Roofing Materials

Metal Roof Vs. Shingles Cost -Which Is Best for The Price?

Stephen Vernon
April 3, 2023

The Main Difference Between Metal Roof vs. Shingles

When homeowners are selecting the right roofing material for their home, two popular roofing materials to choose from are metal roofing and asphalt shingles. Each of these roofing options has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The main difference between a metal roof vs shingles is cost. Metal roofing will always be more expensive than shingles.

When it comes to calculating the price of a roof, there are a myriad of factors to consider, such as size, pitch or steepness, the condition and type of roofing underlayment, design complexity, ventilation, access to the work area, landscaping, and more all play a role in determining the final cost of a roofing project.

Shingle roofs can span a wide price range, with some starting as low as $400 per square (equivalent to 100 square feet of roof surface) and going as high as $2,000 per square for premium shingle designs. On the other hand, metal roofs exhibit a similar cost variability, ranging from around $600 per square to well over $2,000 per square, depending on factors like the type of metal used and the installation techniques employed. For specialty metal roofs, such as copper, prices can soar to in excess of $4,000 per square.

It's important to keep in mind that the actual cost of a roofing project can vary significantly based on the specific materials chosen, installation requirements, and any unique features or complexities of the roof design. This cost difference between metal roofs and shingles is a crucial factor that homeowners should consider when planning their roofing projects and budgeting accordingly.

In this post we will walk you through a few of those pros and cons and then will give the Cenvar recommendation.

Pros and Cons of Metal Roofing

When it comes to roofing options, metal roofing has gained significant popularity in recent years due to its exceptional durability and modern aesthetics. However, like any roofing material, it comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages that homeowners should carefully consider before making a decision. Here are some pros and cons of metal roofing that will help you make an informed choice that aligns with your unique needs and preferences for your home.

  • Pro: Metal is stronger and durable
  • Pro: Long-lasting
  • Pro: More sustainable
  • Pro: Easily recyclable materials
  • Con: Higher cost
  • Con: Take longer to install
  • Con: More difficult to repair
  • Con: Paint only lasts 40 years
  • Con: Really expensive to paint

Pros and Cons of Shingle Roofing

As one of the most prevalent roofing materials across residential properties, asphalt shingle roofing offers a familiar and versatile solution for homeowners.

Metal Roof vs. Shingle Roof

Whether you're constructing a new house or needing a roof replacement, understanding the pros and cons of shingle roofing is essential.

Here are some valuable insights into the advantages and potential drawbacks of shingle roofing, allowing you to make an informed decision that harmonizes with your aesthetic preferences, budget, and long-term roofing needs.

  • Pro: Cost-effective
  • Pro: Easier and quicker to install
  • Pro: A larger variety of colors and styles
  • Pro: Easy to repair
  • Con: They don’t last long term
  • Con: Not as environmentally friendly.

Does a Metal Roof Cost More Than a Shingle Roof?

Metal roofs do cost more than shingle roofs. Comparing the costs of metal roofing versus shingles is a crucial factor when deciding on your roofing material. One of the most apparent differences is that metal roofing typically comes with a higher upfront price tag than shingles. So, if you're prioritizing a more budget-friendly option for your roof replacement project, asphalt shingles tend to be the better choice. When assessing the cost-effectiveness over time, shingles still hold their ground against metal. Despite metal's inherent strength and durability, it has one significant downside – the need for periodic painting and maintenance. Additionally, shingles enjoy an advantage in terms of upfront costs due to their widespread availability at home improvement stores. These readily accessible shingles are easy and quick to install, ultimately making the labor costs for your project more efficient when compared to what you might encounter with a metal roof. So, the main difference in cost between metal roofing and shingles lies in the initial investment, with shingles offering a more budget-friendly option for those prioritizing cost considerations.

When deciding between metal and shingle roofing, the cost factor often becomes a significant consideration. Here's how the longevity of each material can impact your budget. While the initial cost of metal roofs may be higher, they tend to have a much longer lifespan compared to shingles. Metal roofs can last 50 years or more with proper maintenance, reducing the need for frequent replacements. Asphalt shingles have a shorter lifespan, typically ranging from 15 to 30 years. This means that homeowners may need to replace shingles more frequently, incurring additional costs over time.

