Is a Metal Roof Cheaper Than Shingles?

red metal roof - are metal roofs cheaper than shingles?

Metal Roof vs. Shingles — What’s the Difference?

When replacing the roof of your house or building a new home, the material you choose for your roofing will have an impact on it, in terms of maintenance, cost, energy efficiency, and home value if you sell the house in the future. 

Until recently, architectural shingles were a much more popular option than metal for residential roofs, but lately, the tide has started turning. Metal roofs are becoming more popular. But are metal roofs cheaper than shingles? Let’s look at the differences. 

Metal Roof

Metal roof panels are large flat metal sheets that can be made from a variety of materials, including tin, aluminum, steel, zinc, and copper. They come in different patterns and are installed on the roof with an interlocking seam. 

The interlock system is used with fasteners to hold the metal to the frame of your house. High-quality metal roofs are a good option because they are extremely durable, require little maintenance, and can last up to 50 years. 

metal roof pros

Metal Roofing Pros

The pros of metal roofing far outweigh the cons. Metal roofs are:

Durable – Metal is the strongest material available that you can use for a roof replacement. It is also fire-resistant and designed to withstand extreme weather and temperature differences. It can stand up to a heavy storm without damage. 

Low Maintenance – Metal is the lowest maintenance of roofing materials. The only thing that needs to be done is to clean the debris off of your roof from time to time. 

Environmentally Friendly – Metal roofs are made using recycled material, and they are 100% recyclable if they should ever be replaced. They can also increase your energy savings by refracting heat from your home instead of absorbing it, as shingles do. Solar panels are also very easily installed on top of a metal roof. 

Boosts the Value of Your Property – Metal roofs have a longer lifespan than shingled roofs, easily lasting from 40 to 70 years. This boosts the value of your property, as a new homeowner coming in doesn’t have to worry about replacing the roof shortly after buying the house. 

Metal Roofing Cons

The disadvantages of having a metal roof are limited, but as with any product, there are a few worth noting. 

Oil Canning – Oil canning is a phenomenon that causes metal panels to look wavy in certain lights or from certain angles. This is an aesthetic problem, not a structural problem, and there are some ways to combat this, should you decide to go with a metal roof.

Professional Installation – While this is not a true con, it is worth mentioning. Some people have taken it upon themselves to re-shingle their roofs when the time comes. The same can’t be said for a metal roof. It is a labor-intensive process that requires practice and a level of skill.

Homeowners Association Rules – Some HOAs have strict rules about what products and materials can be used within their community. Double-check with yours to make sure a metal roof is okay before you have one installed.

asphalt shingle roof

Asphalt Shingles

Shingles come in sheets, rolls, or stacks. They have a fiberglass base, with a layer of asphalt over the top and a rough upper surface. They are small rectangles that get nailed, in layers, to the wooden frame on your roof. They are easy to install and relatively inexpensive to manufacture. 

Shingle Roofing Pros

Asphalt shingle roofs have some great features that are worth considering. 

Economical – The reason that asphalt roofing continues to stick around is that it is less expensive per square foot than metal is, giving homeowners a short-term win on their home improvement project. 

Ease – Shingles are easy to install, easy to clean, and easy to walk on. This makes roof maintenance easier, as you don’t have a slippery surface.

Warranty Coverage – Currently, shingles have some really good warranties, from both the manufacturer and sometimes additionally from the contractor. Some manufacturers have limited lifetime warranties available for their shingles. 

Shingle Roofing Cons

Shingles are a popular option, but there are some disadvantages to consider before jumping in. 

Lower Lifespan – Shingles have a shorter lifespan than metal, lasting only about 25 years before replacement. In addition to frequent roof replacement, there are times you will find yourself replacing shingles before the 25-year mark. Shingles are easily damaged, so they may need to be replaced after a storm or from other extreme weather conditions. In addition, they are the perfect place to grow mold, so if they are not maintained properly, they will need to be replaced more frequently.

No Energy Efficiency – Shingles absorb the sun’s rays, and this heat gets transferred into your home in the summer. This can cause an increase in your monthly utility bill when you are trying to cool your home. 

Not Environmentally Friendly – Asphalt is an oil-based product. This means they are difficult to recycle, and they often end up in your local landfill. Also, since asphalt is oil-based, it is combustible, which is not a great option should there be a house fire. 

So, Is a Metal Roof Cheaper Than Shingles?

So, Is a Metal Roof Cheaper Than Shingles?

The short answer is yes; shingles cost less than the cost of a metal roof in the short term. But when you look over the span of your life, you may have to replace your shingles two or three times, which means they are definitely the more expensive option long-term. 

A metal roof is a wise investment for any home. Not only is metal one of the most durable roofing materials available, but it’s also low-maintenance and environmentally friendly. And, when you factor in long-term savings on repair costs, a metal roof is a smart choice for any budget. The initial metal roof cost can be higher than other materials, between materials and installation costs. 

However, metal roofs last an average of 50 years, compared to 20-30 years for asphalt shingles. That means you’re likely to save money in the long run by choosing metal. Plus, metal roofs are recyclable at the end of their lifespan, making them a sustainable choice for eco-conscious homeowners. Metal is the way to go if you’re looking for a roof that will protect your home for decades to come.

Which Roof Structure Is Right for You?

If you’re looking to replace a roof or build a new home, let JET Contracting help you figure out which type of roofing is right for you. We have been a roofing contractor in the Athens, GA area for over 20 years and have the experience and expertise to ensure you make the right choice. We provide quality service with a friendly attitude, and we get the work done right the first time, so we can keep your project on time and on budget. To find out more about our services, or to request your free estimate, give our team a call today!

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