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How to Choose: Metal Roof vs Shingles

Any shelter isn’t complete until it has a roof. Your roof serves as the main protection against the elements for you and your loved ones. Since it’s constantly exposed to the sun, rain, wind, and snow, there’s a chance that it’ll become damaged, creating leaks that could lead to hefty repair bills. This is why you need to learn the options available to you when it comes to protecting what is most likely the largest investment you’ll make. 

Most likely, that’ll come down to deciding between a metal roof vs shingles.

Differences between metal and shingle roofs

Choosing between a metal or shingle roof can be a difficult task since both have the benefits. 

Which is better, a metal roof or shingles for curb appeal?

In terms of design, shingle roofs have taken on an iconic American look, but this hasn’t stopped them from being altered to copy other roofing materials like slate and tiles.  They can even be formed to replicate specific roofing designs, such as terracotta tiles, which would fit seamlessly on a Greek island. 

When you think of metal roofs, you might immediately think of an industrial building or a shed. This might be due to the fact that metal roofs used to be made from corrugated tin sheets. 

If this is what you’re still envisioning, then a tin roof vs shingles is a no brainer when it comes to building your dream home. 

However, a metal roof vs asphalt shingles is no longer such an easy decision when it comes to design. Similarly to how shingles can now mimic other designs and come in a variety of colors, metal can come in a multitude of colors and finishes as well as styles such as shingle, slate, and shake.

Tin is also no longer the only material that can be used to construct a metal roof. Depending on your budget and the local environment, you might want to consider zinc, aluminum, steel, or copper as an alternative.

So, if you’re looking for a particular style or color, you can find it in either a metal or shingle roof. 

Types of metal roofs and shingle roofs

You have a variety in both categories to choose from when it comes to the type of metal roof versus shingles.

If you’re choosing asphalt shingles, then you have two main types to choose from:

Organic 3-Tab Shingles

3-tab asphalt shingles are the most economical choice when it comes to outfitting your home’s roof.  Made with an organic-mat paper base, these come in a variety of colors and are found throughout all of America. 

Fiberglass Shingles

Fiberglass shingles have a water-resistant asphalt coat and have a fiberglass base mat. They are also protected from UV rays due to their ceramic granules top-layer. Due to the fact that the fiberglass is what provides structural integrity, less asphalt is needed in their construction, resulting in a light-weight, durable alternative. 

Metal roofing comes in a variety of styles, largely dependent on the metal used and coatings applied. Aluminum is a metal that needs no coating. Steel, on the other hand, requires specialized treatment to prevent rusting. Other metals used for roofing are copper, zinc, stainless steel, and titanium.

Metal roofs can come in various metallic materials, giving you further choices when deciding between a metal roof vs shingles

Tin Roof

Tin roofs are the least-expensive option when deciding to go with a metal roof. Tin roofs are malleable, making them convenient to shape, however, they’re no longer commonly used as a roofing material for your primary residence.

Aluminum

Aluminum makes an excellent choice when picking a metal roof. While they’re slightly more expensive than a tin roof, they are extremely eco-friendly in regards to recycling, resilient to temperature fluctuations, and don’t risk corrosion. 

Steel

If you don’t mind paying for durability, then a steel roof may be the best choice for you. While it will need to be coated, steel roofs come with a variety of finish options and are extremely resilient to the elements. 

These are the three main types of metal roofing, and each comes with its own metal roofing pros and cons. However, depending on your budget and where you live, you might also want to take other metals into consideration. 

Copper

Copper is an expensive option, however, it’s recyclable, and as a metal, always in demand. If you place a copper roof over your head, you can expect it to outlast you. 

Zinc

Zinc also carries a long lifespan, similar to copper. Also, like copper, zinc is recyclable, and may even be in more demand. Zinc may be the most eco-friendly of metal roofs since it has the lowest melting point, meaning it requires less energy to process. 

Pros vs cons of metal roofs and shingle roofs

In terms of style and color, both metal and shingle roofs offer a limitless variety of styles. However, both have their own distinct benefits and drawbacks.

Metal Roof vs Shingles Pros and Cons: Metal

Metal roofs have the benefit that they are lighter, easier to maintain, stronger, and can be installed over your existing roof by a professional roofer. While they are pricier than their asphalt counterparts, they do add to a home’s resale value and are completely recyclable. You also gain the benefit that they are more energy-efficient which can impact your utility bill.

However, while you might be getting a fire-resistant roof, you’ll also be paying more for it. Metal roofs are also more difficult to install or repair if they get damaged. 

Metal Roof vs Shingles Pros and Cons: Shingles

Asphalt shingles provide the classic American home look, making them incredibly popular with homeowners. They are also significantly cheaper and easier to install than metal roofs. If you find a section of your roof has been damaged, the repair work and cost are less for the asphalt shingles. 

Keep in mind, that a shingle roof is heavier than a metal one meaning that they might require more structural support. Shingles are also less durable and more susceptible to unwanted mildew and mold.

Cost factors to consider

When looking at metal vs shingles, cost is the biggest factor for most people.

If your budget is limited, you may automatically be drawn to choosing asphalt shingles, because the upfront cost is a lot friendlier on the wallet. However, if you are considering a roof replacement as a long-term investment, then a metal roof might be the more practical decision.

By choosing an asphalt roof, you can foresee the need to replace it in 15-25 years, depending on the grade you choose. However, by choosing a metal roof, it may be up to your grandchildren when it’s time to replace the roof. 

Even if you don’t plan on leaving the home to future generations, a metal roof’s durability and energy efficiency increase your home’s resale value. 

Regarding energy efficiency, a metal roof can save you around 40 percent of your energy bill during the summer months. Asphalt absorbs heat and transfers it into your home while a metal roof will reflect the sun’s rays. 

 

If you need help deciding between a metal roof and shingles contact JAE Construction Group, the leading home-improvement contractor in South Florida at 954-357-0560, or fill out our online form. We’re experts in residential roofing for Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area. We also provide Miami commercial roofing services. We’ll help you find the best choice for you and your family.

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