Cost Factors When Buying Metal Coils and Sheets

Wondering what impacts the price of metal coils and sheets? In this article, we go through various factors, including material, dimensions, gauge, and more.

When the quality of the finished project is so dependent on the quality of materials, as it is in metal roofing, you want to be certain that you’re choosing the right products at the right price. And while the exact range for metal coils and sheets will vary widely, there are a variety of factors that will dictate their cost.

Sheffield Metals International (SMI) is a leading distributor of metal coils and sheets. Our main goal is to provide the industry with high-quality, reliable materials. Our relationships with contractors and their trust in our products allow them to focus on other aspects of the project, such as installation specifics and communication with the customer. Aside from supplying our customers with metal roofing products, we also create content in the form of articles, videos, and downloads.

In this article, we’ll look at the cost factors when it comes to buying metal coils and sheets, and which unique parts of your order — such as quantity, paint system, and custom colors, may impact the final price.

7 Cost Factors When Purchasing Metal Coils and Sheets

1. Material

A selection of metal coils

The most common metal roofing materials are Galvalume (bare and painted), aluminum, stainless steel, copper, and zinc.

Products that are more accessible and commonly used for metal roofs, such as galvalume and aluminum, tend to be cheaper, while specialty products, such as stainless steel, copper, and zinc, can be much more expensive.

Part of this is because many suppliers might not carry these types of products in the first place, making them more exclusive. Other materials, such as copper, are also rarer, which drives up the price due to scarcity.

2. Dimensions

Metal roofing suppliers tend to offer “standard” coil widths, though these may differ from supplier to supplier. If you need something cut to a custom dimension that does not fall within a standard width, it will likely cost more.

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3. Gauge

Thicker metals will cost more — 24-gauge metal, for instance, is more expensive than 26-gauge metal, but not by a huge margin. 24-gauge is the standard thickness used for standing seam metal roofs, as it offers more rigidity and strength than thinner metals, is less susceptible to oil canning, and is more likely to have available engineering and testing.

Although metal thickness will affect the cost of ordering coils and sheets, other considerations, such as the region you’re located in, can significantly impact the price.

4. Region

The Horsetooth Area Information Center featuring a green metal roof, frosted with snow

Where you’re located and where you need your order delivered can play a large role in the final cost. If you’re located in an isolated region, freight may cost more since delivering your products requires more effort.

On the other hand, if your metal roofing supplier is local, you may be able to go to their location to get the products, which can eliminate the cost of freight entirely.

The markets in different regions will vary and often drive costs up or down. In areas where metal roofing is hot and many different suppliers are vying for market share, prices for materials might drop. More isolated regions, or areas where metal roofing isn’t as popular, could see fewer options and higher prices.

Keep in mind, however, that if product prices seem too good to be true, sometimes they might be, and you could be buying products that aren’t the quality you’re looking for. Be sure you’re doing your research and finding a reliable supplier with testimonials or references. When it comes to metal roofing, finding the right products is the key to ensuring you can offer customers what they want and are building projects that will last.

5. Quantity

One of the more obvious factors regarding the final cost of ordering coils and sheets is the quantity you order. If you’re working on a commercial project, you’ll likely need a lot more materials than a residential job, so the cost will be higher. If you are ordering in bulk, however, you may be able to get discounts from your supplier. This will differ based on your unique supplier, and discounted bulk prices may not always be available.  

6. Paint System

A collection of paint samples

The unique coating you choose for your metal, and the paint system, whether it’s polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) or silicon modified polyester (SMP), will also affect the cost. PVDF is more expensive than SMP, as it’s a premium product with excellent color retention, chalking and fading resistance, better warranty coverage, and cool metal roofing properties.

Color choice may also play a role in the final cost, especially if it’s a custom color, as it will take time for the supplier to work with a paint company to match that color. Premium colors, metallics, and colors with a weathered finish also tend to have higher price points.

7. Market Fluctuations

As with many raw materials, the price of coils and sheets will be based on the overall economy — supply chain issues, global events, and international conflicts. Some products are being shipped from around the world, so prices are very contingent on the whole system working in unity.

For instance, the metal roofing market recently experienced a shortage of PVDF in 2022. PVDF is a metal roofing coating and is also used to make batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and battery storage solutions for renewable energy systems.

Recently, there was a renewed demand for PVDF, with major players entering the market. EV and battery manufacturers were willing to pay higher prices for PVDF, which meant that PVDF manufacturers were more motivated to sell to that industry.

Plus, China, historically one of the largest PVDF manufacturers, had limited the supply of PVDF they were exporting. This created a new challenge for the metal roofing industry and raised the cost of PVDF significantly.

While factors like this may not be in your control when ordering products, it’s something to keep in mind as you see prices shift.

Where Can You Buy Metal Coils and Sheets?

Understanding the different pricing factors for metal coils and sheets can help you determine your budget and what to expect. Part of getting the right price, and the right products, comes down to finding a reliable, trusted metal roofing supplier.

Sheffield Metals has decades of experience in the industry and is dedicated to helping contractors meet their goals. Check out our additional content on ordering products from Sheffield Metals, or, if you’re ready, contact us today to place an order.

Contact Sheffield Metals today!