Asphalt Shingles vs Metal Roof: Choosing the Best Roof

asphalt shingles vs metal roof


Choosing the right roof for your home or office is a major decision. After all, your roof is the building’s first line of defense against rain, hail, snow, sun, and wind. Yet, many people wonder which is the best roofing material: asphalt shingles vs metal roof. In this blog, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each option to help you decide which is best for your needs. 

Asphalt Shingles: A Traditional Choice

Are metal roofs better than asphalt shingles


Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material in North America. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Moreover, they come in various colors and styles to complement any building’s design style.


Pros of Asphalt Shingles:


  • Cost Effective: Asphalt shingles are one of the most affordable roofing materials on the market. As a result, they are the go-to choice for people who need a budget-friendly option.
  • Easy Installation: Asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install compared to other roofing materials. This can help with labor costs for DIY enthusiasts or those looking for a more affordable roofing option.
  • Wide Variety of Styles and Colors: Asphalt shingles come in a wide range of colors and styles. These choices allow you to find the perfect match for your building’s aesthetics. By enhancing the curb appeal, you also potentially increase the value of your home or office.
  • Readily Available: Asphalt shingles are widely available at most home improvement stores and roofing supply companies. Thus, asphalt shingles are a convenient choice for people who need to replace a roof quickly

Cons of Asphalt Shingles:


  • Shorter Lifespan: Asphalt shingles typically have a lifespan of 15 to 30 years. Lifespans can vary based on your local climate and the quality of the shingles.
  • Susceptible to Damage: Wind, hail, and extreme weather conditions can damage asphalt shingles.
  • Require Regular Maintenance: Asphalt shingles require regular inspections and maintenance to remain watertight. This may include replacing missing or damaged shingles, addressing minor leaks, and clearing away debris that can trap moisture.
  • Not as Energy-Efficient: Asphalt shingle roofs absorb heat from the sun, which can lead to higher cooling costs in the summer. However, you can find some reflective shingle options to help improve energy efficiency.


Metal Roofing: A Durable Option

Homeowners and business owners choose metal roofing for its longevity and durability. Metal roofs can withstand harsh weather conditions and last for several decades with minimal maintenance.


Pros of Metal Roofing:


  • Long Lifespan: Metal roofs can last 40 to 70 years or even longer, making them a wise investment overall. As a result, you’ll see significant cost savings over time compared to asphalt shingles, which you may have to replace.
  • Durable: Metal roofs are resistant to high wind, hail, fire, and other damaging elements. They offer superior protection for your home compared to asphalt shingles. In short, metal roofs can give you peace of mind and protect your home or business.
  • Low Maintenance: Metal roofs require minimal maintenance compared to other roofing materials. Once installed, metal roofs typically only need occasional cleaning and inspections to maintain their performance and longevity.
  • Energy-Efficient: Metal roofs reflect sunlight, which can help lower your cooling costs in the summer. 

Cons of Metal Roofing:


  • Higher Upfront Cost: Metal roofs are typically more expensive than asphalt shingles upfront. However, their lifespan and low maintenance requirements can make metal roofs a more cost effective option in the long run.
  • Limited Styles: While metal roofs come in several colors, they offer fewer style options. Moreover, a metal roof’s clean, modern aesthetic may not suit all building styles.
  • Noisy During Rain: Metal roofs can be noisy during heavy rain or hail. However, modern metal roofing panels include noise-reduction features to mitigate this issue.
  • Professional Installation Recommended: Metal roofs require a professional roofer’s specialized skills and tools. A qualified roofer will install your metal roof correctly, thus maximizing its performance and lifespan.

Cost of Metal Roof vs. Asphalt Shingles

Typically, asphalt shingles are cheaper upfront, costing around $1.50 to $3.00 per square foot. By contrast, metal roofs can range from $5.00 to $12.00 per square foot. This initial difference can be a significant hurdle for some homeowners and business owners.


Additionally, there are other cost factors to consider when choosing between metal and asphalt roofing:


  • Permits and Inspections: Permitting requirements and inspection fees can vary depending on your location. In some cases, metal roofs may qualify for tax credits or rebates that can offset some of the upfront costs. Check with your local building department and research potential incentives to see if they might influence your decision.
  • Roof Tear-Off (if applicable): While you can install metal roofing directly over asphalt, you might a full tear-off. The condition of your existing roof will determine if this is an option. A qualified roofer can assess your situation and advise you on the most cost-effective approach.
  • Disposal fees: Many landfills charge additional disposal fees for old asphalt shingles. On the other hand, metal roofs are often recyclable at the end of their lifespan, potentially reducing disposal fees.

Remember, the true cost of a roof goes beyond just the material price tag. By considering these additional factors, you can get a more accurate picture of the long-term investment. For more information about asphalt shingles vs metal roofing, check out this helpful article from Old House.


FAQs About Asphalt Shingles vs. Metal Roofing

Can I install a metal roof myself?

While it’s technically possible to install a metal roof yourself, experts recommend that you hire a professional roofer. Metal roof installations require specialized skills and tools. A roofing contractor will install your roof correctly and offer a warranty on the materials.

Can I install a metal roof over asphalt shingles?

Technically, yes, it’s possible to install a metal roof over existing asphalt shingles. This method, known as a metal roof overlay, can be a viable option in some situations.

However, you should consult with a qualified roofer to assess the condition of your existing roof system. The asphalt shingles may show wear and tear, as well as damage. Or they may be simply nearing the end of their lifespan. If so, you may need a full tear-off and roof replacement to ensure a watertight and long-lasting installation.

 Are metal roofs better than asphalt shingles?

As reflected above, there’s no single “better” option — the ideal choice depends on your priorities and budget. Here’s a handy guide to compare asphalt shingles to metal roofing:

Asphalt Shingles

  • Pros: Affordable, easy to install, wide variety of styles and colors
  • Cons: Shorter lifespan, susceptible to damage, requires regular maintenance, less energy-efficient

Metal Roofing

  • Pros: Long lifespan, durable, low maintenance, lower energy costs
  • Cons: Higher upfront cost, fewer style options, can be noisy during rain

What are the eco-friendly benefits of a metal roof over shingles?

Metal roofs are a sustainable choice. They can last for decades, reducing the need for replacements and landfill waste. Additionally, their reflective properties can help lower your energy consumption for cooling. 

What if I live in an area with heavy snowfall?

Metal roofs can withstand heavy snow loads. For proper pitch and ample support to handle snow accumulation, hire a professional roof installer.

Call Union Roofing Today for a Free Consultation!

Choosing the right roof for your home or office is an important decision. If you’re unsure whether metal or asphalt shingles are right for you, contact the experts at Union Roofing

We have extensive experience installing both asphalt shingles and metal roofs. We can help you assess your needs and budget to recommend the best option. Moreover, we can provide you with a detailed estimate for your roofing project. 

Don’t wait any longer to protect your home with a high-quality roof!

Call Union Roofing today at (215) 464-6425 or visit our website.


How Can We
Help You?

An attractive roof enhances curb appeal and boosts property value. Let the experts at Union Roofing meet your roofing needs with superior products and unparalleled service. Find out why we are the best roofing company in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, earning top ratings with Angie’s List, Google Reviews, and Home Advisor. Contact Union Roofing today for a free, no-obligation consultation!

How Can We Help You?