Is Copper Roofing Any Good?

Copper roofing is an exceptionally durable and long lasting building material with a proven track record for longevity. But, is copper roofing any good? Finding reliable information about the financial and environmental benefits of using copper can be tricky as many articles on the subject don’t take a balanced view or consider all of the key facts. 

This article aims to answer one of the most frequently asked questions around copper roofing, while also addressing some of the common objections to using copper for roofing.

Copper roofing any good?
Copper roofing any good?

Benefits of a copper roof

If you are wondering if copper roofing is any good, this section would help address that question. There are many benefits of a copper roof which outweighs its drawbacks.

  • Weather resistant: Copper roofs work great in extreme climatic conditions and can stand up to any weather with great ease. Additionally, the material only keeps getting stronger.
  • Naturally strong: The natural properties of copper work great to maintain its integrity and aesthetics. There’s no additional paintain or finishing required.
  • Lightweight: Copper roofing material is generally lightweight compared to other roofing materials. This reduces the burden on the roofing structure.
  • Great aesthetics: Copper roofs simply look great, are largely flexible and can be adapted beautifully with various architectural styles from older structures to more modern ones.
  • Fire-resistance: Copper roofs can never catch fire and are naturally resistant to fire. 
  • Low maintenance: The investment in copper roofing is worthwhile as it has a long useful life with very little to spend on upkeep and repairs. On average, copper roofs can last up to 50 years.
  • Increases property value: The fact that copper roofs are long lasting and maintenance free, installing copper roofs has the tendency to increase the overall value of the property.
  • Eco friendly: Copper materials can help control the temperature in your home, helping you manage the energy bills better. With more recycled copper options available, it makes it an environmentally friendly option too.

Drawbacks of a copper roof

  • Cost: Given the numerous benefits mentioned above, it comes at a cost. Copper roofing is one of the costlier options compared to other roofing materials. However, given that there is very little maintenance and repair upkeep, it makes a great case for a long term investment.
  • Professional installation: It’s important that you use professional tools to craft a copper roof. It requires years of experience for roofers to perfect the art of installing it. As such, labour costs can be high too. If not done right, you will not be able to reap the benefits provided by the copper roof.

Is copper eco-friendly?

One of the best ways to live more sustainably is by using more sustainable materials like copper in home construction. Copper is a green choice because it’s renewable, recyclable, and reusable. Unlike wood and synthetic roof tiles, copper has a much smaller impact on the environment.

Because of concerns over global warming, home builders and real estate owners are beginning to use copper more frequently in new construction. 

Considering that they are durable and can last for hundreds of years, it definitely builds a great case for being an eco-friendly solution. Additionally, many copper mills produce copper sheeting and many copper pipes and fittings that are made up of previously used wire and cable.

It’s also an energy efficient resource. Since copper is more effective in heat transfer than other materials, the tubes can be smaller. Smaller tubes require less refrigerant, which makes it easier to maintain the system and consumes less energy to operate it.

Overall, it’s a flexible material that can be a popular choice for most environmentally conscious homeowners.

How much does a copper roof cost?

As noted above, metal roofs are more expensive than traditional roofing materials like slate. Therefore, it’s important that you understand if it’s copper roofing is any good and is worth the investment.

This section details the cost of installing a copper roof and how you can go about getting one fixed to your property.

There are various components to installing a copper roof and the cost of each can be broken down accordingly.

ItemLabour cost / m²Materials cost / m²Cost per / m²
Structural Purlins£2.50£32£34.50
Slab Insulation – 120 thick Celotex£6£20£26
Metal deck£6.50£33£39.50
Plywood – 18 thick x 2 layers£27£30£57
Copper Roofing Layer including soldering£70£88£158
Plasterboard ceiling – 12.5 thick on battens£35£11£46
Source: Pricethisplease

There are further costs that can be incurred in addition to the above:

ItemCost per / m
Copper Gutters£34
Copper Box Gutter£98
Copper Downpipes£55
Flashings£20 – 35 (dependent on width)
Source: Pricethisplease

Factors affecting copper roof costs

As with other metal roofing materials, the cost of copper roofs are determined by various factors which has been listed now:

  • Size of the roof: The rate per m2 can vary depending on the roof size. The larger the size (usually more than 10m2) can bring the costs down.
  • Roof structure: If the roofing has a different structure or design, the contractors may charge above the standard rates depending on the complexity.
  • Copper prices: Copper is a commodity that’s traded in the market. So any fluctuation in its price will have an impact on the price of the copper roofing sheets as well.
  • Location: Depending on where you want the copper roofing installed, the rates can vary. The rates from the above table can be reduced by 4% to calculate the estimate for copper roofing costs in Exeter.

Things to keep in mind

It’s important that you understand that metal roofing usually provides a positive return upon selling your home. This can range between 75% and 86% of the cost (depending on the cost factors mentioned above).

You should also understand that you don’t have to cover the entire home with copper to have a beautiful copper roof. Instead, you could focus on the parts that accentuate certain parts of the house such as bay windows or install a smaller copper roof that covers the main entryway.

Most importantly, copper is recyclable so it’s a great environment-friendly option. You can dispose or repurpose them after it’s long useful life making it a very efficient way of managing natural resources.

Hiring a copper roofing contractor checklist

  • Working Location: It’s important to look at the location of a roofing contractor that you have shortlisted. It is necessary to find one that is easily accessible and has easy access. At SPS Roofing, our working locations range across South West England.
  • Accreditations: If the roofing company you’re using is certified, this indicates that they are credible and competent. At SPS Roofing, our team is certified by SMAS, Constructionline Gold Membership, CSCS, CITB, City & Guilds, NFRC.
  • Follow Local Regulations: It is highly likely that installing copper roofs may require planning permissions. If you choose a roofing contractor that understands the local regulations, you have very little to worry. Given that SPS Roofing has been operating in Exeter for more than 15 years, we have extensive knowledge on the local regulations put forward by the Exeter City Council.
  • Strong Network of Suppliers: When you use an established roofing contractor, you know that the materials used in construction of your copper roofs will be good enough to ensure that you make the most out of your investment. At SPS Roofing, we use the highest standard of copper roofing sheets to ensure you have a roof that’s long lasting.

Final thoughts

If you have been wondering if copper roofing is any good, hopefully this article helped you address some of the concerns you have. The high cost of installing copper roofs may have initially put you off, but it must be understood that they come with so many benefits and that over the long term, it can prove to be a great investment.

Get in touch with the professional copper roofers at SPS Roofing to get yours fixed today!

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SPS Roofing Ltd is a highly rated roofing company based in Exeter operating across Devon and South West England including Somerset, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Dorset.