How to install corrugated metal roofing

Updated February 21, 2017

Corrugated metal roofing has been around for hundreds of years, but has got a bad reputation as a result of many sheds, warehouses and factories using this material improperly. Modern-day corrugated metal roofs have been given a makeover; as technology has advanced, the quality and appearance of the roofing material has, too. The overlapping metal plates that make up this roofing material are lightweight and can be cheaply mass produced. Due to its effectiveness at keeping out the elements, surprising strength, and ability to withstand a great deal of weight and effectively insulate the house, corrugated metal roofing is a great investment.

Calculate the number of metal roof panels you will need by measuring the length of roof's ridge in inches. Divide this number by 44, which is the width of the average metal sheet. This will tell you how many rows of metal sheets you will need. Measure the length of the roof's slopes--the distance from the top of the roof to the edge--in feet. Divide this number by six to find out how many columns of metal sheeting you will need. Multiply the number of columns by the number of rows to find out the number of metal panels you need.

Calculate the number of ridge caps you will need by measuring the edges of the roof and the length of the ridges on the top of the roof in feet. Divide this number by six to find out how many 6-foot ridge caps you will need.

Cover roof with standard roofing felt by stapling every 2 to 3 inches on the outside edges of the felt, and every 6 inches on the interior. Felt should be overlapped at least 3 inches.

Begin the roofing by placing your metal sheet at one corner of the roof, overhanging the edge of the roof by 2 inches. Use approved speciality nails with watertight washers to secure each sheet. Nails should be placed on the centre of the ridge of the metal where it bends away from the roof rather than toward it. Do not drive nails into the ridges near the edges of the sheet yet. You should use about twenty nails per sheet.

Place the second metal sheet next to the first, with the ridge of the two sheets overlapping. Apply a bead of caulk between the two sheets where they overlap. Nail this sheet into place the same as the first, and repeat this process until the bottom row is complete.

Place the first metal roof panel of the second row just above the first sheet of the first row. It should overlap the top of the first sheet by six inches. Nail this sheet securely into place and lay down each sequential sheet to overlap both the sheet below it and the sheet to its side.

When all sheets have been installed, line the slope edges and ridge of the roof with ridge caps. They will prevent water from leaking in from the sides and top of the roof where the corrugated underside of the sheets would otherwise be exposed to the air.


To cut the metal roof panels, use a sharp utility knife and cut with the corrugations. If cutting against the corrugations, make sure to use an electric circular saw with a carbide-tipped blade.

Things You'll Need

  • Claw hammer
  • Steel tape
  • Electric circular saw with carbide-tipped blade
  • Chalk line
  • String
  • Nail apron
  • Utility knife
  • Corrugated metal sheets (metal roof panels)
  • Measuring tape
  • 3-inch sheet-metal roof nails
  • Ridge caps
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About the Author

John Albers has been a freelance writer since 2007. He's successfully published articles in the "American Psychological Association Journal" and online at Garden Guides, Title Goes Here, Mindflights Magazine and many others. He's currently expanding into creative writing and quickly gaining ground. John holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Central Florida in English literature and psychology.