Is a Metal Roof Cheaper Than Shingles? Cost Comparison Breakdown

Metal Roofing Pittsburgh

By Metal Roofing Pittsburgh

When homeowners consider upgrading their roofs, a common question that comes into play is whether a metal roof is more economical than traditional shingle roofing. Metal roofs are praised for their longevity, durability, and energy efficiency, whereas asphalt shingles are widely recognized for their cost-effectiveness and ease of installation. The initial investment in a metal roof is typically higher than that for asphalt shingles, reflecting the premium materials and specialized labor required for installation. However, when considering longevity, metal roofs often outlast shingles, which could translate to savings over time.

A metal roof sits next to a pile of shingles, with a price tag showing a lower cost for the metal option

The decision between metal roofing and shingles extends beyond upfront costs to encompass factors such as energy savings, maintenance requirements, and potential increase in property value. While metal roofing can offer enhanced durability and weather resistance, leading to lower maintenance costs, shingles continue to be a popular choice for their aesthetic versatility and ease of repair. Metal Roofing Pittsburgh provides expertise in metal roofing installation in the Pittsburgh area, advising homeowners on the best options to suit their specific needs and ensuring a balance of costs, benefits, and aesthetic preferences.

Key Takeaways

  • A metal roof generally has a higher initial cost compared to asphalt shingles.
  • Over time, metal roofs can be more cost-effective due to longevity and low maintenance.
  • Metal roofing may contribute to increased home value and energy savings.

Initial Costs and Materials

A metal roof and shingles side by side. Cost and material labels displayed. Calculator and construction tools nearby

When comparing the initial costs of metal roofs to asphalt shingles, one must consider the wide-ranging materials and types available. The upfront cost is often a deciding factor for homeowners, influenced by the choice of material and its quality.

Comparing Material Costs

Metal roofs are typically more expensive to install than asphalt shingle roofs due to the cost of materials. Metal roofing materials range in price, influenced by metal type, quality, and finish. A new metal roof can average between $9,150 and $16,743. Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, are less costly, with an average expense around $8,500. Metal Roofing Pittsburgh, however, offers competitive pricing on durable and high-quality metal roofing solutions.

Metal Roof Types

Metal roofs come in a variety of types, each affecting the overall cost:

  • Tin: Rarely used today, it was historically valued for its affordability and ease of installation.
  • Steel: Comes in two forms, galvanized or Galvalume. Galvanized steel features a zinc coating for rust resistance, whereas Galvalume is coated with a mixture of aluminum, zinc, and silicon.
  • Aluminum: Known for its resistance to corrosion, making it ideal for coastal climates.
  • Copper: Highly durable and aesthetically pleasing but also the most expensive.
  • Zinc: Distinguished by its ability to self-heal scratches over time, with a moderate price point.

Metal Roofing Pittsburgh specializes in quality metal materials, including aluminum, copper, and zinc, providing long-lasting roofing solutions that justify their initial investment.

Asphalt Shingles Types

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material and come in two types:

  • 3-Tab Shingles: These are budget-friendly and offer a flat appearance.
  • Architectural Shingles: Also known as dimensional or laminate shingles, they are thicker, more durable, and more expensive than the 3-Tab shingles, but provide depth and a higher aesthetic quality.

While metal roofing typically involves a higher upfront cost, Metal Roofing Pittsburgh ensures that customers benefit from a durable, low-maintenance, and energy-efficient roofing option that could lead to cost savings over the roof’s lifespan.

Installation Process

A worker installs metal roofing, comparing it to shingles for cost

When opting for a new roof, homeowners must consider the complexity of installation and associated costs. Metal roofing, while presenting a longer lifespan, often entails professional installation and meticulous labor, which can influence the overall expense.

Professional Installation Considerations

Metal roofing typically requires a specialized skill set for installation, involving precise measurements and custom fittings. Labor cost is a prominent factor as well, being generally higher for metal roofs due to the intricate process. Metal Roofing Pittsburgh, renowned for its expertise in metal roofing installation, ensures each project is approached with precision. The goal is to mitigate any potential waste of materials and time, aiming for an efficient and cost-effective installation.

