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Is A Steel Roof Cheaper Than Shingles

Metal Roof Material Costs

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The type of metal used for the install is the main cost factor after labor. The price of metal ranges from an average per square foot price of $1.60 for Galvalume to $22.50 for copper. Contractors will factor in the heaviness of the metal usedits harder to work with heavy materials that dont cut easily.

The secondary most significant cost is underlayment which will add $30 to $50 to the cost of materials. You may be offered upgrade options for the underlayment, with prices between $4 to $5.50 per square foot installed, or $1 to $3 for felt. Items like fasteners, screws, rivets, clamps or clips, plywood or roof deck materials, flashings or pipe boots, sealants or butyl tape are essential components of your installation.

How Do I Choose The Right Roof For Me

When determining which roofing option to choose, the single biggest factor if you are a homeowner is the amount of time that you plan to live in the house. If you are planning on living in your house for longer than 15 years, a metal roof will have a positive return on investment. That is the average amount of time it takes before you would need to replace the first asphalt shingle roof with a second roof.

If you plan on moving before 15 years, an asphalt shingle roof will have a better ROI. From a pure financial analysis asphalt shingles are much cheaper for your first roof, but will cost much more when that roof needs to be replaced.

No Longer A Novelty Metal Roofing Has Many Advantages

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The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

Metal roofing has now entered the mainstream and has become a viable option for nearly all homes, except those with very flat roof pitches. Nor do all metal roofs scream “metal.” There are now shingle-style metal roofing products that are almost indistinguishable from traditional asphalt shingle roofs. If you are wondering about the merits of metal roofing, here are 12 things to know.

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Metal Roof Prices By Type

On average, metal roofing prices range from $3 to $8 per square foot with the average homeowner spending about $5 per square foot. Apart from zinc and copper roofing, your metal roof cost can end up comparable to the cost of asphalt roofing if you spread the cost out over the lifecycle of the roof. The types of metal roofing systems vary greatly. Here are the average prices by type:

Metal Roof Prices By Type

Roofing Material
$15 $30

Metal Roof Vs Shingles: Appearance

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A roof plays a crucial part in the overall appearance of a home. It can be the definitive factor that adds to or crushes your curb appeal.

Asphalt shingles have come a long way in looks and can be manufactured to resemble wood shakes, tiles and even slate-style roofs. They often lend depth, too. You can have a variety of lighter and darker granules within each shingle, giving it a 3D or multicolored look, Overson Roofing contractor Mike Smyth says.

Traditional metal roofing has a distinct look that comes in various solid colors. They, too, can be manufactured to look like other roofing materials including asphalt shingles.

Winner: Its up to you! Appearance is subjective, and both roof systems offer an aesthetically pleasing look. Consider the other roofs in your neighborhood in mind when deciding. You might not want to be the only home with a roof that stands out.

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Does A Metal Roof Lower Your Insurance

This is another tricky one as theMetal Roofing Alliance says a metal roof can lower your homeowner’s insurance by up to 35%. I’m not saying this isn’t possible, but keep in mind that this is a statement by a metal roofing trade group. After thoroughly researching this subject, several articles that claimed metal roofing lowers your insurance policy. However, I could not find a study that proved it.

A discount is quite possible and makes sense. During my research it appeared that the greatest opportunities receive a metal roof insurance discount was in regions that experience a lot of hail. Hail storms account for a significant amount the of insurance claims on a shingle roof.

For more information about metal roof insurance discounts, we recommend reading:

Cost Of Metal Roofs Vs Shingles

Metal roofing costs between $5.50 to $14 per square foot installed vs. an asphalt shingle roof which costs between $3.50 and $7 per square foot installed. Compared to an asphalt roof on a 1,200 square foot single-story home costing $4,200 to 8,500, metal roofs cost $8,400 to $19,000+.

Many homeowners would instead install metal roofs that look like shingles for a more residential look. Other than metal roof cost lying at 2 to 3 times to cost of asphalt shingles, metal roofs are an infinitely better investment because of their long life and low maintenance. Most metal shingles are made of galvanized steel or aluminum, but some companies offer copper and zinc shingles too.

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Advantages Of Metal Roofs

Metal roofs offer many benefits, including:

  • Longevity. Metal roofs can last 40-70 years, depending on the material. Traditional asphalt roofing materials have an estimated life expectancy of roughly 12-20 years.
  • Durability. If installed correctly, some metal roofs can sustain wind gusts up to 140 miles per hour, will not corrode or crack and may be impact-resistant . In addition, metal roofs don’t need the periodic costly maintenance that other roofing materials often require. However, they should be inspected periodically to make sure no repairs are required.
  • Safety. Metal roofs will not spark and ignite into flames during a wildfire or lightning strike.
  • Energy efficiency. Metal roofs reflect the suns UV and infrared light rays that contribute to roof surface radiant heat, which can result in a 10-25% reduction in cooling costs.
  • Environmentally friendly. Metal roofs not only have 25-95% recycled content, depending on the material used, but are also 100% recyclable at the end of their life as a roof. In contrast, most shingle tear-off waste ends up as part of the building-related waste stream up to 20 billion pounds per year.

