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The Ultimate Guide to Shingle and Metal Roofing

bunch of notes under the suitcase

Does Metal Roofing Cost More Than Shingles?

I get asked this question almost daily “does metal roofing cost a lot more than shingles?” The answer is difficult to answer with just a yes or no answer, if you are looking for the less expensive option upfront then shingles should be what you focus on. Do you plan on living in your home for more than 15-years? Then I would consider metal roofing as the less expensive option for your new roof. Whatever you end up choosing I am sure that you will be one step closer after reading this article.

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against mother nature, and most homeowners dread roof replacement due to the cost, the short answer to this question is YES shingles are less expensive compared to metal roofing (up-front). I wanted to be able to provide you the most accurate answer, so I spent hours looking up all the resources I could find online to provide you the most comprehensive answer. Take a minute to read what I found, if you need a new roof I am sure this article will help you accomplish just that and possibly save money along the way.

I feel like after you read this blog that you will find out there is a lot more to roofing than meets the eye. Even after countless hours of research, I still do not have an exact answer for you. I did cover all the most popular options that professional roofers will offer in today’s market. Metal Roofing has always been my favorite choice, this is based on opinion and our customer’s feedback after they get their new metal roof. I have heard clients that got a metal roof over 15-years ago and they say that compliments still pour in pertaining to how good it still looks.

To elaborate further regarding all 3 of these shingle designs that I am going to be covering based on the different quality of products each manufacturer sells to us (the installer).

These are 3 of the most popular brands in my area (Michigan) GAFOwens Corning Shingles, and CertainTeed Shingles.

The quality of material can drastically change the price of the shingles. Most Salesmen leave it up to you and tell you that they are all comparable when this could not be further from the truth.

If you go with a builder-grade or economy shingle (cost-effective) you can assume that it is the company’s lowest quality shingle, but this presents the cheapest price, so a lot of people purchase it.

I blame this on the company, not you, regardless if you say I only care about price as soon as we walk through your door we are still obligated to present the negative, sub-par performance of these products. This is not fair to you the homeowner because 9 times out of 10 the company representative probably did not ask good questions and listen to your answers.

We are seeing an increased amount of homeowners calling us, stating their roof is only 7-15 years and they were told it would last 30-years and it is now leaking in multiple areas.

I understand your frustration. Usually, when it gets to this point you need to start looking for new roof replacement companies.

Asphalt Shingles are by far the most common roofing material used in the United States and there are a few options when it comes to asphalt shingles. 3-tab shingles, fiberglass shingles, and architectural style asphalt shingles are the most common. Asphalt shingles are less expensive up-front, but if they are not a quality product you could end up replacing your roof 2-3 times in the same timeframe a higher quality, higher up-front price point product would last.

3-Dimensional & 3-Tab Shingles Are the Most Widely Used Today

Silver 3-tab shingle

This is a picture of a 3-tab shingle

gray owens corning roof shingles

This is a 3-dimensional shingle

I felt that this is the best place to start this conversation, this way you will have all the details about relevant roofing products that are currently available for you to purchase. I found this article on HGTV’s website, titled “Top 6 Roofing Materials” and I found it very informative I hope it helps you as well. The following roofing options are in no particular order.

I will note that I did link most of this blog to the source where the content was quoted from and I am not a for-front expert on this topic. It’s more like a know a little about a lot.

On the other end of the spectrum, in this case, you get what you pay for. please note the price will reflect quality! I found this article on “Roof Replacement Cost” and it totally confirms that this is not an easy answer, they provide such a vague range:

  • Low: $3,500
  • High: $40,000

From The Author of another site:

“While there are many different types of roofing material, the most commonly used is asphalt shingles. The average cost of these shingles installed on a 1,500 square foot roof is around $6,750, or $4.50 per square foot. Your costs may vary depending on your geographic location, the shingles you choose, and the pitch of your roof.”

(FIXR Content Editor)

Pros and Cons of Shingle Roofing
Pros-

Referring to the materials covered in this blog, shingle roofs are the least expensive upfront option available to homeowners, shingle roofs come in a large variety of colors and styles. If cost is the major concern you can possibly do a roof overlay, this is a much cheaper method due to there being less labor cost. Shingle roofing is typically very easy to repair but keeps in mind roofing repairs are the telltale signs that it is time to start looking for a new roof.

Cons-

Roofing Shingles can not be recycled and reused like its metal roofing counterpart, shingles have the shortest life expectancy (in some cases less than 10-years depending on the initial investment and quality of the current shingle roof). Asphalt shingle roofing can be extremely vulnerable when it comes to mother nature, this is why you see areas of the U.S. with much hotter average temperatures have more metal roofs, or where hurricane winds are a big problem. Shingle roofing is not that energy-efficient compared to the other options that are available, they absorb the heat on a hot day and actually pass it into the inside of your home.

