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Asphalt Shingles vs Metal Roofing

Asphalt Shingles vs. Metal Roofing: Which Is Better?

When it comes to choosing the right roofing material for your home, the decision often comes down to asphalt shingles and metal roofing. Both have their unique benefits and drawbacks, and what works best for one homeowner might not be ideal for another. Let’s break down the key differences to help you make an informed choice.

Cost Comparison

Asphalt Shingles: Asphalt shingles are generally less expensive upfront. On average, the cost of asphalt shingles ranges from $70 to $120 per square (100 square feet). Installation costs are also lower, making asphalt shingles an attractive option for budget-conscious homeowners. To learn more about the affordability of asphalt shingles, check out our comprehensive guide to asphalt shingles.

Metal Roofing: The initial cost of metal roofing is higher, ranging from $150 to $600 per square, depending on the type of metal used. Installation costs are also higher due to the specialized skills required. However, metal roofing can offer significant long-term savings through durability and energy efficiency. For a detailed breakdown of metal roofing costs, visit our metal roofing cost analysis.

Durability and Lifespan

Asphalt Shingles: Typically, asphalt shingles have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, though high-quality options can last longer. They are susceptible to damage from severe weather conditions such as hail, high winds, and temperature fluctuations.


Metal Roofing: Metal roofs are incredibly durable, often lasting 40 to 70 years or more. They are highly resistant to harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain, snow, and strong winds. Additionally, metal roofing is less prone to issues like moss and algae growth, which can affect asphalt shingles. Discover more about the durability of metal roofs in our durability guide.


Asphalt Shingles: Regular maintenance for asphalt shingles includes inspections for damage, cleaning debris, and replacing damaged shingles. Over time, shingles can warp, crack, or lose granules, requiring periodic attention.

Metal Roofing: Metal roofs require less maintenance compared to asphalt shingles. They don’t warp or crack and are less prone to leaks. Regular inspections are still recommended to check for any loose panels or fasteners, but overall, metal roofing is low maintenance. Read our maintenance tips for metal roofs.

Energy Efficiency

Asphalt Shingles: Asphalt shingles can absorb a lot of heat, which may increase cooling costs in warmer climates. However, there are energy-efficient options available with reflective coatings that can help mitigate this issue.

Metal Roofing: Metal roofing is highly energy efficient. It reflects solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25%. Many metal roofs are also made from recycled materials and are fully recyclable at the end of their lifespan, making them an eco-friendly choice.


Asphalt Shingles: Asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors and styles, allowing for a range of aesthetic options. They can mimic the appearance of wood, slate, or even tile, offering versatility in design.

Metal Roofing: Metal roofs are available in a wide array of colors, finishes, and styles, including those that mimic traditional shingles, tiles, or even slate. Their sleek, modern look can enhance the curb appeal of contemporary homes.

Environmental Impact

Asphalt Shingles: Asphalt shingles are petroleum-based and contribute to landfill waste when replaced. However, there are recycling programs available in some areas that can repurpose old shingles for road construction and other uses.

Metal Roofing: Metal roofing is an environmentally friendly option. Many metal roofs contain recycled materials and are fully recyclable at the end of their life. Additionally, their energy efficiency contributes to a lower environmental footprint.

Noise and Insulation

Asphalt Shingles: Asphalt shingles provide good insulation and are relatively quiet during rainstorms. The material’s thickness and composition help dampen the sound of rain and hail.

Metal Roofing: One common concern with metal roofs is noise during rainstorms. However, with proper insulation and underlayment, this issue can be mitigated. Metal roofs can also be paired with soundproofing materials to reduce noise.


Both asphalt shingles and metal roofing have their unique advantages and considerations. Asphalt shingles are more affordable upfront and offer a traditional look, while metal roofs provide superior durability, energy efficiency, and longevity. Your choice will ultimately depend on your budget, aesthetic preferences, and long-term homeownership goals. For those looking to invest in a roof that lasts longer and requires less maintenance, metal roofing is an excellent option. However, if you’re on a tighter budget and prefer a more conventional appearance, asphalt shingles might be the way to go. For more information, visit our roofing comparison page.


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