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Metal Roof vs Shingles: Which Is Best for You?

Metal Roof vs Shingles: Which Is Best for You?

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Metal roofing is gaining on asphalt shingles, but which one is the right choice for you? Here’s your guide to a metal roof vs shingles and the pros and cons.

Have you talked to anyone about roofs lately? There’s an ongoing argument over which materials offer the best solution for residential roofing.

Today, we’re joining the debate and discussing the metal roof vs. shingles.

Take a minute and read about these two excellent options before you decide which one you prefer.

How They Look from the Street

Your roof either adds to or takes away from the curb appeal of your home. Which roofing material makes the most aesthetic impact—shingles or metal?

In the old days, you could choose from 1 or 2 shingle colors. Today, asphalt shingles come in an array of colors and patterns. You can even select shingles designed to look like wood shakes, slate, or terra cotta tile.

No longer thought of as roofing materials designed solely for sheds and barns, metal roofs come in an almost endless number of color choices! Metal makes a stunning presentation!

Whether you choose shingles or metal, think about the style of your home, your neighborhood, and your taste when selecting the color of your roofing materials.

What about Installation?

No matter what type of materials you select, we know you’re already wondering how long installation will take. No one looks forward to the disruption often caused by major home improvement projects.

A new shingle roof usually takes 1-2 days for installation. 

Metal roof installation may take a bit longer than an asphalt roof. The size, slope, and the number of chimneys and skylights on your roof, as well as weather, play a role in determining the installation timeframe. If you have a moderate size roof and good weather, installation usually takes a few days, but for a larger home, it may take a week or so.

The Eco-Friendly Roof

Many homeowners today look for environmentally friendly ways they can do home improvement projects. Let’s look at shingles first.

Shingles

While asphalt shingles aren’t considered eco-friendly, today’s shingles aren’t exactly unfriendly to the environment either.

The issue most environmentalists take with shingles is the fact that they’re manufactured from petroleum-based products, which sustains dependency on fossil fuels. Also, years ago, some manufacturers used asbestos and lead. This only poses a problem if you install new shingles over old materials containing those harmful substances and your contractor will take precautions if necessary.

Environmentalists look at recyclability. What does your roofing contractor do with your old roofing materials? While they’re not a cinch to recycle, if you or your contractor can get them to a shingle recycling facility, recycled shingles are a component in hot mix asphalt used by paving companies.

Metal

For the environmentally-minded homeowner, a metal roof offers an excellent roofing solution.

Fully recyclable, metal roofs won’t end up in a landfill when they come to the end of their useful life. They’ll simply get recycled. A new metal roof is likely constructed from recycled metal.

Environmentally conscious people don’t only like to recycle materials, they recycle rainwater and use it for gardening and other family use. It’s more challenging to use rainwater collected from an asphalt roof due to the petroleum content. That issue doesn’t exist if you install a metal roof.

Which Roof Lasts Longer?

As far as durability, in most cases, a metal roof wins. If you go with aluminum or steel, you can get 50 years (or longer) from your roof.  A metal roof constructed from copper or zinc can last even longer—100 years.

Asphalt manufacturers don’t just sit in the dust as the metal roofing fabricators win the longevity race.

A shingle roof usually lasts anywhere from 15-30 years. However, homeowners can maximize the longevity of asphalt shingles with routine inspections and attention to basic maintenance. If you choose higher-quality shingles, you can enjoy up to 50 years of service from your roof.

The Energy Saving Roof

Environmentally conscious or not, every homeowner wants to save money on their energy bill. Americans spend a staggering 40 billion dollars every year on air conditioning. A roof can reach temperatures exceeding 150°F on a hot, sunny day—imagine the impact on your bill.

Asphalt shingles absorb heat from the sun, which affects the temperature inside your home and can make your AC work harder. However, shingle manufacturers today work hard to come up with products that work more efficiently. While we won’t discuss them today, you can select ENERGY STAR® rated asphalt shingles.

Unlike shingles, metal roofs don’t absorb solar heat, they reflect it into the atmosphere. You can maximize the energy efficiency of a metal roof by painting it or applying a reflective coating. 

The Cost of a Metal Roof vs Shingles

All things considered, most homeowners make decisions about home improvement projects based on cost. There’s a difference in the up-front costs of metal roof vs. shingles.

Keep in mind, the size of your roof, the roofing materials you choose, and your zip code all play a role in determining the cost of a new roof.

If you choose a basic asphalt shingle roof, your average cost is around $7,500. A metal roof will cost you about $14,500. If you go with the highest-quality shingle or a higher-cost metal like zinc or copper, your cost will go up.

Consider this before you base your decision solely on cost. While an asphalt shingle roof may cost less initially, shingles aren’t as durable as metal and you may end up replacing your roof sooner. Those extra years offered by a metal roof will save you money over the long-term.

Ready to Schedule Your Roof Installation?

When it comes down to deciding which roofing materials make the better choice, as you can see, it’s about more than cost. The debate over metal roof vs. shingles will likely continue as manufacturers continue improving their products.

When making your decision you’ll factor in aesthetics, durability, sustainability, installation time, energy savings, and cost.

No matter what roofing materials you choose, we’re here to do the installation. If you’re ready to schedule your roofing project, or you’d like more information on our services, contact our team today.

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