Metal vs. Shingle Roofing: A Comprehensive Comparison for Your Home

The roof is an integral part of any home, providing protection against the elements while also contributing to its overall aesthetics. When it comes to roofing materials, two popular choices dominate the market: asphalt shingles and metal roofing. Each option has its unique strengths, and making the right decision requires considering various factors such as location, budget, long-term plans, and personal preferences.

Cost Considerations

One of the most significant factors influencing the choice of roofing material is cost. Asphalt shingles are the more budget-friendly option, and at B&B Siding and Roofing, they offer an attractive price point of $325 to $750 per square for overlay installation. A complete tear-off, while slightly more expensive, remains within the reach of many homeowners.

On the other hand, metal roofing is undeniably costlier, with prices ranging from $800 to $1,500 per square. The initial investment for a metal roof might deter some homeowners, but it is essential to consider the long-term benefits. Metal roofs can last for more than 50 years, doubling the lifespan of asphalt shingles, and potentially saving on replacement costs down the road. As the cost of labor and materials tends to rise over time, procrastination on roof replacement can result in a more substantial financial burden, says Austin Fain, Owner of Perfect Steel Solutions.

Longevity and Return on Investment

The longevity of a roof is a critical aspect to consider when evaluating the return on investment. Metal roofing outshines asphalt shingles in this category, offering an impressive lifespan of over 50 years. In contrast, asphalt shingles typically last between 20 and 25 years. For homeowners planning to live in their current residence for many years, the durable nature of metal roofing makes it an attractive choice.

However, if selling the house is a possibility in the near future, a more affordable asphalt shingle roof may be a better fit. Forbes reports that a roof replacement can yield a return of approximately 60% of its value in a real estate transaction. In such cases, it may be wiser to opt for a cost-effective roofing solution that still provides decent longevity, says Robert Fields, Owner of ATX Stained Concrete.

Performance and Energy Efficiency

Performance is a critical factor when choosing a roofing material. Metal roofing is known for its exceptional durability, able to withstand harsh weather conditions, including winds of up to 140 miles per hour. The incorporation of rust-proof coatings ensures that metal roofs remain free from corrosion and cracks, ensuring a long-lasting and low-maintenance solution.

Moreover, metal roofs’ energy efficiency is a notable advantage. They reflect a significant portion of the sun’s UV and infrared light rays, reducing roof surface radiant heat and leading to a 10-25% reduction in cooling costs. This makes metal roofing an environmentally friendly choice that can also contribute to lower energy bills over time.

Asphalt shingles, too, offer excellent performance and weatherproofing. In recent years, advancements in shingle technology have led to increased durability and energy-efficient options. Class 4 impact-resistant asphalt shingles provide added protection against tears and impacts in regions prone to tornadoes, hurricanes, and hailstorms, which can potentially lead to reduced insurance premiums.

Fire Safety

For homeowners living in areas susceptible to wildfires, fire safety becomes a significant concern. Metal roofing holds a class A fire rating, the highest rating possible according to American Family Insurance. This makes it an excellent choice for regions with fire hazards, potentially leading to lower insurance premiums.

However, installing a metal roof over existing shingles may affect the fire rating, downgrading it to a class C rating, as reported by insurance companies. It’s crucial for homeowners considering this option to consult with their insurance providers to understand the implications fully.

Aesthetics and Design Options

Aesthetics play a vital role in the decision-making process, as the roof significantly contributes to a home’s overall curb appeal. Asphalt shingles have come a long way in terms of design and appearance. Homeowners can now choose from a wide range of textures, colors, and styles, providing versatility to match various architectural designs.

Metal roofing, too, offers an array of design options, with materials such as aluminum, copper, tin, or galvanized steel available in various colors and styles. From classic standing-seam vertical panels to more contemporary and eye-catching accents through mixing and matching materials, metal roofing allows homeowners to achieve a distinct and personalized look for their homes. Additionally, metal roofing can complement various architectural styles, including modern farmhouse designs, says Gavin MacRae, Owner of GJ MacRae Foundation Repair.

Other Considerations

Beyond cost, longevity, performance, and aesthetics, other considerations may influence the choice between metal and shingle roofing. For homeowners residing in neighborhoods governed by homeowners associations, it’s essential to secure approval for the chosen roofing material before proceeding with the installation.

In terms of eco-friendliness, both metal and asphalt shingles are making strides in becoming more environmentally sustainable. Metal roofs are often preferred for their high recyclability, as they are mostly made from recycled materials and are themselves fully recyclable at the end of their useful life. Furthermore, new recycling programs for asphalt shingles are emerging, diverting them from landfills for reuse in pavement for roads.


Choosing between metal and shingle roofing is a significant decision that requires careful consideration of various factors. While asphalt shingles are cost-effective and offer versatile design options, metal roofing stands out with its impressive longevity, exceptional performance, and eco-friendliness.

Homeowners must assess their long-term plans, aesthetic preferences, and any environmental considerations when selecting the ideal roofing material for their homes. Consulting with a reliable and experienced roofing contractor like B&B Siding and Roofing can provide valuable insights and ensure a successful roofing project that enhances both the protection and beauty of their homes.

In conclusion, the choice between metal and shingle roofing is ultimately dependent on the homeowner’s unique needs and priorities, each offering distinct advantages that cater to different preferences and circumstances. By carefully weighing the pros and cons of each option, homeowners can confidently select the roofing material that best suits their home and long-term goals.