Shingles vs Metal Roofing

One of the most common questions in roofing...

Shingles or Metal?

For this question, many factors should be taken into consideration.

  • Regional Considerations

Determining whether metal roofing or asphalt shingles are appropriate for a home, and which will cost less in the long run, often comes down to region, as each of the two types of roofing behave very differently in different climates. Asphalt shingles are cheaper and will work best in temperate climates, while metal roofing can work well in hot or cold, wet or dry, extremes, but will cost more upfront. Based on the Texarkana areas climate, Metal Roofing is the better economical solution.

  • Keeping Cool

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, metal roofs work well in hot climates. In fact, they keep a home much cooler than asphalt shingles do, potentially decreasing peak cooling demand by 10-15%. Metal reflects sunlight, keeping it cooler inside, while asphalt shingles, particularly black ones, absorb the heat of the sun, making a home that much warmer. The lighter the color, the cooler it'll be.

  • Staying Warm

Because asphalt shingles absorb heat, they may be better at keeping a home warm in the wintertime, but with proper insulation, a metal roof will do just as well. Moreover, according to the EPA, the summertime savings of a metal roof—deemed a "cool roof"—are so significant in the Texarkana area that annual energy spending will still be lower overall with a metal roof, even if a little more heating is required in the winter.

  • Durability

Metal roofing is much more durable than asphalt shingles. Metal roofs survive the elements well, remaining intact when facing high winds, hail, and lightning; they are more likely to withstand extreme conditions, like tornadoes. Asphalt shingles can withstand some extreme weather if installed properly, but it's common for homeowners to have to replace shingles or whole parts of a roof after bad storms, high winds, or heavy snow. In general, asphalt shingles are prone to a number of climate-related problems, such as algae growth in prolonged humidity, primarily on the northern most facing slope.

  • Soundproofing

Asphalt shingles are quieter than metal roofing, especially in heavy rain, but some may think metal roofing is much louder than it actually is. A metal roof on a home is different from the bare tin roofing of a barn or event center and is much quieter. Regardless, there are several ways to reduce the noise with either type of roof. Even just having an insulated attic between living areas and the roof, greatly reduces noise.

  • Styles

Metal roofing comes in several overall styles, including vertical and standing seam panels, tiles, slates/shakes, and shingles. They can come pre-painted or be painted after installation; any color is fine, but lighter colors are better at reflecting the sun's heat. Asphalt shingles are cut and colored in a multitude of ways to mimic other materials and styles. However, like metal roofing, asphalt shingles retain at least some of the look of their material. The most common colors are greys, browns, reds, greens, and blues.

  • And finally, the COST...

One reason not many people use metal roofing is because its initial cost is usually two to three times higher than that of asphalt shingles. Now, metal roofing is likely to make up for its high price over time, especially in extreme climates or in places where electricity is expensive. Meanwhile, the cost of asphalt shingles is likely to be less connected to the material than it is to the labor—the expense of installation—and waste removal is the brunt of it.


What'ya think now?  - Metal or Shingles...