Metal on a Round or Curved Roof

June 16, 2009 | Filed under: Misc, Roofing Answers, Roofing Installation

Every once in awhile, someone asks me about putting metal on a roof that is either round or else has a concave or convex curved roof up the rafter like a bell shape.

Vertical seam panels, unless hand-formed or customer curved, do not work real well on concave or convex surfaces. On a round roof, standing seam panels can be used but they must be tapered.

For many of these roofs, the best metal option is often a small in size modular shingle style panel. They usually work very well on bell shape roofs but can also often be hand formed for round roofs.

Feel free to send me pictures of your roof and I will give you ideas!

It is interesting on complex roofs that the building owner faces high labor costs regardless so it makes sense in many respects to choose as permanent of a roof as possible and avoid future re-roofing costs.

todd Miller

has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.

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27 responses to “Metal on a Round or Curved Roof”

  1. Susan says:

    Do you put freestanding roofs (on a foundation and frame) over yurt structures 30′ around with a 3′ hole in the middle top for a skylight? I would like the roof to stand approximately 1.5 feet over the yurt and overhang by about 2 feet, with a gutter for rain catch.


    • toddmiller says:


      Great question. My company does not do anything like that. You do have some options in metal, though. To make a truly round roof in metal you need eitehr tapered panels or some of the metal panels will work. If you segment the roof into a bunch of pie shapes, though, you can use other panels as well.

      Structurally, your options include putting the roof panels just over a framing system. This will require a structural metal roof to withstand the uyplift forces as well as good design on the rest of the structure.

      You can also build a structure and put plywood on it and then metal panels on top of that. And, if you segment it into pie shapes, you can use about any metal panels available today.

      I hope this helps.


  2. Diane says:

    Hi, We have a 50 year old barn that has a rounded roof. What is the best way to reroof with metal roofing? The current roof is standing seam roof. Thank- you Diane

    • toddmiller says:

      Hi Diane. Well, there are “expensive” ways to do rounded metal roofs with curved standing seam panels. You also could hire a sheet metal company to basically hand-form a roof that will be similar to what you have. The remaining option is metal shingles … they will likely work very well on what you have. Send me a picture if you’d like more input.


  3. Allan Laxdal says:

    We are re-roofing a quonset that had a plywood with asphalt shingle roof previouslly using low profile metal sheets. We put 1×4 strapping on at 2′ centers and are having a problem fitting the sheets together. If we start the 2nd sheet at the bottom and screw it toward the top pushing out the gap as we go it doesn’t want to follow the rib and we are out when we get to the top and if we centre the top and bottom the middle is out and there is a large gap between sheets that we could not pull out when setting the top screw.
    Any comments?

    • toddmiller says:

      Allan, Thanks for your question. It is good to hear from you and I am glad you’re using metal. I know enough to know that I am in over my head with your question though. You’re dealing with something with which I have had no experience. I would suggest you send photos and your description of the problem to Bill Croucher at Fabral, Kenny Buchinger at MBCI, and Ken Gieseke at McElroy Metals. Their emails follows. I am confident that one of them will be able to help you. All best and good luck.

  4. Al says:

    thanks alot Todd i appreciate the help, take care.

  5. Lynn says:

    Is there a company on The Big Island that will put metal roofs on a 30 foot yurt?

  6. Lynn says:

    Is there a roof company on the Big Island that will put metal roofing on a 30 foot roof?

  7. Stan says:


    Do you have suggestions for a metal silo roof? Roof will be tapered standing seam on a silo that is 18′ diameter. The space is a mail room for a multi-family project that has a ceiling and attic space above, so attic ventilation is needed. Low vents are thru louvers in the wall, but I need a cap vent at the top.

    • toddmiller says:

      The best thing you can do for a project like this is contact a local sheet metal shop / contractor and they will be able to custom fabricate something specifically for you.

  8. Countryside builders says:

    Putting steel on a round roof we have had the same trouble with the sheet bubbling on us I can’t fit the ribs what you need to do is fasten the bottom then angle your screws so it will pull upand pull it tight to the top and then if you have trouble with the ribb line up in the center you can scrunch your under lap rib to where it will line up better another thing that’s going to be a problem is if the roof has a swale or a big hump that way also

  9. Ben Stewart says:

    Hello Todd,

    I’m planning to build a tiny house trailer in the ‘gypsy caravan’ style. The major hang up so far has been in finding a roofing material that can accommodate a curved roof frame that isn’t shingle of any kind.

