One of the biggest challenges a homeowner (or builder) can face is deciding which type of roof material to go with. Metal roofs have been popular for countless years (and for good reason); they’re relatively cheap, effective, and durable. Shingles are another popular choice. So how should you go about deciding between the two? Is a metal roof cheaper than shingles? The answer is not as simple as it may seem. Below we go into detail about the differences between the two materials so that you can make a more informed decision.
The Different Factors to Consider When Comparing Metal vs. Shingle Roofing
Drive through any neighborhood in the country, and chances are that the roofs will be mostly made out of asphalt shingles. The main reason why this material is so popular is because of its price (which is typically lower when compared to metal roofing). But the popularity of metal roofing is on the rise. Over the past 20 years or so, the material has seen a significant increase in residential use. Below we’re going to go into detail about how each material differs in the following attributes:
One of the main reasons why metal roofing isn’t as popular as shingle roofing is because of its higher price tag. Some estimates place the cost of installing a metal roof at two, or even three times the cost of installation for a typical shingle roof. Although the actual installation price will vary (according to numerous factors), you can expect to pay anywhere from $350 to $2,800 per 100 square feet of roofing.
Why is shingle roofing so popular? Because it’s one of the most budget-friendly roofing materials on the market. The typical cost per 100 square feet of shingle roofing is anywhere between $300 and $850 – much cheaper than metal roofing. But, before you get ready to order some shingles, remember that shingles typically have higher maintenance costs than metal roofing does. Which brings us to our next attribute of consideration: ruggedness.
One of the major benefits of metal roofing is that its very durable. In fact, it’s common for metal roofs to last well over 45 years. Apart from lasting a very long time, metal roofs also have one very key attribute (in terms of ruggedness): they’re fire retardant. The only caveat to metal roofing’s inherent durability is that they must be properly installed (otherwise they will need regular maintenance and/or repairs).
Durability is one of the main causes of concern for people interested in buying asphalt shingles. They’re certainly not as durable as metal roofing is. Shingles will last anywhere from 10 to 25 years, and there are numerous factors that go into exactly how long a shingled roof will last (location, installation quality, weather, etc.).
It should be noted that the majority of shingle manufacturers offer a warranty for their products. These warranties typically last anywhere from 10 to 25/30 years (and are usually prorated – meaning their value decreases each year).
Sustainability: Metal Roofing
One of the biggest advantages of metal roofing is that it’s completely recyclable (when it’s done being used as a roof). The actual metal that the roofing is made out of usually contains up to 25% recycled materials (i.e. metal).
If you’re worried about the product life cycle sustainability of metal roofing, just know that because of its low overall weight, it ships very fast (so it doesn’t produce a lot of C02 pollution).
Here’s the thing about asphalt shingles: they’re not exactly environmentally friendly. The average shingle is made of different materials like paper, fiberglass, rocks, and then oil. Compared to metal roofing, they’re not the best option in terms of sustainability. They’re also not fully recyclable (but in some circumstances they can be reused for other projects). So, if sustainability is a major purchasing factor, going with metal roofing is the obvious choice.
Now that you know a little bit more about each roofing material, you should be more prepared to make an informed purchase. If you’re only concern is price, it’s hard to beat asphalt shingles. But, if you’re looking for a material that’s rugged and will last up to half a century, metal wins in that case. Deciding which roofing material to use is an important decision to make, and keeping the factors mentioned above in mind during the purchasing process will make it that much easier in the end.