Is Metal Roofing Cheaper Than Shingles in the Long Run?

Is Metal Roofing Cheaper Than Shingles?

Yes, metal roofing is generally more expensive than shingles upfront due to its longer lifespan.

However, when considering life cycle costs, which include factors like life expectancy and maintenance over the product’s lifetime, metal roofing can be more cost-effective in the long run.

It is especially beneficial for homeowners planning to stay in the same house for 30-40 years, where metal roofing can save them $50,000-$100,000 compared to shingle roofs.

Other cost considerations such as resale value, reduced maintenance, and energy savings also favor metal roofing.

Overall, while shingles may be cheaper and have lower installation costs, metal roofing offers better long-term value, performance, and return on investment.

Key Points:

  • Metal roofing is generally more expensive upfront due to its longer lifespan.
  • Metal roofing can be more cost-effective in the long run when considering life cycle costs.
  • Metal roofing can save homeowners $50,000-$100,000 compared to shingle roofs over 30-40 years.
  • Metal roofing offers additional cost benefits such as increased resale value and reduced maintenance.
  • Shingles may be cheaper initially and have lower installation costs.
  • Metal roofing provides better long-term value, performance, and return on investment.

Did You Know?

1. Did you know that metal roofing is actually more cost-effective than shingles in the long run? While the initial installation cost may be higher, metal roofs have a lifespan of 50+ years compared to the average 20-30 years of shingle roofs, making them a more economical choice over time.

2. Metal roofing is extremely durable and can withstand extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain, hail, and strong winds. In fact, metal roofs have been tested to withstand winds of up to 140 miles per hour, making them significantly more resilient than shingles.

3. Metal roofs are not only more resistant to fire compared to shingles, but they can also help minimize the spread of fire to other parts of the building. This is because metal does not ignite or contribute to the spread of flames, providing an added layer of safety to your home or business.

4. Contrary to popular belief, metal roofs are actually much quieter than shingles during rain or hail storms. Modern metal roofing systems incorporate soundproofing materials, ensuring a peaceful environment indoors even during heavy rainfall.

5. Metal roofing is environmentally friendly and more sustainable than shingles. Many metal roofs are made from recycled materials and are completely recyclable at the end of their lifespan. Additionally, metal roofs are more energy-efficient, helping reduce heating and cooling costs, making them a greener alternative for homeowners.

Metal Roofing’s Growing Popularity

Recent data shows a steady increase in the popularity of metal roofing among homeowners. It is now considered a long-term investment option. In new residential construction, metal roofing accounts for 8% of spending, while it makes up 12% of the remodel market spending. Notably, 12% of homeowners who need a roof replacement are choosing metal roofing over traditional shingle replacement. This preference shift suggests that many homeowners are becoming frustrated with the continuous need for shingle replacement and are searching for superior roofing alternatives.

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The Cost of Metal Roofing vs. Shingles

When considering cost, it is important to note that metal roofing is generally expected to be more expensive than asphalt shingles. This higher cost is primarily due to the longer lifespan of metal roofs, which ultimately translates into fewer replacements over time. Although the initial cost of metal roofing may be higher than shingles, the concept of life cycle costs comes into play. Life cycle costs encompass factors such as the product’s life expectancy and maintenance costs incurred over its lifetime. By paying more upfront for a product like metal roofing, homeowners can expect it to last longer and encounter fewer problems during ownership.

To provide a clear comparison, a table is included in this article that highlights the life cycle costs of both shingle and metal roofing options. This table illustrates the total roofing cost for different roof types over a 15-20 year period, accounting for tear-off costs and new roof costs between years 15 and 20. It is important to adjust these costs for inflation, which is done at a rate of 5% annually.

It is essential to bear in mind that the table assumes material and labor averages for a 2,000 sq. foot “typical” house, and actual costs may vary based on regional labor values and the unique specifications of each home.

Factors Affecting the Cost Analysis

When comparing the cost between metal roofing and shingles, there are several important factors to consider. These factors include:

  • Geographic region: Different regions may have different costs associated with materials and labor, so it is important to take this into account when conducting a cost analysis.
  • Eave height: The height of the eaves can affect the complexity of the roofing project and may impact the overall cost.
  • Roof complexity: Roofs with a complex design or multiple angles may require more labor and materials, which can increase the cost.
  • Product selection: The type of metal roofing or shingles chosen can also affect the cost. There are various styles and finishes available for metal roofing, and the selection can impact both the long-term performance and the aesthetics of the roof.
  • Installation costs: Metal roofing typically requires a higher level of skill and expertise for installation, which can result in higher labor costs. The availability of contractors specializing in metal roof installation in a given area can also impact the overall installation cost.
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One important aspect to consider when comparing metal roofing to shingles is the type of coating or paint system applied to the metal roof panels. PVDF (Kynar 500®) paint systems are known for their superior performance in terms of panel fade and chalk resistance. However, it is worth noting that some suppliers still offer lower-grade paint systems like Silicone Modified Polyester (SMP) for residential applications.