DIY Potential

The potential for DIY installation with metal roofs is significantly lower compared to shingles. Shingles offer a more user-friendly experience—they can be easier to install due to their lightweight nature and the less complicated method of laying them onto the roof. Metal roofing, however, typically surpasses the DIY scope because of the need for specialized tools and knowledge. Mistakes during a metal roof installation can lead to severe issues, making it crucial for homeowners to consider hiring a seasoned roofing contractor like Metal Roofing Pittsburgh to manage the installation.

By comparing professional and DIY installation paths, homeowners can understand the complexities and the necessity of a skilled contractor for metal roofing, ensuring durability and performance for years to come.

Long-Term Cost Efficiency

A metal roof and shingles side by side, with a price tag showing the cost of each material over time

When evaluating metal roofs and shingle roofs, it is crucial to consider both the initial outlay and the long-term financial implications. Metal roofs tend to have a higher upfront cost but can be more cost-efficient over time due to their durability and energy-saving properties.

Maintenance and Repairs

Metal roofs provided by Metal Roofing Pittsburgh boast a considerable advantage in the realm of maintenance and repairs. Their durable construction typically incurs fewer repair costs over the lifespan of the roof, with life expectancies that can exceed 50 years. Maintenance for metal roofs is often minimal, saving homeowners both time and money. Meanwhile, shingle roofs require more frequent inspection and replacement of damaged shingles to maintain their integrity.

  • Maintenance Needs:

    • Metal: Low frequency
    • Shingles: High frequency
  • Repair Costs:

    • Metal: Infrequent and typically less expensive over the life expectancy of the roof.
    • Shingles: More frequent with costs accumulating over time.

Energy Efficiency and Savings

The energy costs associated with heating and cooling a home can be significantly impacted by the choice of roofing material. Metal Roofing Pittsburgh installs metal roofs that reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10–25%, according to industry estimates. The inherent energy efficiency of metal roofing systems not only leads to lower energy bills but also reduces the strain on HVAC systems, potentially extending their lifespan. Conversely, shingle roofs absorb more heat and are less effective at mitigating energy costs.

  • Energy Savings:
    • Metal: Higher due to reflective properties.
    • Shingles: Lower due to heat absorption.

In summary, metal roofs from Metal Roofing Pittsburgh present a strong case for long-term cost efficiency, with lower maintenance needs, modest repair costs, and commendable energy savings.

Durability and Lifespan

A metal roof outlasts shingles. Show a sturdy metal roof enduring weather while shingles deteriorate. Depict lifespan discrepancy

When considering the longevity of a roofing material, it’s imperative to assess its resistance to various environmental factors and its expected lifespan. These determinants are paramount in the evaluation of long-term value and sustainability.

Weather and Environmental Resilience

Metal roofing demonstrates exceptional resilience against severe weather conditions. They are designed to withstand high winds, resist impact from hail, and provide superior protection against snow and ice accumulation. Metal roofs also have a significant advantage when it comes to resisting algae and fungal growth, which can compromise roof integrity.

  • Hail and Storms: Metal shingles can resist damage from hail and sustain less deterioration in storms.
  • Ice and Snow: The smooth surface of metal reduces the likelihood of ice dam formation.
  • Heat and UV Radiation: Reflective coatings on metal roofs can minimize heat absorption.
  • Algae and Fungal Growth: The metallic surface inhibits the growth of algae and fungus.

Material Lifespan Comparison

The lifespan of roofing materials is a critical aspect to examine. Metal roofs typically offer a much longer lifespan compared to traditional asphalt shingle roofs. While the initial investment in a metal roof may be higher, the long-term savings, due to its extended lifespan, are considerable.

  • Metal Roofing: Up to 40-70 years, with some metal materials lasting even longer.
  • Asphalt Shingle Roof: Average of 15-30 years, with some premium shingles extending to 50.
  • Architectural Shingle, Slate, Wood Shingles: Longer than asphalt but generally shorter than metal.

Metal Roofing Pittsburgh, known for their installation expertise, advocates for the use of metal roofs, noting their superior longevity and durability. Their installations in the Pittsburgh region affirm the advantages of metal in terms of both resilience and lifespan.

