R-Panel Roofing vs Standing Seam

February 8, 2024by Joe0

Once you’ve made the decision to go with metal roofing for your home, you still have to settle on which type you want. Of the options available are R-panel and standing seam. And while they may look similar, there are some big differences to consider between both.

R Panel Roofing

Large, durable metal panels that have the raised ribs that run vertically through them. Understanding its pros and cons can help you to make a clearer decision as to whether you choose r panel roofing or not.


  • It’s a cost effective option. Did you know that R panel roofing is generally more affordable? This makes it a much more attractive option for those who are really conscious about their budget during their home build.
  • It doesn’t take very long to install. Because R panel roofing is larger paneled, it can be installed relatively quickly. This will help you to save on those long term labor costs which, as we already discussed, may suit the budget conscious.
  • It’s versatile. R panel roofing can be used for a whole range of applications, whether you’re building your very first home or you’re building an agricultural structure outside.
  • It’s a durable option. R panel roofs are actually really well known for their strength. They can also resist harsh weather conditions. If you live somewhere that is known for wind, hail and heavy rainfall, then an R panel roof could be the best option you choose.
  • It’s super easy to maintain. If you’re looking at reducing your long term costs and maintenance efforts, then R panel roofing could be a great option for you.


  • It’s not as aesthetically pleasing. Your options for aesthetics are quite limited for R panel roofing as there are fewer design options out there.You don’t get that sleek or streamlined appearance.
  • It can move more. R panel Roofing can experience bigger expansion and contraction outcomes. This can cause quite a bit of noise.
  • Your warranty options are fairly limited. R panel roofing can have a much shorter warranty period compared to standing seam roofing and it all depends on the manufacturer that you choose.

Standing Seam Roofing

Standing seam roofing is slightly different to R panel roofing as the vertical running metal panels have raised seams and these seams interlock tightly. Here are the pros and cons:


  • It looks great. A standing seam roof offers that modern, sleek appearance which really can help to enhance the overall curb appeal of your property. If you’re aiming to build your property with the view of selling it one day, this is something you should invest in. 
  • It’s built to last. Standing seam roofs are really known for their lifespan. Did you know that these kinds of roofs can last 50 years or more? With the right installation and maintenance, you can bet that your roof will stand the test of time.
  • They are a weather resistant option. Standing seam roofs have an interlocking design and that can provide some amazing protection against water infiltration. It’s highly resistant to leaks as a result.
  • The energy efficiency is great because of the additional insulation and ventilation options. Standing seam roofs contribute to a better energy efficiency which does well for the environment as much as it does for your wallet.
  • A flexible design. There are so many different customization options with standing seam roofing, whether you’re choosing panel widths, colors or seam heights.


  • It’s more expensive. A standing seam roof generally comes at a much higher initial cost compared to the other type of roofing, R panel.
  • It takes a little longer to install. There was more time and expertise required when it comes to standing seam roofing.
  • It’s complex to maintain. It doesn’t take much maintenance, but any repairs or modifications can become a challenge due to the system being an interlocking system rather than a panel system.

So, what are the differences between the two? Let’s explore below:

Panel Appearance

Did you know that R panel roofing can be mistakenly referred to as standing seam? The panels look very different up close, but once they are on a roof they look very similar. However, it’s often the case that standing seam will win when it comes to appearance because it’s subjective to the project and the personal preference of the people installing it. Standing seam is known for its clean lines and more modern look, so it provides a better aesthetic. Standing seam roofing Offers a hidden fastening system compared to the open fastening system of R panel roofs. 

Fastener System

As we’ve just discussed, standing seam roofing systems have a concealed fastening system. The exposed fastener system, also known as corrugated metal roofing, is when the panels are fastened directly to the deck with screws that penetrate the panel.

This means that the screw heads are visible, and that’s where the exposed fastener comes in. These screw heads have to be checked regularly to make sure that they don’t need to be replaced or tightened. If there is a concealed fastener system the panels cover the screws and they are attached to the substrate using concealed clips and fasteners. An exposed fastener is made weather-tight with a rubber sealing washer.

There are thousands of different screw penetrations in the roof and if they are installed incorrectly or at the wrong angle, this can create problems. It’s due to this with the proper maintenance, standing seam, roofing winds. The exposed fasteners of the R panel roofing can put the house at potential risks of leaks. 

The Costs

One of the biggest differences between roof panels is the cost. R panel roofing is considered to be more budget friendly and standing seam is the most expensive option, which is probably due to the design and the fact that the screws are fastened and covered. Standing seam can actually cost twice as much or more than that than R panel roofing, which is why R panel is the winner when it comes to costs.


Looking for faster installation of your metal roofing then R panel roofing is the best option because it requires less time, a simpler skill set and a lot less tools. This makes the R panel the much better choice if you’re looking for something simple. 

You should always find a qualified contractor to do this for you, however, because you still need the right experience to do a concealed fastener installation, and that’s not easy to accomplish if they’re in a need for repairs as well, it will be time consuming and every individual panel has to be separated in order for one panel to be replaced. The installation of standing seam will cost a lot more than R panel because of the complex job.

What About Solar Panels?

The legs of a standing seam roof are convenient for a clamp to attach solar panels to the seam or leg of the standing seam roofing panels. Unlike other rooftop options, there’s no need to drill into the roof itself to be able to install solar panels. This means you can still be environmentally conscious while keeping your roofing costs to a minimum.


R panel and standing seam panels can be used in a range of ways. There are certain applications in which you’ll see them used more often. R panel is the option often used in agricultural and industrial commercial buildings, and it’s the most common metal siding panel because of its weather proofing. Standing seam is usually used for residential products because of the fact it’s upscale in its look. So how you choose your roofing will really very much depend on what type of project you have and what kind of a roof you’d like to install in the first place.

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RPS Metal Roofing & Siding, Inc is a manufacturer and distributor of metal roofs. Located in Welaka, Florida, our company has state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment resulting in fine quality metal roofs for commercial, residential and agricultural use.

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