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  • Metal Roof Vs Shingles

    Metal Roof Vs Shingles

    When homeowners ask us to compare a metal roof with an asphalt shingle roof they typically want to know the difference in price and that’s understandable. However, a simple cost comparison only tells half the story, to fully understand the difference between a metal roof vs shingles it’s essential to look at the advantages and disadvantages of each.

    So, in this Renocompare roof guide we will compare cost (both short and long term) but we will also look at the other important factors that will inform your choice, like durability, style options, maintenance, energy efficiency and more.

    Cost: Asphalt Shingles vs Metal Roofing

    Cost is a major factor in buying decisions, and there are two ways to compare the cost of a metal roof vs shingles.

    Upfront Cost

    Metal roofing costs more. This chart shows metal roof vs shingles price for the most popular materials. These are installed cost per “roofing square,” an industry term meaning enough roofing to cover 100 square feet.

     
    Metal Roof
    Asphalt Shingles
    Low Cost Galvanized steel: $730 3-tab shingles: $265
    Average Cost Galvalume steel: $995 Standard dimensional: $315
    High Cost Aluminum: $1,125 Premium dimensional: $450

    Zinc ($1,165-$1,750) and copper ($950-$1,500) cost more, but aren’t relevant to most homeowners comparing the cost of metal roof vs. asphalt shingles.

    If you plan to move in less than 10 years, asphalt shingles are a cost-effective way to improve your home’s appearance and weather protection.

    Long-term Cost

    While metal has a higher initial cost, it offers long-term value since it doesn’t require replacing as often.

    If you plan to live in your home for many years, the long-term cost of metal roof vs asphalt shingles might interest you. This chart shows you the expected life of these roofing materials plus a “50-year” cost based on today’s prices.

    Material
    Longevity
    Times Replaced
    50 Year Cost
    Galvanized steel 40-60 years Possibly 1
    $730 to $1,460
    Galvalume steel $815-$1,200 Zero
    About $995
    Aluminum $735-$850 Possibly 1
    About $1,125
    3-tab Shingles $950-$1,225 2 to 4
    $530 to $1,160
    Standard dimensional $1,165-$1,750  2 to 3
    $$630 to $945
    Premium dimensional $950-$1,500 1 to 2
    About $900

    If you choose asphalt shingles and sell your home in 10-15 years, potential buyers will understand that the roof will need replacing soon. Or, you might have to put on a new roof to make it attractive to buyers.

    If you roof with metal and sell your home in as long as 20 years, homebuyers will understand the roof has plenty of life left.

    Zinc and Copper: If you are interested in the best longevity, zinc and copper roofs can be expected to last 75 years. Zinc will be showing wear by then, but copper will have a rich patina finish with classic appeal. There are many copper roofs going strong at more than 100 years.

    Metal Roof vs Shingles Pros and Cons

    While cost is important, there are other factors to consider when comparing these roofing materials.

    Durability

    There’s no secret here: Metal roofing durability is far superior to asphalt shingles.

    Styles and Colors

    Asphalt shingles come in two basic styles. Three-tab shingles are the traditional look. The shingles have a low, flat, profile. Dimensional shingles are manufactured with additional layers of material to raise their profile to better resemble wood shakes and shingles and genuine slate. Some top-of-the-line dimensional shingles are called architectural shingles.

    Asphalt shingles range the color spectrum from white to black. Blends featuring dark grays, browns, reds and greens are popular.

    Metal gives you more style, color and material options. Steel panels are most popular, especially standing seam styles, but additional profiles give you options. Metal shingles, shakes and tiles broaden your choices. Most steel and aluminum roofing is painted, and a spectrum of colors is used. Zinc, copper and weathering steel are left bare.

    When all styles and colors are considered, metal gives you more choice. Check homeowner’s association guidelines, if applicable, on roofing types and styles. Some don’t allow metal panel roofing.

    Maintenance

    Neither roof requires heavy maintenance. Moss and algae are more likely to build up on asphalt and affect its appearance. Algae causes stain streaks. If homes in your area have stained asphalt roofs, consider metal or an asphalt shingle treated for algae resistance. You might still need to power wash the roof every 3-5 years to prevent or get rid of staining.

    Metal is a low-maintenance roof. However, the cheapest galvanized steel products might need repainting about the time an asphalt roof would require replacing. Cost to repaint is about the same as the cost to install asphalt shingles.

    Metal sheds snow and ice better than asphalt. Ice dams aren’t common on metal. However, if ice does build up on a metal roof, it might require professional removal. Ice sliding off a metal roof can be injurious and damaging to property.

    Home Protection

    Weather:

    Metal and dimensional asphalt shingles protect homes very well from rain, wind and hail less than 1-inch in diameter. Three-tab shingles are vulnerable to wind. Larger hail and windblown debris can damage both roofing types, and repair/replacement costs are higher for metal.

    Fire:

    The fire rating for both materials is good too, though asphalt is combustible at very high temperatures.

    Insects:

    Neither roof is vulnerable.

    Energy Efficiency

    Metal roofs are considered cool roofs, especially when installed with an airgap between the roof deck and metal roof.

    Light-colored asphalt shingles repel solar heat, but darker shingles absorb and hold it, producing higher energy costs in warm weather.

    Environmental Considerations

    Asphalt shingles are made from new materials. They can be recycled, but facilities that take them are few and far between. Most shingles are placed in landfills.

    Most metal roofing contains 70% to 95% recycled material. It is recyclable, and most facilities accept it.