Exterior Roofing

Tin Roof vs. Shingles Cost: 8 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Roof for Your Home

For homeowners interested in an energy-efficient, durable, and low-maintenance roofing material, comparing tin roof vs. shingles cost can help them make a decision.
Katie Flannery Avatar
Three roofers work on a installing a roof.

Photo: istock.com

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

There is no shortage of options when the time comes to choose the best roofing material for a home. Two commonly used materials are tin roofing and shingles, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. An important consideration is the cost, since homeowners often look to strike a balance between affordability and durability. Metal roofing cost, especially for tin roofs, is typically higher up front compared with traditional shingle prices. 

Thinking about getting a new roof?
Ask a top-rated local pro to help you choose the best material for your needs.

“A lot of different factors go into deciding the type of roof for your home,” explains Mike Larsen, CEO of Larsen Roofing in Grand Blanc, Michigan. “One thing I always discuss with potential customers are their goals. If you are planning on staying in your home for a long time, then a metal roof might make more sense for you. However, if you think you might sell your house in the next 5 to 10 years, then an asphalt shingle roof might make more sense.”

Tin roof prices may be higher initially, tin roofs often last much longer than traditional shingles, which can save homeowners money in the long run. Shingle price per square foot may seem more affordable initially, but shingles usually require more frequent repairs and replacements, increasing the overall cost of a shingle roof.

When comparing tin roof vs. shingles cost, it’s important for homeowners to consider a variety of aspects, including installation, upkeep, materials, and energy efficiency, which can affect the overall value. In the end, the best choice depends on the homeowner’s budget, design preferences, and how much time they can spend on maintenance. 

A close up of a worker in a blue worksuit using a tool to install a roof.
Photo: istock.com

1. A tin roof typically costs several thousand dollars more than a shingle roof to install.

When considering roofing cost, metal or shingle characteristics have a significant impact on the total price a homeowner will pay. Tin roof cost is usually several thousand dollars more than the cost of shingles. The price difference is typically worth it for many homeowners because of the durability and long-term benefits. Because tin roofs are known to be extremely resistant to wind, rain, and snow, they require much less maintenance over time. They frequently last longer than conventional shingle roofs, which makes them an economical option in the long run. 

Tin-coated steel, aluminum, or other metals are used to make tin roofing material instead of pure tin. This coating technique, known as “terne plating,” increases the metal’s durability and corrosion resistance, which makes it an excellent roofing material. Galvanized steel, which is covered in a coating of tin to prevent corrosion and weathering, is most often the main component used in tin roofing. 

Depending on the size and quality of roofing shingles, a homeowner can potentially get a shingle roof for as little as $4,500, but the cost of a metal roof is usually much more expensive. The price of a brand-new tin roof can range from $9,000 to $45,000 depending on the installation and metal type, total square footage, and cost per sheet. Before making a choice regarding a tin roof vs. shingles, homeowners will want to consider the pros and cons of a metal roof along with these aspects in relation to their budget and specific roofing needs. 

“Metal roofs are expensive when compared to shingles,” explains Larsen. “While…the long term repair costs of shingle roofs can be high, a metal roof’s up-front price may be too much, especially if you plan on selling your home in the future.”

2. The exact installation cost for either roof type depends on several factors.

There are a number of factors to take into account when estimating the installation cost for any type of roof. Depending on the particulars of the home and the roofing job, these can vary widely. The overall cost is influenced by the size and shape of the roof, the materials selected, the complexity of the installation process, and local labor pricing. 

The gauge and type of metal used for tin roofing, along with any other features like coatings or insulation, can all affect the cost of metal roof installation. Coating for a metal roof can cost from $0.50 to $4 per square foot, depending on the product. Similar to this, the overall cost of shingle roofs is influenced by the quality and type of shingles. The cost can also be affected by any necessary prep work such as replacing outdated roofing materials with the best roof underlayments or fixing roofing supports. Some of the most common types of roofing shingles include asphalt, wood, slate, clay, and concrete. 

