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Curved Metal Roofing: Benefits And Considerations
Lauren Risotto

By: Lauren Risotto on November 24th, 2021

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Curved Metal Roofing: Benefits And Considerations

While some roofs are merely installed for function, there are others that are designed with style being just as important as performance. There is arguably no better example of a roofing material that has desirable looks and function than a curved metal roof. While curved metal roofs used to be more commonly seen on a commercial building, they are now gaining popularity in the residential space as well.


Convex curved corrugated metal roof

Convex curved corrugated metal roof

At Western States Metal Roofing, we don’t offer curved metal roofing panels, but we’re here to answer your questions. In this article, we go over the pros and cons of installing a curved metal roof on your home or building.

What Is A Curved Metal Roof?

A curved metal roof, as known as a radius roof, has an arched appearance that has become a more popular option in residential roofing. Unlike traditional roofs, they do not have an angular or flat pitch. The aesthetic of an arched roof has a modern appearance that is being preferred more often in contemporary architecture. 

Curved metal roofs can be installed over a solid deck or open framing. They can be used to cover an entire roof or just for part of it as a roof accent. In residential applications, it’s more common to see curved metal roofing used as an accent over bay windows, porches, or entryways as opposed to the entire roof. A curved metal roof over the entire roof is more commonly seen on public buildings such as churches, aviation buildings, arenas, convention centers as well as other retail locations.

Types Of Curved Roofing

Sometimes referred to as “round roofs”, curved roofs can be made to be concave, convex. Nearly all curved roofs have a concave curve which resembles an upside down “U”, but once in a while you will come across a convex roof. Convex roofs, as shown in the gray corrugated picture above, kind of resemble the shape of a wave.

What Direction Do You Curve Metal Panels?

Metal roofing panels can be curved in two different directions, the hard way and the easy way.


Curving Panels In The Hard Direction

Nearly all curved roof panels will be done in the hard direction. This means that the curve is from ridge to eave.

  • Advantage - The curve is in the same direction as the roof pitch. This will funnel water off of the roof.
  • Disadvantage - It’s expensive to curve a panel this way.

Curving Panels In The Easy Direction

It’s also possible to curve metal roofing in the easy direction. This means that the curve runs from gable to gable. It would be highly unusual to see this on a roof.

  • Advantage - If the curve is not that severe, the panels may be able to naturally bend and conform to the roof curve. This will save you a lot of money.
  • Disadvantage - The curve will be in the opposite direction of the roof pitch. This will create problems with your water run off.

How Much Does Curved Roofing Cost?

Curved metal roofing is expensive. In small quantities, the cost of curving is usually more expensive than the roofing panels. In larger quantities, it will increase the overall materials cost by a minimum of one dollar per square foot or more. In addition, your shipping and labor cost will be significantly more expensive.


What’s The Availability Of A Curved Roof?

Curving metal roofing panels requires expensive machinery and it’s labor intensive. Furthermore, only a small fraction of metal roofs are curved. Therefore, it’s difficult to find a metal roofing supplier that has the capability to curve your panels. Some companies will offer this service, but your options are extremely limited.


How Is Curved Metal Roofing Made?

A curved roof panel is made in a similar way to other metal panels where each steel sheet goes through a roll forming machine to form its profile. The main difference is the metal panels are then sent through a radius machine that bends each roofing panel to give them the desired curved shape. 


What Are The Benefits Of A Curved Metal Roof?

  • Aesthetic Appeal
  • Durability
  • Energy Efficient
  • Low Maintenance

Aesthetic Appeal

Without question, the greatest benefit of a curved roof is its dramatic visual appeal. An arched metal roof becomes the highlight feature of any architectural design. While their unique appearance is gaining popularity, curved metal roofs are still not very common which makes them even more striking and unusual. As an accent, they bring a textural contrast especially when the rest of the roof is flatter.

Concave curved standing seam metal roof in a Corten® finish

Concave curved standing seam metal roof in a Corten® finish


You may wonder if the arched shaping has a negative impact on the durability of the metal roof. Good news- a radius metal roof has the same strength, impact resistance, rot resistance, thickness, and fire rating as any other type of metal roofing. Metal is a malleable material that can be bent and shaped without having any negative impact on the structural integrity of the metal.

Energy Efficiency 

Similar to durability, arched-style metal roofing has the same energy efficiency and eco-friendly qualities as traditional metal roofing. A curved metal roof can potentially lower your heating and cooling costs.

Low Maintenance

Just like a standard metal roof, whether its steel, copper, or aluminum, a curved metal roof is easy to maintain. With occasional inspections and maintenance as needed, your roof will enjoy a long life span of 40-60+ years.


Curved Metal Roofing Considerations

  • Transportation Issues
  • Snow Retention System Required
  • More Difficult Installation

Transportation Issues

Because of its arched shape, curved metal panels take up more space than a traditional metal panel. This can lead to increased freight costs. In order to avoid these issues or the possibility of the panels being damaged during transport, some opt for on-site roll forming where the panels are curved at the job location.

Installing Snow Retention Systems In Certain Climates

Metal roof systems already have a slicker surface compared to other roofing materials like asphalt shingles. In addition to the surface texture, a radius roof also has curving that allows precipitation to come off the roof at an accelerated speed especially if the roof pitch is high. This makes it harder for snow and ice to accumulate on the roof surface which is a benefit as it helps prevent leaks. However, it can also be a hazard if the roof does not have a snow retention system. Falling snow or ice can cause a snow avalanche that can injure someone or damage any property below. 


snow retention systems

If a curved metal roof is being installed in snow country or an area that receives snow throughout the year, a snow retention system should also be installed as a safety precaution.

Difficult Installation

The installation of a curved metal roof is more complex and time consuming than a standard pitch metal roof. To ensure the longevity of your roof is not compromised, be sure to hire a licensed and experienced metal roofing contractor that is familiar with installing curved metal panels.


Choosing The Right Metal Panel For Your Roof

Whether you decide on making your new metal roof curved or not curved, you will need to choose the right panel profile. Metal roofs are either made from corrugated panels or standing seam panels. There are major differences between the two in terms of cost, installation, appearance and performance. 

Discover more about each type of metal roof by reading: 

Corrugated Metal Roofing v. Standing Seam (Pros & Cons)


Three Types Of Standing Seam


Corrugated Metal Roofing: The Ultimate Homeowners Guide

About Lauren Risotto

Lauren is the Content Manager at Western States Metal Roofing and provides insight on content creation and product promotions.