How to Install a Tin Roof

Lead Image
  • 15-30 hours
  • Advanced
  • 1,500-3,000
What You'll Need
30 pounds of tar paper or felt
Extension ladder
Tape measure
Drill with bits and screws
Hammer and nails
Metal snips
Roofing shovel
5/16 inch lap screws
Slat boards
1/4 inch metal-to-wood screws
Metal edging
V-panels or R-panels
R-panel closures and ridge

If your state and local building codes allow, you can install a tin roof instead of a normal shed or garage roof to save time and money. A tin roof, while relatively inexpensive, still maintains its reputation for excellent durability. Install one by following these simple instructions.

Disclaimer: Before completing this project, check with your local building codes and ordinances to ensure installing a tin roof, instead of another type of roof, where you want to is legal. If it is, ask for any specifications regarding its measurements or extra steps you must take to ensure that it is up-to-code.

Step 1 – Select a Tin-Roof Type

Decide what type of tin roof you want by selecting either an R-panel or V-crimp style. For an R-panel style, you will need to install it with 5/16 inch lap screws; however, with a seamed, or crimped roof style, you won’t need screws.

Step 2 – Take Measurements

Measure the roof length and width on each side to determine how much edging you will need to install. Then, measure the roof height by adding 2-4 inches for the overhang.

Step 3 – Buy the Materials

With your measurements, visit your local roofing supply store to purchase the materials you will need. Don’t be afraid to ask an employee for help and recommendations. You may also consult your business directory for a metal building supply shop where a wider variety of metal roofing styles are available and cut according to your specifications. This will save the do-it-yourselfer a great deal of time, labor, and money.

Step 4 – Remove the Current Roof and Line It

Remove all of the old shingles and tarpaper from the existing roof, down to the roof planking, before installing the tin roof. The process you will use to remove the shingles will depend on their type. For instance, you can use a pry bar or shingle ripper and the appropriate safety gear to remove asphalt shingles. Use new tarpaper, or felt, to line the roof.

Step 5 – Install Slat Boards and Metal Edging

Install slat boards to the roof so that you can easily attach the new tin. Lay the slats at 2-foot intervals length-wise, as you work from the roof’s bottom and upward. Secure the slats with 3-inch metal-to-wood screws. Then, nail the metal edging by using a hammer and roofing nails.

Step 6 – Lay Tin Panels

Screw the first panel by using wood screws at 2-foot intervals, following the slat boards as a guide along the center and inside edge of the sheet only.

Step 7 – Overlap the Panels

The second and all subsequent sheets have to overlap the ones before them. If they are V-crimp, one crimp in the sheet above will overlap one crimp in the sheet below. When using R-panels, one ridge should overlap another panel’s ridge.

Step 8 – Secure Panels to Slat Boards

Next, secure each panel to the slat boards. Complete this step by using 1/4 inch screws every 2 feet.

Step 9 – Cut Along the Edge

The last panel will need to be cut to fit when you reach the roof edge. Wear the proper safety gear, like gloves, and use metal snips to cut it. Mark the ridge or crimp that runs along the roof edge with a chalk line to guide your tin cutter and cut before screwing the last panel in. Then, repeat this step for the other side. A pair of sheet metal shears will greatly facilitate ripping the length of the final sheet.

Step 10 – Install Screws for R-Panels

If you’re using R-panels, you must install them by using 5/16 inch lap screws every 4 feet, where the metal sheets will overlap.

Step 11 – Install the Trim

Install metal trim along the roof edge and across the peak. Notch the trim to lay it over the peak, and secure it with 1/4 inch metal-to-wood screws. If you used V-crimp style tin, you are finished. If you used R-panels, complete the last two steps.

Step 12 – Install R-Panel Closures

Install your R-panel closure strips. these are 36-inch foam-rubber lengths with self-adhesive strips on the top and bottom edges. Push them into the openings to prevent animals from entering. Make sure to screw the bottom of all sheets down.

Step 13 – Install an R-Panel Ridge

Screw the R-panel ridge at the high point every 2 feet using 5/16 inch lap screws. When you're finished, you may paint the tin roof if you'd like.