metal vs asphalt roof

Metal vs Asphalt Roof: Cost, Durability & Style Compared

Choosing the right roofing material is a big decision for any homeowner. After all, a roof isn’t just about curb appeal – it’s your home’s first defense against the elements. Many find themselves weighing the pros and cons of a metal roof vs an asphalt roof. Both roofing options have been popular choices for years, but they each come with their own set of advantages and drawbacks. Let’s take an in-depth look at metal vs. asphalt to help you decide the best fit for your needs, budget, and style.

Metal Roofing: Sleek Durability

Metal roofs have been gaining popularity in recent years, and for good reason. This type of roofing system is renowned for its longevity, often lasting upwards of 50 years. Depending on the metal roofing options and materials, they can sometimes even last a lifetime.

Benefits of a Metal Roof

Beyond longevity, metal roofing boasts several impressive advantages. Think about extreme weather conditions, such as high winds or hailstorms – a metal roof stands strong.

Metal roofing is incredibly energy efficient. Its reflective surface can help lower your energy costs, especially in warm climates.

  • Longevity: Metal roofs can last 50 years or more, providing a long-term return on investment.
  • Durability: Withstands harsh weather conditions, making them ideal for areas with extreme climates.
  • Energy Efficiency: Metal roofs reflect solar heat, potentially lowering your cooling costs.

Drawbacks of Metal Roofing

Although metal roofs are worthwhile investments for their lifespan, one of the biggest downsides is their initial cost. The materials and installation tend to be pricier than asphalt shingle costs.

Also, remember those storms we mentioned? If a tree branch were to fall on your roof, it’s possible it could dent. While the damage might not always cause a leak, it can be an eyesore.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing: A Budget-Friendly Choice

Asphalt shingle roofing, a staple in many neighborhoods, is favored for affordability and ease of installation. It’s the go-to choice if you are working with a tighter budget, costing about $3.50–$5.50 per square foot on average.

Benefits of Asphalt Shingles

This classic option comes in various colors and styles, so you’ve got some flexibility when it comes to aesthetics. Although not as long-lasting as metal roofing, good-quality asphalt shingles will hold up well against everyday wear and tear, lasting somewhere between 15 to 30 years. And if you do run into any issues? Asphalt shingles are pretty straightforward to repair.

  • Cost-Effective: Asphalt shingles offer a more budget-friendly option compared to metal roofing.
  • Ease of Installation: Asphalt shingle installation is easier and quicker than metal roof installation, often translating to lower labor costs.
  • Style Versatility: They come in various colors and styles to complement different home designs.

Drawbacks of Asphalt Shingles

This is a classic case of “you get what you pay for.” Although less expensive upfront, asphalt shingles have a shorter lifespan and will likely need replacement sooner than a metal roof.

Keep an eye out for algae and moss. Because asphalt shingles are porous, this can become a maintenance headache down the road, particularly in humid climates.

  • Lifespan: With a shorter lifespan, you’ll need a replacement sooner, incurring additional costs over time.
  • Maintenance: Asphalt roofs might require frequent maintenance such as cleaning, repairs, or replacements.
  • Vulnerability: Compared to metal, asphalt shingles can be more susceptible to damage from extreme weather.

Comparing Metal and Asphalt Roofing: What to Consider

When making the big decision of whether to install a metal or asphalt roof on your home, consider the climate you live in, the architectural style of your home, and your overall budget. These key factors will make your decision much clearer.

Durability Showdown

Both asphalt and metal hold up well under normal conditions. But when Mother Nature decides to show off, a metal roof really shines. Metal roofs can take a beating from hailstorms and high winds and even resist fire damage. This impressive durability plays a huge role in their longer lifespan.

That being said, a quality asphalt shingle, like those with Class 4 impact resistance ratings, can withstand hailstorms without issue.

The Money Matters: Installation and Lifespan Costs

Asphalt shingles win if we’re purely talking upfront costs. This is why so many homeowners, especially those on a tighter budget, choose them.

Here’s the catch, though. When you factor in the longer lifespan of a metal roof (sometimes twice as long or even more.), and the lower maintenance costs, a metal roof could be a smarter long-term investment.Experienced contractors

Think of it this way: even if you initially spend more on a metal roof, you could save yourself the cost of multiple asphalt roof replacements, not to mention those costly repairs. Roof costs can fluctuate over time, making it essential to consider long-term value.

Environmental Impact: Which Roof Is Greener?

I’ve said this before—asphalt roofs often need to be replaced sooner. And you know what? When those old asphalt shingles get torn off, they often end up in landfills—not exactly great for the environment. On the other hand, most metal roofing is manufactured using recycled materials, making it a far more sustainable option.

Plus, the energy-saving potential I mentioned earlier due to its reflectivity is another big positive for metal roofing in the eco-friendly department. Now, to be fair, asphalt shingle manufacturers are constantly innovating to create more sustainable options and to up their recycling game.

Metal vs. Asphalt Roof: A Side-by-Side Comparison

To give you a clear and concise view, check out this table comparing metal and asphalt roofing:

Feature Metal Roofing Asphalt Shingles
Cost $8–$18 per square foot $3.50–$5.50 per square foot
Durability Highly durable; resistant to extreme weather Moderately durable; can be susceptible to weather damage
Lifespan 50+ years 15–30 years
Maintenance Low maintenance Moderate maintenance
Energy Efficiency Energy-efficient; reflects solar heat Less energy-efficient; absorbs heat
Environmental Impact Recyclable and often made from recycled materials Can contribute to landfill waste; but eco-friendly options are increasing
Installation More complex; requires specialized labor Easier and quicker to install
Aesthetics Sleek, modern, and diverse styles available Traditional look; variety of colors and styles

FAQs about Metal vs. Asphalt Roof

Is a metal roof better than an asphalt roof?

It really boils down to your individual needs and the key differences between the two roofing systems. If budget is a top priority and you’re seeking a more classic look, an asphalt shingle roof might be a good fit. However, if durability, longevity, and energy efficiency are big factors in your priorities, metal roofing might be the better choice, even with the higher initial investment.

What are the disadvantages of a metal roof?

At the end of the day, the biggest downside to metal roofing is the cost. Additionally, while they’re very durable, metal roofs can be dented by hailstorms or falling debris. Depending on the type of metal used, there’s a chance, although slim, that it could rust if not properly maintained.metal roof

What is the biggest problem with a metal roof?

This might seem minor, but some homeowners struggle with the noise of a metal roof. Imagine heavy rain drumming on the roof. While this can be mitigated with proper installation and insulation, it is a common concern.

It can also depend heavily on the pitch of your roof. A steeper pitch can reduce the amount of rain that accumulates, impacting sound. And lastly, installation quality plays a huge role. Experienced contractors will install the proper noise-dampening underlayments.

Is a metal roof cheaper than an asphalt roof?

Not initially. Generally, asphalt shingles cost less for both materials and installation, which is often a big deciding factor for homeowners. However, if we look at it as a long-term investment, factoring in potential replacement costs and average lifespans, a metal roof could potentially be less expensive over time. You just need to make sure to get it installed right by qualified professionals.


When it comes down to metal vs asphalt roof for your home, there is no “one size fits all” winner. Both have compelling advantages. Weighing those against any potential drawbacks and understanding how each aligns with your budget and aesthetic preferences will guide you to make the right choice for your property. Regardless of which roofing material wins out for you, the expertise of a reputable, qualified, and experienced roofing contractor is priceless. Make sure you don’t skimp on quality installation, no matter your chosen path in the world of roofing.

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