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Proper metal roof ventilation is essential for a healthy indoor environment. Our ProfileVent ventilation products are an intelligent solution for your roof.


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Types Of Corrugated Metal Roofing: ⅞” Corrugated vs ½” Corrugated
Paul Rubio

By: Paul Rubio on March 17th, 2020

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Types Of Corrugated Metal Roofing: ⅞” Corrugated vs ½” Corrugated

Metal | Roofing | Corrugated Roofing

You’re in the process of designing your home and have decided on a corrugated metal roof. Two questions that potential customers want to know is, “What are the types of corrugated roofing? and what's the difference between ⅞” corrugated and ½” corrugated?”. This is actually a very simple question to answer. We will discuss the key differences in detail and do a side by side comparison.

The following factors will help us answer this question.
  • Types of corrugated metal roofing
  • Cost of both corrugated metal roofing panel profiles
  • Which panel is stronger?
  • Ease of installation
  • Available colors and finishes
  • Available sheet lengths
  • Aesthetics

⅞” Corrugated in Streaked Rust


Types Of Corrugated Metal Roofing

The term corrugated metal roofing has been around for a long time. It really has two meanings. The more general definition of corrugated metal roofing is:

  • Any type of metal roofing that's not a standing seam panel

A more specific definition of corrugated metal roofing would be:

  • A wavy or "S" shaped metal roofing panel normally 7/8" or 1/2" deep.

Cost of Corrugated Metal Roofing

When you are looking at the cost of these two types of corrugated metal roofing there are two factors to consider.

  • What is the difference in price per square foot.
  • How much additional material do you have to purchase due to the panel side lap?

How Much Does ⅞” Corrugated Metal Roofing Cost?

⅞” corrugated costs significantly less when compared to ½” corrugated metal roofing. The main factors that will affect the price will be the gauge and type of paint finish. You can expect to pay between $.90 per square ft to $1.50/square foot. When compared to ½” corrugated metal roofing this is a cost savings of 10%-15%.

How Much Does 1/2” Corrugated Metal Roofing Cost?

½” corrugated cost significantly more when compared to ⅞” corrugated metal roofing. The main factors that will affect the price will be the gauge and type of paint finish. You can expect to pay between $1.00 per square ft to $1.75/square foot. When compared to 7/8” corrugated metal roofing there is a cost increase of 10%-15%.


Panel Side Lap For Corrugated Metal Roofingcorrugated-line-drawing-39

1/2" Corrugated
When you purchase corrugated metal roofing you pay for the overall panel width and NOT the coverage of the panel. The overall width of ⅞” corrugated is 39”, but it will only yield 34.67” of roofing coverage. This means that you will have to purchase about 12% additional material because of the panel side lap.
  • The overall width of ½” corrugated is 26”, but it will only yield 21.33” of roofing coverage. This means that you will have to purchase about 23% additional material.
  • When you choose ⅞” corrugated metal roofing you will save 10-15% in panel cost and you will also purchase 11% less material. This equates to a cost savings of 21%-26% simply by choosing ⅞” corrugated instead of ½” corrugated metal roofing.

If you need a better explanation of the panel side lap and the roofing coverages we recommend that you read: What is Corrugated Metal Roofing? A Detailed Definition, Panel Types & Uses


Which Is The Strongest Corrugated Metal Roofing Panel?

When you roll form metal roofing profiles the general rule is that as the height of the panel increases, so does the strength of the panel. The depth of ⅞” corrugated is ⅜” of an inch deeper than ½” corrugated. That is a 38% difference. Therefore, ⅞” corrugated has deeper corrugations making it a stronger panel capable of longer spans.


Corrugated Installation: ⅞” Corrugated vs ½” Corrugated

The method of installation is the same for both panel types. However, ⅞” corrugated is a much wider panel profile so there will be less sheets to install. You will have multiple panels on your roof and each ⅞” corrugated metal roofing panel will yield 34.67” of roofing coverage while the ½” corrugated panel will only yield 21.33” of roofing coverage. There is 60% more roofing coverage when you use a ⅞” corrugated metal roofing panel. This will save you time and labor costs.

You should also consider your roof pitch when you are comparing these two corrugated metal roofing panels. If you have a low slope roof, then a ⅞” deep panel would be better than a panel that is ½” deep. A deeper panel means that you will need a higher water level before the panels begin to leak. We recommend a minimum roof pitch of 3” in 12” for ⅞” corrugated metal roofing panels.

If you need a better explanation of roof pitches than we recommend that you read: How To Determine Roof Pitch


Available Colors And Finishes For Corrugated Metal Roofing

You will have a much wider selection of colors and finishes when you choose ⅞” corrugated metal roofing. Metal suppliers do not like the narrow width of ½” corrugated. You can only use this coil to make one profile.

The opposite is true of the wider coil that is used to manufacture ⅞” corrugated. You have the ability to make additional profiles and it is the perfect width for flat sheets. Therefore, metal roofing suppliers will have a more extensive inventory in ⅞” corrugated.7/8" Corrugated in Matte Musket Gray®⅞” Corrugated in Matte Musket Gray

There are three color charts shown below. If you choose ⅞” corrugated you will be able to pick from all three color charts. However, if you choose ½” corrugated than you will only be able to choose from the SMP painted panels.


Available Sheet Lengths For Corrugated Metal Roofing

This will apply equally to both types. The standard size of the corrugated sheets varies from company to company. If you are buying from a manufacturer the corrugated metal will be made to whatever length that you need. If you purchase corrugated roofing from a distributor they will normally have standard lengths in stock. The most typical lengths are: 8’, 10’, 12’, 16’, 20’.

Which Corrugated Panel Looks Nicer7/8" Corrugated in Matte Black®

⅞” Corrugated in Matte Black

This comes down to personal taste. The corrugation are more pronounced with a ⅞” corrugated. It creates a shadow like appearance and most people prefer this look to the ½” corrugated.

If you like to see a flatter panel than you would prefer the ½” corrugated. In addition, if clearance space is an issue than you may have to go with a panel that is shallower such as a ½” corrugated.


Which Corrugated Metal Roofing Panel Should I Choose?⅞” Corrugated in Matte Dark Bronze

⅞” Corrugated in Matte Dark Bronze


It is rare that when you do a side by side comparison that one product wins or ties every single category. There are only two possible reasons to use ½” corrugated instead of ⅞” corrugated.

  1. You think one looks better than the other.
  2. Height tolerance issues. If you have less than ⅞” of height clearance than ⅞” corrugated will not work.

⅞” Corrugated is a stronger panel, takes less time to install, has a better color selection, and cost 25% less.

Winner: ⅞” Corrugated


Learn More About Corrugated Metal Roofing

The first step in purchasing a metal roof is to determine the panel type. It really comes down to whether you want an exposed fastener panel such as ⅞” Corrugated, PBR Panel, or Western Rib or if you want to a concealed fastener panel such as standing seam. If you decide on a wavy corrugated metal you now have all of the relevant information to determine if ⅞” or ½” deep corrugated is a better fit for your project.

Corrugated Metal Roofing: The Ultimate Homeowners Guide

About Paul Rubio

Paul Rubio is the Vice President and one of the owners of Western States Metal Roofing. He has been in the metal roofing industry for 25 years. WSMR is a manufacturer of metal roofing, wall panels, and metal siding. We have colors and finishes that nobody else has with nearly 100 different colors in stock. Our selection of color options and finishes is likely the largest in the industry.