Exterior

Metal Roof vs. Shingles Cost: What Impacts How Much You Pay?

If you’re researching metal roof vs. shingles cost, this guide can help determine which material is right for your home and budget.
Melissa Graham Avatar
metal roof vs shingles cost
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There can be quite a difference between the cost of a metal roof and a traditional shingle roof. Homeowners can perform an online search for “How much is a metal roof?” but the price point alone won’t be the only factor they’ll consider. It’s crucial for a homeowner to look at the qualities of shingles and metal roofs to determine which type of roof makes the most sense for them. These qualities include longevity, eco-friendliness, and resale value. Homeowners can consider these metal roof vs. shingles cost factors to decide on the best type of roof for their needs and wallet.

1. Asphalt shingles tend to be cheaper up front. 

Traditionally the more popular roofing material, asphalt shingles are less expensive than metal roofs, both for the material and installation. This type of roof shingles typically costs an average of $9,200 for material and installation, whereas metal roofs typically cost between $8,500 and $130,300, with an average cost of $13,200. One of the best roofing companies (such as Aspen Contracting or CMR Construction & Roofing) can install asphalt shingles with basic tools and basic knowledge of techniques and don’t require the expertise and specialized equipment needed to install metal roofs. Plus, most asphalt roofs can be placed right on top of the existing roof, making them easy to install in just 1 to 2 days. However, any roof repairs needed will also add time and money to the project.

2. Labor may be less expensive to install a shingle roof. 

Since shingle roof installation requires less expertise, there are probably a larger number of professional roofers available, which can make for more competitive labor prices and contribute to the lower cost of labor for the project as a whole. The installation cost for a metal roof can be three to seven times higher than the cost for a shingle roof.

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3. Metal roofs have a longer lifespan and cost less long-term. 

Although the lower initial price point of asphalt shingles is appealing, it may be worth a homeowner’s time and money to invest in a metal roof since they have a much longer lifespan. The average lifespan of a metal roof can range from 30 to 50 years, with some lasting up to 70 years. Shingles, on the other hand, only last between 15 and 30 years. Asphalt is also more prone to damage from wind, snow, and hail, and minor superficial damage can easily cause greater damage to the roof structure if water gets under the shingles. And while wood shingles can last up to 30 years, they require regular maintenance to keep them in good condition.

metal roof vs shingles cost
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Metal roofs are more durable and can withstand all the elements from Mother Nature. There’s the misconception that hail will dent a metal roof, but this is unlikely unless the home experiences an intense hailstorm with extra-large hail. If extreme hail does damage a metal roof, an experienced technician can easily repair the roof. And unlike shingles, metal roofs require next to no maintenance. The initial cost of a metal roof may seem jarring at first, but it may make more sense if a homeowner is thinking long-term.

4. Asphalt shingles are cheaper to repair but tend to require repair more often. 

One benefit of shingles is that they can easily be replaced individually without having to redo the entire roof. Shingles are available at any home improvement store, and asphalt sheets are also easy for homeowners or contractors to work with since they can be cut down to size. However, because the material isn’t as durable, homeowners may need to replace shingles when severe weather strikes. Pooling water and damp conditions can cause algae and mold to develop on the shingles, making them vulnerable to cracks and other damage. Cracks and damage can then lead to more extensive damage to the roof structure, meaning subsequent (possibly expensive) repairs.

Homeowners who live in regions that are prone to severe storms, especially harsh winds, will likely find that a metal roof is a more sensible option. The metal roofing cost may be higher up front, but homeowners are less likely to deal with punctures, breaks, tears, and leaks in a metal roof than in a shingle one. If the roof is sloped, a metal roof is even more beneficial since the damage is more likely to occur on flat surfaces.

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5. Metal roofs can help lower energy costs. 

As with any material, there are pros and cons to a metal roof. But there are major pros when it comes to a metal roof’s energy efficiency. In the warmer months, they help keep homes cool. Metal roofs are reflective, and they block heat transmission to the inside of the home. Homeowners can even choose to coat the roof in specialized paint, which can reduce the cost of cooling the home even more.

Homes in colder climates can also benefit from metal roofs since the airflow underneath has been found to stay at consistent temperatures, never falling below outside temperatures. This can help homes stay warmer in the winter, reducing the need for homeowners to crank up the heat when temps drop below freezing. The monthly energy bill savings could help offset the increased cost of metal roof installation no matter what climate a homeowner lives in.

6. Homes with metal roofs have slightly higher resale value. 

Unless a homeowner plans on staying in their home forever, resale value is something they’ll want to take into account when considering what type of roof to install. As metal roofs are growing in popularity thanks to their lifespan and energy-saving benefits, homes with metal roofs—especially steel roofing—have slightly better resale value than ones with shingle roofs. It may be beneficial for a homeowner to invest more in the cost of a metal roof vs. shingle since they’re likely to recoup their investment when the sell the house. Standing seam metal roof costs are especially recoupable—a study showed that there was an increase in resale value between 1 and 6 percent for standing seam metal roofs over asphalt shingle roofs.

metal roof vs shingles cost
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Potential buyers will see a metal roof as a plus as opposed to one constructed of shingles since it’s one less thing they’ll have to worry about repairing or replacing in the near future. Homes with metal roofs are also likely to cost less to insure, which is another boon for home buyers.


Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, Western State Metal Roofing