Metal Paint

Most metal roof panels come with the same standard paint warranty: 40 years. You’ll find this to be very typical across the different metal options. They become really expensive to paint once the 40 years is up and the cost to do so is about half as much as a new shingle roof would cost. According to this post on repainting a metal roof, there are a few things you’ll need.

  • Powerwash your roof with a PSI of 2500
  • Paint specifically designed for metal roofs
  • Paint rollers specifically designed for metal panels

And according to another post, there are mistakes to avoid when repainting a metal roof.

  • Not removing old paint
  • Ignoring rust patches
  • Not priming beforehand
  • Applying the paint incorrectly
  • Not sealing the roof afterward
Metal Roof vs Shingles Cost

The costs add up when thinking about repainting a metal roof.

So if you’re planning on being in your home for a while and you like the look of a metal roof, plan to repaint after the paint warranty expires and the paint begins to wear off.

When looking for the benefits of metal vs shingle, many articles won’t talk about the headache of painting. Even trusted resources like Forbes or Bob Vila.

Roofing Durability

Metal beats out shingles when it comes to strength and durability. While a hail storm may still damage a metal roof with a dent, that same hail storm could put a hole in an asphalt roof making metal the top choice for protection.

Metal is stronger in that it won’t get damaged as quickly, metal roofs have a better wind rating too.

Take a look at this video of simulated hail damage for asphalt, slate, and metal, and see how they last!

In the video, the 3-tab shingle sustained enough damage that would need a roof replacement.

The architectural shingle sustained some damage but wouldn’t need to be replaced right away.

The metal roof hardly had any damage and wouldn’t even be noticeable from the ground.

Neighborhood designs

Metal roofs are considered an attractive feature by homebuyers due to their durability and longevity. This can potentially increase the resale value of a home. While shingles are common and acceptable, they may not add as much perceived value to a home as a metal roof.

Something to keep in mind when considering the question of metal vs shingle would be the architecture of the home and the neighborhood your home is in. Maybe you want your home to stand out and your neighbors all have shingle roofs.

Is a Metal Roof Cheaper than Shingles?

A metal roof would be the way to stand out. If you want to stay uniform with your neighbors then it’s important to consider what other people have for roofing materials.

You’ll also want to keep in mind the architecture of the home itself. Typically, you’ll find metal on farmhouses. This would be the most typical metal structure.

You’ll commonly find shingles on ranch homes. So a word of advice would be to look at the architecture of the home and of the neighborhood.

Conclusion: Is a Metal Roof Cheaper Than Shingles? Exploring the Cost Factors

The main difference between metal roofs and shingles in terms of cost is their initial expense versus long-term savings. Metal roofs tend to be more costly upfront but offer a better return on investment over time due to their durability and energy efficiency. Shingles, on the other hand, are cheaper up front making them more budget-friendly initially but may result in higher costs over the life of the roof due to replacements and maintenance. The choice between the two ultimately depends on your budget, preferences, and long-term goals for your home.

A shingle roof would be the Cenvar recommendation namely because of the cost per year of service. The only way metal makes sense is if it left unpainted and that doesn’t look very good. Most homeowners care about how their homes look and metal does look good when installed properly. We believe that some companies might be over-selling metal roofing, with the technical jargon that it will last, and it will last, but it comes down to the painting. If you’re concerned about cost and don’t want to deal with high costs down the road, then asphalt shingles would be the top recommendation for your home. Architectural shingles come with a great 50-year warranty and can withstand winds and most hail. They don’t cost as much to install and they’re easier to repair if you do run into issues down the road.

Discover the key difference between metal roofs and shingles cost by contacting the nearby roofing experts at Cenvar Roofing in Virginia today to schedule a roofing estimate for your home today. Make an informed decision for a durable and cost-effective roofing solution.

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