Just to be clear “YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR” when it comes to asphalt shingle roofing systems. There are also other styles of shingle roofing systems that are on the market such as Spanish Tile Roofing, Cedar Shake Roofing, Slate Roofing, and Synthetic Shingles to name a few which are all great options if the price is not a concern.

Side Note: Please take into consideration that the cost of a new roof also has to do with other factors, such as – Does the roof decking need to be replaced? What type of roofing underlayment will you want to use? So on and so forth.

Are There Different Types of Metal Roofing?

There are a lot of different options when it comes to metal roofing, so I had to dig deep and grind the midnight oil in order to provide you with the most accurate info for you to base your next new roof replacement on. To be a bit more specific, I am only going to be covering 7 different types of metal roofing.

Cost of a Metal Roofing

Metal Roofing installation has been trending in recent years due to their long life expectancy and growing colors and finishes. Metal roofing comes in many different styles and materials, this directly affects the cost of the metal roofing system you are interested in. I pulled this off of the web and they are stating the Average price Range for metal roofing is: $7,858 to $14,412

This Is Our Shop Where We Create Metal Roofing Panels Located in Port Huron, MI

metal roofing roll

This is what the metal looks like before we roll form it into metal roofing

7 Different Types of Metal Roofing

Copper Standing Seam Installation With Good Ole Bob Vila

How Much Does Copper Metal Roofing Cost?

Copper is one of the oldest materials that are still utilized in modern roofing applications, You typically will see copper roofs on higher-end homes or as an accent over a bay or garden window. Copper Roofing on average can cost $30,000-$40,000 depending on the style you choose and the size of the project.  Copper roofing comes in a few different styles, such as Continuous Copper Roofing, Copper Panels, and Copper Roofing Shingles.

Pros and Cons Of Copper Metal Roofing

Pros-

These roofs are very durable and last a very long time 50+years, copper offers unsurpassed curb appeal and increased energy savings. The natural effect when the copper roof patina’s fights off corrosion too!

copper roofing

Copper Roof That Is Discoloring Due to Te Patina

Cons-

On the downside when it comes to the metal roofing family copper roofing is on the higher price points (actually the most expensive roofing material covered in this article) and copper roofing tends to expand and contract easier when you have extreme temperature fluctuations, which will result in the fasteners coming loose ahead of schedule some times.

On the flip side of me saying that copper roofs do patina as a protective barrier that fights corrosion. If the discoloring is going to bother you, I probably would not recommend a copper roof.

How Much Is Aluminum Metal Roofing?

The current national average for Aluminum metal roofing is $10,966, used both in commercial roofing and residential roofing, it offers a lightweight alternative to steel roofing and maybe a better option if you plan on applying it over existing shingles due to the breathability of aluminum.

Pros And Cons Of Aluminum Metal Roofing

Pros-

Aluminum roofing takes a silver medal as far as popularity is concerned when it comes to metal roofing options. To name a few of the advantages this type of roofing is known for, very lightweight and puts little stress on the trusses. It is also very durable, but with aluminum roofing, it is vulnerable to denting when it comes to hail. Aluminum roofing offers a superb appearance if you are looking for a sleek, streamlined look. This is a great option for coastline properties due to its anti-corrosive properties.

Aluminum roof house

Aluminum Standing Seam Roof

Cons-

Some of the cons of aluminum roofing are the initial upfront cost, aluminum does tend to be a bit louder when rain our hail is present and aluminum is an upgrade from steel and with that comes an approximant price hike of $100 per square.

How Is Zinc Used for Roofing?

Zinc Roofing is commonly used even today in commercial roofing applications. If you are looking for a virtually maintenance-free roof Zinc roofing might be a good option for you, Zinc is also used for more than just roofing, it can be used for decorations or accents in your home, you may even see zinc used around lighting fixtures in older historic homes. I must say that Zinc Roofing was one of the materials I knew the least about going into this blog and I enjoyed learning about it a lot! When it comes to Zinc roofing I started to scratch my head in confusion while doing my research. So I asked myself why I don’t see or hear about zinc roofing more often? Stay tuned for the CONS.

Pros–

Some of the headlines I read used terms such as  “Zinc — Most Amazing Building Envelope Material You Never Heard of!”, “unmatched durability”, ” “Zinc roofs are known to last for hundreds of years, even in the most extreme environments.”  I did find out it has some of the same characteristics as copper roofing such as, anti-corrosion properties, very durable, and possibly could last for hundreds of years.

