There’s no doubt about it – the two most widely used roofing materials on the market today are asphalt and metal. The real question is: what roofing material is the best for your home?
According to Consumer Reports, “Asphalt shingles remain far and away the most popular choice because they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to install.” But depending on where you live, and how long you plan to live there, there are good reasons to choose metal roofing, too. If you’re shopping for a new roof, here are some key things to consider when comparing metal vs. shingle roofing.
When it comes to metal roof cost vs. shingles, asphalt shingles are far less expensive. Here at B&B Siding and Roofing, an asphalt shingle overlay (re-shingle over your current roofing) can be as low as $250 per square foot, and a complete tear-off can range from $350 to $600 per square foot. Metal roofing, on the other hand, ranges between $800 and $1,500 per square foot. As we mentioned in an earlier post, procrastination can be the greatest cost on many roofing replacements. That’s because the cost of labor and materials is trending sharply upward, has been for years, and will likely continue. Bottom line, the longer you wait to replace your roof, the bigger hit to your wallet.
When comparing metal roofing versus shingles, metal can last for more than 50 years, and asphalt shingles typically have a lifespan of 20-25 years. Although metal roofing can last twice as long as asphalt shingles, a metal roof can easily cost you three times as much to install. As you weigh your options and assess return on investment, you might consider how long you plan to live in your house. Will it be your forever home, or do plan to sell? Forbes reported that “a roof replacement will return somewhere around 60% of its value in a real estate transaction.” If you plan to sell your home in the near future, it might make more sense to invest in an affordable asphalt shingle roof than a far more expensive metal option.
B&B Siding and Roofing offers an unprecedented 50-year material warranty, and a lifetime labor warranty, for as long as you own your home. And if you sell, your warranties are transferable to the second owner, which is a huge selling point. Learn more …
When it comes to performance, metal roofing is highly durable, improves energy efficiency, sheds rain and snow easily, and is great at resisting rot and mildew. But if not properly coated, metal roofing is susceptible to rust, which can be a problem in wet, humid, and coastal regions. According to a national metal roofing manufacturer, “If your home is near the coast, you have to consider the effect that salt spray from the water has on certain materials. Most metals are not compatible in coastal regions as they become susceptible to rusting. The corrosion from the salt air will destroy your roof and will require a roof replacement. Any roofing made from steel will rust near the ocean.”
Asphalt shingles provide exceptional weatherproofing, offer EnergyStar compliant options, and are more durable than ever. Class 4 impact-resistant asphalt shingles offer extra durability against tears and impacts in tornado, hurricane, and hail-prone regions, and may reduce your insurance premium. Admittedly, standard asphalt shingles may need occasional maintenance or repair after a violent storm or as the roof ages, but the overall cost savings (compared to the price of metal roofing) outweighs the minor inconvenience.
Metal roofing has a class A fire rating, the best rating possible according to American Family Insurance. Can you put a metal roof over shingles? Yes, it can be done, but your fire rating could drop down as low as a C, according to the insurance company. For homeowners living in wildfire-prone areas, a metal roof is a good choice and can lower monthly insurance premiums. But metal roofs often make it more difficult to battle an internal house fire. According to American Family Insurance, “While metal roofs offer great protection from an external source of flame, if the fire starts inside it can create some issues. Firemen often come in through the roof to put a fire out, but with a metal roof this can be much more difficult and take longer.”
Asphalt shingles have come a long way in recent years. With so many cool textures, colors, and styles to choose from, this is definitely not your dad’s asphalt shingle! Whether you choose a standard three-tab shingle, a dimensional shingle that mimics natural slate or wood shakes, or a premium shingle that offers enhanced beauty as well as performance, asphalt shingles offer something for everyone. Metal roofing also comes in a variety of colors and styles, including individual tiles and standing-seam vertical panels.
When choosing between metal vs. shingle roofing, home improvement expert Bob Vila offers this sage advice: “Because you can likely get the look you want from either metal or asphalt shingle, don’t let appearance be the deciding factor; instead, choose the material that will perform best for you.”
If you belong to a neighborhood homeowners association, make sure to secure the HOA’s approval before installing your roof of choice. If green building is important to you, both roofing options are making positive strides in that department. Metal roofs are considered the more eco-friendly choice because they are mostly made from recycled materials, and can be recycled again and again when the roof’s life is over. And new recycling programs are emerging for asphalt shingles, diverting them from the landfill to be reused in pavement for roads.
As you research roofing options, talk to your insurance agent about potential premium discounts, and ask your contractor about warranties and possible financing (if needed). And if you’re looking for a contractor, be sure to read 9 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Siding and Roofing Contractor.
B&B Siding and Roofing is proud to be a certified Preferred Contractor with industry leaders GAF and Owens Corning. “This symbol of reliability ensures quality work up-front and exclusive warranties that remain intact down the line.”