The Cost of Metal vs Shingle Roofing [Which Is Better?]

Infographic of a person putting on roofing on their house

If your roof has sprung a leak or is nearing the end of its estimated lifespan, it is time to start shopping for a new roof. There are many options for roofing, and asphalt shingles are among the most common. The shingles are cost-effective, easy to install, and have a proven track record of reliability. That doesn’t mean you should always put them at the top of your list. Metal roofs also have a lot to offer, particularly when it comes to longevity and appearance. 

While both asphalt shingles and metal roofs can do the job and create a solid barrier against the weather, you may want the most affordable option that fits your needs. So, we compared the cost of metal vs shingle roofing options, along with other factors such as performance, durability, and resale value that affect long-term savings. Our goal is to give you all the information you need to make a choice that fits your needs and budget. 

The Cost of a Metal Roof vs. Shingle

A metal roof costs more than an asphalt shingle roof. There’s no way around it. You get what you pay for, though.

While an asphalt shingle roof averages $5,000 to $12,000, metal roofs often cost at least $10,000 and can exceed $15,000, depending on the metal you choose. Other shingle materials can outpace the price of metal, though, with clay shingles near the top of the cost range. Meanwhile, a roofing square of asphalt tiles costs about $90, which is significantly cheaper than the typical cost of any other material. A square of steel roofing is similar, but stainless can run between $450 to $1,250. However, even with the higher cost, a metal roof is likely to be a long-term saver. 

Comparing Performance and Durability

Once you’ve paid to install a metal roof, you’ll probably never need to replace it. The wonderful thing about a metal roof is that it can last for 70 years or more. Many come with warranties that cover replacement materials for 50 years.

Meanwhile, someone who installed asphalt will have to pay at least twice and often three times for roof replacement before you need to consider a new installation for your metal roof.

When it comes to performance, metal roofing is often a clear winner. It is the recommended material in areas that experience extreme weather conditions. Metal roofs stand up to hurricane-force winds and won’t ignite during a wildfire. Both of these benefits make them ideal for many areas of the county.

In areas with heavy snowfall, you may need to invest in solid support structures for your roof, but metal won’t have the same problems with ice dams that can affect shingled roofs. In general, expect to replace a shingled asphalt roof every 12 to 20 years.

Upping Your Resale Value

Infographic of contractor looking into the cost of metal vs shingle roof options

As with any major home renovation, a new roof has the potential to add value to your home. If you opt for something simple and straightforward, it can be a way to avoid negotiating down on the price, while something that will last can actually help you negotiate the price up. Let’s take a look at two ways your roofing choice can affect your sale price.

Boosting Curb Appeal

Shingle roofs have a traditional look that many people appreciate, but some buyers like something that looks unique. With current technology, you can get shingle roofing tiles that look like virtually any material, including slate, wood, and tile. Add scalloped edges or a terra cotta mimic to match the rest of the architecture in your home. Whether you’re mimicking a Mediterranean villa or sprucing up a classic craftsman home, there are many options and colors to choose from if you’re installing shingles.

Metal roofs have a long history of use on industrial buildings and a style that matches that aesthetic. Corrugated tin panels were the norm for decades and bring to mind warehouses, barns, and other utility buildings.

However, you have more refined options today. Metal roofing is available in copper, steel, aluminum, zinc, and other metals, giving you more colors and finishes to choose from. Plus, you can get away from the bumpy corrugated look and get something more sleek and modern for your home. Shingle, slate, and shake styles are all available as metal roofing options, so you can add a durable roof that also looks great from the curb.

Since both materials offer great-looking options, you can choose based on your budget, performance, and the value delivered by your material of choice. 

Choosing the Eco-Friendly Option

Sustainability is a concern for some buyers. Those who appreciate environmentally friendly building materials will be more likely to give your home a look if it’s topped by a metal roof. After all, metal roofs are recyclable and often made of recycled materials. They are also energy-efficient because they reflect heat.

Managing Maintenance and Installation Costs

In general, shingle roofs are easier to install. Virtually any roofing professional can handle the job. Metal roofs require more specialized knowledge, making the job take longer and costing a bit more. Once installed, metal roofs rarely need maintenance or repairs. 

If a metal roof does need repairs, it’s likely to be more expensive than shingle repairs. Metal isn’t as easy to cut to size. You may have to replace your roof with standard-size roofing squares. 

Metal or Shingle—Which Is Better?

At the end of the day, metal roofs have a lot to recommend them. If a metal roof is within your budget, it is a solid investment in long-term durability. If a metal roof isn’t in the budget, that is okay. Asphalt shingles can last a long time, and some may come with warranties of up to 30 years.

You might also be interested in: The Most Durable Roofing Materials: A Comprehensive Guide

Related Articles