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HomeMetalWhy Metal Roofing Vs Shingles

Why Metal Roofing Vs Shingles

You Are Looking To Save Money On Energy Bills

Why you may want to consider installing a metal roof

There is a common misconception that metal roofing will make your home hotter. Not only is this myth untrue, but metal actually keeps your home cooler while saving you money.

A metal roof reflects sunlight off your roof and results in homeowners having a general energy savings of 7% up to 15%. One study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy actually showed an annual savings of 25% on cooling costs.

What Are Asphalt Shingles Made Of

It seems obvious that an asphalt shingle is made of asphalt. While that is the main ingredient, they also consist of other materials that serve a purpose in the performance of the shingles. Other than asphalt, shingle contain:

  • Mineral Powder- this is mixed in with the asphalt to give the asphalt more weather and fire resistance.
  • Granules– Hard rock that is crushed and adhered to the surface of the shingles. Helps protect the roof from excessive sun exposure and also adds increased fire resistance.
  • Fiberglass– Gives the roof more durability and a higher fire rating. Fiberglass is only in fiberglass shingles which we will discuss when going over the types of shingles in Chapter 3.
  • Paper – If fiberglass is not used, then paper will be used for the foundation in what is known as an organic shingle.

Composite Plastic Roof Shingles

Composite plastic shingles are generally produced from recycled plastic materials. They are a way to get more life out of plastics and other materials that would simply be tossed out in most instances so they are a great environmentally friendly roof replacement option. You can expect to pay $4 to $6 per sq. foot for plastic shingles or $400 to $600 per square installed on a standard sized single story home.Composite plastic shingles can be designed to imitate stone slate tiles or even wood shakes. They are much lighter than slate or other roofing types which make them easy to install. Composite plastic shingles are relatively affordable, but they are not as long lasting as most other shingle types. Plastic roofing lasts from 7 to 20 years depending on the type of plastic you choose to install.

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The Lifespan Of A Metal Roof Versus A Shingle Roof

The lifespan of a roof is the number of years you get out of it. Both roofs have good lifespans, but a metal roof will last longer than a shingle roof.

For example, a dimensional shingle roof can last up to 30 years, while a standing-seam metal roof can last up to 50 years. Both a metal roof and a shingle roof should get as close as possible to their maximum lifespan as long as they have adequate attic ventilation and are installed properly.

Keep in mind, there are always factors like extreme weather, the climate of your area, and more that will ultimately determine how long both roof systems will last. However, as long as you invest in quality materials and hire a great roofing contractor, you should get peace of mind for years to come, no matter which roof you choose.

Advantages Of Metal Roofs

Whats the standard for debris removal after replacing ...

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.

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What Is An Asphalt Shingle Roof

The most common type of roof you see today is an asphalt roof. There are three types of asphalt shingles: 3-tab, dimensional, and luxury.

3-tab asphalt shingles are exactly what they sounds like, 3-tabs.

Dimensional asphalt shingles give you a good looking random pattern or simulate the look of a wood shake roof.

Luxury or premium asphalt shingles are actually larger than the other asphalt shingles and are made to look like slate.

While 3-tab asphalt shingles used to dominate the market, dimensional asphalt shingles are the most common type installed on roofs today. Luxury style asphalt shingles are just as heavily marketed as dimensional but are almost double the price.

Metal Roof Vs Shingles: Appearance

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.

Read Also: How Much Is A Metal Roof

Durability Whose Shingles Last Longer

CertainTeed has a reputation that is right at the top. But so does Malarkey. Youll find roofing professionals on both sides of the debate.

Climate and the quality of the installation are the largest factors in shingle durability. From these brands, here is what you can expect:

  • 3-tab shingles last 15-20 years
  • Architectural shingles last 17-30 years
  • Premium shingles last 20-35 years

What does last mean? Weve all seen homes with shingles on them that are clearly 40+ years old. They look bad, but they are still up there.

Do you want your shingles to last whether they are CertainTeed, Malarkey, Atlas, OC, GAF, or another brand?

Then choose your installer carefully. Proper installation ensures secure adhesion, nails that stay in place without being driven too far through the shingle and the right combination of materials underlayment, ice and water protection for eaves and valleys, starter shingles, shingles, ridge vents and hip/ridge shingles.

