Metal Roofs vs. Shingle Roofs – Which Roofing is Best?

Roof repairs or an entire roof replacement can be quite the expense but one that’ll certainly worth it in the long run. If you’re lost in the world of roofs and have found yourself stuck between metal roofs and shingle roofs, worry not, we’ve put together a nifty guide that’ll help you choose the right roofing material for you.

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Do metal roofs last longer than shingle roofs?

Typically, metal roofs are more durable and have a 50-year lifespan but often last longer than that, whereas, shingle roofs tend to last around 20 years. Metal roofs have an abundance of benefits to alternative materials, metal roofs are lightweight, low maintenance, environmentally friendly, fire-resistant and more…

Here’s a little more information on advantages of metal roofs:

  • Lightweight – this means it’s easier for your roofing experts to handle, making installation a simpler process because your expert roofers will not need to keep going up and down the ladder to retrieve individual tiles. Metal roofing is also kinder to your building’s structure because it doesn’t put it under any unnecessary stress, which increases the overall integrity of your building.
  • Longevity – metal is an extremely durable material and therefore, your roof will last longer than other alternatives. The one-off cost is likely to see you through and chances are, you will not have to replace your entire roof again. 
  • Lower long-term cost – metal roofing is a more expensive roofing material but it is a one-time cost and the roof will stand the test of time, which means there’s no need to replace the roof for the next 50 something years, unlike shingle roofs that will require maintenance and possibly replacing every 20 years.
  • Fire-resistant – metal roofing is noncombustible, which makes it a Class-A fire-rated roofing material. Metal roofs are less likely to catch on fire from hot ashes or falling embers, which makes them the ideal roof for places that endure wildfires on occasion.  
  • Environmentally-friendly – metal roofing can be recycled, so any pieces that have been cut off or damaged during installation can be reused for other purposes.
  • Increases property value – as metal roofs last longer, a prospective buyer will see this as an attractive property and worth the investment. A home that requires less might just be well worth a little bit extra when it comes to the market price.
  • Low maintenance – the upkeep of a metal roof is basic, this includes removing debris such as leaves, dirt and branches from the roof to keep your guttering clear as this will preserve your roof in the long run.
  • Variety of styles and finishes – metal roofs come in all colours and earthy tones – and what’s more, you can even get roofs that mimic the style of shingles and traditional tiles.

Disadvantages of metal roofs

  • Higher one-time cost – metal roofs are more expensive but you will make your money back because it will last 50+ years, so it’s very unlikely you will need to replace your roof again.
  • More difficult to find a qualified contractor – metal roof installations take great skill and precision, so it can be difficult to find a local contractor. That said, JTC Roofing have many years of experience in this sector and can install metal domestic roofing.
  • HAOs sometimes do not allow metal roofing – it’s possible that your neighbourhood has a metal roof ban because it might be that there’s a jurisdiction that all homes must be in keeping with the rest of the properties in that area.

Are metal roofs cheaper than shingle roofs?

Although shingle roofs last less than half the lifetime of a metal roof, there are some advantages to shingle roofs, these include:

  • Easy to install and replace – the installation of roof shingles is relatively simple, and missing or fallen shingles are very easy to replace. However, the initial roof-build can be time-consuming because the shingles are much heavier than metal roofing sheets, which means lifting them up and onto the roof will require multiple trips.
  • More installers who work with shingles – due to the nature of shingles, installation is a much quicker process because they simply require nailing to the deck. Whereas, metal roofing needs to be installed using individual screws – rather than nail guns – and require flashing to piece together the metal panels. 
  • Less expensive – as there are plentiful installers who provide shingle roofing installations, the price has to be competitive and because the job can be completed much quicker than a metal roofing installation, the work is cheaper.
  • Withstands foot traffic – installers can walk on a shingle roof, which means installation and replacements are much simpler. With metal roofing, it’s important to avoid foot traffic so that it doesn’t dent under pressure.

Disadvantages of shingle roofs 

  • Short lifespan – a metal roof can last you as long as 60 years, which means you’re likely to replace a shingle roof 3 times in this period of time. So the one-off cost of the more expensive option, could save you time and money.
  • Accumulation of dirt – because of the texture and material of shingles, it makes it easy for mildew and algae to grow, which means light coloured shingles can look dirty quickly.
  • Colour limitations – there aren’t many colours to choose from with shingles; your choice is black, brown, grey and red.
  • Shingles are heavier – shingles are heavier than metal sheets and this can impact the structure of your property.

Which is better, a metal roof or a shingle roof?

In terms of quality, a metal roof is a better investment, however, if you do not have the cash for the one-off metal roof payment, a shingle roof may be the way to go. This said, a shingle roof will end up being more expensive in the long run because it will need replacing after 20 years.

JTC Roofing Contractors Ltd has a wealth of experience within the industry and work across the UK, helping both domestic and commercial customers with their metal roofing needs. For free advice and quotations, contact the team today and we’ll find you the perfect solution.