Metal Roofing Vs Shingles – Which Is Better For A Home?

Durability, cost, and style – Exploring metal roofing vs shingles for homeowners

If you’re planning a home construction or re-roofing project, the materials you select will shape not just the aesthetics but also the overall feel and cost of your home. These choices impact not only the immediate construction expenses but also the long-term maintenance and energy costs.

While metal roofs often come with a higher initial price tag (and sometimes significantly so), they typically require less maintenance over time. On the other hand, asphalt shingles remain the top choice for most homeowners when it comes to roof replacements. However, the rising popularity of metal roofs is not without reason.

To help you determine the best option for your home, we’ve put together a guide comparing metal and asphalt roofs. Read on to discover which choice is the right fit for your replacement roofing project!

What Are Asphalt Shingles?

  • Shingles are a common roofing material available in sheets, stacks, or rolls, known for their uniform design and composition. They typically feature a ceramic granular upper surface and a smooth asphalt layer over a fiberglass base.

Due to their cost-effective materials and low manufacturing costs, shingles are often the most budget-friendly option for roofing projects. They are also straightforward to install, requiring no specialized skills, making them a preferred choice for contractors.

Advantages Disadvantages
Affordable Comparatively lower curb appeal
Easy to repair and install Requires annual maintenance
Available in a wide variety of materials and colors Not effective against storm damage
Option to choose from multiple shingles
Some types even offer impact resistance.

What Are Metal Roofs?

  • Metal roofing is available in large flat sheets and is folded longitudinally into various patterns, including corrugated metals and flat-seam metal roofing.

While flat-seam metal roofing can be more expensive to manufacture and install, its interlocking seam design offers superior durability and strength.

  • Another option is corrugated metal roofing, which is similar in material but slightly behind in design compared to flat-seam metal roofing.

Corrugated metal roofs are also folded longitudinally, creating a pattern of repeating spacing. They are typically attached to the roof structure using nails or screws fitted with rubber washers to act as gaskets at the attachment points.

Advantages Disadvantages
Offers excellent curb appeal Costly
Versatile Risk of oil canning
Available in numerous colors Can be noisy when it rains
Highly durable Complex installation process
Requires little to no maintenance Heavy
Plenty of metal options to choose from

Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles: Which Option To Choose?

  • Now that you have the basic knowledge of both types of roofing let’s compare metal roofing and asphalt shingles based on various factors like cost, lifespan, warranties, maintenance, and resale value. This head-to-head match-up will help you make an informed decision about your roofing needs.

Cost

Metal roofing tends to be pricier, often two to three times more per square foot, compared to asphalt shingles. The cost of metal roofing ranges from $8 to $16 per square foot, as estimated in early spring of 2021. Moreover, fluctuations in material costs can significantly impact the overall cost of metal roofing.

  • On the other hand, asphalt shingles are generally more affordable, costing between one-third and one-half of the price of metal roofing. Home builders typically pay between $2 and $6 per square foot for asphalt shingle roof construction. Asphalt shingle costs are also less affected by material cost fluctuations compared to metal roofing options.

Maintenance

Maintaining a metal roof is generally less troublesome than maintaining an asphalt roof, but the ease of maintenance depends on the roof’s slope and whether the work is done by a skilled roofer or an amateur.

  • While consulting a professional is advisable, it is possible to maintain a metal roof without professional help. However, repairing a metal roof can be more challenging due to the specialized techniques and materials required.

Additionally, depending on the climate and type of metal roofing, using inferior products can lead to corrosion and other damage. Overall, though, metal roofs typically require less maintenance than asphalt shingle roofs.

  • Asphalt shingles are inexpensive and easy to maintain but generally require more upkeep than metal roofs. Shingles can slip, deteriorate, and eventually fall off due to exposure to the elements.

Replacing them involves sliding in new shingles and nailing them down, a task that can be done by homeowners, but we recommend consulting a professional roofer for safety reasons.

Lifespan

  • Metal roofs are renowned for their durability, capable of withstanding various weather conditions. They typically come with warranties ranging from 30 to 50 years but often last even longer, with lifespans extending from 40 to 70 years.

Despite their resilience, metal roofs can still be vulnerable to damage from extreme hail or falling branches, as well as improper walking. It’s crucial to discuss vulnerability concerns with the manufacturer representative, as different metals offer varying levels of durability.

  • On the flip side, shingle roofs have their own set of weaknesses and a shorter lifespan. Issues like pooling water and chronic dampness can lead to algae and fungus growth, while ice dams can cause cracks.

Temperature fluctuations between day and night can also reduce the life of a shingle roof. Shingle roofs typically come with warranties lasting from 15 to 30 years, varying based on the region, environment, and climate.

Resale Value

  • Homes featuring metal roofs often command slightly higher selling prices, attributed to the material’s durability and increasing popularity.

Conversely, homes with asphalt shingle roofs typically sell for slightly less than those with metal roofs. However, factors such as the age and maintenance history of the shingle roof play a more significant role in determining the home’s resale value than the roofing material itself in most cases.

Warranties

  • metal roofing vs shinglesWhen you buy asphalt shingles, they come with a warranty right out of the box. The basic 3-tab asphalt shingles usually have a standard 25-year warranty from the manufacturer.

For fancier architectural and luxury asphalt shingles, you get a 30-year warranty (after ten years, it becomes prorated). But here’s a trick: if you use all the roofing stuff from one manufacturer, you can register your roof to get a better warranty.

  • Once you register your roof, the manufacturer will cover it for a whopping 50 years! Just make sure your roofing contractor is certified by the manufacturer to offer this awesome warranty.

Metal roofing is a bit different. It doesn’t come with warranties on the metal panels themselves. Instead, the warranty covers the painted finish that keeps the metal safe from the weather.

  • For the painted finish on metal panels with exposed fasteners, the warranty length depends on the manufacturer. But for steel standing seam metal roofing, you get a Kynar 500 painted finish. After it’s installed, you get a 30-year warranty on this finish. And even after the warranty’s up, the finish doesn’t just disappear—it keeps protecting your roof.

Now that you’ve learned about the differences between metal roofing and asphalt shingles, there’s one last thing to consider: curb appeal. However, this is a matter of personal taste and varies from person to person.

By now, you likely have a good idea of which roofing option is right for you. Asphalt shingles are more budget-friendly, making them a better choice for homeowners on a tight budget.

However, the best way to be sure is to speak with a roofing contractor and get their honest feedback. Unfortunately, honesty can be hard to come by in the roofing industry.

That’s why finding a reputable roofer you can trust is so important. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Contact Dupont Roofing today at (202)840-8698 or fill out our online form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

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