Diy Vs Hiring A Professional

Installing the Metal Roof

Some homeowners may consider installing the tiles by themselves. While this may save you a lot in installation costs, it can be risky if you dont get it right. Faulty installation can cause leakages or damages that may be costly to repair. Also, you risk damaging the tiles in the process.

We always recommend hiring a professional installer to handle the installation for you. However, you should ensure the contractor has installed roof tiles before. Ask for testimonials from happy customers or proof of previous projects.

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Benefits Of Metal Roofing

  • Tax Credits Check about receiving a tax credit for work that meets the Energy Star criteria.
  • Less Expensive Homeowners Insurance – Thanks to the structural integrity of a metal roof and how it protects your home, premiums can drop by up to 35% for homeowners.
  • Home Value – Metal roofs will boost the resale value by 1%6%.
  • Return on Your Investment – Could be as high as 86% of the metal roof cost.
  • Longest-Lasting Roofing Option – Metal roofs have an average of 40 years of useful life versus 23 years with asphalt and 20 years with single-ply.
  • Energy Savings – Because of the energy efficiency, metal roofs save between 10 and 30 percent on energy bills from reduced cooling costs.
  • Wind, lightning, and fire resistant Metal roofing will dilute the energy generated by a lightning strike. Also, compared to asphalt, metal roofs qualify for a Class A fire rating under the UL790 standards. Most metal roofs can withstand winds of over 150 miles per hour.
  • Perfectly suited for low-pitched roofs
  • Water runoff Metal roofs do not hinder water runoff or allow water to seep back under the seams on low-pitched roofs as shingles do. The standing seam metal roof is the best installation option for this.
  • Leaks A metal roof leaves no exposed seams or places for water to get in because of the way the layers are staggered.
  • Heavy snow The steel support structure can support people walking around and the weight of snow during the winter months.
  • Eco-friendliness
  • Is A Metal Roof Better Than Asphalt Shingles

    Lets start off by clarifying that both materialsasphalt shingles and metal roofingare great options for residential roofing. Both will protect your home and should last for many years. However, one or the other might be better suited to your needs and preferences.

    When comparing metal roof versus shingles costs, its clear asphalt shingles are more affordable. However, metal roofing can last twice as long and is more energy-efficient, so really its up to your specific needs and preferences.

    Asphalt shingles remain to be the most popular material for roofing residential properties and are available in a wide array of colors and textures. Standard, three-tab shingles are most commonly used, though laminated and architectural asphalt shingles are also available. A matting or fiberglass core, an asphalt coating, and a stone or ceramic surface make for a highly durable shingle.

    Alternatively, metal roofing tends to be lightweight, as well as durable and energy efficient. It also comes in a variety of designs which makes for a versatile and therefore appealing product. But what are their specific pros and cons and which roof is best for your home?

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    Does A Metal Roof Make The House Hotter

    Although metal is known to absorb heat when exposed to sunlight, this doesnt directly equate to making your house hotter. In fact, its the opposite. A metal roof is the coolest roof you can install on your home, and it will actually help you save on air conditioning bills, by reflecting suns rays back into the atmosphere.

    In fact, asphalt roofing is considered to be the material that can potentially make the house much hotter.

    The framing directly underneath the roof will also affect the heat absorbed. A properly ventilated roof frame, or an attic will prevent the accumulation of too much heat due to sunlight.

    How Much Does A Metal Roof Cost

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    That all depends on the type of roofing materials that you choose and the style of property, along with any other individual details that may make installing a metal roof more or less complicated.

    The cost of metal roofing per sq. ft. or the metal roof cost per square or the cost of a metal roof vs. shingles obviously makes a difference, but there are other factors including the aesthetics of your property, the amount of time you plan to spend there before you resell , and the energy efficiency of having a metal roof versus asphalt or wooden shingles.

    You should also keep in mind that the total cost of a standing seam metal roof or a metal shingle roof also includes the specialized labor required to install the metal roof as well as the raw materials, and this may be the reason why some homeowners choose shingles over metal roofing.

    For some properties, the style of the home and the climate of the area it is located in may mean that asphalt shingles or wood shingles are a superior choice.

    That said if you choose metal roofing systems of any kind whether you go with standing seam, copper shingles, zinc shingles, steel shingles, aluminum roofing, or any other kind of metal roofing system, you will likely benefit from their durability and longevity, heating and cooling efficiency, resale value for both the metal roofing materials themselves and your property as a whole, and overall pleasing visual appearance.

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    Shingle Roofing Advantages Disadvantages & Characteristics

    Shingle roofs are everywhere, and theres no doubt that shingles are more common when compared to metal roofing. Most people automatically think of shingles when they think about roofing in general because its been the traditional choice on many homes and businesses for the last century. There definitely are many benefits to having a shingle roof installed, most of which hinge on its low upfront cost and ease of installation and access to materials. Lets get into more of the advantages and disadvantages of a shingle roof.

