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Metal Roof vs. Shingles: Which One Is Best For Your Home?

Posted on November 25, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 6 Min.

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metal roof vs shingles

If you are thinking about replacing your roof, you probably have come across both asphalt shingles and metal roofs. Asphalt shingles are extremely versatile and have been adorning homes for decades. But with the increasing popularity of metal roofs, deciding between the two is becoming harder and harder. One offers durability, while the other is more budget friendly. One is long lasting, the other is easier to install. The advantages and features of the two roofing systems can create a dilemma for homeowners. 

If you are struggling to decide between installing shingles or a metal roof, this blog post can help. In this guide, we will directly compare metal roofs vs. shingles so you can make an informed decision for your home. From costs to lifespan and more, read through the end for everything you need to. 

Metal Roof vs. Shingles: A Sharp Line Between The Two

Metal roof vs shingles

In this section, we will directly compare asphalt shingles and metal roofs to help you make a final decision. 

1. Durability: A Long Term Investment

Metal Roofs:

Metal roofs stand tall when it comes to durability. Constructed with materials like aluminum, steel, or copper, these roofs can withstand the harshest weather conditions. They are resistant to rust, rot, and insect damage, making them a formidable choice for homeowners seeking a long term investment. With a lifespan of 40 to 70 years, metal roofs boast a longevity that outshines many other options.

Asphalt Shingles:

On the other hand, while asphalt shingles provide reliable protection, their lifespan generally ranges from 15 to 30 years. Though not as enduring as metal roofs, shingles make up for it with their cost effectiveness and ease of replacement.

2. Energy Efficiency: Keeping Your Home Cool and Your Wallet Happy

Metal Roofs:

Metal roofs reflect the sun’s rays, preventing excessive heat absorption and keeping your home cooler. This reflective property translates to lower energy bills, as your air conditioning system won’t have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature. Additionally, many metal roofs are coated with special reflective pigments to enhance their energy-efficient qualities.

Asphalt Shingles:

Shingles, while not as reflective as metal roofs, can still contribute to energy efficiency. Certain types of shingles are designed to reflect more sunlight, reducing heat absorption. It’s essential to consider the color and material of your shingles to maximize their cooling potential.

3. Aesthetics: Elevating Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Metal Roofs:

Modern and sleek metal roofs provide a contemporary aesthetic that complements various architectural styles. Metal roofs come in an array of styles, colors, and finishes, allowing homeowners to personalize their look. Additionally, metal roofs retain their appearance well, avoiding the gradual discoloration that can affect other roofing materials.

Asphalt Shingles:

Shingles offer a traditional and timeless appeal, blending seamlessly with a variety of home designs. Asphalt shingles come in various types and a wide range of colors and styles, allowing homeowners to achieve a classic, charming look.

4. Installation and Maintenance: Saving Time and Money Down The Line

Metal Roofs:

Installation of metal roofs can be a bit more complex due to the precision required in the process. However, once installed, metal roofs require minimal maintenance. Periodic checks for loose fasteners or sealant integrity are usually sufficient to keep your metal roof in top notch condition.

Asphalt Shingles:

Shingles, known for their straightforward installation process, are often more cost effective in terms of labor. However, they may require more regular maintenance, especially after severe weather conditions. Inspection for damaged or missing shingles is crucial to ensure the longevity of your roof.

The Cost of Installation: Metal Roof vs. Shingles

Just like any other roofing material, prices vary for the different types of metal and shingle roofs. In this section, we will compare the cost of installation for both options. 

Metal Roofs: 

1. Aluminum:

Metal roof vs shingles

Installation Cost: The cost of aluminum roof installation ranges from $9 to $12 per square foot. Prices may fluctuate based on location and specific project requirements. 

2. Steel:

Installation Cost: The average cost for a steel roof installation is approximately $4 to $20 per square foot, with variations based on factors such as the type of steel, like galvanized or stainless, and project complexity.

3. Copper:

Metal roof vs shingles

Installation Cost: Copper roof installations tend to be higher, ranging from $20 to $40 per square foot. The premium cost reflects the material’s unique characteristics and aesthetic appeal.

4. Zinc:

Metal roof vs shingles

Installation Cost: The cost to install a zinc roof falls within the range of $15 to $20 per square foot, influenced by project specifics and regional variations.