To summarize, when conducting a cost analysis between metal roofing and shingles, it is important to consider factors such as geographic region, eave height, roof complexity, product selection, aesthetics, and installation costs. Additionally, the type of coating or paint system applied to the metal roof panels can significantly impact the long-term performance and aesthetics of the roof.

Long-Term Benefits of Metal Roofing

While metal roofing may have a higher upfront cost compared to shingles, it offers numerous long-term benefits that should be taken into account when considering the overall value. One significant advantage is the longevity and durability of metal roofing, as it can last 2-4 times longer than shingles. Metal roofs have been proven to outperform shingles in cases of hail and severe weather events, mitigating the need for costly repairs or replacements. Moreover, metal roofing can result in substantial energy savings, with homeowners potentially saving 20-40% on their electricity bills. These savings can make a significant difference over time. Additionally, metal roofing boasts a high recycled content, reducing landfill pressure and making it a more environmentally-friendly choice. Furthermore, metal roofing enhances the curb appeal of a home and can contribute to higher resale values, making it a solid long-term investment.

Metal Roofing vs. Shingles: Durability and Maintenance

When it comes to the durability and maintenance of roofs, metal roofing again proves to be an advantageous option. Shingles, although cheaper to repair, typically require more frequent repairs. Individual shingles can be easily replaced, while metal roofs may require full replacements in some cases. Shingles are also prone to issues such as algae, mold, cracks, and damage from severe weather. On the other hand, metal roofs are more durable and less likely to experience punctures, breaks, tears, or leaks. Consequently, metal roofs are highly recommended for regions that experience severe storms and harsh winds.

Another benefit of metal roofs is their ability to regulate temperatures efficiently. Metal roofs can help lower energy costs by keeping homes cool during warmer months and maintaining consistent temperatures in colder climates. Overall, metal roofs are a low-maintenance option compared to shingles, providing homeowners with peace of mind.

In conclusion, while shingles may be initially cheaper and have lower installation costs, metal roofing proves to be a more cost-effective option in the long run when considering factors such as durability, maintenance, energy savings, and resale value. Although metal roofing’s upfront cost may be higher, homeowners who plan to stay in the same house for an extended period can save a substantial amount compared to shingle roofs. Additionally, metal roofing offers a range of other benefits, including enhanced curb appeal, reduced environmental impact, and solid return on investment.

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When conducting a cost analysis between metal roofing and shingles, it is important to take into account several factors that may impact the overall cost, such as geographic region, installation costs, and the selected product and coating system. Ultimately, if homeowners prioritize long-term value, performance, and return on investment, metal roofing emerges as an excellent solution.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Are shingles or metal roof cheaper?

While asphalt shingles have been the go-to choice for most homeowners due to their lower cost, metal roofs offer a variety of benefits that can make them a more cost-effective option in the long run. Despite being initially pricier, metal roofs have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance, making them a worthwhile investment. Moreover, metal roofs often come with extended warranties, which can save you money on repairs and replacements later on. Ultimately, while shingles may have a lower upfront cost, metal roofs offer durability and long-term savings that make them a compelling alternative.

Which is better a metal roof or shingles?

When choosing between a metal roof and shingles, durability becomes a crucial factor. Metal roofing emerges as the more favorable option due to its exceptional longevity, typically lasting 2-4 times longer than shingles. This means homeowners can enjoy the peace of mind of purchasing just one more roof in their lifetime, making metal roofs a cost-effective choice. By investing in metal roofing, homeowners can benefit from its long-lasting durability and avoid the hassle and expense of replacing shingles multiple times over the years.

What is the cheapest type of metal roof?

The most cost-effective option for a metal roof would be a corrugated steel panel roof. With prices ranging from $3.50 to $6.50 per square foot, it can be as affordable as asphalt shingle roofing. The installation costs for a corrugated steel roof would typically fall between $10,500 and $19,500.

How long will metal roof last?

The lifespan of a metal roof typically ranges from 40 to 70 years, which is considerably longer than many other roofing materials. However, there are certain factors that can affect its longevity. Proper installation, regular maintenance, and the use of high-quality materials can all contribute to extending the life of a metal roof. Conversely, external factors such as severe weather conditions, poor installation, and lack of maintenance may shorten its lifespan. Therefore, it is important to take these factors into consideration for the overall durability and lifespan of your metal roof.

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