Construction of cottages: which metal for the roof to choose?

The modern market for roofing materials experienced a real technical revolution at the end of the last century – if 15 years ago buyers had to choose between asbestos cement (slate) and galvanized steel, today they have dozens of materials and technologies at their service. And in order to better navigate this variety, we offer you a short comparative analysis of all types of metal roofing.


Ideally, the roof should last as long as the building itself. Copper, which has a lifespan of 100-150 years, holds the undisputed leadership in this race over time. Copper sheets are resistant to temperature extremes, humidity, chemicals, they are practically not subject to corrosion – such a roof is not afraid of “acid” rains, it does not rust and does not become fragile from time to time.

Another material with a record “shelf life” is an alloy of zinc and titanium; the construction of cottages under such a roof will postpone the replacement of the roof by 100 years or more. The next most durable is aluminum, after a few years its sheets are oxidized in air and covered with a matte film – it is thanks to it that the aluminum roof regularly serves up to 80-90 years. Galvanized steel closes this list – its service life is about 10-15 years, after which corrosion processes begin in the attachment points and the fixation of sheets worsens. Polymer coatings allow to increase the life of such a roof up to 40 years – artificial resins protect the metal from rust, moisture and sudden changes in temperature.

Functionality and ease of use

If, when erecting a simple single-slope or gable roof, both low-plastic sheets and flexible roofing in rolls are perfect, then for more complex projects – a multi-tiered roof, spiers, turrets – this parameter is very relevant. Galvanized steel and zinc-titanium are excellent for jobs that require metal cutting, such as lining chimneys and canopy roofs. Flexible aluminum allows you to create rounded structures – round tubes and cone-shaped turrets. Copper is a versatile material that combines both flexibility and ductility, however, due to its high cost, it is rarely used – consumables can significantly increase the cost of such a roof.


The beauty of the roof is a rather subjective concept, but if you make the right choice, it will harmoniously complement the design concept of the facade and create a holistic impression of the building.

Copper roofing is perfect for both typical projects and for cottages stylized as medieval estates or castles. A few years later, it becomes covered with a greenish patina, effectively completing the artistic design of the house. In addition, today you can find copper sheets that imitate tile scales and even natural stone..

If roofing copper is a noble metal that makes it possible to do without additional decorative elements, then tin roofs are increasingly painted, and today you can choose both functional polymer paint that will prevent corrosion, and decorative color options, for example, mosaic or imitation of tiles..


The weight of any modern roofing metal is small and does not exceed 10 kg / m2, however, the total weight of the roof turns out to be so significant that it must be taken into account when calculating the load on the bearing supports.

Until recently, copper was considered the lightest material, but today aluminum is holding the palm here – rolled sheets of roofing aluminum weigh only 2 kg / sq.m. The load of the copper roof on the supports is slightly higher – about 5-6 kg / sq.m., Zinc-titanium weighs almost the same. The weight of galvanized steel depends on the thickness, the weight of the profiled sheet is about 7 kg / m2.

The cost

At first glance, the cost situation is pretty straightforward. Galvanized steel is the most democratic version of the roof, only corrugated slate is cheaper. Next on the price scale are zinc-titanium, aluminum and copper. But your choice should be influenced not only by the price of the material, but also by the expected service life of the object – so, for example, the total cost of two-time replacement of a cheap roof equates it to aluminum. And at the same time, the choice in favor of a tin roof for a country house can significantly reduce the cost of its construction.

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