When it comes to the roofing world, the age-old debate between metal and asphalt shingles never seems to end. Both materials have staunch supporters, and both bring their own set of pros and cons to the table. Whether you’re a homeowner looking for a durable solution or a business owner seeking aesthetic appeal, this debate matters. Let’s jump right in and dissect the details.

Metal roofing and asphalt shingles have stood the test of time. Each has carved its own niche, offering specific advantages. This showdown will give you insights into how they stack up against each other, allowing you to determine which offers the best benefits for your specific needs.

Durability Faceoff

Every homeowner and business owner wants a roof that stands strong against the elements. After all, durability often translates to fewer headaches down the road.

Metal Lifespan:

Metal roofs are renowned for their longevity. Resistant to the elements, a well-installed metal roof can last anywhere from 40 to 70 years, often outlasting many of its counterparts 1.

Shingle Lifespan:

Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, have a typical lifespan of about 20 to 25 years. However, their life can be significantly reduced due to extreme weather conditions or lack of maintenance.

Metal vs. Shingles 2

Budget Breakdown

Cost is often a significant factor in decision-making. Both initial costs and long-term benefits play a role in this comparison. Metal roofing, though it has a higher upfront cost, usually pays off in the long run given its extended lifespan. Asphalt shingles are more budget-friendly initially, but potential replacements might increase the overall cost over the years.


Roofing isn’t just about protection; it’s also about curb appeal.

Metal Aesthetics:

Metal roofing has evolved, now coming in a plethora of styles, colors, and finishes that can mimic even traditional roofing materials.

Shingle Varieties:

Asphalt shingles win hearts with their classic look. They offer a range of colors, textures, and designs to fit any architectural style.

Energy Efficiency

An energy-efficient roof can lead to significant savings. Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25% 3. Asphalt shingles, depending on the color and type, can also play a role in energy savings, but might not be as efficient as metal in this arena.

Installation Battle

Time is money, and when it comes to installation, the faster, the better – but not at the cost of quality. Metal roofs, due to their lightweight nature, can sometimes be installed over an existing roof, reducing time and costs. Asphalt shingles require more traditional methods, often needing a clean deck for installation.

Metal vs. Shingles 3

Maintenance Matters

A low-maintenance roof is a boon for property owners.

Metal Upkeep:

With minimal maintenance needs, metal roofs often only require occasional inspections and cleaning.

Shingle Care:

Asphalt shingles may need more regular checks, especially after harsh weather, to ensure they remain in optimal condition.

Resale Value Boost

Thinking of selling your property in the future? A metal roof can increase a home’s resale value by 1-6%, not to mention its appeal to eco-conscious buyers 5. Asphalt shingles, with their classic appeal, also contribute positively to a property’s curb appeal. The metal versus shingles debate is a nuanced one. Both materials offer value in their own right. Your choice should align with your needs, budget, aesthetic preferences, and long-term plans. Remember, a roof isn’t just about shielding against rain or sun; it’s an investment in your property’s future.

FAQs: Metal vs. Shingles: The Great Roofing Debate

  1. Q: What are the key differences between metal roofing and shingles in terms of durability?
    A: Metal roofing typically lasts 40-70 years, while asphalt shingles have a lifespan of around 20-30 years. Metal is more resistant to severe weather, impacts, and fire, making it a durable option. However, high-quality shingles are also designed to withstand various weather conditions.
  2. Q: Which roofing type is more energy-efficient?
    A: Metal roofing is often more energy-efficient due to its reflective properties, which can reduce cooling costs by reflecting sunlight. Certain shingles are also designed with reflective granules for energy efficiency, but overall, metal roofs tend to provide better insulation.
  3. Q: How do the costs of metal roofing compare to shingles?
    A: Metal roofing has a higher upfront cost than shingles due to materials and installation. However, its longer lifespan and energy savings can offset this over time. Shingles are more affordable initially but may require more frequent replacements.
  4. Q: Are there aesthetic differences between metal roofing and shingles?
    A: Shingles come in various styles and colors, offering a classic look suitable for many architectural styles. Metal roofing also has diverse style options, ranging from traditional panels to designs resembling shingles, tiles, or shakes, providing a more modern appearance.
  5. Q: Which roofing material is easier to install and maintain?
    A: Asphalt shingles are generally easier to install and repair due to their modular design. Metal roofs require specialized installation and may involve higher labor costs. However, metal requires less maintenance and fewer repairs over time due to its resilience.