Aluminum roof house

Traditional Zinc Standing Seam Metal Roof

Cons-

It sounds like the best roofing material I ever heard of until I read the disadvantages, what I found was Zinc Roofing is not that popular of an option. It takes a truly seasoned roofer that knows the art of mending this tricky metal and I would ask for references on previous zinc roofing installations they have done before hiring a roofing contractor.

Zinc roofing is the second most expensive metal roofing material right behind copper. Zinc roofing averages $12-$15 per square, and depending on what climate is like where you live zinc roofing patinas much faster than other metal roofing materials.

What Is Classic Rib Metal Roofing Panel?

Classic Rib Metal Panel is one of the more cost-effective metal roofing options on the market today. It is easy to install, which saves you money and if made with Galvalume it has the same life expectancy as other forms of metal roofing.

Galvalume Classic Rib Metal Roofing

Galvalume Classic Rib Metal Roofing

Common Style Options With Steel Roofing

The 2 most prevalent styles of steel roofing, in my opinion, would be Standing Seam Metal Roofing and AG metal roofing panels (aka Classic Rib metal panels). Standing Seam Metal Roofing is also referred to as hidden fastener metal roofing. This type of steel roofing is a little more challenging than its counterpart, therefore it does cost on average a bit more than AG sheet metal roofing panels.

standing seam metal roof

Standing Seam Metal Roof

PROS and CONS of Classic Rib Metal Roofing
Pros-

The siding on barns or lean-to’s and continues to be a very popular option that commonly comes in 26 or 29 gauge metal. This is one of the most cost-conscious options when it comes to metal roofing without sacrificing durability and strength. The exposed fastener allows this style to maintain a low sleek profile. 40+year life expectancy and easy to install. Energy savings come into play greatly with a metal roof as well.

This Is Our Companies Roll Former That Crates Classic Rib Metal Roofing

Very Short Video Only 10-15 Seconds
Cons-

The upfront cost is always going to be a disadvantage, loss of cell reception is a common complaint I have heard people ask about, and if you ever need a roof repair in the future it may be difficult to get an exact color match to your existing metal roofing color.

The worries about expansion and contraction due to temperature fluctuation and becoming loose, that being said most of these concerns do not come into play if the contractor and installers know what they are doing. Once again I would always recommend asking for references for completed jobs and looking up online reviews.

What Is Standing Seam Metal Roofing?

Standing Seam Metal Roofing is commonly referred to as hidden fasteners, due to the screws that secure the metal panel down are concealed during the installation process. Standing Seam metal roofing panels still remain one of the most widely used metal roofing options on the market. You can find examples of standing seam all over the place, some of your favorite fast-food restaurants such as McDonald’s typically have this style of metal roofing.

Pros and Cons Of Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Pros–

Standing Seam metal roofing is considered an upgrade from its Classic Rib metal roofing rival. It offers a distinguished, bold, modern look with clean lines through-out. Since the fasteners are concealed during the installation process this does not allow as many weak points that would become susceptible to leaks. I cannot go without mentioning all the money you will save with the increased energy efficiency that metal roofing offers homeowners.

Commercial Standing Seam Job

This Is a Large Church That We Installed Standing Seam On

Cons-

I hate to say it, but since standing seam metal roofing is more difficult to install and more time consuming it is significantly more expensive on average compared to classic rib metal roofing.  Standing seam metal roofing is very difficult to repair or replace. Standing Seam also can not be used on low slope roofs. Install timelines will be a bit longer wait on average due to not as many qualified roofers being available.

What Is Stone Coated Metal Roofing?

Stone-coated metal roofing has been around since 1952 around the end of World War II in the United Kingdom. The government requested that something is created that would protect corrugated steel roofs from the harsh and ever-changing climate. They basically started by applying sand to the corrugated metal panels, and that is where stone coated metal panel came from. The rights to produce stone coated metal roofing outside of Great Britan were acquired shortly after.

With advances in technology stone coated metal roofing has grown by leaps and bounds, with multiple endless styles available for residential and commercial roof applications. The company I work for mainly offers 2-brands, Decra and Edco and they both are truly impressive.

For a fraction of the cost, you can get a Spanish Tile Metal Roof or Cedar Shake Metal Roof and they look amazing! They also offer a traditional Architectural Shingle that is also stone coated metal roofing.

Pros-

You can get the great look of a Spanish Tile Metal Roofing or the ever so difficult to install Cedar Shake Roof for a third of the cost with around the same life expectancy.

It comes in a wide variety of styles and colors. Wind resistant up-to 120 mph, so this makes it a great option for areas pledged by high winds, it also provides Long-lasting life expectancy potentially 50+years or more of protection from any type of weather, also an added benefit is that it is a fire-resistant product.