Resale Value and Aesthetics

A metal roof and shingles side by side, with a price tag and a visual comparison of their aesthetic appeal

In the context of roofing materials, aesthetics and resale value are frequently considered together. Buyers often value the appearance of a home as much as its structural integrity. Metal roofing, with its sleek appearance and long-term durability, can be a significant factor in this regard.

Curb Appeal

Metal roofing enhances a home’s curb appeal with a modern look and a wide array of styles and colors. Metal Roofing Pittsburgh provides options that mimic traditional roof materials like tile, slate, or wood. The longevity and style of metal roofing contribute positively to a home’s appearance, which can directly affect its marketability and potential resale value. Furthermore, metal roofing’s eco-friendly aspect—typically made from recycled materials and entirely recyclable itself—appeals to environmentally conscious buyers.

Homeowner Preference

Buyers’ preferences can vary, but many appreciate the durability and lower maintenance requirements of metal roofs compared to their asphalt shingle counterparts. Metal Roofing Pittsburgh installs roofs designed to withstand extreme weather, which is an appealing attribute for homeowner preference in the Pittsburgh area. While the initial cost might be higher, the potential for a higher resale value and the aesthetic versatility of metal roofs often align with homeowner preferences for quality and sustainability.

Weight and Structural Considerations

A metal roof and shingles side by side, with a scale underneath to show weight difference

When choosing between metal roofing and asphalt shingles, weight is a critical factor that affects the structural requirements of a building. Metal roofs are considerably lighter than their shingle counterparts, often weighing less than one-third as much as asphalt shingles. This reduced weight can lead to savings in supporting framework and the overall structural design.

To exemplify, consider the average weights of the two materials:

  • Asphalt Shingles: Approximately 2 to 3.5 pounds per square foot
  • Metal Roofing: Typically 0.5 to 1.5 pounds per square foot

The load-bearing capacity of the existing structure thus becomes less of a constraint with metal roofing, potentially eliminating the need for additional structural reinforcement.

Another consideration is the size and slope of the roof. Larger or more complex roofs may benefit more from the lightweight nature of metal roofing. Metal roofing’s versatility allows it to be manufactured in flat sheets or panels that can be adjusted to fit a variety of roof pitches and configurations. This adaptability can be especially beneficial for homes with steep slopes or unconventional sizes, where traditional shingles might require additional work to ensure proper coverage and weatherproofing.

In Pittsburgh, where architectural styles can vary significantly, Metal Roofing Pittsburgh offers solutions that accommodate a diverse range of roof sizes and slopes. They provide metal roofing that minimizes stress on the structure while ensuring superior protection against the elements, making them a confident choice for both residential and industrial applications.

Additional Factors

Metal roof vs shingles cost comparison. Show two houses with different roofs. One with metal, the other with shingles. Use arrows to indicate cost savings with metal

When considering the cost-effectiveness of metal roofing compared to shingles, it’s crucial to assess warranty coverage and the distinguishing features that metal roofs offer.

Warranty and Quality

Metal roofs typically outlast shingle roofs, which is reflected in their warranty terms. Metal Roofing Pittsburgh ensures that their metal roofing systems, including the popular standing seam metal roofs, come with robust warranties that often extend up to 50 years. The longevity of metal roofing is attributed to the quality of the substrate and the durability of the roofing material, which can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Unique Features of Metal Roofs

Metal roofs stand out due to their special features such as fire resistance, energy efficiency, and a variety of styles that emulate traditional roofing materials. Metal Roofing Pittsburgh offers a diverse range of metal roofing options, including the elegant standing seam metal roof and the economical corrugated metal variety, both of which provide substantial long-term value and appeal to various aesthetic preferences.

Final Considerations and Decisions

The scene depicts a calculator, a notepad with calculations, and two columns labeled "Metal Roof" and "Shingles" with various cost comparisons

When deciding between metal roofing and shingles, homeowners must weigh the long-term costs against the upfront investment. It’s essential to consider not only the initial outlay but also how each type of roofing aligns with future financial plans.