Asphalt Shingles:

1. 3-Tab Asphalt Shingles:

Installation Cost: On average, 3-tab asphalt shingle installation ranges from $2.50 to $4.50 per square foot, making it a budget friendly choice.

2. Architectural Asphalt Shingles:

Installation Cost: The cost of installing architectural asphalt shingles is approximately $3.50 to $5.50 per square foot. The enhanced aesthetics and longer lifespan justify the increased cost.

3. Luxury Asphalt Shingles:

Installation Cost: Luxury asphalt shingle installation can range from $5.50 to $8.50 per square foot. The higher cost is attributed to the superior quality, unique designs, and extended warranty options.

Common Myths About Metal Roofs

Despite the numerous benefits that metal roofs offer, there are plenty of misconceptions about the roofing material. 

1: Metal Roofs are Noisy 

One of the prevalent misconceptions about metal roofs is the belief that they are loud during rainstorms. However, this isn’t true. Advanced installation techniques and insulation materials make metal roofs no noisier than other types of roofs.

2: Metal Roofs Attract Lightning 

The notion that metal roofs attract lightning like a magnet is nothing more than an old wives’ tale. In reality, metal roofs are no more likely to attract lightning than any other roofing material. In fact, a metal roof can enhance your home’s safety during a lightning storm. The material is non-combustible, dissipates the energy throughout the structure, and minimizes the risk of a fire. 

3: Metal Roofs Rust Easily 

Some skeptics argue that metal roofs are prone to rust. However, there are technologically advanced resistant coatings that protect metal roofs from rust and corrosion. Quality metal roofing materials undergo rigorous testing to ensure longevity and durability. 

4: Metal Roofs Make Homes Hotter 

Contrary to popular belief, metal roofs are a pretty good reflector of heat and UV rays. They reflect the sun, preventing the absorption of heat into your living space. This reflective property can contribute to lower energy bills by keeping your home cooler and reducing the strain on your air conditioning system. 

5: Metal Roofs Lack Aesthetic Appeal 

Some homeowners hesitate to explore metal roofing options due to the misconception that they lack aesthetic appeal. However, the truth is quite the opposite. Modern metal roofs come in a variety of styles, colors, and finishes, allowing you to customize your roof to complement your home’s architecture accordingly. Whether you prefer the classic look of metal shingles or the sleek appearance of standing seam panels, there’s a metal roofing option to suit your specific needs.

Common Misconceptions About Asphalt Shingles

Though asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in the U.S., some homeowners are still skeptical about installing them. 

1: Asphalt Shingles Lack Durability

One of the most persistent myths about asphalt shingles is that they lack durability compared to other roofing materials. While they are relatively less durable compared to metal roofs, the advancements in manufacturing have led to the creation of high quality asphalt shingles capable of withstanding various weather conditions. 

2: They Are Only Available in Bland Colors

Some homeowners believe choosing asphalt shingles means limiting themselves to dull colors. In truth, asphalt shingles come in a wide array of colors and styles to suit every taste and architectural design. Whether you prefer the classic look of traditional asphalt or the textured appearance of architectural shingles, there’s a vibrant and aesthetically pleasing option for every homeowner.

3: Asphalt Shingles Are Prone to Algae and Moss Growth

Another common misconception is that asphalt shingles are a breeding ground for algae and moss. While it’s true that algae and moss can appear on any roof, proper installation and maintenance can prevent their growth. Many modern asphalt shingles are equipped with algae-resistant technology, ensuring a clean and well maintained appearance for your roof.

4: There Aren’t Environmentally Friendly Options

Some individuals mistakenly believe that asphalt shingles are harmful to the environment. However, many shingles are recyclable, as the asphalt used in their production can be reused. Additionally, modern day processes have led to the creation of eco-friendly options, making asphalt shingles a responsible choice for environmentally conscious homeowners.

5: Asphalt Shingles Are Expensive to Install and Maintain

Contrary to popular belief, asphalt shingles are a cost effective roofing solution. The initial installation costs are generally lower than metal roofing and other alternative types, making asphalt shingles a budget friendly choice for many homeowners. 

Hire Professional Roofers To Install Your Roof In Tulsa, OK 

If you are considering installing a new roof or a complete roof replacement, contact the professional roofers at A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing In Tulsa, OK. The expert roofers at the company are proficient at handling any roofing project, including asphalt shingle and metal roof installation. Contact us today at (918) 402-7167

metal roof vs shingles