Decra Installation Our Company Did This Past Summer.

Cons-

I will even admit that Stone Coated Metal shingles are a great product, but from the previous options, we explored I would say Decra stone coated metal roofing is a bit expensive. To Be honest I did not find a lot of downside to this product besides initial investment.

What Is the Difference Between Galvanized and Galvalume Metal?

The difference between Galvanized and Galvalume is Galvanized referrers to the process in which it is created. It starts as sheet metal and then gets coated with Zinc Oxide. This allows it to withstand all different climates for the test of time.

Now standard Galvanized metal panels can start to break down within 10-15 years. Galvalume, on the other hand, was created due to regular Galvanized steal not performing over long periods. Galvalume is made with corrosion-resistant aluminum zinc-oxide applied in a processed called a hot drip. This process combines the best parts of the two metals (aluminum and zinc). Galvalume is such an effective sheet metal coating that I found this article titled galvalume metal roofs will last a minimum of 60-years, but what they found during the case study was that the average life expectancy was more in line with 139 years based off 14 different sites.

How Much Does a Metal Roofing Cost?

Average Range: $7,858 to $14,412 When it comes to metal for roofing there is a lot of options, actually, there are over 100 metal elements on the periodic table. Pertaining to steel roofing specifically though there are 2 common types I see used, Galvanized and Galvalume, that are typically used in Standing Seam Roofs and Classic Rib Roofs. Each one of these steel roofing options has its own set of pros and cons. There are still other options out there like corrugated metal roofing that I did not feel like it earned its place on this list, it is mainly used with outbuildings.

Is Metal Roofing or Shingle Roofing a Better Value?

The average cost of a 17-square standing seam metal roof is currently is $17,000 according to RoofingCalculator.com and the average cost of a shingle roof is currently is $9,350. This is a very difficult question to answer, and everyone’s perception of value is different.

Does metal roofing cost more than shingle roofing options? The simple answer is yes, but if you noticed throughout this blog post I mentioned several times (up-front cost). What I mean by that is if you read this article you would notice I stated from a third party’s perspective that with everyone putting the price more important then the product or installation, you get manufacturers that will offer a more cost-effective line of shingles. What this means to you is that you might replace your shingle roof 2-3 times before you even would have to consider replacing your metal roof, so in the long run metal ends up being much cheaper, especially after you consider energy savings.

My Conclusion

After compiling over 10+hours of research I have come up with the conclusion that all roofs have there own place in today’s market. I can tell you if money was not a concern for me I would choose one on Decra’s Stone Coated Shingle Products, I am saying metal roofing is the better option for me and you might have an entirely different circumstance that makes more sense for you and your home. I think you should ask yourself some important questions before making one of the most costly renovation projects for your home. Take this into consideration too, your roofing system is the first line of defense against any and everything mother nature throws your way. Even though you do not always see the improvement that is added from a new roof replacement, remember your roof protects everything on the inside of your home that you cherish!

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Choose Your Next Roof.
  • How long do I plan on staying in this home? (This question should help you narrow your search down substantially.) For example, if you are moving within the next 5-years why would you opt for the best of the best?
  • Are you solely shopping for a new roof based on the price? (if so, I would not even recommend thinking about some of the metal options.) Metal roofing is more difficult to install and if you decide to go with the contractor that has the lowest price, they most likely are telling you what you want to hear to earn your business. This is not a good thing, I cannot even begin to tell you how many calls I get from homeowners that went with our competitors they botched the installation process and with metal roofing.
  • It is not easy to find someone that will repair someone else’s metal roofing mistake.
  • So it is better to pay a little extra to get it done right the first time?
  • What is more important to you the price or the quality of the installation and product?
  • I hate to say it again, but when you are talking about roofing do you really want the cheapest guy to handle one of the most important investments you may do?

I have seen it too many times in my career, someone strictly shops the price and price alone. At the end of the day, this method can cost you twice as much as any of the options I covered, think about it if your contractor installs the roof incorrectly you could spend thousands getting it repaired or worst-case scenario you may have to replace the whole thing.

I want to take the time to say thank you for reading this blog and I hope you enjoy it! If you are looking to just buy metal roofing direct at wholesale pricing and have your own installer, our sister company (Michigan Metal Supply) offers wholesale pricing on metal roofing to companies and homeowners alike. If you want us to take care of the whole project for you contact me by following this LINK and fill out the online form to prompt me to call you in a timely manner to schedule an appointment with First Response Roofing and Construction. We proudly serve the Southeast region of Michigan.

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