    I am a residential carpenter and builder so I’m doing most all the work myself. Could you give me some tips on how to order curved panels/make them in the field/find a company in Columbus that was equipped to do this?

    Thanks for your help!

    • toddmiller says:

      This can be difficult and a lot depends on how low pitch the roof goes. However, for vertical seam panels, you may want to talk to Dimensional Metals, Inc there in Columbus. I believe they do curved panels. You also may be able to use metal shingles to navigate the curve without any modification. Again, though, pitch becomes a factor. Do you have drawings you could email to me for better review? If so, please send to

  10. Steve says:

    I will be building a small overnight/weekend camp in a spot that can’t be driven to. I’ll have to hand-carry all materials uphill a couple hundred yards. I’m thinking quonset hut because they’re sturdy, simple, yet lightweight. Where can I find curved sheet metal roofing? Or quonset hut kits not larger than 8′ x 8′ x 8′ tall? Thanks for any help.

    • toddmiller says:

      This is a bit outside my expertise, due to how specialized it is. You might look into a company called ShelterLogic. If you wish to purchase curved panels on your own, that can be difficult. Please reply and let me know what area of the country you are in and I will try to get you some ideas.

  11. Steve says:

    Hi Todd…I am in VT. What I’m planning is a minimal shelter in a very remote area so the quonset hut concept is appealing: self-supporting, minimum of materials to carry in. I will check out ShelterLogic; I appreciate further ideas.

    • toddmiller says:

      Companies you might talk to operating in your area include Englert, ATAS, and Drexel. I am concerned that this size of building is going to create a tough radius for most arched metal panels to achieve.

  12. Todd Mckibben says:

    I have a 30 ft yurt and want to put a metal roof on it. I live in northern Idaho and it has served me well for 12 years but wanting to make a few changes. Who should I contact about getting metal roofing for an existing yurt frame with a center ring that has an openning. Plus with the weight of the metal roof do you thing I would need more support then under the center ring with this new added weight? I am open to ideas..

    • Todd Miller says:

      Thanks Todd. I have to confess … I know sort of what a yurt is … and I believe there are variations on the general theme. I do not recall working with one before though. I did google “metal roof on a yurt” and found where folks had done it with tapered metal panels … but those mainly had solid walls. Does yours have solid walls for extra stability or are the walls canvas? Also, I assume current roof is canvas stretched over the framing? Getting tapered metal panels can be a challenge but not impossible. They could be made by a local sheet metal expert or, up your way, you could look into companies like VicWest, Nu-Ray Metals, and Champion Metals. I look forward to hearing back from you. If it’s easier, just email me direct at Thanks.

  13. Matt Rogers says:

    Hi everyone. I see that several people here are asking for a solution for putting a metal roof on a yurt. My yurt company Clean Air Yurts has a metal roof kit that works with yurts and other round houses. We are in the process of re-branding our Metal Yurt Roof product to the name Up Yurts (its a roof for a yurt, get it). We have sizes from 12′ to 42′ diameter. Each metal roof is designed and produced on high tech computer controlled machinery by one of the largest sheet metal fabricators in the country. Our roofing is 24 gauge and galvanized to G-135 – much longer lasting than any standard residential or commercial galvanized metal roofing out there. The roof can be installed either over top of your existing cover or directly on top of your rafters. One big benefit to the metal roof is that you can have a roof overhang and keep all the rain water off your walls and out of your windows. Priced between $3000-10000, they are super affordable for a roof solution that will save you money over its 70 year lifespan. We can ship our roofs anywhere in the world. Contact me at or visit our new page at

  14. LeRoy Bowder says:

    i have shelterlogic round building would like to put metal in stead of frbic is this possible thank you

  15. Jack Grady (Cincinnati) says:

    In reading these questions, it prompts me to ask if there is a metal roof design for fire ring cover? I have seen where people have taken a silo grain metal roof and used it to cover a patio fire ring. They cut a center section out for the smoke to go out. I was curious if a company has already designed something like this. We entertain a lot and a metal roof over the camp fire ring to keep it weather proof would be great

  16. Tony Basinger says:

    I have 3 half round roofs that need metal covering on new construction is there anyone near Salisbury NC that can do this

  17. bryan williams says:

    Okay so I eight 2’x8′ window awnings they stand 24″ tall and have a 2.5″ concave radius over that span I have made a pvc jig to hold my tuff rib metal roofing in place while rolling it on a four foot metal roller to get my radius. This took a lot of work to do. do you have any Ideas on how to make this easier now that I now have a lot if customers wanting this

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