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Metal Roofs For Houses: Colors, Panels, And Design
Lauren Risotto

By: Lauren Risotto on November 17th, 2021

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Metal Roofs For Houses: Colors, Panels, And Design

Have you seen more metal roofs popping up in your neighborhood? If the answer is yes, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that metal roofs have quickly become the second most popular roofing material in the United States, with only asphalt shingle roofing being more common. 

Unlike a shingle roof, the metal roof category has plenty of variety in style, design and colors within it. If you ask two people to visualize a metal roof, they will probably picture two very different looking roofs because there are so many different metal aesthetics. While the appearance of some metal roofs work perfectly on a traditional home, others may appear too industrial to blend in with a white picket fence.

At Western States Metal Roofing, we manufacture metal roofing and siding panels that are used on residential and commercial properties. We work directly with homeowners, contractors and architects and see the trends of which type of metal roofing panels are being used most often on houses.


metal roof for houses

In this article, we go over the best metal panels and colors for residential roofing, and include plenty of photos to give you some metal roof design inspiration.

What Are The Types Of Metal Roofing?

When we refer to “metal”, it’s important to note that we are actually referring to steel. There are other types of metal that are used as roofing materials, however steel is the most common type of metal roof system for houses because of its comparably lower cost vs. a copper roof or aluminum roof.

Types Of Metal Roofing include: 

Learn more about the different types of metal roofs by watching our video below:

Metal Roof Designs For Houses

A metal roof’s life expectancy is between 40-60 years or sometimes longer. This makes the metal roof design you choose even more important because you’re most likely going to be looking at the roof for the rest of your life, or at least for as long as you own your home.

Metal roof design starts with the panel profile you choose. This is the shape that the metal is formed into. For residential roofing, we see three kinds of metal panels used more frequently than others.

Metal Panel Profiles For Houses

  • Standing Seam
  • ⅞” Corrugated
  • R Panel

Standing Seam Metal Roofing For Houses


standing seam metal roofing for houses

Standing seam roofs is the gold standard for metal roofing and our top pick for metal roof. It’s the most expensive type of metal roof on this list so it will not be the right fit for everyone. However, a standing seam roof comes with extra benefits compared to the other metal roof systems. We discuss these unique benefits below.

The Benefits Of Standing Seam Roofing

  • Curb Appeal
  • Extra Weathertightness/ High Quality Performance
  • Less Maintenance Than Exposed Fastener Systems
  • Compatibility With Low Sloped Roofing
Standing Seam Roofs Have Exceptional Curb Appeal

Standing seam has unbeatable curb appeal. This metal roofing style is often featured on luxury homes and buildings. Concealed fasteners make for clean lines and a stylish, modern appearance.

standing seam roofing

Standing Seam Offers Higher Quality Performance

A standing seam roof has a higher quality performance over your other metal roofing options. It is more weathertight and is less likely to leak because of the concealed fastener system. A more weathertight roof means less chances of leaks and water damage that can cause problems to your roof that will need to be repaired.

Mechanically standing seam roofs are the preferred low slope metal roofing system and for areas such as snow country that face harsh weather conditions where a durable roof is required.


There Is Less Maintenance With A Standing Seam Roof

Standing seam panels will also require less maintenance than other types of metal roofing systems. Because the fasteners are concealed they're not exposed to the weather. You don't have to worry about the sealing washers failing, loosened screws, or broken fasteners. 


Standing Seam Roofing Is Compatible With Low Slope Roofing

Roof pitch can often dictate what kind of roof is suitable for your home. Standing seam is a great roofing choice if you have a low sloped roof. It can be installed on a slope that is as low as 1:12 pitch because of its weather tightness and resistance to leaks. By contrast, other panels on this list are exposed fastener panels and should not be installed on a roof that is less than a 3:12 pitch.

There are three types of standing seam panels. Learn about the differences below:

Three Types Of Standing Seam


⅞” Corrugated Metal Roofing For Houses

corrugated metal roofing for houses

⅞” corrugated is our best selling metal roofing panel. With 7/8 “ corrugated, you get a durable, rot-resistant, long-lasting new metal roof at a much lower cost than standing seam. Corrugated panels are also a great choice for homeowners that want to install their own roofs or simply want their panels quickly.

Benefits of 7/8" Corrugated Metal Roofing

  • Affordability
  • Helps Disguise Oil Canning
  • Easy To Install
  • Readily Available
⅞” Corrugated Metal Roofing Is More Affordable
  • Materials: Range between $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot.
  • Installation: Averages $5.00 to $8.00 per square foot.

You can expect your total cost including material and installation to be in the range of $7.00 to $12.00 per square foot. That’s about half the price of a standing seam roof.


⅞” Corrugated Hides Oil Canning

If you’ve been researching metal roofs for a while, you’ve probably come across the term “oil canning at some point. This refers to the appearance of wrinkles or waves forming on a roof. It’s the natural result of the expansion and contraction of metal.