Due to differences in labor pricing, building regulations, and environmental conditions, geographic location can also have an impact on pricing. It’s important for homeowners to speak with reputable roofing contractors to determine what they can expect to pay for the project. They can evaluate a homeowner’s individual needs and give an accurate estimate depending on these variables. Homeowners can install the roofing material of their choice while staying within their budget when they understand how these variables may affect the price.

Larsen explains some additional considerations for homeowners based on their geographic location. “Metal roofs do contract and expand with weather fluctuations, so there are considerations to keep in mind,” he says. “If you live in a place like Miami, then a metal roof makes sense as temperatures don’t typically fluctuate to below freezing and above 80 throughout the year. In Michigan, where my company is based, metal roofing will expand and contract, which can cause damage and reduce the lifespan of the roof.”

3. Shingle roofs are easier (and cheaper) to repair than tin roofs.

In comparison to tin roof repair, there are usually fewer problems associated with shingle roof repair, and it’s more budget-friendly. Since they’re modular, shingles can be replaced one at a time if they become damaged, allowing for targeted repairs without a homeowner needing to replace the entire roof. 

“If you experience a lot of damaging weather events, then a metal roof might be a better bet,” advises Larsen. “However, if a metal roof is damaged, the repair costs can be much higher than just replacing some shingles.”

Because of the nature of the material, a tin roof can be more difficult and expensive to fix. Tin panels can often be difficult to repair correctly without specialized tools and expertise. Since tin roof sheets are usually bigger and less flexible than individual shingles, it might be a more complex process to find and fix leaks or damage. Repairs for a metal roof can range from $150 to $600 for minor issues and from $600 to $3,500 for more extensive ones. Even though shingle roof repairs are more likely to be necessary than tin roof repairs would be, they are far simpler and less expensive at an average cost of $710. 

While shingle roofs offer easier and cheaper repair options, it’s important to note that the frequency and extent of repairs that are needed can vary based on climate, maintenance habits, and the quality of the installation. When considering the average cost of a metal roof and the price of shingles, homeowners will want to take these factors into account in addition to the initial installation cost. 

Thinking about getting a new roof?
Ask a top-rated local pro to help you choose the best material for your needs.

4. Tin roofs require minimal maintenance, which equates to lower long-term costs.

Tin roofs often require minimal maintenance relative to other roofing materials, which can mean lower long-term costs for homeowners. Because of their strength, metal roofs—including tin ones—are not as vulnerable to weather-related damage. Tin roofs are more durable than shingle roofs, which may need to have regular inspections and require repairs to replace missing or broken shingles. 

“While a metal roof will have a higher up-front price, there are less costs associated with maintaining it long term,” says Larsen.

Tin roofs are less likely than organic roofing materials (like wood shingles) to experience problems such as mildew, decay, and insect damage. Over the roof’s lifespan, homeowners can save money and time as a result of the decreased need for maintenance. 

Even though tin roofs require less upkeep, homeowners will need to do periodic inspections to spot any possible problems early on. To make sure the roof lasts as long as it can, frequent cleaning and gutter maintenance may also be needed. Homeowners can prolong the life of their tin roof by taking care of repairs as quickly as possible. 

A photo of a white house with black shutters.
Photo: istock.com

5. Tin roofs are more durable and long lasting than shingle roofs, making them a better long-term investment.

Tin roofs can be a wise long-term investment for homeowners because of their durability and lifespan. Tin roofs can last 40 to 50 years or more with the right care, whereas shingle roofs  might need replacing every 15 to 20 years. In the long run, homeowners can save money with a tin roof due to the material’s durability. 

As Larsen says, “A metal roof, properly maintained, can last a long time—50 years by many estimates.”

