Metal Roofs vs Shingle Roofs

Choosing the right roofing material for your home is a critical decision that can affect the value, appearance, and longevity of your property. Two of the most popular options homeowners consider are metal roofs and shingle roofs. Each has its unique advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. 

In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between metal roofs and shingle roofs to help you make an informed decision.

Durability and Longevity

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Metal Roofs: Metal roofs are renowned for their durability and long lifespan. They can withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain, snow, hail, and high winds. Metal roofs are also resistant to fire, rot, and insect damage. On average, a metal roof can last between 40 to 70 years, depending on the material used (such as steel, aluminum, copper, or zinc). Some metal roofs even come with warranties of up to 50 years, providing long-term peace of mind.

Shingle Roofs: Shingle roofs, particularly asphalt shingles, are also a durable option but generally have a shorter lifespan compared to metal roofs. Asphalt shingles typically last between 20 to 30 years. However, higher-quality architectural shingles can extend this lifespan to around 30 to 50 years. Shingle roofs are more susceptible to damage from severe weather conditions and may require more frequent repairs and maintenance.


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Metal Roofs: The initial cost of installing a metal roof is significantly higher than that of a shingle roof. On average, metal roofing can cost between $8 to $16 per square foot, including materials and installation. However, the long-term cost benefits should be considered. Metal roofs require less maintenance and have a longer lifespan, which can save you money on repairs and replacements over time.

Shingle Roofs: Shingle roofs are generally more affordable upfront, with costs ranging from $3 to $6 per square foot for asphalt shingles. This makes them an attractive option for homeowners on a tighter budget. While they may have lower initial costs, shingle roofs might require more frequent maintenance and replacements, which could increase the overall cost in the long run.


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Metal Roofs: Metal roofs are low maintenance compared to shingle roofs. They do not crack, warp, or suffer from algae growth, which is common in shingle roofs. Regular inspections and occasional cleaning to remove debris are typically all that’s needed to keep a metal roof in good condition. Some metal roofs may require repainting or re-coating every few decades, but this is relatively minor maintenance.

Shingle Roofs: Shingle roofs require more regular maintenance to keep them in good condition. This includes inspecting for and replacing damaged or missing shingles, cleaning gutters, and removing moss or algae. Shingle roofs can be prone to leaks, so regular inspections are crucial to catch and repair any issues early.

Energy Efficiency

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Metal Roofs: Metal roofs are highly energy efficient. They reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25% during the summer months. Many metal roofing systems are also made from recycled materials and are fully recyclable at the end of their lifespan, making them an environmentally friendly choice.

Shingle Roofs: Shingle roofs, particularly asphalt shingles, absorb more heat, which can increase cooling costs in the summer. However, there are energy-efficient shingle options available, such as those with reflective granules that can help reduce heat absorption. Shingle roofs are not as environmentally friendly as metal roofs since they are typically made from petroleum-based materials and are not recyclable.

Aesthetic Appeal

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Metal Roofs: Metal roofs come in a wide variety of styles, colors, and finishes, allowing for a high degree of customization. They can mimic the appearance of traditional materials like wood, slate, or tile while providing the benefits of metal. This versatility makes them suitable for various architectural styles, from modern to historic homes.

Shingle Roofs: Shingle roofs also offer a range of styles and colors, with asphalt shingles being the most common and versatile. They can complement many architectural styles and are a classic choice for residential homes. Higher-end shingles, such as architectural or designer shingles, provide more texture and depth, enhancing the overall appearance of the roof.

Environmental Impact

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Metal Roofs: As mentioned earlier, metal roofs are often made from recycled materials and are fully recyclable at the end of their life, making them a sustainable choice. Their energy efficiency also contributes to a lower carbon footprint.

Shingle Roofs: Shingle roofs have a higher environmental impact due to their petroleum-based composition and limited recyclability. However, some manufacturers are working towards more sustainable options by incorporating recycled content and improving energy efficiency.

How Ascent Roofing Solutions Can Help

Both metal roofs and shingle roofs have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Metal roofs offer superior durability, longevity, and energy efficiency, but come with a higher upfront cost. Shingle roofs are more affordable initially and offer a classic aesthetic, but may require more maintenance and have a shorter lifespan. Ultimately, the choice between metal and shingle roofing will depend on your budget, aesthetic preferences, and long-term homeownership plans.

At Ascent Roofing Solutions, we’re here to help you make the best decision for your home. Contact us today to learn more about our roofing options and find the perfect fit for your needs.

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