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Can You Put Metal Roofing Over Plywood? (How To)

Metal roofs add beauty and longevity to any home. Can you install a metal roof if you already have plywood down?

Metal roofs can be installed over plywood but you must inspect the plywood for damage and do any repairs ahead of time. Your metal roof will likely last 70 years, so make sure you are starting with rotten or damaged plywood.

Man fixing the metal roofing

It may take some time and effort to fix these issues in advance but it is well worth it. Otherwise, you could end up having to remove the metal roof in order to fix the plywood that is underneath it.

In addition, you should never skip the step of putting down a moisture barrier and slip sheet. In many cases, these are required by local building code but even if they aren’t, they provide benefits that will help your roof to last for a very long time.

Can You Put Metal Roofing Over Plywood? (How To)

One important factor to consider when installing a metal roof over plywood is safety. Anytime you are working at heights, you must protect yourself from harm. The same is also true when working with metal.

Safety glasses are always at the lead of the list when it comes to PPE. You should wear them on any DIY project but especially if you’re working with a metal roof and all that it entails.

When cutting or handling the metal, you should always wear gloves. There are many different options available but you should consider wearing a pair of cut-resistant gloves. Just be aware that they don’t stop you from getting cut.

Finally, consider a method of fall protection. This could be installing an anchor point and wearing a harness or it could simply be throwing a rope over the roof and tying it off to a tree.

When you’re working on a roof, it is very easy to trip and fall. Don’t make that fall the last of your life. Wear fall protection to keep yourself safe.

Should You Put Metal Roofing Over Plywood?

Man fixing the metal roofing

Metal roofing is always an excellent choice, but there are some reasons why you should consider your options carefully. After all, it is a big project that can be expensive and will be there for a very long time.

We already discussed the fact that metal roofing over plywood is a possibility, provided it is prepared properly. Then again, the question as to whether you should put metal roofing over plywood is another issue altogether.

Consider the following benefits of metal roofing, as well as some issues that should be considered in advance.

Durable – When it comes to durability, it is difficult to top what a metal roof brings to the table. If you live in an area that is prone to high wind gusts, including areas that have hurricanes or tornadoes, it will be able to withstand them nicely.

Long Life – Nobody wants to put a roof down more than once in their lifetime. Fortunately, a metal roof is going to last for many years. In fact, if you install it properly and care for it, it can last for up to seven decades! When you compare it with asphalt roofing which has longevity of about 20 years, it is really beneficial to install metal roofing.

Energy – We all want to save money on our energy bills and metal roofing allows you to do so. It helps to keep light rays from penetrating the roof and adding to the heating cost in the home.

Safe – If the area where you live is prone to fires or lightning strikes, you will find that metal roofing offers an additional benefit of safety. Since they don’t burst into flames when they are struck by lightning or are near a fire, it can really help to save your home for future generations.

Those are the benefits of the metal roof but there are also some disadvantages that need to be considered. Here are a few:

Cost – One of the important factors to consider when thinking about installing a metal roof is the cost. You’re going to pay twice or perhaps even three times as much as other types of roofing materials. It makes up for the cost in longevity, but not everybody wants the big price tag.

Expansion – As the roof gets hot and cold, it will expand and contract. To a certain extent, this can limit the lifespan of the fasteners. You may need to replace or fix them from time to time.

Noise – If you are looking for something that is quiet when the storm is brewing outside, a metal roof may not be the best option. Noise tends to transfer through the roof easily.

In the end, it is really up to you to determine if you should install a metal roof over plywood or not. There are many benefits and disadvantages, so consider them carefully.

Tool Needed To Install Metal Roofing Over Plywood

Confused man standing

Before you begin working on the metal roof, it’s important to have the tools that are necessary to do so. Here are some of the tools you will want to have on hand.





Straight Edge

Hand Seamer





Safety Glasses

Cut Resistant Gloves

Fall Protection Equipment

Don’t overlook the safety factors that are considered in this list. They can really go a long way in helping you to be safe on the job.

What Preparation Is Needed To Install Metal Roofing Over Plywood

Man fixing the metal roofing

Although it is certainly possible to install metal roofing directly over plywood, there are some preparation factors that need to be considered. If you don’t do these in advance, you are likely to be unhappy with the job at some point or another.

1. Inspect – One of the most important things to do is to inspect the plywood carefully. If you notice any areas that are soft or if they are experiencing problems, they should either be repaired or replaced before you put down the roof.

2. Replacement – Although we mentioned it already, we really can’t overstress the need to replace any wood that has warped or is rotting. Avoid the mentality of “out of sight out of mind” and get the job done. If you don’t replace the damaged plywood now, you’re going to have to tear the roof up and replace it later.

Keep in mind that any rot in the wood is going to spread. It won’t be long before the screws are getting loose and the rot has really taken over an entire sheet of plywood. It can even affect adjacent sheets.

This isn’t just a matter of personal preference, if you don’t have the plywood attached properly and it is not sound, it is likely to be torn off in a high wind.

3. Moisture Barrier – It is very important that a moisture barrier is installed over the plywood. You can purchase this at a home improvement store and it comes in a large roll. It is more than just a moisture barrier, it helps to seal places that are prone to damage if you didn’t use it.

4. Slip Sheet – After installing the moisture barrier, you will want to install a slip sheet. Don’t skip this necessary step because it will protect the felt from getting damaged by the metal. It is easy to apply because it comes in rolls. In some cases, the application of a slip sheet may be necessary to meet building codes.

Fortunately, both the moisture barrier and the slip sheet can easily be cut with a utility blade. A staple gun is all that is necessary to hold them in place and once the metal is down, the underlying sheets will not be going anywhere.

How To Install Metal Roofing Over Plywood

Confused man standing

Are you ready to install the metal roofing over plywood? Now that you have your moisture barrier and slip sheet down, it’s time to put down the metal.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on September 9, 2022.

1. Ordering – One important factor for ordering panels is to order them cut to length. You can always cut them if necessary, but it’s much easier to have a single piece that spans the entire roof.

2. Trim – The eve trim needs to be cut to fit the fascia. This can either go on prior to the underlayment if you live in a warmer climate or it can go on after the underlayment if you live in a cold environment. This is to keep the ice from damaging the roof.

3. Panels – The panel should be installed on a foam strip. Place the panels in place, slightly overlapping them as necessary, and begin screwing them down.

4. Screw – I include this as a separate step because it is important to get it right. If you put your screw in the wrong way, it is not going to be watertight and you will end up with problems. Make sure that the screws are on the sides of the rib and go through the foam strip.

5. Rake Edge and Ridge Cap – The rake edge should be covered and the ridge cap should be secured at this point. That finishes off the roof and makes it seamless from eve to edge.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on September 9, 2022.

It is possible to install metal roofing over plywood but you have to use the proper underlayment. This includes a felt moisture barrier and a slip sheet. Afterward, you can install the roofing according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on September 9, 2022.

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