Top Benefits Of Metal Roofing Compared To Shingles

Why its Time to Take a Closer Look at Metal Roofing
  • Metal roofing is durable and routinely lasts 2-4 times longer than shingles.
  • Homeowners like the idea of buying only one more roof in their life instead of potentially several.
  • Metal roofing outperforms shingles in cases of hail and other severe weather events.
  • Metal roofing is highly reflective and can save 20-40% on electricity bills.
  • Metal roofing has a high recycled content which means it helps reduce landfill pressure instead of adding to it like asphalt shingles.
  • Metal roofing looks great, improving curb appeal and resale values.

Given the sharp increase in market share, it seems that more and more homeowners are making performance, not price, their dominant purchase decision.

Learn more about metal roof cost.

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Comparing Value Of Each Roofing System Over Time

Metal roofs and shingle roofs have drastically different price tags and life spans. These are the two biggest factors that contribute to their overall value.

The example below walks us through installing a shingle roof and a standing seam metal roof to help us determine each roofs value when comparing their cost and lifespan differences.

Standing Seam Roof

  • Cost: $8 to $14 per square foot
  • Lifespan: 40-60 years or more

Quality Asphalt Shingles

  • Cost: $5 to $7 per square foot
  • Lifespan: 10-20 years

For the example below, were going to compare the cost over time for a 2,500 square foot roof. The example will be based on the current averages for cost and lifespan of each roof type.

Energy Efficiency: Metal Roof Vs Shingles

Metal roofs provide better energy efficiency because of their reflective coating which makes it easier for your air conditioning and heating systems to work more efficiently within your home. The metal roofing material reflects the suns rays so you do not have to deal with an excess amount of heat inside during warmer weather or colder temperatures in colder months which means that your bills

Also Check: What Voids A Roof Warranty

Diy Metal Roofing Or Hire A Contractor

While one could think that theres nothing to installing a metal roof, a lot could go wrong, which is why youll save much more in the long run if you hire a contractor who has been installing metal roofing panels and shingles for many years.

Beginners tend to get a bit overzealous when screwing in the metal screws and adding sealant, and they overlap the panels without taking wind resistance and drainage into full account. They also do a poor job installing the metal around chimneys and vents, which can mean leaks down the road.

Additionally, they might not take the proper precautions when working with cheaper underlay. FEMA recommends exposed fastener panels and making sure clips are placed close to the eave if you live in a high wind area.

Influences On The Cost Of A Metal Roof:

Metal Roof Vs Shingles Cost
  • Panel Type: A few factors here influence pricing but the big two are whether panels are overlapping or interlocking, and if theyre interlocking, whether they interlock on all four sides or not. With more folds and cuts, the designing and production of interlocking panels is more expensive, and they take up more room in shipping, hence their higher prices. But they look great and are frequently higher-quality metal, too, for a longer life on your roof.
  • Substrate: Closely related to the panel type . What type of metal is probably the biggest cost influence next to roof size and labor, because different metals have different life expectancies. Aluminum and galvanized steel are the big players in residential roofing because their cost versus value is high and they provide great return on the investment. Other products that perform exceptionally well are copper, zinc, and stainless steel, but theyre cost-prohibitive for the average home and tend to be used more rarely.
  • Underlayment Choice: Overlooking this is a big mistake because underlayment is integral to the well-being of the metal cladding and everything thats underneath the roof. This is the critical water and element barrier, and the better quality your investment here, the more security youll have but also less noise from rain and hail, and more energy conservation. You get what you pay for.
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    Choosing The Right Contractor

    After finally deciding what to choose between metal roofing and asphalt shingles, it is also essential to choose the right roofing contractor. Since the roof is one of the vital parts of the house, it is best to hand over the job to the professionals to ensure proper installation and prevent future problems.

    There are a lot of roofing contractors in the area to choose from. Suppose you live in Georgia, Storm Pros Roofing and Construction is highly recommended. This company specializes in roofing and can easily be contacted through their official website:

    Pros And Cons Of Metal Roofs For Your Home

    Whether you’re buying a home with one or thinking of installing, here’s what to know.

    Whether you’re putting a roof on a new home, or your existing roof requires a total makeover, there are many materials available. But no matter what roof style you have, metal roofs can be an attractive option because of their longevity, minimal maintenance and energy efficiency. Material choices include steel , aluminum, copper, zinc and tin. Product types are vertical seam, pre-formed panels and granular coated panels. Style choices allow you to have the look of shingles, slate, tile, shakes or vertical panels. Make sure your metal roofing product is tested, labeled and listed with a testing organization such as UL, FM Approvals or Intertek to meet rigorous wind, fire and impact resistance rating requirements. Please also remember that installation can vary from geographic location, manufacturer guidelines and as a result of local building code requirements.

