Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles: Which One is Best?

So, it’s time for a new roof. But you aren’t exactly sure which type of roof you want for your home. 

We’re here to help you decide! Today, we’re comparing the two most popular options: metal roofs vs asphalt shingles. 

While both have their benefits (and downsides), these are two of the best roofing options you could be looking at!  

Here at Shield Exteriors, we specialize in roof installation services and have extensive experience with both metal roofs and asphalt shingles. We have the perfect team to tell you all about them and how to choose the option that’s best for you and your home. 

Is It Better to Have a Metal Roof or Asphalt Shingles? 

There’s really no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best roof for your home is really based on what you’re looking for. 

Whether a metal roof or asphalt shingle roof is better for you mainly depends on: 

  • Your budget. Are you just looking for the cheapest option? Then an asphalt shingle roof is probably best for you. You could also opt for a ribbed metal roof, which is usually comparable in price to asphalt shingles. Do you want the most cost-effective option throughout the life of the roof? Go with a metal roof. 
  • The weather where you live. Metal roofs are extremely weather-resistant. They can withstand snow, rain, high winds, and even hail with little to minimal damage. With a properly installed metal roof, you won’t have to deal with the damage and deterioration common with asphalt shingles. 
  • How long you’ll live in your home. A metal roof can last a lifetime. However, you might not care too much about this if you don’t plan on living in that home longer than 5-10 years. That said, a metal roof can add to the resale value of your home, making it more attractive to potential buyers. 

What is an Asphalt Shingle Roof? 

An asphalt shingle roof is the most affordable and common roofing option. Asphalt roof installation is easy, so initial labor isn’t too steep, and it’s made from low-cost materials. 

Asphalt shingle roofs require annual or bi-annual inspections and maintenance to ensure they last their allotted lifetime, which can be anywhere from 12-20 years. 

asphalt shingle rooof

Advantages of Asphalt Shingles 

  • Affordable 
  • Easy to repair 
  • Simple installation process 
  • Widely available 
  • Easy to find contractors to install it 

Disadvantages of Asphalt Shingles 

  • Only last 12-20 years 
  • Can be damaged by weather and extreme temperature changes 
  • Requires regular maintenance 
  • Not many different looks to choose from 

What is a Metal Roof? 

While a metal roof might only bring to mind the roof of a barn, metal roofs are highly sophisticated with a modern look. You might not even realize how great a metal roof could look on your home, not to mention the energy savings, low maintenance, and weather resistance! 

Metal roofs are installed in large sheets, unless you opted for metal shingles. These metal sheets are built using specific fasteners that tightly lock the panels in place. 

Ideally, a metal roof will be the last roof you’ll ever need. With a lifespan of 50+ years (and an amazing lifetime warranty from a local roofing company), metal roof installation can be a great investment. 

Light grey metal roof on a home in Indiana.

Advantages of Metal Roofs

  • Extremely durable 
  • Lasts 50+ years 
  • Energy-efficient, helping you save money on utilities 
  • Little to no maintenance required 
  • Makes it easy to install solar panels 
  • Come in a variety of styles and colors

Disadvantages of Metal Roofs

  • Higher upfront cost than other roofing options 
  • Requires a skilled labor team to install 
  • Could be a bit louder than other roofing options during rainstorms

Metal Roof vs. Shingles: The Main Differences 

Infographic comparing metal versus asphalt shingle roofs.

Price

Asphalt shingle roofs are the most budget-friendly option. A metal roof costs significantly more than an asphalt shingle roof, sometimes coming in at 2-3x the cost. 

As to the exact price difference, it’s hard to say without knowing the type of metal roof you want and where you live. 

The price of your metal roof depends on which type you want: 

  • The most affordable metal roof is an imperial ribbed metal roof, and prices can be comparable to a high-quality asphalt shingle roof. 
  • The middle ground is a standing seam metal roof. 
  • The most expensive metal roof is a metal shingle roof.

While a shingle roof has a lower initial cost, it’s actually the least cost-effective option in the long run. 

Why? Because an asphalt shingle roof won’t last nearly as long as a metal roof. In fact, you’ll probably end up replacing an asphalt shingle roof two to three times before a metal roof needs to be replaced. 

The Most Affordable Roof: Asphalt

Asphalt shingle roofs are more affordable up front, but metal roofs are most cost-effective in the long run. 

Lifespan

One of the biggest differences between metal and shingle roofs is how long they last: 

  • Asphalt shingle roofs typically last about 12-20 years depending on how well they’re maintained. 
  • Metal roofs can last 50+ years, easily outlasting the lifetimes of multiple asphalt shingle roofs. 
The Roof That Lasts the Longest: Metal

Metal roofs can last 2-3x longer than an asphalt shingle roof, giving you a lot more for your money. 

