Metal Roof Panels: Key Variables That Can Impact Price Estimates

January 02, 2018Roofing

At GC3, we understand the more thorough knowledge and understanding you have of a project and related building materials, the better you’re able to serve the policyholder, insurance company and project team. The key elements you’re going to want to pay attention to when verifying the specifics of a particular metal panel, include: gauge of the metal, style/pattern and type of seam as well as the finish.

Whether referenced as the “gage” or “gauge,” by today’s standards, you’re dealing with the measurement of the thickness of metal. In most all cases, the larger the gauge number, the smaller, thinner the material.

The easiest way to verify the gauge is to use a “thickness gauge” or a quality pair of calipers. Regardless of the tool used, the fit should be snug for the most accurate reading. It’s important to note that there can be various gauges of material on the same building or complex. If there is any variation in the style or color of the metal roofing panels, it’s best to check the gauge of each.

Why is this important? Price differential.

While the most common gauges that appear in adjusters’ estimates are 24 and 26, thickness can range from 29 gauge to 22 gauge. There is a substantial price difference between thicknesses, especially from 24 to 22 gauge. For example, in El Paso, TX, the MS/B price shows an increase of just over $150/sq. from 24 to 22 gauge. On a small roof, this may only mean a few thousand dollars. However, on a 1,000 sq. warehouse, this equates to a $150,000 difference.

Style/Pattern and Seam

When it comes to style/pattern and type of seams, there are a myriad of available choices. For instance, there are nearly 30 variations alone on widths and patterns/styles between three of the larger metal panel manufacturers. Any of which could be available at different price points.

And, it’s not uncommon for a single manufacturer to produce a variety of seams. Typically, you will see systems with exposed fasteners (those with screws or lead-head nails installed through the top of the panel), or concealed fasteners and standing seam systems.


By and large, there are two types of finishes on most metal roof panels; a baked-on, painted finish (typically referred to as Kynar) and Galvalume. Various manufacturers may also use their own finish featuring some type of proprietary product.


Given all of the above, if you’re not quite comfortable in piecing together the “variables puzzle,” the most accurate method for verifying the specifics of a particular metal panel is to ask the building owner/policyholder to provide the written paperwork, warranty, etc.

If this documentation is not available to you, GC3 recommends taking a number of measurements (height of the seam, width of the panel, distance between ribs, etc.) along with photos of these same items, in addition to a photo at the eave showing the type of seam, if applicable. With this information, a local building supply provider may be able to verify the product for you. Contacting one or more of the manufacturers, as well as a reputable installer, with the same information may also prove worthwhile.

To find out more about how GC3 can help you, be sure to check out our website. Also, visit and contribute to our Facebook page, where we’ll be sharing project updates, future education curriculum and more!