There are 127 million households in the US alone. This means there are over 127 million households with a roof over their head.
But which roof is right for your home? It comes down to a choice between a metal vs shingle roof. We know you’ve got options and we also know the choice can be tough.
Let us take the pain out of choosing the right roof for you by breaking down the pros and cons of both metal and shingle roofing. Then you’ll be ready to make the best decision for your Greenville home.
Metal vs Shingle Roof — Pros and Cons
There are two main choices for the roof of your home. They are metal roofing and shingle roofing. Each alternative comes with its own set of pros and cons and it’s important you understand them before making a decision.
We’re going to break down all of the important information for both roofing types right here. This will help you make an informed purchasing decision so you can be safe in the knowledge you’ve made the right choice for your home.
Just be sure you’re working with a reputable company when it comes to installing any roofing project.
In a 2018 article, The Post and Courier estimate that nearly 14% of homeowners have installed metal roofing on their homes. That number is likely to rise as more residential customers realize the benefits intrinsic to metal roofing.
While more expensive and more difficult to install, often requiring specialist tools, metal roofing is durable, longer-lasting and often more energy efficient. Here is the full breakdown of the pros and cons.
- Durability – Metal roofing, by its very nature, is more durable when compared to shingle roofing. Thanks to its tougher and more enduring design it can resist damage from debris that occurs as a result of high winds, rain, hail or snow.
- Energy Efficiency – Metal roofing is more energy-efficient than shingle roofing thanks to the reflective nature of the metal sheets used in its construction. This allows a larger portion of the heat to be reflected during hot weather and retained during cold weather.
- Eco-Friendly – The materials used in the construction of metal roofing are often recycled. Additionally, the metal roofing is, itself recyclable. If you are concerned about the environment (which you should be) then metal roofing could be for you.
- Low Maintenance – Thanks in part to their improved durability, metal roofing is more durable than shingle roofing. While maintenance costs may be higher, metal roofing is far less likely to require replacement or repair.
- Longevity – While shingle roofing can last anywhere up to 20 years, metal roofing is designed to last 50 years or more. The upfront investment might be higher, but the roof will require replacement less often, potentially saving you money in the long run.
- Expensive – A metal roof will be markedly more expensive than a shingle roof to both install and maintain. We’ve mentioned that maintenance will likely happen less often, but the upfront cost to install a metal roof can be a turnoff for some customers.
- Specialist Skills – One of the downsides to metal vs shingle roof is the need for special tools and specialist skills. This makes installing a metal roof alone as a DIY project a long and difficult prospect. This ties into the upfront expense associated with a metal roof. Sourcing a contractor to do the work for you may also be more challenging as a result.
- Not Accepted – Due to the aesthetic, some Home Owner’s Associations (HOA) might not be prepared to allow a metal roof on houses in their catchment area. This is especially true if you live in an area with older, traditional or listed buildings. Before pricing up the project, consult with your HOA to determine the viability of metal roofing.
- Oil Canning – A metal roof exposed to natural stresses and strains can often develop a waviness or flex in its appearance. This purely aesthetic feature is referred to as oil canning. While some consider this an inherent characteristic of metal roofing, others view it as an unfortunate and unintentional side-effect. While you are unlikely to be able to eliminate oil canning entirely, there are ways to manage it and reduce its potential impact.
Single roofing is by far the most popular roofing style in the US. This makes finding a reputable roofing contractor in your area a much easier prospect.
- Availability – As we’ve mentioned, finding a contractor to install a shingle roof is much easier. The prevalence of shingle roofing over metal roofing means finding multiple contractors who can then bid on the work an easy task.
- Walkable – There will be times when you need to get up on your roof. Metal roofing is likely to flex or crease underfoot, while shingle roofing handles foot traffic much better due to its natural flexibility.
- Ease of Install and Repair – Shingle roofing is so easy to repair or replace that in some cases the job can be done without consulting a contractor. Just be certain that, if your roof is under warranty, a DIY job doesn’t void it.
- Cheaper – A Shingle roof is much cheaper to install than a metal roof. The materials and labor are also more readily available, further driving the price down.
- Readily Accepted – Unlike metal roofing, shingle roofing is almost universally accepted by HOAs.
- Frequent Replacement – Due to a reduction in durability vs metal roofing, shingle roofing will need replacing more frequently. The lifespan is usually between 15 and 20 years. It is also more susceptible to damage when compared to a metal roof.
- Not Eco-Friendly – A shingle roof is typically installed with asphalt-based shingles. This makes the recycling of the shingles difficult. While the material can be recycled, many roofing companies prefer to simply dump the material in a landfill. Estimates state that up to 11 million tons of “recyclable” shingles are dumped in landfill per year.
- Heat Retention – Unlike metal roofing, which reflects a large portion of the heat, shingle roofing tends to retain it. This makes cooling your household in the hotter seasons more difficult due to the higher temperature retained by the roofing material.
- Overall Higher Costs – While shingle roofing might be cheaper to install, it will need replacing more often. This can result in an overall higher cost in the long run.
The Bottom Line
Before making a purchasing decision, do some research to determine which will be the most cost-effective roofing solution for your home. In a toss-up between metal vs shingle roofing, the decision will come down to your budget (both short and long term), environmental impact and durability needs.