An In-Depth Comparison: Metal Roofing vs. Shingles

January 31, 2019 How To, Uncategorized

An In-Depth Comparison: Metal Roofing vs. Shingles


With metal roofing becoming more popular in recent years, let’s have a look at whether shingles will be worth it of it you should go with a metal roof. In truth, you should choose whatever works the best for you. Let’s have a side-by-side comparison of the two next to each other so that you can make an informed decision on metal roofing vs. shingles.

The Pricing 

First, we have to look at the pricing of shingles up against the pricing of metal roofing. For metal roofing, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5.50 up to $12. This will vary based on a couple of different factors. Meanwhile, if you were to choose shingles, it will cost you anywhere from $7 up to $10. With a metal seam roofing, you can expect this to cost you anywhere from $9 up to $12.

Probably one of the biggest advantages of shingles come from the price of it. You don’t have to pay quite as much for asphalt shingles. In addition, it costs less because it doesn’t require expertise in knowledge of how to do this. You also don’t need a specialization or special types of equipment for it. Some of the factors influencing the price include:

  • Complexity of roof
  • Contractor hired
  • Geography

Related Article: How to Fix a Leaking Roof (DIY Guide)

In general, if you have skylights or metal flashing, you can expect to pay a little extra because it will take longer for the professional to work around this, and this costs more in labor. The metal installation will require professional labor.

The Advantages of Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has a few virtues that have helped to make it popular with some people. First, you have the longevity of the metal roofing. For example, with metal roofing, you can expect it to last up to 50 years, which gives you a long lifespan on the roofing. On the other hand, you have shingles, and they will only last 25 years in comparison. Over the long term, metal roofing also tends to be less expensive than shingles under most circumstances because it can last for much longer.

Another advantage with metals is that it tends to be fire resistant. You can get Class A fired rated metal that is non-combustible. Class A will give you the most fire resistance, which works much better.


Metal roofing also tends to be more durable than shingle roofing, and it can uphold its integrity under a variety of circumstances. Rain, snow, extreme cold or hail and ice won’t have as negative of an impact on metal roofing. People have also chosen to go with metal roofing because of how it tends to be more environmentally friendly than shingles. For example, at the end of its lifetime, you can simply recycle it. In recent years, homeowners have also placed a greater emphasis on it, and because of this, metal roofing can raise the value of your home by one percent to six percent.

People have also chosen metal roofing because of how you have a greater selection of colors. You can choose a variety of colors for your roofing, and you can help it to match the paint scheme of your home better. Another one of the advantages come down to the insurance. You pay much less for it than what you would with shingles because insurance companies see this as a safer choice that will have a lower likelihood of needing repairs.

The Disadvantages of Metal Roofing

Probably one of the biggest disadvantages of metal roofing comes from the fact that it costs so much. In addition, while you have lower chances of damaging the roof, if you do damage the roof, it can be worse than shingles because you will pay more to have it repaired. In some of the home communities, these types of roofs have been banned because of how it looks more industrial than the other choice. In truth, it does have somewhat of a less aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Over the short term, shingles are better over the short term. You will have an easier time replacing and installing shingles than what you do as well.

Advantages of Shingles

You have a couple of reasons that you might choose to stick with shingles over metal roofing. For example, with shingles, you can use nails instead of screws to put the shingles back in place, which makes it easier to connect them. That’s one of the reasons that it takes longer for metal roofing to get installed. You have to screw the metal into place instead of nailing it, which takes longer.

If you do happen to encounter issues with shingles like the wind hits the roof in the right way and damages some of them, it will make it a little easier for you to make the necessary repairs. You also have better warranty coverage with the shingles than what you get with metal roofing. Typically these warranties will last anywhere from 10 to 30 years, depending on the manufacturer. In many cases, however, this will only cover the defects or if you get a premature deterioration.

Depending on where you live, you can get shingles more easily than metal roofing. The widespread availability has made shingles a more popular choice. Most commonly, you will find them at the retailers and the distributors. In addition, most contractors understand how to install shingles.

If you were to ask them how to install metal roofing, you will only find a handful of them that know how to install metal roofing. Shingles are little more common than metal roofing.

Another thing to keep in mind with shingles has to do with coastal living. With the more coastal applications, shingles tend to do better, and they’re easier to replace than if you used metal roofing. The problem with these areas comes from the heavy winds that can damage the metal roofing or the shingles.

Disadvantages of Shingles

Probably one of the bigger disadvantages stems from the fact that shingles tend to be a little heavier. While technological advancements have been made, they still weigh a lot. This weight can add stress to your structure and cause problems after a period of time. In addition, you can’t recycle shingles as easily as what you could with metal roofing.

It’s true that you can recycle asphalt shingles, but despite this fact, you still don’t see too many people who do recycle. In fact, an estimated 11 million tons of asphalt shingles still go to the landfills every year. You do have the same level of recyclability as metal, but the problem is how many homeowners and contractors don’t realize that you can recycle the shingles, which will have a positive effect on the environment.

How to Choose a Roofing

Before you choose shingles or metal roofing, you should first check to see which one will line up with your budget the most. If you have more short-term financial needs, you may do better with shingles. Another thing that is important is personal tastes.

Metal roofing isn’t a choice for everyone. You also have to consider your home and how it will look. What do you think will look better? Consider the roof pitch and how many square feet you will need for the roof. In addition, how much of the roof sits in sunlight and how much sits in the shade? With shingles, they can attract the heat into the home through the shingles, which is when metal roofing could be an advantage.

Consider the Environment

You have some cases where the metal roof will inevitably be a much better decision. For example, let’s say that you live in a region that regularly has a lot of high winds and extraordinary heat. In these cases, you’d be better off choosing metal roofing because you don’t have to worry that the wind will lift up the shingles and cause damage.

What is the Life Cycle of the Building?

Do you have an older home that might get torn down within the next 20 years, it may not pay to put the extra cash into metal roofing because the building won’t last. In these cases, a shingle roof will do much better. If you plan to have a home for over 50 years, it could pay for you to use metal roofing instead.

What You Can Ask Yourself to Help You Decide

First, you should ask yourself what type of budget you have for your roof. This will help you to understand what type of roof you should buy. Another thing that you should look at is what kind of environment do you live in because this can be a big determiner of what type of roofing you should choose.

In addition, how much searching for the right contractor are you willing to do? You will have to spend more time searching if you plan on hiring someone who understands how to install metal roofing. If you want to add more color to your home, going with a metal roofing will give you a bigger variety of choices.

Choosing the right solution for yourself is what it is all about. Some people will do better with the standard shingle roofing, but in some cases, you might be better off paying a little extra so that you can get roofing that you can depend on for a long time.

If you were to speak with the average residential architect, they’d probably tell you to swing for the metal roofing if you can get it in most cases. The roof is arguably one of the most important aspects of the home because it will keep the rain and snow out. You should go with whatever suits your individual tastes.

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