Should You Get a Metal or Shingle Roof?

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home. Choosing the right material does more than ensure your house looks good, it also protects you from bad weather, animals, and other environmental hazards. Shingle and metal roofs are both extremely popular materials, but which is better? Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of each from the experts at Custom Home Remodeling & Roofing.

Energy Efficiency

In terms of energy efficiency, a metal roof is the clear winner. Most metal roofs, especially in California, are Energy Star rated and can save you up to 20% on your energy bills. Shingle roofs offer no energy efficiency at all, and actually absorbs heat from the sun in the summer — which may cause it to raise your energy costs for those months.

Depending on the material the shingles are made of, including slate, fibre cement, wood, flagstone, plastic, asphalt, or metal, you’ll see a slight difference in your energy costs. Asphalt is by far the worst choice for energy efficiency. If energy efficiency is your primary concern, metal over shingle roofs is the top decision.


While metal roofing is available in a number of different styles and colors, shingles, especially asphalt, come in a nearly unlimited array of colors and designs. You can find everything from burnt umber and red to grey and slate in asphalt, while for metal roofing you may be limited to wood shakes, architectural shingles, clay tile, and Standing Seam.

Asphalt definitely takes the prize here for its versatility and options, all of which generally hover around a similar price range. When design options are your main concern, asphalt over shingle roofs is your choice.


Since shingles are less durable, they require much more maintenance than metal roofing. For metal roofing, you really only have to give them a thorough washing every few months, while with shingles you need to be checking for damage multiple times a year.

Shingles are especially susceptible to wind and hail damage, as well as mildew, algae, and mold. Regular cleaning and checking for holes will usually involve a team of professionals clambering over your rooftop to spot any minor issues that can transform into bigger ones in the future. When simple maintenance is your goal, choose metal vs shingle roofs.


As one of the longest lasting roofing materials, metal is definitely your top choice for durability. Since shingles must be replaced as soon as they are damaged, their lifespan is greatly decreased in areas where weather frequently turns to rain, snow, or hail. Most metal roofs are also available in wind resistant and fireproof varieties, while asphalt shingle roofs automatically need to be replaced every 10-15 years.

No matter how well you take care of your shingled roof, you will always need to get a new one. And what’s worse, if you replace your shingle roof with another shingle roof, you need to completely remove the old roof before installing the new one. Will metal roofing, you can lay the metal pieces directly over what’s already there, saving money on tear offs. In terms of durability, metal over shingle roofs is the definite champion!

Life Expectancy

As you already know, shingle roof should be replaced every 10-15 years. If you’re very luck and your roof hasn’t been damaged at all, it can last up to 20 years — at most. With metal roofing, you often get a limited lifetime warranty, as the length of time until you need a replacement could be over 70 years.

For those who plan on living in the same home for the next 30-50 years, you definitely want to invest in a metal over a shingle roof!


Many people don’t consider what will happen to their roof when they’re done with it. In fact, since roofing doesn’t usually have to be replaced for at least 10 years, most people move out of their homes before the life of their roof is up. In the case of metal and shingle roofs, there is a better choice. Metal roofing is mandated to be made of at least 25% recycled content, and is still 100% recyclable. Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, are not recyclable and don’t use recyclable materials and as a result, 13 billion pounds of asphalt is thrown into landfills every year!

This number is staggering, especially considering how long roofs last. Don’t let your roof end up in a landfill. Choose a more responsible selection with metal roofing.

Metal or Shingle?

While metal roofing dominates in many of these categories, it does have some definite downsides. They can be more difficult to install and often end up creating unintentionally loud space within your home if improperly installed. The materials do cost significantly more than a shingle roof and they are more difficult to repair in the unlikely event that your roof does sustain major damage.

Even with these downsides, it seems like metal is still the better choice for most roofing projects. If you’re considering re-roofing today, make sure you weigh your options.

Have more questions about metal or shingle roofs? Reach out to the team at CHR&R today!