Is It Cheaper To Get a Metal Roof or Shingles?

Person with drill fastens metal roof panel in place

Roof replacement or repair can be a real pain, but our team has you covered.

Someone replacing a roof or building an entirely new one is concerned with both price and durability. They may question whether a cheaper installation that lasts half the time is really worth it when compared to a more expensive, but more durable option. Different roof materials also present different benefits. Roof shingles generally come with one style, while metal roofs can be made of different materials with different looks. If you’re looking for alternative options for your roof, then a metal roof installation may be the right choice for you.

Which is Better: a Metal Roof or a Shingle Roof?

Both a metal roof and a shingle roof have their merits. But what are the disadvantages of a metal roof? What about the advantages? Are there more positives to using shingles?

Metal Roof Advantages

  • Lightweight Metal roofing is made in of light weight sheets that are easier for contractors to carry to the roof during installation. The lightweight materials put less stress on the roof structure.
  • More Style Choices There are different kinds of metals that can be used for roofing. Most can be prepared in different styles with different looks. Additional materials can also be attached over the metal roof to give it a different look.
  • Highly Recyclable Several kinds of metal roofing are already made out of recycled metal materials. Most metal tiles that are taken down can be recycled. Either remade into new roof tiles, or repurposed into something else entirely.
  • More Durable Metal roofing stands up to the elements. It takes the longest for strong winds or heavy moisture to effect. While wood can rot quickly and tiles will break down within 8-15 years, a metal roof can last between 50-60 with proper care. There is also less of a chance that you will need roof flashing repair. The durability alone should helps recoup the price for metal roof installation.
  • Lower Long-Term Costs Because a metal roof is expected to last longer, it should not need to be replaced as often as a shingle roof will. That means that over the 50 years of having a metal roof, there is only one installation, versus a shingle roof that costs less, but needs to be redone three or four times.

Metal Roof Disadvantages

Someone nails shingles in place during a roof repair job.

Contact our team of professionals if you’re interested in replacing or repairing your roof.

  • Higher Initial Cost A metal roof installation on a house requires specialty parts that are not as widely available as asphalt shingles. Most shingles are available for purchase locally, while parts for a metal roof might need to be ordered and shipped.
  • Requires Specially Trained Installers Installation is a delicate and less invasive process than a shingle roof installation. Shingles just require nails to hold them in place. There is little room for error, so the roofer must be a specially trained craftsman. If the contractors are unaware of any differences in the metal roof installation steps, they could potentially dent or damage the metal panels.
  • Oil Canning Despite the durability, it is possible for specific types of metal to display dimpling or warping. This is only a cosmetic level problem that presents no structural problems. However, if a person make the choice between metal and shingles is focused mainly on the looks of the roof, this might be enough to make them reconsider a metal roof installation.
  • Local Limitations Local laws may limit what materials can be used in roof construction. If it’s for a home, a homeowners’ administration may have a ban on metal roofing due to neighborhood uniformity, outlandish style choices, or reflectivity issues.

Shingle Roof Advantages

  • Easier Installation Shingles do not require artisans with special training to install them. They are also easier to move around on once they are installed. After a roofer puts the shingles down, they can kneel on them for traction and install more shingles. Metal roofs can get scuffed, dented, or damaged if a contractor walks on them.
  • Cheaper Initial Installation The parts and labor cost much less than a metal roof installation. While roofers are specially trained, a shingle installation doesn’t require special craftsman.
  • Shingles will beat the price for metal roof installation as a result.
  • Widely Available Asphalt shingles are available for purchase at more locations than metal roof panels. Also, if a project requires specialty metal roofing, it may need to be ordered and shipped.

Shingle Roof Disadvantages

  • Higher Long-Term Costs Shingle roofs need to be replaced approximately every eight to 15 years. Every time they get replaced, there is the risk of damage to other structural or functional elements of the house, like a whole house filtration system or chimney.
  • Style Limitations Many attempts have been made to update and personalize the style that goes with a tile rooftop. However, asphalt shingles only come in so many colors.
  • Heavier Shingles are heavy, and since they’re layered on a roof it can affect the structural integrity of a rooftop over time.
  • Lower Recyclability Professionals are making advancements in shingle recycling every year. However, it is currently more common for shingles to end up in a landfill than a recycling center, make shingles the less environmentally friendly choice.
  • Less Durable They are more prone to needing replacement. It is also easier for a shingle roof to become damaged over time. Shingles work together to repel water and the elements. However, shingles are small, and if one gets damaged, it can cause structural cause water to get to the other shingles and damage them as well. This can eventually lead to interior leaks, or even structural roof damage.

Metal Roof Installation Basics

Just how much more expensive are metal roofs? A metal roof with proper treatment can cost approximately $600 -$700 per square foot of materials, excluding labor costs. A mid-range final installation cost is between $15,000 to $18,000 when all of the expenses are tallied. This makes it over twice the cost of a normal shingle roof. However, this is a one-time payment as metal roofs last approximately 50 to 60 years, making it the more economic decision in the long run.

Guy paints metal roof dark red during installation

Our team can help you decide on the style and color of your new metal roof.

Are metal roofs more energy efficient? Basic metal rooftops can save on energy costs throughout the year by almost 40 percent. Metal rooftops reflect energy from sunlight, whereas asphalt shingles are more prone to absorb it. By redirecting that energy, the metal roof is keeping the interior of the building cooler during the summer. It also acts as an additional level of insulation for helping keep a house warm during the winter.

Can you put a metal roof over shingles? Yes, it is possible to put a metal roof over and existing roof to reduce costs. The contractors can plan in advance for this. However, it will require ventilation be installed in the roof as well, so moisture can’t cause the old roof to rot or develop mold. It is up to the homeowner to decide if it is worth it to build this way.

Based on the listed advantages and disadvantages of both metal and shingle roofs, it is up to the individual to determine which is best for their construction process. The more conventional and easier choice is an asphalt shingle roof. But if you’re looking for a long-term roof that you can replace and forget about for the next half of a century, a metal roof installation may be the best choice for you. If you or someone you know are looking for professionals to inspect, repair, or install your metal roof in Sugar Land, TX, contact Sugar Land Premier Roofing at 281-747-8990.