Metal Roof or Shingle Showdown

RCS Metal Roofs or Shingles
February 10, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.

By Cass Jacoby.  

The pro and con list you have been searching for to ultimately answer the question of, “Which is best, metal or shingles?” 

There are so many options when it comes to choosing a roofing material, it is no wonder homeowners can get overwhelmed with the choices. When you're deciding the material to use for your roof you want to make an informed choice. So, what is better? Metal roofs or shingles? 

The short answer is that it depends on what your priorities are; both materials are great options for residential roofing, the “best” is going to be the material that is better suited to your needs and preferences. Read on for a list of the pros and cons of each choice so you can discover which of the two works best for your home.  

Asphalt roofs 

Asphalt shingles have been one of the most popular roofing materials. Standard 3-tab shingles are commonly found and widely available.  

Pros

  • Visually appealing. This roofing type offers the most color and texture varieties to complement your home.  

  • Undeniably asphalt shingles are easier to install and more affordable. Familyhandyman reports that the average cost of an asphalt shingle roof is around $7,000 to $10,000 dollars. 

Cons

  • Thermal cycling weathers your asphalt shingles and will reduce their lifespan. Asphalt is absorptive so water can enter, freeze and dry out the shingle causing its structure to breakdown. 

  • The process of recycling asphalt shingles is costly and isn't a common practice; 11 million tons of asphalt shingles hit landfills every year

  • Asphalt shingles last up to 20 years, which is a long lifespan, but not nearly as long as the  lifespan of metal roofs, which can last for up to 70 years according to State Farm. 

Metal roofs 

Metal roofing has been steadily growing in popularity becausethe material is lightweight, durable and energy-efficient. It also comes in a variety of designs which makes for a versatile and visually appealing product.  

Pros

  • Metal roofing comes in a large array of style and color variations, including imitations of wood or asphalt roofs.  

  • High ROI on roofing choice. HomeAdvisor lists the extremely durable, lightweight and water-resistant aspects of the metal roof as some of its greatest benefits and that these attributes can raise the resale value of your home.  

  • Metal roofs offer the best resistance for withstanding fire. Despite the myth that hail can easily dent a metal roof, metal roofs are actually more efficient at handling common hail impacts than asphalt shingles. 

  • Metal is highly reflective so it absorbs less heat and keeps the roof cooler than other roof types which makes it energy efficient and can reduce your cooling costs.  

  • Metal roofs last anywhere from 40 to 70 years. Metal roofs aren’t absorptive like asphalt, they are installed with fastening clips or slotted screw holes that allow for thermal movement without breaking down overtime.  

Cons

  • Metal roofs require specialized knowledge to install and tend to be more expensive. 

  • HomeAdvisor notes that while metal roofs provide enough variety to find a color and style that complements any home and can be disguised to look like any other roofing material, they might look “out of place” in suburban areas. 

Conclusion 

As stated earlier, choosing the right material for your roof depends on what you're looking for out of your roof. If you are looking for a cost-efficient roof that looks good and offers tons of aesthetic options, then an asphalt roof is for you. If you are looking for a durable, eco-friendly and easy to maintain roof, then a metal roof is definitely the choice. 

Have a question? AskARoofer.

Find your local roofing contractor in the RoofersCoffeeShop® Contractor Directory.  

About Cass

Cass works as a reporter/writer for RoofersCoffeeShop and AskARoofer. When she isn’t writing about roofs, she is writing about movies for her master's degree and dancing with her plants.



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