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    The Pros And Cons Of Shingles

    No roofing material is perfect and a shingle roof is no exception.

    While it is an affordable and easy to install roofing option, it also has shorter longevity and has to be tended to more frequently than other roofing types.

    As with any major purchase you make, consider what are the most important factors you want in a roof and if the roofing material you choose properly addresses those factors.

    While both roofing types are popular in todays market, there are situations and circumstances when one type of roof is a better fit to use than the other. We go over when its best to use each roof in the next chapter.

    The Ultimate Guide

    Not Allowed By Some Hoas

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    If your home is in a community that is governed by a homeowners association , they may have guidelines regarding the type of roof you put on your home. There are HOAs that do not allow metal roofing.

    To avoid any future hassles, please be sure that metal roofs are approved in your community prior to installation.

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    Pros Of Shingle Roofing

    An asphalt shingle roof is the more common type of roofing you see in residential areas. It is often seen as the traditional type of roof used for most homes. They are constructed using small pieces of asphalt shingles.


    There is a reason why shingle roofs have stuck around for ages: they are practical. If there is a problem, its easy to fix. You can walk on a shingled roof, so cleaning and maintaining your roof is easier.


    The main advantage of a shingle roof is the overall short-term costs. The installation is much cheaper than installing a metal roof, due in part to the lower cost of material. When a homeowner or commercial property owner is faced with suddenly needing a roof replacement, it is the more economical option upfront, which can be helpful when needing to make a decision and install a roof quickly.

    Easy Install

    Shingles are easier to transport than a full metal slab. They also offer an easier, quicker installation process.

    More Contractors

    Shingle roofing is easier to install than metal roofing. This means that you have more contractor options for your work order. Many contractors have experience with shingles, so you can feel safe in finding a qualified professional quickly.

    Higher Warranty Coverage

    Metal Roofs Are More Eco

    In this day and age, making eco-friendly choices is the responsibility of every homeowner. Sustainability is another common ground for shingles vs In fact, many real estates also value the sustainability value of a house. Metal roofs are more eco-friendly as they are largely made of recycled material and can be recycled, again and again.

    With their reflective surface, metal roofs help conserve more energy. You can also choose from a range of coatings that help optimize the effectiveness of air conditioners and reduce carbon footprints. A major backstep for asphalt shingle roofs is that they need to be replaced more frequently than metal roofs and cannot be recycled. Moreover, the heavy reliance on petroleum for their manufacturing makes them an inferior choice when it comes to the environment.

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    Shingle Are The Most Common Residential Roofing Material

    Drive through almost any neighborhood in the United States and it should not take you long to find a shingle roof. In fact, they are the most commonly used residential roof with approximately 7 out of 10 homes having a shingle roof.

    The biggest reasons for its popularity are because of the affordability and easy installation. We discuss more benefits of shingle roofing in Chapter 5.

    Fiberglass Shingles V Organic Shingles

    Whats the Difference? Metal Roofs vs. Asphalt Shingles ...

    Both 3-tab and architectural shingles are made with one of two different material compositions, fiberglass shingles or organic shingles.

    Visually, the material composition doesnt affect the appearance of the shingle. For example, a 3-tab fiberglass shingle will look identical to a 3-tab organic shingle. The difference is solely in how they are made and perform.

    A fiberglass shingle is made from a fiberglass mat while an organic shingle has a foundation from a wood product, usually paper.

    While most shingles you find on the market today are fiberglass shingles, you may still come across organic shingles.

    Fiberglass Shingle Pros


    Fiberglass shingles are thinner and lighter than organic shingles. This makes them easier to transport and also easier to install.

    Better Fire Resistance

    The fire rating of fiberglass is higher than organic shingles. This makes them the more fire resistant shingle and the better choice if you live in an area that is prone to wildfires.

    More Eco-friendly

    Asphalt is not a recyclable material. Since fiberglass shingles contain less asphalt, they have a lower environmental impact than organic shingles.

    Fiberglass Shingle Cons

    Less Durable

    Fiberglass shingles are lighter and less rugged because they contain less asphalt. The longevity of fiberglass shingles is less than organic and will have to be replaced sooner.

    Not Well Suited For Cool Climates

    Organic Shingle Pros

    Cold Climate Compatible

    Organic Shingle Cons

    Less Water Resistant

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