6 Most Popular Metal Roofing Materials in New Zealand

When it comes to keeping dry and warm, metal roofing materials have emerged as the go-to choice for homeowners across New Zealand offering a combination of durability, versatility, cost-effectiveness, and weather resistance.

Metal roofing materials is the go-to solution for New Zealand homeowners.

Metal roofing is durable, cost-effective, and ultimately recyclable.

Galvanised Steel: Strength, Protection, and Longevity

Galvanised steel is a popular roofing material known for its strength, protection, and longevity.

The name “galvanizing” was first applied to the process invented by Stanislas Sorel, a French civil engineer, inventor, and chemist. In 1836 he patented a process of cleaning steel and then coating it with zinc by dipping it into molten zinc. Zinc acts as a sacrificial anode, meaning that it will corrode before the steel (the cathode) underneath, thus extending the lifespan of the roof.

Corrugated iron emerged as the favoured material in New Zealand thanks to the early European settlers. A widespread surge in population and infrastructure in the 19th century prompted the adoption of galvanised steel roofing due to its relatively lightweight, ease of transportation, and ability to withstand the country’s challenging weather conditions.

Amongst its other advantages, galvanised steel roofing is easy to install, fire-resistant, and recyclable. It also reflects heat and reduces cooling costs in summer.

However, galvanised steel has some drawbacks that you should be aware of.

  • It can be noisy during rain or hail storms and may dent or scratch easily.
  • It requires regular maintenance to prevent rusting and fading. Inspect your roof periodically and apply a fresh coat of paint or sealant when needed.


Zincalume is one of the most popular and cost-effective roofing materials in New Zealand. It has exceptional corrosion resistance and durability, making it an ideal roofing material for New Zealand conditions.

Zincalume is a zinc/aluminium alloy coated steel used for roofing and flashing, wall cladding, gutters and downpipes, fences, garage doors, and garden sheds. (www.nzsteel.co.nz, retrieved 12:40, 05/07/2023)

  • Aesthetic Considerations: Zincalume has a unique silver-grey appearance that adds a touch of elegance to any architectural design. Its metallic finish beautifully reflects natural light, creating a dynamic play of shadows and highlights on the roof surface.
  • Regular maintenance, such as clearing debris, is necessary to ensure optimal performance.

Pre-painted steel

When it comes to choosing roofing materials, durability and weather resistance are two crucial factors to consider. Pre-painted metal roofing materials offer a range of products that excel in both areas.

One of the primary advantages of pre-painted roofing materials is their exceptional durability. Made from high-quality steel, these roofing products are designed to withstand the test of time.

These roofs are known for their resistance to corrosion and rust, due to the protective coating applied during the manufacturing process. This coating acts as a barrier, preventing moisture from penetrating the metal and causing damage. As a result, pre-painted roofs have a longer lifespan compared to other roofing options.

The protective coating on pre-painted roofs prevents water from seeping through, ensuring a watertight and leak-free roof. This is especially important in regions with heavy rainfall or snowfall, where moisture penetration can lead to costly repairs and structural damage.

Pre-painted roofing comes in a range of colours and profiles to suit any home.

Aluminium: Lightweight, Versatile, and Low-Maintenance Roofing Solution

Due to its high resistance to corrosion, aluminium roofing is an ideal choice for coastal regions in New Zealand.

  • Lightweight Construction and Versatility:
    Aluminium roofs are significantly lighter than other metal options, reducing structural load and allowing for greater architectural design flexibility.
  • Corrosion Resistance and Low Maintenance:
    Aluminium roofing excels in New Zealand’s climate, offering exceptional corrosion resistance and minimal maintenance requirements.
  • Colour and Finish Options:
    Aluminium roofing provides a wide range of colour and finish options to suit your aesthetic preferences, allowing you to customize the look of your home.

Copper: Timeless Beauty and Unmatched Durability for Your Roof

One of the oldest metal roofing materials, copper has elegance and exceptional durability. Some architectural wonders from more than 500 years ago, still have the same copper roof.

Copper roof in Bucharest, Romania.

  • Exceptional Durability and Longevity:
    Copper roofs are renowned for their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions and can last well over a century with proper installation and maintenance.
  • Lightweight Construction and Versatility:
    The lightweight nature of copper allows for flexibility in architectural design, making it suitable for various roof shapes and styles. It effortlessly complements both traditional and contemporary aesthetics.
The Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany, with its copper roof.
  • Natural Patina and Character:
    Copper develops a captivating greenish-blue patina over time, adding charm and character to your roof while providing a protective layer that enhances its longevity.
  • Considerations for Cost and Maintenance:
    While the initial investment for copper roofing may be higher, its long lifespan and minimal maintenance requirements can offset these costs over time.

Stainless Steel Roofing: Pros and Cons

  • Exceptional Durability: Stainless steel roofs are known for their unmatched strength and longevity. They can withstand extreme weather conditions, resist corrosion, and maintain their structural integrity over time.
  • Low Maintenance: Stainless steel requires minimal maintenance, making it an attractive choice for homeowners. It is resistant to rust, fading, and staining, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Stainless steel roofing offers a sleek and modern appearance that enhances the curb appeal of any home.
  • Sustainability: Stainless steel is a highly sustainable material, as it is made from recycled content and can be recycled at the end of its lifespan.
  • Fire Resistance: Stainless steel is non-combustible and provides an added layer of fire protection for your home, ensuring peace of mind and safety.

Considerations and Disadvantages:

  • Cost: Stainless steel roofing tends to be more expensive upfront compared to other materials. However, its long lifespan and minimal maintenance requirements can offset the initial investment.
  • Expansion and Contraction: Stainless steel expands and contracts with temperature changes, so proper installation techniques are crucial to accommodate this movement and prevent potential issues.
  • Noise: During heavy rainfall or hailstorms, stainless steel roofs can be noisier compared to other roofing materials. Proper insulation and soundproofing measures can help mitigate this concern.