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Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles

Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles

There are many reasons why you may be considering a new roof. The old roofing material is worn out, your insurance company won’t renew your homeowner’s policy without one, or you just want a fresher, newer look for your home. Whatever the reason, you may find yourself debating a choice of roofing materials, namely metal roofing vs. asphalt shingles.

If your home was originally designed with shingles, you may be tempted to go that route, replacing the old three tab shingles with ‘architectural’ shingles, which give your roof a richer, more dimensional look, and have a longer service life. However, many homeowners are choosing to replace the original shingles with metal roofing, giving the home a whole new look. A good roofing contractor with a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software program can show you just what your home will look like with either material, in a choice of colors and patterns.

Now you’ve narrowed your choices down to two designs that really compliment your home’s style, one in metal and one in asphalt shingle. You would be satisfied with either one and all things being equal, the major consideration now is the price. Let’s look at a few attributes of each material to help make the metal roofing vs. asphalt shingles decision a little easier.

Metal Roofs

Depending on the type of metal you choose, this type of roof can last up to 100 years! Steel, aluminum and copper are all used as roofing material, and when designed and installed correctly, can be the most striking feature of any structure. Metal roofs come in a wider variety of colors and styles, from the long metal sheets usually seen on agricultural buildings, to shapes that mimic traditional shingles. Though much higher in initial cost, (up to $1,000 per 10′ x 10′ ‘square’), metal roofs have been proven to save in heating and cooling costs and will give many years of service in a variety of climates.

Much of the cost associated with a metal roof is in the installation. It takes a skilled installer and specialized tools to trim the metal sheets into shapes that fit together to shed water correctly. Any mistake in cutting, drilling or fastening results in wasted material, so installers often attend hours of training classes provided by the roofing material manufacturer to learn the correct procedures for installing a metal roof.

Asphalt Shingle Roofs

There are many different colors and styles of asphalt roofs on the market, a variety not likely available when your home was last shingled. There are asphalt shingles that look like cedar shake roofing and slate, even a style that looks like Spanish tile. Typically less expensive than a metal roof at $100-$200 per square, there are some brands and styles that cost more than the lesser grades of metal roofing.

Installation of an asphalt shingle roof typically takes between one and three days, depending on the weather and the scheduling of the various in-progress inspections. Though easier to learn how to install, there are still manufacturers installation instructions that must be adhered to, to avoid voiding the materials warranty.

The choice is yours. Though a metal roof will cost more up front than an asphalt shingle roof, the savings realized over time in energy efficiency and durability will pay off in the long run. However, if you are renovating on a budget, and just need to upgrade your roof covering, where long-term durability or energy efficiency is not a consideration, then asphalt shingles are the right choice for you.