Copper roofs aren't typically installed on residential properties for one simple reason: they're more expensive than alternative roofing options. Copper roofs, however, also last longer than all other kinds of roofs, While you might not want to put a copper roof on your primary home, it may be a great choice for a family estate. Installing a copper roof on your family estate could protect the building for centuries -- literally.

Copper Roofs Cost More

Copper roofs are more expensive than other types of roofs because copper is a more expensive building material. The exact cost of putting any kind of roof on your family estate will depend on where the estate is. A comparison of current metal prices, however, shows why copper roofs cost so much. was currently reporting these metal prices at the time of writing:

  • copper cost $2.24 a pound
  • zinc cost $0.80 a pound
  • aluminum cost $0.67 a pound

Tin is currently selling for a higher per-pound price than copper, and it usually does. Tin's was at $7.99 per pound when writing.

Copper roofs are still more expensive than tin roofs, though, because tin roofs are not made only of tin. As SFGate explains, tin roofs are composed of a soft inner metal that's coated with a tin and lead mixture. For reference, lead was selling for $0.80 per pound. Copper roofs, in contrast, are made of solid copper.

Because copper costs so much more than the other metals used for residential roofs, residential roofing companies have to charge more for copper roofs. If they didn't, they wouldn't be able to cover the cost of their materials.

Copper Roofs Can Last Hundreds of Years -- Or More

When properly installed, a copper roof will outlast you, your children and even your grandchildren's grandchildren. A copper roof can theoretically last for as many as 1,000 years. There aren't any known copper roofs that are that old, but there is one on a European castle that was first installed in 1585. In 2009, the roof was renovated and it looked to be in fine shape. The roof should last another 400-plus years.

Longevity isn't the only advantage that copper roofs have. They're also known for

  • letting snow slide off easily during winter
  • reflecting sunlight and keeping buildings cool during summer
  • withstanding the damage that hailstorms can cause
  • looking beautiful, especially in bright sunlight

Copper Roofs Need to be Properly Installed

When having a copper roof installed, it's important to hire a residential roofing company that's worked with copper roofs. They'll be familiar with the intricacies of working with the metal, and their workers will be most qualified to install the roof.

They should also be able to offer you a warranty on the copper roof. Ideally, their warranty will be a lifetime warranty and transferable so it lasts for a while.

Even if a company that has experience with copper roofing gives you a higher estimate than other roofers, you may still want to hire them. After all, this is an investment that will last for many, many years. When spread out over the course of that time, a slightly higher installation cost become negligible. The experience is more important than saving a little money up front.

Protect your family's estate with a copper roof. Installing one will cost more than having a different type of roof put on, but your descendants won't have to worry about installing another new roof in a few years. By having a copper roof installed now, you can ensure your family's property is protected from the elements for a long, long time.

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