It’s the age-old question for homeowners needing a roof replacement— should you stick with asphalt shingles or switch to metal roofing? You may have been hearing rumblings from neighbors, friends, or strangers on the internet about how great metal roofing is.
However, there’s a reason asphalt shingles are still the most popular roofing material across the country. So who wins in the metal roof vs. shingles showdown? We compare each material in these 5 categories below:
- Upfront cost
- Weather resistance
- Environmental sustainability
- Colors and aesthetics
Category 1: Longevity ⏳
With an investment as significant as a new roof, you want to make sure you’re not going to need another new roof for a while. Both metal roofing and asphalt shingles can keep your home protected for many years (with proper maintenance), but there is a pretty large discrepancy between the lifespans of both materials.
Standard 3-tab shingles typically last 15-25 years tops. However, most roofs start to deteriorate closer to 15 years. Architectural shingles are a more premium option of asphalt shingles, and they can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance.
Metal roofing definitely takes the cake in this category. The sheer longevity of metal roofing is often enough for many homeowners to make the switch. Typically, metal roofs last at least 40 years, but up to 70 years! With a metal roof, you may never need another roof replacement again.
🏆Longevity Winner: Metal
Category 2: Upfront Cost 💸
A lot of homeowners are concerned about the investment that comes with getting a new roof. It’s definitely an intimidating expense! Plus, getting a new roof isn’t like getting a shiny new car where you can physically use the item you spend money on. While asphalt shingles and metal roofing are two of the more affordable options compared to other roofing materials, you’ll save more upfront with shingles.
Depending on your home’s total square footage, a new asphalt shingle roof will run you somewhere between $5,000 and $18,000. Opting for premium architectural shingles instead of 3-tab shingles will run you on the higher end of this price range. Most homeowners find this price to be reasonable, especially with financing assistance.
On the other hand, metal roofing has a higher upfront cost compared to asphalt shingles. Again, depending on the size of your home, a new metal roof will run closer to the $10,000 to $30,000 range. While there might be some sticker shock here, you may be able to get financing through your roofing contractor. Plus, the sheer longevity of metal roofs helps them pay for themselves in the long run.
🏆Upfront Cost Winner: Shingles
Category 3: Weather Resistance ⛈️
Unfortunately, no roof can last forever. Inclement weather can take a toll on your roof over the years. If it isn’t properly equipped to stand up to harsh weather, it will deteriorate even faster. Roofing materials are measured by their resistance in 3 weather categories:
You can find class 4 impact-resistant shingles, which is the highest-rated category for hail impact. Most reputable brands of shingles also have a class-A fire rating, which means they’re fully fire-resistant.
However, shingles aren’t as reliable when holding up to wind. Since asphalt shingles are such a lightweight material with less-impressive longevity, they can be prone to lifting when strong winds roll through. Even impact-resistant shingles may experience some granule loss when struck by hail.
Metal roofs also have a class-4 hail rating and a class-A fire rating, making them as resistant as possible to hail and fire. But metal roofs shine in the wind category compared to shingles. Some metal roofs can withstand wind gusts up to 180 miles per hour. You won’t have to worry about this material lifting up in a windstorm.
🏆Weather Resistance Winner: Metal
Category 4: Environmental Sustainability ♻️
For some homeowners, the eco-friendly nature of the products they invest in is an important consideration. And yes, even roofing materials have an environmental component!
Unfortunately, asphalt shingles aren’t known for being eco-friendly. This material isn’t recyclable historically, so after every roof replacement, old shingles end up in the landfill. Although, some efforts are being made to remedy this situation in the future.
Many metal roofs are actually made out of recycled materials in the first place. And when they’re ultimately torn off, the materials can be reused yet again. Plus, their longer lifespan means the materials need less frequent replacement anyway— which is a win for the environment.
🏆Environmental Sustainability Winner: Metal
Category 5: Colors and Aesthetics 🎨
Curb appeal is a big deal to many property owners. And even if you’re not looking to sell your home soon, you want an exterior that accurately represents your personality. Having a selection of colors to choose from can make the roof replacement process feel more personal.
If colors are your #1 priority, then you’ll love architectural asphalt shingles. These shingles are also called “dimensional” shingles due to the incredible dimensional look they achieve with their colors. Rather than one solid color, architectural shingle roofs have multiple complimentary colors speckled throughout. The result is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing.
You won’t get a lot of color options with metal roofing beyond the classics. However, you do have options when it comes to the design. You can opt for the traditional and sleek standing seam panels or metal shingles that resemble clay tiles, slate, or even asphalt shingles.
🏆Colors and Aesthetics Winner: Asphalt Shingles (This is subjective to each homeowner’s preference!)
What’s the Best Roofing Material for You?
Metal roofing systems take the trophy in almost every category except upfront cost. There are clearly many reasons why metal roofing is becoming more and more popular! If longevity and durability are top of mind for you, opt for metal roofing. But if the upfront cost is the driving factor in your decision, then asphalt shingles are still a great choice.
You should ultimately work with a professional roofing contractor like Roof Troopers to discover what’s best for your home. Our skilled team will guide you through all your options— even financing!
Call Roof Troopers today to set up a free estimate!