It’s a byproduct of working with metal that is unfortunately unavoidable. Luckily, ⅞” corrugated is an excellent panel choice to help disguise oil canning.

⅞” corrugated panels are designed to be wavy. If any additional waves formed from oil canning, it likely wouldn’t even be noticeable. Oil canning is much more obvious on flat surfaces.


7/8" Corrugated Is Easy To Install And DIY Friendly

These panels are widely regarded as being one of the simplest metal roof panels to install, so ⅞” corrugated is a favorite among homeowners that like to do home renovation projects themselves. By going this route, you also save money on installation costs.


7/8" Corrugated Are In Stock And Readily Available Panels

If you’re really in a hurry for a new roof and don’t like waiting for the long lead times of other roofing panels, then you’ll appreciate ⅞” corrugated. They are the most readily available metal panels on the market and are carried in stock at most home improvement stores.

While the color selection and gauge size of the panels is more limited in-store, you’re able to have the panels in your possession much faster this way than by ordering from a manufacturer. Manufacturer deliveries can take up to two weeks depending on where you are located.

For more information on corrugated metal roofing, download a free copy of our Corrugated Metal Homeowners guide.

Corrugated Metal Roofing: The Ultimate Homeowners Guide


R Panel Metal Roofing For Houses

R Panel in Country Red

R Panel In Country Red

R-Panel And PBR Panels

We believe R-Panel is the nicest metal panel at the lowest price point. R-Panel is even slightly less than ⅞” Corrugated and has a stylish appearance that is similar to standing seam.

R-Panel has raised ribs with flat areas in between each rib. Even though it’s an exposed fastener panel, its appearance is similar to standing seam and is sometimes even mistakenly referred to as standing seam. While the panels look different up close, they have a similar look from a distance when they are on a roof.

If you like the look of a standing seam roof but are searching for a more economical panel, R-Panel is a great option.

Benefits Of R-Panel

  • Affordability
  • Easy to install and DIY friendly
R-Panel Is An Affordable Metal Panel

This panel brings you all the benefits of a metal roof at a lower cost than the other panels on our list.

An R-Panel roof will generally cost $2.50 - $3.50 per square foot for material. Installation cost averages $5.00 to $8.00 per square foot.

R-Panel can be about 15% less than ⅞” corrugated and is at least 50% less than standing seam panels.


R Panel Is Easy To Install

Similar to ⅞” corrugated, R Panel is an exposed fastener panel which requires less time, tools, and experience when it comes to installation. It’s a more convenient panel when you are looking to do the installation yourself and want a more simple installation process.


Learn more about R Panel by reading:

What Is R Panel? Definition, Cost, And Colors

Metal Roof Colors For Houses

Once you choose your panel profile, the next big decision is what metal roof color you are going to choose. Most metal roofs for houses are installed in neutral tones such as gray, black, or beige. However, some homes choose a vibrant roof color such as green as well. Metal roofing comes in over 100 standard and specialty colors so you have plenty of options.

Metal roofing color choices include:

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For residential roofing, we recommend taking the following factors into consideration when choosing your metal roof color:

  • The Geographical Location Of Your Home
  • Surrounding Features On Your Property
  • The Overall Aesthetic Of Your Home
  • Neighborhood Trends
  • HOA Restrictions (if applicable)

We go over all of this and more in our "How To Choose A Metal Roofing Color" guide. Click below to download your free copy.

Download Your Free Metal Roofing Color Guide

Metal Roofing Pictures

A great way to get some design inspiration for your new roof is to check out different photos of metal roofing. We highly recommend looking at our gallery of metal roofing pictures which includes a wide variety of metal roofs in different colors and styles including corrugated metal roofing and standing seam roofing. 


Use A Color Visualizer To Pick Out Your Metal Roof

If you like the way a certain metal roofing material looks but aren’t sure how it would look on your house, there's now a way to try it out before installing the roof. 

A roof color visualizer is a free software program that Western States Metal Roofing offers where you can upload a photo of your home and digitally try out different metal panels and colors on your roof (and siding) to get the best idea of how each combination will look.

Color & Product Visualizer


standing seam metal roof

What’s The Best Residential Metal Roof Type For You?

All of these panels made our list because we believe they provide lasting value to our customers. However, each panel provides value in a different way.

  • Standing seam is an excellent roofing option for homeowners working with a larger budget that want a modern looking and most long lasting new roof.
  • ⅞ Corrugated is a great economical roofing choice with a wavy appearance that makes it the best panel for disguising oil canning. It is a good fit for DIY enthusiasts as it’s easy to install.
  • R-Panel is the most affordable roofing choice of the three options and is a great option when looking for an economical roofing panel. It also has a less complex installation process compared to standing seam.

As we mentioned earlier, standing seam is a concealed metal panel while ⅞” corrugated and R- Panel are an exposed fastener panel. Learn more about the differences between the fastening systems by watching our video below: 

Request a Free Color Sample

About Lauren Risotto

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