Shingle Roofing Vs. Metal Roofing

A home’s roof is arguably the most important component. After all, the roof protects the house from the elements: rain, snow, sleet, and hail. The two most common residential roofing materials are composition shingles (or asphalt shingles), and steel (also known as a metal roof). When the homeowner is installing the original roof on a new home or when the time has come to replace the old roof, the homeowner needs to consider metal roofs vs. shingle roofs. This article will discuss the pros and cons of each.

Composition Shingle Roofs

Composition shingle roofs are the most popular because of their economy and the number of options available. The composition shingle has a fiberglass mat core. The fiberglass gives the shingle flexibility and provides some fire resistance. The exterior of the composition shingle has a weather resistant asphalt coating embedded with crushed rock. The lifetime of the composition shingle is 15 to 30 years.

The price of composition shingles varies widely depending on a number of factors. On the low end of the price scale are the plain, flat shingles. For a more appealing appearance, many homeowners opt for a slightly more expensive shingle; one that incorporates a three dimensional look. One manufacturer calls this the “shadow”. These composition shingles have more of a beefy look, reminiscent of the cedar shake shingles of old.

Metal Roofs or Steel Roofs

The homeowners can expect to pay about 30 percent more for a metal roof compared to a composition shingle roof. It all depends on the weather conditions, the time the homeowner expects to stay in the home, and of course, whether the homeowners association will permit it.

Benefits of a Metal Roof

Steel roofs are a good choice for areas that experience high winds. They withstand far higher mile per hour winds than composition shingles. The metal roofing material only weighs approximately one seventh what a shingle roof does, putting less stress on the house’s structure.

Steel roofs are fire proof which is not only safer but may result in a lower insurance premium. A brick house with a metal roof stands a better chance of surviving a fire coming from outside the home.

Roof longevity is a factor for the homeowner planning to stay in the home. Although a metal roof costs more initially, in the long run it’s cheaper. Most metal roof manufacturers will give a guarantee of around fifty years but experts believe this is a conservative estimate.

Metal roofs need not look commercial. Other styles are available. Some look like conventional shingles and others look like cedar shake shingles.


When it comes to choosing between a composition shingle roof or a metal roof, the homeowner needs to weigh several factors. How long will she stay in the home? Can she afford to spend the additional amount to install a steel roof? When choosing, it must be kept in mind that the roof protects the occupants and their possessions.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 6th, 2012 at 9:31 am and is filed under Post & Frame Buildings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.