Shingle vs. Metal Roofing: What's Best for You?

Blue, metal roof
  • 10-300 hours
  • Advanced
  • 8,000-40,000

There are many different types of roofing available on the market today, whether it’s metal roofing, asphalt shingle roofing, or rubber roofing. But choosing the right material for your roof depends on a number of factors such as cost, environment, durability and aesthetics. There are two main types of metal roofs available today: standing seam and corrugated metal roofs. Both of these metal roofing systems are similar in cost and installation methods, but differ greatly when it comes to style and design.

1. Environment

The environment is one of the most important factors in considering which roofing material is best for your home. Tropical and subtropical climates are not the ideal climate to install asphalt shingle roofing. The extreme heat causes the asphalt in the shingles to melt, making the installation and performance of this roofing system less than ideal. Metal roofing is capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and would be a better fit in this environment.

2. Cost

installing shingle roofing

When it comes to cost, metal roofing tends to be slightly more expensive than asphalt shingle roofing. However, in some cases the difference in cost is offset by the durability of a metal roof, which requires virtually no maintenance. In terms of installation, a standing seam or corrugated metal roof is generally easier to install than a shingle roof.

Metal roofing panels usually run from the ridge to the eave meaning you’ll need fewer panels to cover the roof. Shingles, on the other hand, cover less area and therefore require much more time to install. The more labor required to install the roof will result in a higher installation cost. All of these factors should be considered when determining which roof is best for you.

3. Durability

red metal roofing

When it comes to durability an asphalt shingle roof can’t even come close to the durability of a metal roof. Asphalt shingles are available with 15-, 25- and 30-year warranties depending on the type and manufacturer. However, metal roofs can often last up to 50 years with very little maintenance.

Their durability makes them an attractive choice for commercial roofing applications. All that’s required to maintain a metal roof is a new coat of paint every few years. On the other hand, once a shingle roof has reached the end of its life, there is nothing available to restore it to its original state. In most cases, it requires a new shingle roof to keep the home weather-tight.

4. Aesthetics

In the past, residential homeowners were hesitant to choose metal roofing because of its commercial look. However, the past few years have seen tremendous advancements in the design and styles of metal roofs. Standing seam metal roofs in particular, offer many colors and designs to complement any home.

The raised ridges on these roofs can often highlight the architectural design of the roof by accenting the gables and valleys of the roof line. Metal roofs used to have the major drawback of showing visible signs of rust after a few years, which was a turnoff for homeowners. However, new galvanizing techniques have eliminated this problem.