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Can You Put a Metal Roof Over Shingles?


In recent years, metal over-roofs a gained attention from a wide range of homeowners. They are being referred to as a suitable alternative for homeowners who are thinking of upgrading their existing shingles roof. This method provides an innovative solution to upgrading your shingle roof without the hassle of tearing it off. Besides, this method also provides several benefits that include

  • The first and most obvious benefit is eliminating the cost associated with dismantling the shingle roof. Disposing of the shingles is a very pricy task as it involves heavy machinery and transport equipment.
  • Shingles act as a great insulating layer, helping to reduce your utility bills.
  • Removing shingles involves removing hundreds of pounds of roofing material, which is a tedious, time consuming, and expensive task.

Therefore, if you are a homeowner thinking of upgrading your shingle roof, opting for metal over-roofs is an economically feasible choice. Metals roofs are also environmentally friendly, making them an ideal fit for your roof upgrading project.

Is it Possible?

One question that’s often asked is “Can you install metal roofing over shingles?”

Absolutely yes, metal roofs can be installed over shingle roofs, but there are some considerations and precautions that must be kept in mind. Although they are great solutions to shingle roof replacement there are limitations that must be followed. The condition of existing shingles is very crucial in this aspect. If they are severely damaged, warped, or multi-layered shingles, then a complete tear off becomes necessary.

Besides, all the structural concerns and building codes must be properly addressed before undertaking this task. Prioritizing the safety of the building’s inhabitants.

Advantages of Metal Roof Over Shingles

Metal over roofs can prove to be very beneficial if installed correctly. Some of the most obvious benefits include

1.    Cost Savings

Metal over-roofs can be very cost effective if done correctly and this is one of their most appealing benefits. You don’t need to spend heavy sums of money tearing off the roof and then replacing it with a new one. Reducing the overall labor cost associated with the project.

2.    Faster Installation Time

Since you’re not removing the old shingles, the installation process is quicker. This means less disruption to your daily life and a faster route to a new, durable roof.

3.    Reduced Wastage from Shingles

Removing shingles means removing hundreds of pounds of material from your roof. properly disposing of this roofing material is a challenging task. It requires the use of dumpsters and heavy transport machinery that can be very expensive. By keeping the original shingles in place, you can avoid all these expenses. Plus, this method is also very environmentally friendly.

Disadvantages and Considerations

Although metal over-roofs provide a lot of benefits, there are also some cases in which they can be disadvantageous. Therefore, you should properly analyze all the factors before choosing them for your roof. Some scenarios in which metal over-roofs can be disadvantageous include

1.    Hidden Damages

Hidden damages are a big cause of concern before installing a new metal roof. Removing shingles allows you to locate all the hidden damages like leaks, mold growth, or rot and treat them. However, if you cover the shingles with a metal roof these issues can be masked. Over time, these issues can aggravate leading to the complete degradation of the roof from inside.

2.    Uneven Surfaces

Shingles are inconsistent and can create an even surface for metal over-roofs. Installing metal roofs on such uneven surfaces is a challenging task and also affects the performance of the roof. These issues may include pooling of water and improper sealing.

3.    Weight Restriction

The additional weight is a major problem when placing metal roofing over shingles. Because metal roofing materials can weigh more than standard asphalt shingles, the roof’s structure may be subjected to undue stress when combined with the weight of the present shingles. This may eventually cause structural problems and jeopardize the roof’s integrity.

4.    Compliance With Building Code

Local building codes are another consideration. Many areas have regulations regarding the number of shingle layers allowed and the installation of metal roofs over them. You’ll need to ensure your project complies with these codes to avoid legal and safety issues.

Key Factors to Decide

Before deciding whether to install a metal over-roof or not the following factors must be properly analyzed. These include

1.    Condition of Existing Shingles

The condition of the existing shingles is a prime factor influencing the whole project. Therefore, properly evaluating their condition is crucial. If your shingles are severely damaged, warped, or multi-layered, then you must replace them first. Erecting a metal over-roof on such shingles can cause many problems in the future.

2.    Roof Structure Strength

Evaluating the soundness of your roof structure is important before making any decision. This is because adding another layer of roofing material can reduce the roof’s live load carrying capacity. Properly evaluate the roof rafters and check that there’s no sagging in any roof member. It’s difficult to do such an inspection on your own. Therefore, always hire a professional for proper inspection.

3.    Local Building Codes

Local building codes are another key factor. Many areas have regulations regarding the number of shingle layers allowed and the installation of metal roofs over them. You’ll need to ensure your project complies with these codes to avoid legal and safety issues.

Alternatives to Consider

Alternatives to metal over-roofs include

1.    Full Shingle Removal

The traditional method involves removing the existing shingles before installing the metal roof. While this is more expensive and time-consuming, it ensures a clean, even surface for the new roof and helps address any hidden damage.

2.    Metal Roof System Over Straps

Another option is to install a metal roof over battens or straps. This creates a level surface above the shingles, improving the look and performance of the metal roof. However, this method may also require code approval and could involve additional costs.

Consulting a Professional

Contrary to popular belief, installing a layer of metal roof over an existing shingle roof is not an easy task. It involves many complexities that only a skilled professional can handle. Therefore, always consult a professional roofer before installing a metal over the roof. Only a skilled professional can handle the job and tackle all the complexities.


While slapping a metal roof over your shingles might seem tempting (faster install, lower cost!), proceed with caution. Hidden damage beneath the shingles and weight limitations on your roof structure could pose problems. Before diving in, assess your existing shingles, roof strength, and local building codes. Consulting a roofing pro is key for a smooth installation and long-lasting results. By taking these steps, you’ll ensure a metal roof that looks great and protects your home for years to come.

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