Maintenance & Repairs 

Metal roofs require less maintenance than asphalt shingles. 

Asphalt shingles are easily affected by weather, making them prone to damage and leaks. It’s recommended to have your shingle roof inspected once every year or two to check for damage or leaks. You can expect to pay for regular repair and maintenance to fix up leaks, replace sealants, or repair rubber pieces. 

Of course, maintenance differs by state. If you deal with hotter summers and colder winters, you’ll see more wear and tear on your asphalt shingle roof than if you lived in a mild climate. 

The Roof That’s Easiest to Maintain: Metal

Metal roofs are more durable and require less maintenance. 

Durability 

Metal roofs are much more durable than asphalt shingle roofs.  

Being made of, well, metal, these roofs are nearly impenetrable and can withstand rotting, rust, and insects. They also handle extreme weather and temperature changes without breaking down like asphalt shingle roofs. 

Plus, a metal roof doesn’t absorb water like asphalt does. Instead, it directs rain and snow away from your home.  

Asphalt shingles can deteriorate after absorbing water, become damaged from extreme heat, and collect snow and rainwater. 

In addition to durability, metal roofs handle heat better. One of the best parts about a metal roof is that it’s more energy efficient than asphalt shingles. 

Shingles absorb heat, making your home even hotter during the summer months. A metal roof does the opposite, reflecting sunlight and heat to help keep your home cooler. The Metal Roofing Alliance estimates you could save as much as 40% on your electric bill with a metal roof! 

The Most Durable Roof: Metal

A metal roof is the most durable option. 

Eco-Friendliness 

Metal roofs are very eco-friendly. Here’s why: not only are they usually made from recycled materials, but they’re easy to recycle when they need to be replaced. 

Plus, since metal roofs last so long, they don’t need to be disposed of as often as asphalt shingles. Not to mention indirect benefits, such as using less electricity to cool your home during warm summer mentions. 

While it is possible to recycle asphalt, the process is complicated and not widely available. Because of this, most asphalt shingles end up in landfills. 

The Most Eco-Friendly Roof: Metal

A metal roof is more environmentally-friendly. 

Metal Roof vs. Asphalt Shingle: How Long Does the Roof Last? 

Metal roofs last much longer than asphalt shingle roofs. A metal roof can last 50+ years, whereas an asphalt roof needs to be replaced every 12-20. 

Roof Warranties 

Another thing we want to mention here is that most new roofs come with some type of warranty. Of course, the warranty you receive all depends on the roofing company you hired for the job. 

In general, a metal roof comes with a more comprehensive and long-lasting warranty compared to asphalt shingles, mainly because the company installing them knows how durable they are! 

For example, here at Shield Exteriors, we offer a TRUE accident free double lifetime warranty. This means we will fix your roof regardless of the reason for the damage, whether it was an accident or storm damage. The double lifetime part means your roof warranty transfers to the next owner of your home, should you decide to sell. 

With that extensive of a warranty, you can see how easy it is for your metal roof to last a lifetime (or two!).  

Is It Cheaper to Get Shingles or a Metal Roof? 

In general, it’s cheaper to have an asphalt shingle roof installed compared to a metal roof. 

However, if we’re talking about maintenance and replacement costs over the life of the roof, a metal roof is actually more affordable in the long run. 

For example, if your metal roof lasts 60 years but your asphalt roof only lasts 20, you’ll need to replace an asphalt roof three times just to outlive the same metal roof. 

Do Metal Roofs Leak More Than Shingles? 

When installed correctly, no, metal roofs should not leak more than shingles. In fact, they should be more leak-proof than shingles. 

The key here is to make sure you’re hiring an experienced roofing contractor with strong reviews and a successful track record (like Shield Exteriors!). 

Metal roofs are designed to shed snow and rain, drawing them away from your home to prevent water buildup. Plus, metal roofs don’t absorb water like shingles do, so you shouldn’t have to deal with water damage or moisture buildup. 

Does a Metal Roof Add More Value to a Home? 

Yes, a metal roof can help increase your home’s value. Sources say a metal roof could increase your home’s value up to 6%. 

While the increase in your home’s value isn’t usually enough to offset 100% of the cost of the roof, it’s estimated you could recoup 61-96% depending on the state you live in. 

In addition to increasing your home’s value, some homeowners also save money on home insurance! 

Need Help Deciding Which Roof is Best for You? 

The team here at Shield Exteriors can help you determine which roof is best for you. We service Northeast Indiana, Northwest Ohio, and Southern Michigan, providing a high quality of work and attention. 

Contact us or call us today for a FREE, no-obligation roofing estimate!