the washers, which backs the screw out of the panels (more on this later). 

Screw Down Metal Roof" and a "Standing Seam Metal Roof

Screw Down Metal Roof Vs. Standing Seam Metal Roof

Now that you have a basic understanding of the many kinds of metal roofing, let’s compare and contrast them to see what makes them stand out. While both have admirable qualities, there are clear differences between them so you can make an informed decision based on your own requirements and tastes.

The article’s remaining sections contrast the two kinds of metal roofs based on the following:

  • Maintenance
  • Curb appeal
  • Lifespan
  • Oil canning
  • Warranties
  • Cost

What kind of metal roof is suitable for oil canning?

Oil canning, a common occurrence in metal roofing, arises when panels experience strain during expansion and contraction cycles. This visual distortion resembles the waviness seen in stacked cans, hence the term. Understanding this phenomenon is vital for maintaining the structural integrity and aesthetic appeal of your metal roof.

Initially, tiny bubbles emerge on the surface, gradually expanding into widespread bubbling, ultimately resulting in the phenomenon known as oil canning. Fortunately, this primarily affects appearance rather than functionality, posing minimal operational concerns.

Considering the nuances, standing seam metal roofs may exhibit oil canning, unlike screw-down panels, which are inherently resistant due to their rib density. The structural intricacies play a pivotal role, with screw-down variants boasting a design that effectively mitigates the phenomenon, ensuring lasting aesthetic appeal and functionality.

On standing seam metal roofs, however, it is a regular occurrence for the panels to be fitted excessively tightly prior to the clips being attached. The oil canning process begins since there is no space for expansion sideways. 

Which kind of metal roofing looks better from the curb?

Regardless of the roofing material, investing in a new roof inevitably enhances your home’s curb appeal. Yet, the degree of improvement varies, a truth mirrored in the diverse impacts of the two distinct types of metal roofs. It’s all about understanding the nuances to make the most of your upgrade.

While subjective, the aesthetic appeal of a standing seam metal roof eclipses that of a screw-down alternative. The seamless design conceals fasteners, enhancing visual elegance. Opting for a standing seam roof elevates curb appeal, boasting a sleek appearance that exudes sophistication and modernity, a testament to superior craftsmanship and attention to detail.

But premium metals like copper, stainless steel, zinc, and so forth are also better suited for standing seam metal roofing. You’re not going to spend a lot of money on a metal choice only to screw through it, after all. 

What is the longest-lasting kind of metal roof?

When contemplating the benefits of installing a new metal roof, it’s essential to consider the dual facets of return: financial gain upon resale and the extended lifespan it offers. Notably, the longevity of each metal roof variant varies significantly, underscoring the importance of informed decision-making in roofing investments.

When installed carefully and maintained on a regular basis, a screw-down metal roof can last up to twenty years. But with careful maintenance, you can make it last an amazing thirty years. Accept maintenance to maximize the return on your investment and have peace of mind for many years to come.

A standing seam metal roof boasts impressive longevity, typically enduring for a minimum of 30 years and potentially stretching to an impressive 50-year lifespan under optimal conditions. This durability underscores its value as a long-term investment in safeguarding your property against the elements.

A standing seam metal roof is the only roof you’ll ever need, provided it is fitted correctly and the painted finish is preserved during installation.

Which kind of metal roofing comes with the best warranty?

Metal roofs boast material warranties covering the protective paint coating applied to their panels. This coating serves as a shield against elemental wear and tear, preserving your chosen color from premature fading. It’s a crucial assurance ensuring your roof’s longevity and aesthetic appeal remain intact over time.

The paint guarantee on a screw down metal roof is contingent upon the type of painted finish that a particular manufacturer uses. So, extending the material warranty by a certain number of years is difficult. 

Experience the timeless charm of steel standing seam metal roofs, which include a durable 30-year warranty on the Kynar 500 painted finish. After this period of time, the painted veneer remains, providing long-term protection and visual appeal. With our resilient roofing solutions, you can put your trust in durability that goes beyond guarantees.

Remember that this is for steel panels, the most popular metal for roofing made of metal. Therefore, since there is no painted finish, there will be no material warranty on copper or any other premium metal.

Which kind of metal roofing needs less maintenance? 

Maintaining your roof is essential for its longevity. While all roofs require upkeep, screw down metal roofs demand more attention compared to standing seam metal roofs. At Shumaker Roofing, we emphasize the importance of tailored maintenance strategies to ensure optimal functionality and durability for your roofing investment.

