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Posted by: Nathan Keiser

The Cost of Metal Roof vs Shingles (Compared)

Calender 05/15/2024
Clock 6 min READ

Deciding between a metal roof and shingles? Understanding the cost implications is essential. This article cuts through the complexity, directly comparing the cost of metal roof vs shingle and highlighting how factors, like longevity and maintenance, can affect your wallet over time.

Inside this blog:

  • Breaking Down the Costs: Metal Roof vs Shingle Roof
  • The Impact of Durability on Cost
  • Installation Complexity and Its Effect on Pricing

Breaking Down the Costs: Metal Roof vs Shingle Roof

When deciding between a metal roof and asphalt shingles, cost is often a significant factor. It’s no secret that metal roofs are notably more expensive upfront than their shingle counterparts. But don’t be too quick to discard the idea of a metal roof based solely on the initial price tag. The potential for long-term savings is an important aspect to consider.

The cost of metal roofing materials can range from $1 to $25 per square foot, amounting to an average cost of $120 to $900 per 100 square feet. On the other hand, asphalt shingle roofing costs between $1 and $10 per square foot, which translates to about $100 to $200 per 100 square feet. Nonetheless, the final cost is greatly influenced by the type of materials chosen.

Initial Investment for Metal Roofs

Delving into the specifics, we’ll examine the cost breakdown of metal roofs initially. The cost of installing a metal roof on a 1,700-square-foot home can oscillate between $8,500 and $68,000, incorporating both material and labor charges. The considerable variation in cost is due to the type and quality of the metal roofing materials chosen, which can cost between $5 and $40 per square foot.

Labor costs for metal roofing installations are another key component of the initial investment, ranging from $2 to $14 per square foot. This is because installing a metal roof is a complex task that demands precise techniques and involves multiple components, thus requiring skilled labor.

Asphalt Shingles Expenditure

Conversely, the initial cost for asphalt shingle roofs tends to be lower. The materials typically cost between $4.25 and $13 per square foot. The final cost can vary depending on the type of asphalt shingles chosen – three-tab, dimensional, or luxury.

There are also additional costs to consider when opting for asphalt shingles. The removal and disposal of old shingles and underlayment can cost between $1 and $5 per square foot. These factors contribute to the overall lower initial cost of asphalt shingles, but they can also lead to more frequent repairs and replacements in the long run.

Longevity and Life-Cycle Savings

Despite the higher initial cost, the longevity of a metal roof can yield substantial life-cycle savings. Metal roofs have a considerably longer lifespan than asphalt shingles, with metal lasting over 50 years and certain types like copper and zinc potentially extending beyond a century. In contrast, asphalt shingles typically endure only 15-20 years.

Consider a typical 2,000-square foot home. Over a 45-year timeframe, a metal roof could potentially cost around $23,000 compared to $57,000 for asphalt shingles. This is due to the lower long-term expenses of ownership such as maintenance, repairs, and replacement associated with metal roofs. Thus, the significant difference in the expected lifespans of metal roofs versus asphalt shingles directly influences overall life-cycle savings, making metal roofs a more cost-effective solution over time.

The Impact of Durability on Cost

When contemplating the cost of a roof, durability stands as a vital element. Metal roofs have an inherent advantage over asphalt shingles due to their robust composition, enabling them to withstand severe weather conditions, which translates into cost-effectiveness over time. In contrast, asphalt shingles are more prone to deterioration under harsh weather conditions, potentially leading to higher damage and repair costs.

Moreover, metal roofs generally offer the following benefits:

  • Require less upkeep
  • More resistant to fire, pests, and moisture compared to asphalt roofs
  • Result in fewer repairs and lower maintenance costs
  • Can last up to 50+ years with little maintenance

These advantages ultimately affect overall costs positively.

shingles close view

Energy Efficiency: A Hidden Cost Factor

Energy efficiency, an often-overlooked cost factor, deserves attention. Metal roofs offer significant energy savings due to their ability to:

  • Reflect sunlight, which helps decrease indoor temperatures and lower energy bills
  • Reflect more solar energy, thanks to cool roof pigments in their coatings
  • Improve energy efficiency over darker-colored roofs, especially lighter-colored metal roofs

In contrast, asphalt roofs absorb significant amounts of heat due to the petroleum asphalt and mineral granules they contain, leading to increased cooling expenses. Metal roofs have been shown to potentially reduce cooling energy costs by as much as 20%, making them an attractive option for improving a building’s energy efficiency. The use of above-sheathing ventilation (ASV) in metal roofing systems further contributes to lower cooling costs by allowing heat to dissipate into the atmosphere rather than being absorbed by the building.

Aesthetic Appeal and Market Value

In addition to costs and energy efficiency, the aesthetic appeal and market value of your roof should not be overlooked. A metal roof can potentially increase the resale value of your home, making it a more attractive investment. With consumer awareness shifting towards the longevity and durability of metal roofs, their impact on resale value is also expected to rise.

Particularly, steel standing seam metal roofing can significantly enhance a home’s curb appeal, and homeowners may opt to use metal roof panels in specific areas like porches to add aesthetic value without incurring the costs of a full metal roof.

Both metal and asphalt shingles offer varying color and style selections, with metal providing unique options that can be more appealing, although often at a higher cost. When considering a metal or asphalt roof, it’s essential to weigh the benefits of each material.

Installation Complexity and Its Effect on Pricing

The overall cost can be significantly influenced by the complexity of the roof installation. The process of installing a metal roof demands precise techniques and involves multiple components, making it a more labor-intensive and time-consuming task compared to shingle installation. Complex roof designs like Mansard roofs can see costs increase significantly, potentially up to $40 per square foot.

Repairing metal roofs can also be particularly costly due to the complexity involved, such as needing to remove entire interconnected panels to replace a damaged section. In some cases, a roof replacement might be a more cost-effective solution.

Ready for a New Roof?

When it comes to making a decision on roofing, it’s important to consider the initial investment as well as the life-cycle costs and long-term value. The choice between a metal roof and asphalt shingles ultimately boils down to your specific needs, preferences, and budget.

When you’re ready for a new roof, contact Kraft Roofing. We’ll help you choose between metal vs shingle materials and provide professional installation. Don’t delay!

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