Asphalt shingles may be the most popular roofing material used by homeowners, but metal roofs are becoming more and more popular. Some people might think metal is too expensive or not attractive enough, but this article will compare the actual benefits of metal vs shingle roofing to help you make an informed decision about which type of roof is best for your home.
What is a Metal Roof?
A metal roof is a more premium roofing material option and comes in many styles and design options. Metal roofs may be made of tin, zinc, aluminum, steel, or copper and will be either standing seam, corrugated, or modular panels. They also come in shingles, which is a newer style and one that is growing in popularity.
When you think of a metal roof, you may think of the large exposed fastener panels you see installed on pole barns or lean-tos. But metal roofs have transformed to be one of the most attractive options for residential homes today. They are durable, fire-resistant, and give a great return on investment by lasting for 50+ years with little maintenance.
Pros & Cons of Metal Roofs
There are, of course, pros and cons to a material like metal. We will go through those to help weigh the options of making such a large investment in your home.
Pros of Metal Roofs:
- 100% recyclable
- Long-lasting (50+ years)
- Excellent insulation
- Boosts curb appeal
- Fire and insect resistant
- Very durable against hail, wind, and other strong storms
- Increase your home’s value
Cons of Metal Roofs:
- Expensive upfront costs
- Aluminum panels can be noisy
- Fewer color options
What is an Asphalt Shingle Roof?
Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material and have been for a long time. They are highly affordable and durable enough to withstand most climates and weather. However, they also only last 15-20 years and need to be replaced far more often than other types of roofs.
Shingle roofs consist of three main parts: felt, asphalt coating (known as tar paper) with granules on it, and metal nailer sheets that hold them together tightly as they dry out and age over time. The asphalt shingles provide excellent protection against leaks, wind gusts, or heavy rainstorms while giving your home a stylish appearance at the same time. They are simple enough to DIY and can be repaired and cared for easily. However, they come with their fair share of pros and cons, which we’ll lay out below.
Pros & Cons of Asphalt Shingles
There are many variables to work through when considering whether an asphalt shingle roof is right for you. To help you make this decision, we will go over the pros and cons of asphalt shingles.
Pros of Standard Asphalt Shingles:
- Durable against strong winds, rainstorms, and hail
- Reduces energy costs
- It can be installed over any flat surface, including a metal or concrete base.
- Lots of color options
- Easy to maintain and repair
Cons of Standard Asphalt Shingles:
- Poor insulation properties as they age — will require more energy to heat your home in the winter months.
- Low lifespan at 15-20 years max before need replacement
- Leaky seals can lead to increased electricity bills from air conditioning units due to moist surfaces inside the house.
Metal vs. Shingle Roofing Comparison: Which is Best?
Now that we’ve weighed all of the pros and cons, let’s find out which one is the best choice depending on your needs.
The Most Budget-Friendly: Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are much cheaper than most roofing materials, while metal is one of the most expensive (outside of concrete, tile, or wood). Asphalt shingles run between $100-$200 per roofing square (roofing term for 10 x 10-foot area), while metal can cost anywhere from $150-$900 per 100 square feet.
The Best Long-Term Investment: Metal
Metal roofs may cost more upfront, but they last over four times longer than an asphalt shingle roof. This means that you would have to replace your asphalt shingles four times for the cost of one metal roof. What you pay is what you get—a low-maintenance long-lasting metal roof.
The Best for DIY Roofers: Asphalt Shingles
3-tab asphalt shingles are super easy to remove and replace and are very DIY-friendly. A DIY roofer would simply need a ladder, a nail gun, roofing nails, and a chalk and line measuring tool to ensure straight lines.
The Most Durable: Metal
Metal is naturally insulating, fire-resistant, insect-resistant, and can withstand some of the highest winds and hail your home could face. It’s relatively lightweight but heavier than asphalt shingles, so it has less chance of being lifted by strong winds.
Best for Matching Siding Colors: Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles can come in dozens of colors depending on the brand and manufacturer. Asphalt might be the best choice if you want a larger variety of colors to match your home’s siding. However, as time goes on and metal becomes more popular, manufacturers have begun to make more basic colors for metal shingles such as greens, browns, greys, and even black.
Adds the Most Value: Metal
The lifespan of a metal roof immediately adds immense value to your home. Even if you were to install a metal roof and not sell your house for another 20 years, those 30 remaining years constitute a significant selling point and can allow you to sell your house for even more just based on the durable roof.
The Most Versatile: Metal
Asphalt shingles come in a few different installation styles like 3-tab and architectural and have essentially a standard and premium type, but overall what you see is what you get. In contrast, metal roofing can be one of 5 or more material types plus multiple styles depending on where or how you want it installed. Additionally, as metal shingles become more popular, you have even more versatility because manufacturers can mold metal shingles to resemble other roofing materials like wood shakes and slate.
It looks as if shingles and metal roofing are going head to head as far as pros, cons, and side-by-side comparison. Inevitably it is up to the homeowner’s specific needs. Do you have a lower budget and just want to replace your roof because you’re looking to boost curb appeal and sell your home? Go with shingles. Do you have a higher budget and want to invest in a long-term solution for your home? Go with a metal roof.
Either way, Northface Construction is here for all of your roofing needs. Our expert team is here to handle any roofing repairs or replacements to ensure you get a roof you can rely on. Read more about our roofing services and contact us for a FREE quote!