    Can You Put A Metal Roof On Top Of Shingles

    Since most metal roofing is light, pliable and thin, it’s usually possible to put these panels on top of your existing shingles. Both the shingles and underlayment should be in good condition so you don’t have to replace your whole structure for at least a couple of decades.

    You may want to consult a professional in the roofing industry to inspect the top of your house and determine the quality of your existing shingles. It’s also helpful to consider what local regulations require for your roof. In general, most states allow you to have a maximum of two or three layers on top of your house, so if you’ve already had this done, you’d need to remove the existing layers before installing your new roof.

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    Reasons Metal Roof Shingles Arent The Best Option

    If youre wondering about whether or not a metal roof is cheaper than shingles, there may be more to consider than strictly the price point.

    When it comes to looking for a durable roofing option, many automatically turn to metal shake shingles. It isnt without a reason: a metal shake roof can provide homes with a great deal of protection. Metal roofs are incredibly popular, particularly in states and areas of the country where severe weather such as heavy rain and hail storms are typical. However, they are not without their disadvantages.

    How Metal Roofing Materials Differ

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    Steel, including Galvalume, is the heaviest product of the bunch, followed by copper. Aluminum weighs significantly less, and several aluminum roof profiles offer foam backing to deliver extra support where needed. While manufacturers successfully implement metallic coatings, finishes, and aggregates to protect steel roofing materials from moisture, aluminum and copper simply do not rust, even over a long period of time. Thats not to say that they dont turn color or form colored skins on exposed areas, but they will not develop structural damage as a result of corrosion.

    Because of this, most builders use aluminum for any coastal environment due to its corrosion resistance.

    One of the downsides to metal roofing vs asphalt shingle roofing is the initial cost. Between materials and installation, you pay more for metal roofs than you would for installing premium asphalt shingles.

    Aluminum and copper roofs, which are much softer than steel, are also subject to denting in hail storms. Metal roofs may also be difficult to walk on depending upon how it was installed.

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    The Amount Of Maintenance A Metal Roof Needs Versus A Shingle Roof

    Roof maintenance is the periodical checking of all the vulnerable areas on a roof that could be susceptible to having a problem. Depending on the type of roof, whether it be residential or commercial, it will be annual, biannual, or quarterly maintenance.

    Every roof needs some form of maintenance, but some roof types require more than others. With that in mind, a standing seam metal roof will need less maintenance than an asphalt shingle roof.

    An asphalt shingle roof needs to be maintained and inspected at least once a year. This includes checking your pipe boots, clearing debris from valleys, or even just cleaning your gutters to ensure a leak doesnt show up.

    On the other hand, a standing seam metal roof requires virtually no maintenance. However, that doesnt mean it shouldnt be inspected periodically to keep it running smoothly.

    Both a standing seam metal roof and an asphalt shingle roof need maintenance to catch future problems and ensure your roofs life is maximized.

    What Are The Advantages Of A Shingle Roof

    A shingle roof has the following characteristics that can benefit your home:

    • Cheaper to purchase and install: Asphalt can be about half the upfront cost of metal because it’s more popular with homeowners, so it’s widely available. They’re also significantly cheaper to install than metal roofs.
    • More visually appealing: Asphalt shingles offer plenty of color and texture options to help you find a cost-effective material that enhances your property’s aesthetic. If you live in a suburban area, it’s also more likely to blend in with the other houses in your neighborhood.
    • Cheaper to repair: Since it’s more affordable to purchase and install, shingle roof maintenance is more manageable and less expensive. You can remove each shingle one at a time instead of replacing the whole roofing structure.
    • More contractors available: Asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install, so more contractors are willing to offer them than metal roofing. Keep in mind that finding the right roofing specialist is essential to getting a protective, long-lasting roof.

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    Picking The Best Roofing Option For Your Home

    When it comes to choosing whether metal roofing or shingles are more expensive, you have to consider more than the initial installation cost. There are other qualities that can make you spend or help you save more money later down the road.

    Heres a quick look at a few other things you need to consider when your thinking about cost.

    The Most Versatile: Metal

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    Asphalt shingles come in a few different installation styles like 3-tab and architectural and have essentially a standard and premium type, but overall what you see is what you get. In contrast, metal roofing can be one of 5 or more material types plus multiple styles depending on where or how you want it installed. Additionally, as metal shingles become more popular, you have even more versatility because manufacturers can mold metal shingles to resemble other roofing materials like wood shakes and slate.

    It looks as if shingles and metal roofing are going head to head as far as pros, cons, and side-by-side comparison. Inevitably it is up to the homeowners specific needs. Do you have a lower budget and just want to replace your roof because youre looking to boost curb appeal and sell your home? Go with shingles. Do you have a higher budget and want to invest in a long-term solution for your home? Go with a metal roof.

    Either way, Northface Construction is here for all of your roofing needs. Our expert team is here to handle any roofing repairs or replacements to ensure you get a roof you can rely on. Read more about our roofing services and contact us for a FREE quote!


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