Because of its longevity, a tin roof is also resistant to a variety of weather conditions, such as hail, snow, strong winds, and heavy rain. Even under extreme weather conditions, tin roofs retain their strength and aesthetic appeal in contrast to shingles, which are prone to warping, cracking, and deterioration over time. If a homeowner notices one of the signs a roof needs to be replaced, such as damaged or buckling shingles, it may be time to call a professional.  

Tin roofs are often more cost-effective since they require less upkeep. Homeowners can have peace of mind knowing that their tin roof is made to last a lifetime with minor maintenance, inspections, and by employing one of the best roof cleaning services (such as Window Gang or Window Genie). 

6. Tin roofs are also more energy efficient than shingle roofs, which can result in lower utility costs.

Another benefit of tin roofs over shingle roofs is their increased energy efficiency, which might result in less expensive energy bills for homeowners. Tin roofs reflect more heat away from the house than shingle roofs, which can raise the interior temperature by absorbing heat. Because of the reflecting quality of a tin roof, the inside of a home can stay cooler during hot weather, using less electricity and air conditioning. 

Insulation materials that reduce heat transfer between the interior and exterior of a home can be added to tin roofs to improve their energy efficiency. By reducing their reliance on air conditioning, homeowners can enjoy lower energy bills and year-round comfort. 

Homeowners can get the most return on their investment from tin roofs because of the long lifespan, which allows for energy-saving benefits over time. While the initial cost of installing a tin roof may be higher than roof shingles cost, the potential for long-term energy savings can add to a metal roof’s overall appeal. 

A man in a blue cap and a blue work suit uses a drill to install a red roof.
Photo: istock.com

7. Homeowners insurance companies may offer a discount for homes with tin roofs.

Homeowners who have a metal roof rather than shingles might find many homeowners insurance companies offer a lower premium. However, since hail dents on a tin roof are likely only a cosmetic issue, such roof damage usually won’t be covered unless the metal roof is actually broken. Though metal roofs typically only experience extensive damage by extra-large hailstones, homeowners may have to pay for repairs out of pocket or have to live with a dimpled roof in the event of a significant storm. 

It’s a good idea for homeowners to speak with their insurance agent to see if installing a tin roof would allow them to qualify for any discounts. While not all insurers offer discounts for tin roofs, many recognize the benefits of the durable roofing material and may provide incentives to homeowners who choose it. However, a homeowners insurance discount won’t completely offset the cost difference between tin and shingle roofing.

“The insurance discount, while nice, won’t necessarily abate the cost of the roof,” explains Larsen. “There are a lot of different reasons to consider a metal roof, but I wouldn’t base my decision solely on the idea that you’ll have reduced homeowner’s insurance premiums.”

Having one of the best home warranties for roof coverage (such as one from American Home Shield or Choice Home Warranty) can help homeowners pay for unexpected roof leaks and damage. Before committing to a home warranty, homeowners will want to make sure the plan they’re considering includes roof coverage, since not all companies cover all types of roof repairs. While the exact extent of coverage will probably differ, many roof protection policies limit their scope to leak repairs and will not cover more substantial repairs or full roof replacements. 

8. A tin roof is more likely to boost a home’s resale value than a shingle roof.

The durability, longevity, and overall appeal of a tin roof is often seen as a positive by potential home buyers, making these roofs a desirable feature. If a metal roof is in good condition at the time of sale, it may increase the home’s resale value, while shingles may not come into play as far as boosting market value. However, unless a homeowner is planning to sell soon, resale value likely won’t be a big factor in their choice.

“Overall, a shingle roof would be a better investment for most homeowners,” says Larsen. “Repairing a shingle roof isn’t extremely expensive, and the up-front cost of most metal roofs probably won’t be made back by most homeowners. While metal roofs are more durable, shingle roofing tends to create better curb appeal, which is a major factor in selling a home.” Ultimately, the choice between the two materials will come down to a homeowner’s preferences and budget.

Thinking about getting a new roof?
Ask a top-rated local pro to help you choose the best material for your needs.