Metal Vs. Shingle Roofing

When it comes to your roof, you need to be confident in the materials being used. Shingle roofing is by far the most popular form for roofs to take in the USA, but that doesn’t mean other options can’t be equally viable, such as the second most popular form, metal roofing. If you’re having a roof replaced, buying a house, or building one from scratch, choosing between a metal roof or shingle roof is an important part of the process. 

We’ve put this article together illustrating some of the pros and cons of either choice, so you can approach choosing or replacing your roof with confidence going forward. 

The Durability of Metal vs Shingle Roofing


When it comes to the sturdiness and lasting power of your roof, there are some clear differences between metal and shingles. Your roof is your home’s primary protective barrier from the elements, so you need to be confident in the strength and security of the materials you choose. 

Shingles: A shingle roof will generally last you between 20-25 years before needing to be replaced. There are various factors that can seriously impact the quality of your shingle roof, including the levels of humidity and rainfall, along with the spikes and drops in temperature. 

Metal Roof: Metal roofs will come with warranties between 30-50 years, often outlasting them by 10-20 years with ease. Replacing a metal roof isn’t regular, however, things like heavy hail and fallen branches can cause dents, while different metals have different levels of strength. 

Metal is generally considered a stronger, more durable choice than shingles, but it’s not without its weaknesses, so keep that in mind. 

The Aesthetic Style of a Metal Roof vs Shingles


One thing that will likely play into your decision is the visual effect that either roofing style will have on your home – if you’re going to be looking at it every day, you want to be happy with the result. But while you may have your preconceptions of what either material will look like, with modern technology there are actually plenty of ways to make either a metal or shingle roof look different. 

Shingles: While the black asphalt and granules look might be what you’re familiar with in terms of shingle roofing, there are actually ways that modern shingles can be made to look like slate, wood, or tiling, as a means of fitting in better to a home’s overall aesthetic. 

Metal Roofing: The metal roofs that you’re used to seeing are likely the long corrugated tin panels, associated with barns. Now there are various different forms of metal available, any of which can be manipulated to fit in with your home. 

You can likely achieve your desired look with either metal or shingles, so don’t dwell too deeply on this matter and focus on functionality. 

The Environmental Impact of Metal Roofing vs Shingles


Like with any materials used to build a home, the use of either metal roofing or shingles will have some impact on the environment. While your home environment will rightfully be your priority, considering your choices in a wider context is still relevant. 

Shingles: It’s estimated that over 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles make their way to landfills every year.  That being said, it is possible to recycle asphalt shingle into a material known as RAS (Recycled Asphalt Shingles).  This RAS can be used as road base and as a green ingredient in hot mixed asphalt. 

Metal Roofing: It’s indisputable that metal roofing has a lesser impact on the environment than shingles, with most metal roofs made from recycled materials that can be recycled later in life. Metal roofs also contribute more to houses being energy-efficient, blocking heat transmission.

While you need to make choices that suit your wallet and the available, it’s undoubtedly true that metal roofing is a more environmentally conscious choice. 

The Cost of Metal Roofing vs Shingles


If you’re having a roof installed, replaced, or built into a new home, it’s definitely worth considering the differences in cost that either material brings with it. Is a metal roof cheaper than shingles or vice versa? Well, the answer may not be that straightforward. 

Shingles: Shingles are definitely cheaper if you’re talking about upfront costs, with 100 square feet of shingles generally costing between $100 and $200. Shingles are also easier to install and repair, meaning labor costs are reduced. 

Metal Roofing: You can expect to pay anywhere between $120 and $900 when it comes to a metal roof, dependent on the metal used. Along with this, the installation and repair of metal roofing require a more skilled touch, making labor costs higher. 

While shingles are a cheaper choice, they aren’t as durable and will require more maintenance over the years, so the investment into a metal roof might save you money in the long run. 

Final Thoughts


So is a metal roof better than shingles? Well, there isn’t really a definitive answer. The matter truly depends on your circumstances, with the location of your home playing heavily into the value of shingles, along with your budget being a massive deciding factor in your choice. Weigh up your priorities and consider your streams of income before making a choice. 


At Agave Roofing, we specialize in shingles, along with secondary precautions used to make said shingles a sturdier, more effective, and longer-lasting choice. If you’re in the greater Austin or San Antonio areas, get in touch, and let’s see what we can do for your roof.

Request Free Roofing Estimate