For a standing seam roof, occasional upkeep around penetrations like vent pipes and gas pipes, coupled with debris clearance, suffices, while cleaning remains optional. Conversely, screw-down metal roofs demand scheduled maintenance to replace screws. Each maintenance task ensures prolonged durability and optimal performance, safeguarding your roofing investment.

This is because the screws wallow out of the washer holes because of the pressure placed on the screwed-down metal panels during their thermal expansion. Before leaks appear or a severe storm totally tears off the roof, you will need to repair the screws on a regular basis (every five to ten years).

What is the cost of the two kinds of metal roofs?

Investing in a metal roof demands careful consideration, with cost being a significant factor. While a screw-down metal roof offers affordability at approximately $4.50 per square foot, opting for a standing seam alternative entails a higher investment of around $15.00 per square foot. Understanding these differences is crucial for informed decision-making.

The substantial cost variance primarily stems from elevated labor and material expenses, necessitated by the thicker gauge of metal, additional components, and the intricate installation process. Regrettably, the reality remains that many homeowners find themselves constrained by budgetary limitations when considering the investment in a standing seam metal roof.

If you do, though, the substantial expenditure is justified by the near-zero upkeep and peace of mind it will provide for the following 50 years. Additionally, accenting specific portions of an asphalt shingle roof is a terrific option if you are unable to buy a complete roof system.

What kind of metal roofing is ideal for residential use?

A standing seam metal roof is, in my opinion, the superior choice for metal roofing. However, depending on the circumstances, any kind of metal roof can be an excellent choice for residential roofing. 

If you’re installing a metal roof over a hot area, I usually advise going with a standing seam design. This is merely due to the limited expansion capacity of a screw-down metal roof. 

As the metal panels undergo thermal expansion and contraction cycles, the screws face increased pressure, hastening their deterioration. Consequently, frequent screw replacement becomes inevitable, heightening the risk of potential leaks. Investing in timely screw maintenance is crucial to mitigate this risk and uphold the structural integrity of your roof.

I advise just installing this kind of metal roof system over a carport, garage, back screened-in porch, barn, or any other non-living or non-workspace area.

a modern residential home with a metal roof

Would you benefit from a metal roof?

After reading this article, you now have a better understanding of the features that set the two types of metal roofing apart, which will help you make a decision. I’ve also offered my professional advice, outlining the best cases for every kind of roofing so you may make decisions that are customized to your own requirements.

As previously said, both metal roof systems are excellent choices if properly built and maintained. There is truly no wrong choice, so make the one that’s best for you. 


Metal roofs are becoming more and more popular in the residential roofing market, which has homeowners thinking about their feasibility. Our goal at Shumaker Roofing is to support you in making this choice. We offer lucid insights to assist you in selecting between screw-down and standing seam metal roofing based on our more than seven decades of experience. Important factors including upkeep, curb appearance, lifetime, oil canning, warranties, and price are all included in our comparison. Equipped with this understanding, homeowners may choose the roofing solution that best suits their unique requirements and tastes with assurance. Trust Shumaker Roofing to guide you toward a decision that ensures lasting satisfaction and peace of mind for your home’s future.

FAQs: Metal Roofs – Screw Down Vs. Standing Seam

  • What are the main differences between screw-down and standing seam metal roofs?
      • Screw-down roofs are secured with visible screws directly to the decking, while standing seam roofs have concealed fasteners beneath interlocking panels, providing a seamless appearance. 
  • Which type of metal roof offers better durability: screw-down or standing seam?
      • Standing seam metal roofs typically offer better durability due to their concealed fasteners and interlocking panels, reducing the risk of water infiltration and structural damage over time.
  • How do maintenance requirements compare between screw-down and standing seam metal roofs?
      • Screw-down metal roofs may require periodic screw replacement to prevent leaks while standing seam roofs generally require less maintenance due to their concealed fasteners and more secure installation.
  • What factors influence the cost disparity between screw-down and standing seam metal roofs?
      • The cost disparity is influenced by factors such as material quality, installation complexity, and aesthetic appeal, with standing seam roofs often being more expensive due to higher-quality materials and specialized installation methods.
  • Which type of metal roof is more suitable for residential use, and what are the key considerations for homeowners in choosing between them?
    • Standing seam metal roofs are typically more suitable for residential use due to their superior durability, aesthetics, and longer lifespan. However, homeowners should consider factors such as budget, maintenance preferences, and architectural style when choosing between screw-down and standing seam options.