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Snap Lock Standing Seam: Pros And Cons Plus Cost
Lauren Risotto

By: Lauren Risotto on June 19th, 2020

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Snap Lock Standing Seam: Pros And Cons Plus Cost

Metal | Standing Seam | roof


You’re ready for a new roof. You’ve looked at all of your roofing options and are interested in evaluating standing seam metal roofs. If you’ve made the decision to choose a standing seam metal roof you appreciate the sleek modern look and higher performance, even at a slightly higher price. Once you get to this point, you’re close to having the roof of your dreams, but there’s still another decision to make.

Because there are actually different types of standing seam panels, you have to decide on what type of standing seam you’re looking for.

At Western States Metal Roofing, we manufacture the two different types of standing seam: Snap Lock/ Western Lock and MS2® 2” Deep Mechanically Seamed.

In this article, we are going to help you decide if a Snap Lock standing seam panel is the right roofing choice for you.


What Is Snap Lock?

Snap Lock is a standing seam metal roof panel that has a male and female leg that snap together. The biggest difference between this and a mechanically seamed standing seam panel is the way that it’s installed.


Snap Lock standing seam


A clip is used to attach the panel to the roof deck and fastens underneath the panel and out of view to keep the clean look of a standing seam roof.


Advantages Of Snap Lock Metal Roofing

  • Leak resistance
  • Durability
  • Low maintenance
  • Curb appeal
  • Easier to install



Snap Lock standing seam panels are attached with clips that attach to the panel. You will not have any fasteners that penetrate the panel. This eliminates screw holes which can cause leaks.



Standing seam roofs are designed to last 40 to 60+ years. The system as a whole is intended to last you a lifetime. It’s made from a heavy 24 gauge steel with the best paint system.


Low Maintenance

As long as the installation is done correctly, Snap Lock roofing systems require minimal maintenance to continue to function properly. The biggest step to take in maintaining any kind of metal roof is to perform routine inspections to prevent any forming problems from becoming more severe issues.

You can read about the minor maintenance we do recommend to keep your roof in top condition here.


Curb Appeal

While one person’s idea of what looks appealing can certainly be different from the next, standing seam roofs are generally considered to be the most attractive metal roofing option on the market. The panels consist of clean lines and hidden fasteners that give them a contemporary, sophisticated appearance.


Easier To Install

Just as the name suggests, this roofing system consists of panels that snap together. By eliminating mechanical seams, your roof has an easier, faster installation process. All standing seam panels are difficult to install and are not typically recommended for a DIY installer. However, if you were going to attempt to install this panel yourself then it’s an easier installation than a mechanically seamed panel.

We recommend having your roofing installed by a licensed professional to ensure that it is done safely and correctly. If you choose to go this route, a simpler installation means that Snap Lock is one of the more affordable installations in the standing seam category.

The cost savings that you see are a result of less labor and tools required. The installer won’t need a tool to create mechanical seams for your installation. A tool like this could cost up to $400 per week per seamer. Snapping the panels together is less labor-intensive than other forms of standing seam installations so the hours of labor are decreased which decreases the overall job cost.


Snap Lock Is A More Affordable Standing Seam Panel

If you’ve read any of our other blogs on standing seam, you’ll recall how we often bring up that standing seam is the more premium, expensive metal roofing panel.

While that is true, Snap Lock is a more affordable standing seam panel compared to other types of standing seam panels.


Snap Lock Metal Roofing Prices

A Snap Lock standing seam system will run anywhere between $10 to $16 per square foot including materials and installation.

For a deep dive into snap lock pricing, watch our video on the cost of standing seam roofing: 

Disadvantages Of Snap Lock Metal Roofing

  • Higher price
  • Not for low sloped/ flat roofs


Standing Seam Roofing Is Expensive

Snap Lock costs less to install than a mechanically seamed roofing panel, but it’s still considered to be expensive. It’s made from the best materials and it’s labor intensive to install. It will cost you about twice as much as an asphalt shingle roof or a corrugated metal roof. If you have the budget to get past the upfront sticker shock it’s actually less expensive in the long run. Your long term savings are significant with a standing seam metal roof.


Not Suitable For Low Sloped Roofs

If you have a flat or very low sloped roof, Snap Lock is not the right roofing choice for you. These types of panels cannot be used on a roof that is less than a 3:12 pitch. This is because the risk of leaking is amplified on lower sloped roofs. If you have a roof with a pitch that is 1:12 or greater, then a mechanically fastened standing seam is a better solution.

Not sure what kind of slope your roof has- or what that even means? We suggest reading our article about how to determine your roof pitch. Knowing this information will make choosing a new roof easier so that you can have peace of mind knowing that the roofing material you pick is compatible with your roof.


Three Types Of Standing Seam


What Are The Alternative Standing Seam Options?

A Snap Lock roofing system brings the beauty of standing seam with a less complicated installation than other standing seam profile types. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should rule out other types of standing seam panels.

Besides Snap Lock, the other main standing seam roofing choice to consider is a mechanically seamed panel. While it is the more costly panel choice, it does have some advantages that Snap Lock roofing does not. To learn more about why mechanical seam may be a better choice for you, visit our Mechanical Seam Product Page.



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About Lauren Risotto

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