About 17% of American homes have metal roofing. That makes it substantially less popular than asphalt shingle roofing, which appears on approximately 75 to 80% of homes nationwide.

That alone says a lot about the metal roofing vs. shingle debate: if metal roofing is better, it certainly doesn’t have the popularity to show for it.

Why are asphalt shingles so popular? Many reasons. They’re available in a wide range of styles and colors. They’re easy to install on several different types of roofs. They are by far one of the most affordable roofing materials on the market. They’re energy efficient, algae resistant, recyclable, and good at dampening the sound of rainfall. Asphalt shingles also provide exceptional resistance against the elements – including the especially harsh elements Minnesotan homeowners have to contend with.

In its defense, metal roofing offers many of the same benefits as shingles. That’s why we should dig a little deeper and compare the advantages of the two common roofing materials. Is one certifiably “better?” Or do their different merits explain why they coexist in a competitive market?


Advantages of Metal Roofing Over Shingles

+ Lower maintenance – Several factors determine whether a metal roof requires less maintenance than a shingle one, including its pitch and if it was competently installed. But generally speaking, metal roofing costs less to keep in good repair. It is easier to replace damaged shingles than metal roofing, however, and shingle roofing isn’t remotely high-maintenance; it’s just higher-maintenance comparatively.

+ Cooler – Metal is more effective at reflecting sunlight. Less thermal heating means an easier time for the homeowner’s air conditioner.

+ Longer lasting – The average metal roof lasts 40 to 70 years, whereas a shingle roof usually lasts 40 to 50. Either type of roof can become a lifetime purchase depending on (A) how well it is installed, (B) how well it is maintained, and (C) how old the homeowner is at the time of installation.


Advantages of Shingles Over Metal Roofing

+ Cheaper – We don’t like the negative connotations that come with the word “cheap,” but it really does apply in this context. Construction material costs constantly fluctuate, so we don’t want to provide exact figures, but you can usually expect to pay about two to four times more for a metal roof. It’s also a lot easier to install shingles, which translates to more agreeable labor costs.

+ Warmer – Shingles provide better insulation, and therefore excel at preventing heat from escaping the roof (which is where about 25% of a home’s heat normally escapes from).

+ Better fire safety – Which surface do you think is easier to chop through with an ax: metal, or shingle? The answer to that question explains why a shingle roof can provide a great advantage during a house fire: it may shorten the amount of time a fireman has to spend accessing the house.


It Pretty Much Boils Down to Cost

Ultimately, the deciding factor between metal roofing vs. shingles comes down to cost. Shingles are less expensive, and any homeowner can think of thousands of things they’d rather spend money on than a roof. And although metal offers several advantages, shingles do a really good job at what they’re designed to do – especially when they’re made by a reputable manufacturer, such as Atlas Roofing.

If you live in the greater St Cloud, Little Falls, Alexandria or Brainerd, MN area, then the best contractor to repair, replace or install your new roof is not up for debate. Contact Exterior Pro today for a free estimate on metal or shingle roofing. Our industry-leading skill and materials ensure you’ll get the best possible roof, whichever type you prefer!