Corrugated metal siding has been covering residential and commercial properties across the U.S. for over 100 years, earning it the title of the classic American panel.
Thanks to the material’s durability, versatility, and low maintenance, corrugated metal siding has become a favorite among homeowners, builders, and architects alike.
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What Is Corrugated Metal Siding?
Corrugated metal siding is a patterned siding characterized by repeating wavy grooves called corrugations.
After this rippled-like design was introduced, corrugated metal became popular quickly. In fact, it was the first metal panel to be mass-produced in the U.S.
The material owes its rise in popularity to the ability to be prefabricated and easily used by workers with minimal construction skills.
Corrugated metal siding is manufactured in large metal sheets or panels and comes in several levels of thickness. Each level has a different degree of strength.
Did you know? The distinct 3D corrugations on these metal panels are created using a series of rollers. Different roller arrangements create different sizes and angles of corrugations.
Corrugated Metal Siding Cost
The average size of a single-family American home is approximately 2,500 square feet. Installing corrugated metal siding on a home of this size would cost between $12,500 and $32,500, with most homeowners paying around $15,000 for the project.
However, keep in mind that the total cost of installing corrugated metal siding heavily depends on the project’s specifications.
Some of the deciding factors for the final price include the following:
- The amount of metal
- The metal thickness
- Customization requirements
Did you know? In 1949, the average size of an American home was a tad over 900 square feet. However, over 15% of these homes were overcrowded, leading to a drastic increase in size over time.
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Corrugated Metal Siding Cost Breakdown
Homeowners can choose four types of corrugated metal siding, depending on the material’s thickness.
Here’s a cost breakdown for installing each type.
|Average Material Cost
|Average Labor Cost
|Total Cost for an Average 2,500-Square-Foot Home
|7/8-Inch Corrugated Metal Siding
|3/4-Inch Corrugated Metal Siding
|1/2-Inch Corrugated Metal Siding
|1/4-Inch Corrugated Metal Siding
7/8-Inch Corrugated Metal Siding
This siding type is the largest available option.
7/8 inch corrugated metal siding panels are heavy-duty corrugated panels that can be used in the harshest weather conditions and preserve exceptional appearance.
The visual appeal is one of the primary reasons homeowners and contractors choose this siding type.
On average, 7/8-Inch corrugated metal panels cost from $6 to $8 per square foot.
The labor costs average $5 per square foot.
3/4-Inch Corrugated Metal Siding
Three-quarters of an inch is the standard for corrugated metal siding panels, widely used for residential applications and commercial sidings.
This siding type offers the bold look of larger corrugations and comes in many color options.
For installing 3/4-inch corrugated metal siding, homeowners will pay between $4 and $6 per square foot for the material and around $4 per square foot for labor.
1/2-Inch Corrugated Metal Siding
This siding type has a more refined profile than its larger counterparts. As a result, it’s frequently used for interior projects and wainscoting.
Since 1/2 inch corrugated metal siding features no bold lines, it will make more of a subtle statement.
However, this also means that it can be paired with a more flexible range of materials, such as wood and stone.
Installing 1/2-inch corrugated metal siding costs around $6 per square foot, equally split between the material and the labor cost.
1/4-Inch Corrugated Metal Siding
A quarter of an inch is the most popular panel size for interior corrugated metal projects.
1/4-inch corrugated metal siding strikes a balance between subtle lines and a noticeable contrast to a flat surface.
When used on the outside, 1/4-inch corrugated metal siding works best as an attractive covering for gables, shed roofs, and wainscoting.
To install 1/4-inch corrugated metal siding, you’ll need approximately $2 to $3 per square foot for the material and around $3 per square foot for labor.
Pro Tip: The structure you intend to cover in metal siding should be already built before ordering these metal panels. The longer they stay on the work site, the greater the chance of damage. If an immediate installation isn’t possible, store these metal panels in a dry, well-ventilated, covered area, wrapped in a plastic film, and elevated from the ground.
The type of metal used is another contributing factor to the total cost of a corrugated metal siding project.
For instance, corrugated tin is one of the most affordable siding options, while steel is among the most expensive. Corrugated aluminum is right there in the middle.
Corrugated Metal Siding Manufacturers
There are a few manufacturers that you can turn to if you decide to install corrugated metal siding.
Bridger Steel owns seven stores in four U.S. states and ships products to the rest of the country.
The company offers one of the largest selections of colors, panel profiles, and prints of any corrugated metal manufacturer on the market.
In addition, Bridger Steel continuously adds new colors and styles to meet the needs of its customers.
Corrugated Metals, Inc.
