Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Your roof is one of, if not the most important part of your home. It’s what really protects you from the elements. And in order for it to do that, it must be able to take a beating. If you’re a new home owner and/or looking to do renovations, but don’t quite know what material to choose – this guide is for you. We’ll be comparing two popular roof options, metal roofing and asphalt shingle roofing. 

What Type of Roofing is Best for Me?

The answer to this question largely depends upon two things: budget and style choice. Asphalt shingles are often considered the “budget option.” They are very cost-effective but aren’t that stylish – if that’s what you’re searching for. On the other end of the spectrum, metal roofing is pretty high budget, but will definitely turn some heads.   Typically metal roofs will last longer and require less maintenance, but there are some pretty solid asphalt roofing systems that can stand the test of time.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing: The Pros and Cons

Just because it’s our budget option doesn’t mean it doesn’t provide ample structure. When installed and maintained correctly, they could last for decades. Even the cheapest variety of asphalt shingles can provide decent wind protection. Asphalt shingles are also very easy to install or replace. They’re often connected by a set of three pins which can be added or removed one at a time. This allows you to replace just a single shingle instead of a whole “square.”

In terms of pricing, you’ll typically pay anywhere between $2 – $7 per sq. ft., but some premium asphalt roof systems can go as high as $12 per sq. ft. and higher. Of course, the exact cost will depend upon your contractor and what roof system you choose. This modest pricing is why asphalt shingle roofing is our “budget pick.” Even though modest pricing is one hell of a pro, there are certain cons to asphalt shingles that may turn your head the other way. 

One of the biggest flaws in regards to asphalt shingles, is that the installation heavily depends upon the climate of the place you’re living in. If by any chance it’s winter at time of reading, you may want to wait until summer to install your asphalt shingle roofing. That’s right. Asphalt shingles require temperatures between 40°F and 85°F for optimal installation to allow the tar strip beneath the shingle to melt down and adhere to the roof.  In colder climates like Denver roofing contractors will have limited availability during the winter because of this.  And if you reside in a place like Florida or Texas, your asphalt shingles may be prone to cracking due to extreme heat.

Metal Roofing: The Pros and Cons

If your budget is high and you’re looking for a sleek, original look – metal roofing is just for you. Not only is it an eye-turner, but it’s also very strong and long-lasting. If you live in an area that experiences lots of storms, you can rest assured that what’s above your head is extremely durable. You should expect to pay $8.50 – $16.00 per sq. ft., including installation. As we mentioned above, the exact price heavily depends upon your contractor.

Metal roofing is also very environmentally friendly. Not only are asphalt shingles a product of fossil fuels, but billions of pounds of them are left to rot in landfills every year. Hand-in-hand with being environmentally friendly, it’s also very energy efficient. Metal roofs are often made with a reflective material that helps keep your home cool on sunny days. This gives your air conditioner a break, which can lower your electric bill in turn.

Similar to asphalt roofs, not all metal roofing systems are created equal. If you’re looking to save money, you may opt for an aluminum or copper roof. If that’s the case, your metal roof may be prone to dents. In worse cases, you may not be able to walk on it at all, which will definitely be a problem when it comes time to maintain the roof. Rest assured, if money seriously isn’t a problem, steel is the option you can choose.

In Conclusion: Metal Roofing Vs. Asphalt Shingle Roofing

 If we throw the budget out the window, steel roofing is the clear-cut winner. It provides superior protection and serious curbside appeal. Not only that, but they’re a natural white noise generator. If you love the sound of rain hitting your roof, just wait until your new metal roof is installed – it’s like an amplifier!

However, not everyone can afford to just “throw budget out the window.” That’s why asphalt shingles are by far the most common type of roofing installed in the US!

Roberta O'Reilly

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