Comparing Metal and Shingle Roofing

Comparing Metal and Shingle Roofing

If you’re thinking of a home roof replacement, there are a many choices, but two of the most popular are shingles or metal. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and this comparison chart should help you in making a decision between the two.


Metal Roofing

Shingle Roofing

Lightweight: easier to transport and install, less roof load.

Longevity: metal roofing should last 50+ years, and some metals, such as copper or zinc, can last 100 years or longer.

Lower long-term cost: Though more expensive to install, metal roofing’s much longer lifespan means that roughly 3 shingle roof replacements would be required for only a single metal roof installation.

Fire resistance: Typically, metal roofing is noncombustible and Class A fire rated. Homes in rural areas with tree cover can benefit in the event of a fire.

Weather resistance: Properly installed, metal roofing is designed to withstand strong winds, heavy rains, snow, ice, hail, and extremes of temperature.

Eco-friendly: Metal roofing can be constructed of recycled material, and metal roofs removed can be recycled, as well as carefully chosen underlayment.

Energy Efficiency: Some metal roofing is designed to retain heat in the winter and dissipate it in the summer.

Higher property value: Due to its longer life, metal roofing can increase property value.

Low maintenance: Less upkeep is required for metal roofing than for shingle roofs.

Short-term cost: If you do not plan on owning the home for more than 10 to 20 years, you’ll spend less money for shingle roofing.

Easier installation and replacement: Less time and labor is required to install and replace shingle roofing.

Lower cost for repairs: In the event of damage, it’s less expensive to repair shingle roofing.

More installers: There are many more roofing installers with shingle experience than those used to working with metal roofing.

More supportive of foot traffic: Once the shingles are installed, they support foot traffic better than metal roofing, which can in some cases bend with higher weight.

Readily available – Shingles are more widely available at local distributors and retail outlets.

Coastal region friendly: Metal roofing is often not recommended if too near salt water due to possible corrosion, while shingles are fine in those climates.

Better warranty coverage: Shingle roofing can enjoy better warranty coverage, as it can be warranted by manufacturers against defects, installers for their errors, as well as algae growth and wind resistance.


Metal Roofing

Shingle Roofing

Higher first-time cost: The cost of installation is significantly higher, so unless you plan on staying in the home long enough to justify it, shingles are better.

Fewer qualified contractors: There are fewer qualified contractors, as shingle roofing is by far more common nationally.

Labor intensive: A great deal more experience and precision is necessary to install metal roofing, leaving less room for error.

Oil canning – Virtually all metal roofs will eventually exhibit wavy looks, depressed areas, though it’s only usually aesthetic.

HOA or municipality issues: Some HOAs or local municipalities do not allow metal roofs for a variety of reasons, valid or not.

Shorter lifecycle: If you plan on being in the home for more than 10 to 20 years, you’ll need to replace a shingle roof while metal would last longer.

Higher long-term cost: Metal lasts three times longer than shingles on average, so would be less expensive over the long run.

Intrusive installation: Due to the need to use nails through the roofing and the underlayment, there are many penetrations that could be a problem later.

Weight: Shingle roofing is a lot heavier than metal, thus placing more stress on roof supporting structures.

More damage prone: Especially during extreme weather, shingles are more easily damaged than metal roofing.

Do more research to be sure before you make a decision, but this chart should help you to begin the process.