Corrugated Metals, Incorporated operates from Belvidere, Illinois.
It sells products throughout the U.S. and internationally.
This company is one of the leading manufacturers of corrugated metal products for the construction industry. It offers a wide range of corrugated metal products suitable for any project you might have.
Flexospan Steel Buildings, Inc.
Flexospan Steel Buildings, Incorporated is based in Sandy Lake, Pennsylvania, and specializes in manufacturing corrugated metal siding and roofing.
It offers two types of corrugated metal siding – 7/8 and 3/4-inch panels.
Western States Metal Roofing
Western States Metal Roofing is a trusted manufacturer of corrugated metal products with three locations in the U.S., two in Arizona and one in Texas.
Besides roofing, this company also offers a few excellent corrugated metal siding options.
Its 7/8-inch corrugated metal panels are available in over 25 colors and are made to order.
Corrugated Metal Siding Colors
Since corrugated metal is easy to paint, this siding option is available in an impressive selection of colors.
Depending on the manufacturer, corrugated metal siding selections can include standard color options and color schemes designed to look like aged metal.
Some manufacturers offer more affordable corrugated metal siding options painted to match the appearance of a costlier metal, such as copper and zinc.
Corrugated Metal Siding vs Hardie Plank
This plank consists of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers. It comes in various color and style options and offers a 30-year limited warranty.
Since James Hardie is a well-known name in the construction world, installing the Hardie Plank typically costs more than installing the corrugated metal. This brand-name product will cost between $6 and $12 per square foot to install.
The Hardie Plank is also heavier than metal, thus requiring a more labor-intensive and, thus, costlier installation.
Homeowners should never attempt to DIY the installation of Hardie Planks.
Only licensed siding contractors with experience handling James Hardie products can guarantee a successful installation.
Corrugated metal also beats the Hardie Plank in the maintenance department.
Metal siding only requires annual power washing to remain fresh.
In contrast, the Hardie Board will dramatically change its appearance for the worse if not properly maintained and repainted. In fact, it can look so worn out that some homeowners choose to replace it rather than repaint it.
Still, the Hardie Plank can measure up to corrugated metal siding when it comes to resistance.
Hardie Plank is made from a sturdy material that can withstand harsh weather and is resistant to pests, rotting, and moisture. Even when exposed to stormy conditions, it won’t swell or warp.
Is Corrugated Metal Good For Siding?
Corrugated metal has numerous advantages as a siding material, which makes it an excellent choice for this purpose.
Keep reading to learn why you should install corrugated metal siding.
Corrugated Metal Siding Is Fire, Insect, and Rot-Resistant
When installed vertically, corrugated metal has no spaces that can hold water.
As a result, insects and rot pose no threat to corrugated metal siding.
In addition, corrugated metal resists ignition, allowing it to withstand fire well. For this reason, corrugated metal siding is an excellent choice for fire-prone areas.
Corrugated Metal Requires Low Maintenance
With corrugated metal, there’s no fear of water intrusion, mold, rot, and other issues that typically plague siding materials. As a result, corrugated metal siding is extremely easy to maintain.
Corrugated metal siding doesn’t even require regular inspections.
Instead, homeowners can power-wash it once a year, which is all it takes to keep the siding looking fresh.
Corrugated Metal Is Waterproof
When sealed with a protective layer, corrugated metal becomes waterproof.
As such, it holds impressively well against adverse weather conditions like hail, sleet, and snow.
This quality makes corrugated metal siding a great choice for areas frequently exposed to harsh weather conditions.
Corrugated Metal Is Highly Versatile
Homeowners can use corrugated metal panels in seemingly endless ways, from covering barns to accenting walls.
Corrugated metal house siding can be easily incorporated into the home’s exterior, whether it features a traditional, transitional, industrial, or contemporary design.
While there are many advantages to using corrugated metal for siding, the material has a few flaws that might deter homeowners from going this route.
Corrugated Metal Is Prone to Damages
Due to the nature of the material, corrugated metal has a few weak spots that can lead to severe damage.
Rust is one of the most significant concerns for this siding type, especially in coastal areas.
Also, softer corrugated metals are prone to denting and puncturing.
Corrugated Metal Can’t Be Replaced
If a section of the corrugated metal siding gets damaged, it can rarely be patched.
Instead, the entire sheet has to be replaced.
The replacement is no easy task since the metal sheets are overlapped during installation.
Corrugated Metal Is a Poor Insulator
On its own, corrugated metal siding isn’t considered a good insulator. Therefore, installing this siding type will lead to higher energy bills.
