Metal Roof vs. Shingles: What’s The Difference?

Metal and shingles are two of the most popular roofing materials among homeowners. Choosing the best one depends on individual preference and what you wish to achieve. In this metal roof vs. shingles comparison, we break down everything you need to know about each material.

Metal roofing and shingle roofing are two of the most popular choices among homeowners. Knowing what each roofing material offers can help you choose the best one for your next roofing project.

Whether planning a new construction roofing or a roof replacement, metal and shingle roofs offer the flexibility and cost-to-value benefits you deserve. In fact, both options are more popular among homeowners because of their reliability, ease of maintenance, cost-effectiveness, and overall durability. They are also available in different colors to match individual aesthetic requirements.

However, while both metal roofing and shingle roofing present great benefits, they are different in some ways. These differences may be enough reason to lean towards one or the other. If you’re wondering how metal roofs fair against the shingle roof, here is a metal roof vs. shingles comparison to help you make the right decision.

Metal Roof vs. Shingles: Both Available in Different Finish Options

One of the desirable qualities roofers and property owners find in metal and shingle roofs is their finishing options. Both roofing materials come in different finish options that accentuate a building and add specific aesthetic dexterity to it.

For shingle roofs, you can expect a traditional look or an array of other options that mimic other materials like wood, slate, wood shakes, and tile. They are also available in different designs, including terra cotta, perfect for Mediterranean homes, and scalloped edges for Victorian homes.

With shingle roofs, you can also expect to have a variety of color options to choose from based on your property’s exterior paint, energy use requirement, etc.

On the other hand, metal roofs are available in different designs, with the more traditional options suitable for barns, sheds, etc. Made from aluminum, zinc, copper, tin, and galvanized metals, you’ll find metal roofs designed for modern homes and refined structures.

Modern metal roofs can be used for California contemporary buildings, East Coast Victorians, and other modern structures. They are available in different color options and finishes. Property owners can also explore the different available styles, including shakes, shingles, and slates.

Metal Roofs Are More Durable

One of the major points where metal roofs trump shingle roofs is durability. Most homeowners are interested in roofing materials that promise years of protection with minimal maintenance requirements. For metal roofs, homeowners can expect to get between 30 to 50 years of protection. Most manufacturers also offer the same window as warranties on their products. When properly maintained, metal roofs can last between 40 and 70 years.

While metal roofs are great for longevity and durability, their downsides may include easy damage from extreme weather elements like hail or falling tree branches.

On the other hand, shingles are stronger but with lesser durability. When properly maintained, shingle roofs may last between 15 and 30 years. They are also predisposed to problems like rot, ice dams, cracks, leaks, and are affected by extreme temperatures.

Shingle Roofs are Cheaper Upfront

Cost is an important factor when considering a new construction roofing or a roofing repair. Shingle roofs are often cheaper upfront compared to metal roofs. An average shingle roof costs between $100 and $200 per 100 square feet, while the metal roof can range from $120 to $900 per 100 square feet. The installation cost for each roofing material also differs, especially as metal roofing is a more specialized job.

Although the metal roof offers more in terms of lifespan and durability, it is more expensive than the shingle. If you’re looking to spend less money while getting a decent number of years in protection, the shingle roof may be the better option. However, metal roofs may be a good option if you’re not financially constrained. They can qualify you for tax credits and also save you some money in energy costs.

Metal Roofs are Eco-friendlier

More people are tending towards eco-friendly solutions to reduce their environmental impact. If you share this same ideal, you may be better off choosing a metal roof for your home. Metal roofs are largely made from recycled materials and can be recycled again when damaged and ready to be replaced.

More than recycling, metal roofs are great for heat management. This means they reflect heat away from your home, thus helping you save more on energy costs. Being energy-efficient, recyclable, and durable gives you an edge in many ways.

Homeowners can also improve their metal roof’s energy efficiency and reflective abilities by adding specialized paint coatings.

Shingle roofs, on the other hand, have a shorter lifespan and are prone to coming loose, thus requiring occasional replacement. They are also non-recyclable. The U.S. landfills receive an estimated 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles annually, contributing to environmental degradation.

Asphalt Shingles are easier to install and repair.

Cost-wise, asphalt shingles cost less to purchase, install, and repair. In fact, they are one of the cheapest roofing options on the market. With asphalt shingles, you can easily purchase the needed units for repairs. The repairs can even be done using DIY methods, especially as it requires no specialized skills.

Metal roofs, on the other hand, are expensive and require specialized skills to install and repair. It may be impossible to apply DIY methods to repair your damaged metal roof as there’s no room for errors. You’re also likely to pay more for a metal roof installation and repair compared to shingle roofs.

The shingle roof is the perfect option if you’re looking for a roofing material with DIY flexibility or at least affordable installation and repair costs.

Considering the pros and cons of each of these roofing materials makes it easier for you, as a homeowner, to choose which one best matches your budget, durability expectations, repair and installation costs, and other factors. Please note that while metal roofs are more durable than shingle roofs, other factors, including your location’s climate, may weigh heavily on your final choice. Wegner Roofing & Solar has trained roofing contractors ready to take on your roofing needs. In addition, we provide comprehensive roofing solutions to keep your home protected at all times.

Wegner Roofing & Solar

902 Central Ave Billings MT 59102, 

(406) 850-9842

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