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Your Ultimate DIY Guide To Metal Roofing Directly On Plywood

You love DIY methods but installing metal roofing is above your field of expertise? Luckily, if you’re considering doing it on plywood, it’s pretty easy. You can do it yourself instead of spending money on contractors.

How to put metal roofing directly on plywood?

You can’t put metal roof directly on plywood. To do it safely, you have to do the following things. Ensure the quality of the wood first. Prepare the roof by getting rid of raised nails then. Set up protective materials and roof flashing afterward. Position the gutters and install the metal panels. Finally, attach the metal ridges to complete the procedure.

Still a little unsure? Don’t be. We’ll guide you throughout the process. 

Let’s get on to it!

Should I Directly Put Metal Roof on Plywood?

You shouldn’t install metal roofing directly on bare plywood. If you do, it could rot the wood prematurely, and your roof could leak. It’s due to the moisture buildup between the roof and plywood.

You can avoid this by making protective layers. Just insulating the patio or the whole roof won’t work. You’d have to use felt and slip sheets to protect the plywood.

Let’s check out the process of the construction project now!

Step-by-Step Process of Installing Metal Roof

We’ve divided the entire process into five simple steps. These are simple and easy to follow. 

But first, you’ll need a lot of tools to do the project. We recommend you keep the following tools at hand:

  • Roofers felt
  • Slip sheet 
  • Roofing knife
  • Hammer
  • ½ inch roofing nails
  • Metal snips
  • Metal flashing
  • Gutters 
  • Chalk and chalk box
  • Drill
  • 1 ½ inch galvanized metal screws
  • Rubber pipe boot kits (required for each vent)

Make sure you have all these. With that being said, let’s get on to the construction procedure-

Step 1: Choosing the Right Metal Roofing 

We know that choosing the right type of metal roofing can be perplexing. There are numerous options, and each metal has unique properties.

That’s why we have made a comparative overview of four types of metals used for roofing:

FeaturesAluminum Copper & ZincStainless Steel
DurabilityLasts 50 yearsLasts 60-100 yearsLasts up to 40 years
FeatureRust ResistantLong-LastingCorrosion Resistant
Price$4 – $10 per sq. foot$14- $25 per sq. foot$2 – $7 per sq. foot
ProsFire Resistant & Energy EfficientQuietest metal & Can Withstand HailSeals out Moisture and  avoid mold
ConsThin Sheets, not suitable for high windsLikely to dentExcessive Noise 

This will help you choose the kind of roof you need according to your budget. Each of these has different features, so always consider your choices before making the decision.

Step 2: Check & Prepare the Plywood

The foundation beneath the metal roof should be sturdy. That’s why you should start by inspecting the plywood for damage. 

If you see any crumbling wood or shattered pieces, make sure to wear a mask. Rotten wood dust can be harmful to you.

Replace the rotten wood.  Otherwise, it’ll spread to the adjacent areas. If that happens, the screws that need to be placed won’t hold. You need to ensure the plywood is 5-16 inches thick at least.

After that, hammer down all the raised nails. Or else they could damage the new metal panels. Once done, remove all the unused vents or pipes.

Step 3: Set Up Protective Materials

In this step, you’ll install slip sheets on top of the felt layers. At first lay the felt on the surface of the plywood. Make certain that you cover the entire roof.

Using a roofing knife, cut the underlayment to the roof’s dimensions. Hammer the half-inch roofing nails into the substrate afterward.

Place the smooth slip sheets on the felt now. Nail it along the edge of the roof afterward. 

Step 4: Position the Gutters & Roof Flashing

At this point, you must install the gutters and downspouts. For downpipes, you can choose from a variety of PVC pipe types. Install the gutters using roofing nails after properly sizing them.

You can now install continuous flashing or drip edges under the roofing felt. Measure the length of the roof and cut the material. Once finished, install them along the border with roofing nails.

Here are some of the standard roof flashing you can choose from-

Product 1
Product 2

These are the best in the market. It will keep the water away from critical areas of your roof.

Step 5: Install the First Panels

You’re now all ready to install the panels. Starting from the bottom of the roof, snap a chalk line. It should be vertical and ¼ inch away from the rake edge. The line should be parallel with the eave.

You should start from the left and work up to the right side.Begin installing the first panel at the roof’s base. Overlay the roof’s edge by an inch and work toward the ridge afterward. 

Drill 1 ½ inch galvanized screws to attach the metal panel to the decking. Place a screw in every 12 to 16 inches interval. 

Step 6: Install the Remaining Panels

Install the following line of panels now and work your way up. After finishing that, go back down to start the next one. You’ll have to align the panels, overlapping the edge for about 14 inches.

Start the next column by fixing the first left side-rib of the new panel over the last rib of the previously installed panel. In this way, repeat each panel until you cover the whole roof.

Step 7: Attach Ridge

You can finally install the metal ridge around the roof. Besides that, you’ll have to position rubber pipe boot kits along the vent pipes. 

This was the whole procedure. Installing metal roofing by yourself requires an extensive amount of time and investment. If you have water pipes in the attic, you should install anti-rodent pipe insulation. It is cost-effective and convenient.

Safety Precautions

If you’re doing DIY work on your roof, safety should be your first priority. We’ve compiled a list of safety tips for you-

  • Never use a metal ladder in close proximity to power lines.
  • When you’re working on your own, its best to have someone closeby
  • For additional safety, wear a roofing harness.
  • Ensure that the work area is well-organized and that passers-by are kept at bay.
  • For the best traction, wear soft-soled shoes.

Why push your luck? Just follow these and keep yourself and your family safe!


Question: How many roof panels do I need for metal roofs?

Answer: To determine how many panels you need,  measurement of your roof. Next, divide the roof’s sq. footage by metal panel’s sq. footage. You’ll get the number of panels you need by doing this.

Question: What can I do to minimize condensation under metal roofs?

Answer: You can build a ventilation system at the time of metal roof construction. It allows the air to circulate freely, and condensation can be avoided or at least reduced.

Question: Which color should I choose for a metal roof to save energy?

Answer: You should choose lighter colors such as white, light blue, and beige for metal roofing. This will protect from excessive heat and lower energy expenses. 

Final Words

We have thoroughly explained the procedure of metal roofing directly on plywood. Hopefully, now you can construct your own roof. 

But installing a roof can be challenging even to experienced constructors. That’s why don’t hesitate if you want to consult an expert.

Good luck with your construction project!