Pro Tip: To remedy this issue, you can place rigid foam insulation on the home’s exterior before installing the metal sheets. When installed correctly, the foam insulation creates a barrier that prevents heat loss or gain, thus increasing the total R-value of the exterior treatment.
Corrugated Metal Requires Longer Installation
Since corrugated metal is heavier than most traditional siding options, it requires a more challenging and lengthier installation process.
The metal’s weight can also contribute to higher labor costs.
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What Kind of Roofing Material Is Used Alongside Corrugated Metal Siding?
Corrugated metal is a highly versatile siding option that works with numerous design styles, from traditional to modern industrial.
As a result, there isn’t a specific roofing material that must be used with it. Instead, homeowners can adapt the roofing material to their desired overall look.
Homeowners who want to achieve a contemporary look should mix metal siding with non-metal roofing options.
Naturally, those who prefer a successive look should opt for metal roof sheets.
Do Corrugated Panels Attach Or Overlap?
Unlike other siding options, corrugated metal doesn’t have a connecting system. For this reason, overlapping is the way to go when installing these panels.
During the installation, the sheets should be overlapped widthwise and lengthwise for at least one of the corrugations. Afterward, panels should be secured down using screws on the overlapping edges.
Should Corrugated Metal Siding Be Installed Vertically or Horizontally?
Generally speaking, corrugated metal siding can be installed both vertically and horizontally.
However, homeowners typically choose vertical corrugated metal siding since it’s easier to maintain.
Thanks to the vertical corrugated metal positioning, dirt and water can’t collect between the grooves. This quality also comes in handy in rainy climates, as the vertical siding helps drain water.
On the other hand, horizontal corrugated metal siding allows unwanted debris to gather in small gaps that are hard to reach.
Still, homeowners who value appearance more than functionality choose horizontal siding as it offers a more stylized look.
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Can Corrugated Metal Siding Be Painted?
Corrugated metal siding can be painted.
What’s more, this siding type is the perfect candidate for painting, giving homeowners endless options for customization.
However, preparing the surface before the paint job is a crucial task.
The preparation includes cleaning and priming the metal surface. After applying the paint, the siding should be sealed with a protective finish.
Pro Tip: Use spray paint to hit all the nooks and crannies that are hard to reach with a regular paintbrush. Besides being more practical, this method is quicker and will result in a more even finish.
Homeowners who don’t feel like getting their hands dirty can choose one of the many colors of pre-finished sheets. This is also the easiest route for individuals who aren’t particularly picky about color and design.
Is Corrugated Metal Cheaper Than Vinyl Siding?
Corrugated metal isn’t cheaper than vinyl siding.
This feat would be hard to achieve since vinyl is actually the most affordable siding option on the market. Unsurprisingly, this also makes it one of the most popular siding choices across the U.S.
Vinyl siding prices vary depending on the thickness of the vinyl panel.
Generally speaking, installing vinyl siding costs between $2.50 and $10 per square foot.
Most of the money goes toward the vinyl material since labor rarely costs more than $1 per square foot.
How Long Will Corrugated Metal Siding Last?
Metal products are generally more durable than most other materials, and corrugated metal is no different.
In fact, durability is one of the most significant advantages of using corrugated metal for siding.
On average, corrugated metal siding will last around 50 years but can last up to 70 years if it’s not exposed to harsh weather.
Most commonly, interior applications of corrugated metal siding last the longest.
Still, even when used outside, it achieves an enviable lifespan since it isn’t easily affected by temperature fluctuations.
In addition, its wavy design and the material’s makeup put it at a lower risk of warping and cracking.
What Is The Cheapest Metal Siding?
Besides price, aluminum is a popular siding option thanks to how lightweight, eco-friendly, easy to work with, and durable it is.
Aluminum metal siding can withstand adverse weather conditions and pests, and resist corrosion from moisture.
Aluminum siding is available in the form of flat and corrugated sheets.
The average price of a complete installation of aluminum siding is between $3 and $11 per square foot.
Is It Worth It?
Corrugated metal is undoubtedly more expensive than other siding options like shingles or wood.
However, the upfront cost is worth the investment, considering how long the corrugated metal siding lasts and how little maintenance it requires.
Corrugated metal siding also offers impressive flexibility in design and appearance, allowing a high level of exterior customization, which is worth every penny for some homeowners.
Investing in the Future
Corrugated metal siding is unmatched in strength, design, and the number of possible customization options.
Thanks to its resistance to many issues that plague traditional options, it makes an excellent choice for siding.
Homeowners who can afford to look past the higher upfront cost will be impressed by how well the corrugated metal siding holds up in the long run.