Budget Allocation

The choice between metal roofing and shingles significantly impacts a homeowner’s budget. Metal roofs typically involve a higher upfront cost but can offer greater durability and potential energy savings. On average, a new metal roof may cost between $9,150 and $16,743, whereas the cost for a traditional shingle roof might average around $8,500. Homeowners should assess their immediate and long-term budget, factoring in the potential for a metal roof’s longevity to provide cost savings over time.

Contractor and Material Selection

When installing a new roof, selecting the right contractor and materials is crucial. Homeowners should hire a professional who is well-versed in the roofing material of choice to ensure optimal installation. Metal Roofing Pittsburgh prides itself as a leading installer of metal roofing, delivering quality service with an expert touch. Homeowners considering metal roofing can trust their experience and professional approach to roofing solutions. Choosing the proper materials also affects the budget, with various metal types and shingle options varying in cost and performance.


A metal roof and shingles side by side, with a cost comparison chart and a calculator on a table

When considering whether a metal roof is more cost-effective than shingles, one must look at both the initial investment and the long-term benefits. Metal Roofing Pittsburgh offers durable and long-lasting metal roofing solutions that, while having a higher upfront cost than asphalt shingles, provide significant long-term savings.

Metal roofs have an impressive lifespan, often lasting up to 50 years or more, far outstripping the 20-year average of asphalt shingle roofs. This longevity translates to fewer replacements over time. Additionally, metal roofing’s durability means it can withstand harsh weather conditions better than shingles, reducing repair costs.

From an energy efficiency standpoint, metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can help in reducing cooling costs during hot summer months. Insurance companies may also offer discounts for metal-roofed properties due to their superior resistance to fire, hail, and wind.

In summary, metal roofs offer:

  • Increased lifespan compared to shingles
  • Better durability in extreme weather
  • Potential energy savings due to reflective properties
  • Possible insurance discounts

While initial costs for a metal roof installation by Metal Roofing Pittsburgh are higher, the investment pays off over the long term, substantiating the confidence many homeowners have in choosing metal over shingles.

It’s important to consult with professionals like Metal Roofing Pittsburgh to fully understand the overall benefits and cost savings of a metal roof for your specific situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

A house with a metal roof next to a house with shingle roof, with a price tag showing the cost of each material

When evaluating roofing options, homeowners often consider both initial costs and long-term value. Metal Roofing Pittsburgh, with its expertise in the industry, offers insights into some of the most common inquiries on the subject.

How does the long-term cost-effectiveness of metal roofs compare to shingles?

Metal roofs are generally more durable than shingles, lasting up to 50 years or more, which is at least two to three times longer than the average asphalt shingle roof. This extended lifespan, combined with minimal maintenance, often equates to greater cost-effectiveness over time.

What are the installation cost differences between metal roofing and shingle roofing for an average-sized home?

The initial installation cost of a metal roof for an average-sized home is usually higher than that of a shingle roof. While the average shingle roof may cost between $7,000 and $10,000, a metal roof can range from $12,000 to $20,000, depending on various factors like materials and labor.

What are the potential drawbacks of installing a metal roof?

Some potential drawbacks of metal roofing include the higher initial cost compared to shingles and the potential for noise during rain or hail, although proper insulation can mitigate this. Additionally, if not properly installed, metal roofs can be susceptible to denting or improper expansion and contraction.

Can installing a metal roof increase a home’s resale value compared to traditional shingles?

A metal roof can enhance a home’s resale value due to its longevity, durability, and energy efficiency. These attributes are attractive to potential buyers who may be willing to pay a premium for a home that requires less roofing maintenance and replacement over time.

How do metal roofs and shingles perform differently in extreme weather conditions?

Metal roofs are known for their superior performance in extreme weather, resisting high winds, hail, and fire better than traditional shingle roofs. They are also less likely to leak or succumb to snow and ice accumulation, due to their smooth, durable surfaces.

In terms of energy efficiency, how do metal roofs stack up against shingles in hot climates?

Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can help reduce cooling costs during hot weather. This makes metal roofs more energy-efficient than asphalt shingles, which typically absorb and hold more heat. Consequently, a home with a metal roof may have lower air conditioning expenses in hot climates.