Deciding On Roofing: Metal Versus Asphalt Composition Shingles

When it comes to roofing, there are a number of different materials you can choose from. Each of these types has its pros and cons. While more than 80 percent of residential roofs are made with asphalt composition shingles, other types of roofing materials, such as metal roofing, are worth considering.


Metal tends to be among the more durable roofing options, lasting up to 50 years, although color coatings on metal roofs are usually only guaranteed for about half of that time. Although metal roofing isn't likely to rust, the less expensive metal shingles may dent. Composition shingles, on the other hand, aren't very durable. They may need to be repaired or replaced in about 10 years. The thicker the shingle, the longer they're likely to last. Both types of shingles are fire resistant, but the composition shingles can sometimes be blown off the roof in strong winds.

Environmental Impact

Asphalt isn't very environmentally-friendly because it's a petroleum product, and this type of roofing material usually ends up in the landfill once it's removed. Metal roofing is a bit more environmentally-friendly because it can be recycled and some metal tiles are made from recycled materials. Even better, metal roofing can be coated with a reflective coating so they absorb less heat, potentially limiting heating and cooling bills by up to 20 percent.


Metal roofing is much more expensive than asphalt. Asphalt starts at about $50 per 100 square feet, while metal roofs cost about $120 to $900 per 100 square feet. Corrugated steel panels are the least expensive, followed by steel or aluminum shingles. stone-coated steel, standing seam and copper or zinc. Choosing a laminated asphalt product will make it longer lasting, but double to cost of the shingles. Keep in mind the length of time the roof is likely to last when comparing prices, as it may be worth it to pay twice as much for a roof that lasts twice as long. These prices are before installation, which can add considerably to the cost, especially with metal roofing. Part of the reason for the higher cost of installing metal roofing is the fact that is is more difficult to install. Asphalt is one of the easier types of roofing to install, making it a less expensive process. Make sure to hire a roofing professional with lots of experience in metal roofing installation if you choose this type of roof, as improper installation can cause expensive roofing problems later on.

Other Considerations

Some people find that metal roofing is a bit noisy. Properly insulating the roof can help limit this noise, as it will block out part of the sound. Contact a local roof supplier, like JD Metals, for more details.