A Detailed Comparison of a Metal Roof vs. Asphalt Shingle Roof

by | Jan 22, 2021 | Roof Comparisons


If you are in the market for a new roof, there are countless options available. With so many types, styles, colors, and materials; it can be challenging to decide which option is best for you. To make your decision easier, we will compare a metal roof to an asphalt shingle roof, two of the most popular roofing options. Asphalt shingles are well-known for their cost-effectiveness, ease of maintenance, and reliability, so it has become one of the most prominent roofing material options. However, with the emergence of other excellent materials, metal has become the second most popular roofing material due to its vast selection of styles, durability, and longevity.

When comparing a metal roof with an asphalt shingle roof, understanding the differences of each is an integral part of determining what you need.


Metal Roof


Durability is a crucial point when comparing a metal roof to an asphalt shingle roof. You want to purchase a material that will last. While both are incredibly durable, the scale tips favor metal roofs because they can stand up to even the most demanding weather patterns. As a result, metal roofs come with 30- to 50-year warranties and commonly last 40- to 70-years. Of course, metal roofs are highly susceptible to damage from falling branches and extreme hail, which could cause denting. To help mitigate this, purchasing a steel roof or other more rigid metal type, is more durable than copper.


Since metal roofs are mostly made from recycled material that can be endlessly recycled, they are more sustainable than an asphalt shingle roof. Also, metal roofs reflect the sunlight during the summer and trap the heat during the winter, making them considerably more energy-efficient. Furthermore, there are special paint coatings that can be added to reduce cooling bills further. For those searching for the most sustainable option when comparing a metal roof to an asphalt shingle roof, metal is the way to go.

Asphalt Shingle Roof

Easier Installation

When comparing the two material roofing options, the asphalt shingle roof for professional roofers is a standard installation job that they perform regularly. Shingles can be installed in as little as one or two days and can be added over the existing shingles. Metal roofing installation requires a more specialized and skilled tradesman who has experience with this type of material. Installation time and money is a significant factor when reviewing a metal roof and an asphalt shingle roof. Having the ability to place shingles over existing shingles is a key feature during repairs that need a quick fix.

Less Expensive

As part of the metal roof vs. asphalt shingle roof comparison, price is always a factor. Shingle roofs tend to be much less expensive upfront. Although you will have longevity with a metal roof, you will pay through the nose during installation since it is considered a specialized job. Therefore, in addition to an easier repair and installation, the cost per foot and installation cost of asphalt shingles is a fraction of the metal cost.

Both Materials Have Extensive Finish Options

One of the common advantages when reviewing a metal roof and an asphalt shingle roof is a traditional aesthetic offered by shingle roofs. However, modern manufacturers are mimicking the appearance of tile, slate, and wood to better fit any exterior home décor. They are available with a terra cotta look or with scalloped edges across a broad color palette with different finishes.

Metal roofs have traditionally been constructed from corrugated tin panels that replicate the image of sheds or barns. However, metal roofing is not available in copper, aluminum, zinc, and galvanized metals. Typically, metal roofs are better suited for less rustic homes that are more refined and are available in various finishes, colors, and styles.

Given that you can achieve the look you want to fit with your home from a metal or asphalt shingle roofing, do not let appearance be a deciding factor. Instead, select a material based on what performs best for your needs.



Which is the best?

The answer to which material is best when comparing these two roofing material options depends on numerous factors, with the most important being the local weather conditions and budget. On the one hand, metal is more durable but more expensive and can withstand hail and wind damage. On the other hand, asphalt will almost always be cheaper than metal and has a great deal of longevity plus fantastic warranties. Now that you have the information to decide whether to purchase a metal roof or an asphalt shingle roof, you must pick a color and finish!