Metal vs. Asphalt Shingles: The Ultimate Comparison of Pros and Cons

By Angelina Zhuravleva  •  June 21  •  5 min
Metal vs. Asphalt Shingles: The Ultimate Comparison of Pros and Cons

When choosing your roofing material, you want something that will last for years—and provide protection from the elements. But with so many options available, it can be hard to determine which material is best for you.

Indeed, metal roofs and shingle roofs are two popular choices among US homeowners. But before you decide, it's essential to consider the pros and cons of each. In this article—the ultimate comparison of metal vs. asphalt shingles—we'll cover everything from cost and lifespan to the most popular brands in the US. We'll also provide helpful tips for care and maintenance so you can choose the right roof.

Durability and Longevity: Metal Roof vs. Asphalt Shingles

There's a huge difference when comparing the lifespan of metal roofing versus asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingle roofs typically last anywhere from 12 to 20 years, while metal roofs can last up to 50 years (or even longer with proper maintenance).

The difference in longevity can be attributed to several factors. Asphalt shingles are made with organic materials that easily break down over time due to exposure to the elements. On the other hand, metal roofing is made of durable steel or aluminum that can withstand harsh weather conditions and years of wear and tear. In addition, most metal roofing is coated for additional protection against fading, rust, and corrosion—adding even more years to its service life.

And when it comes to the resale value of your home, homeowners often recoup more of their initial cost in resale value by having a metal roof installed rather than an asphalt shingle one.

Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs

A metal sheet roof installed on a building, displaying its durability and modern appearance

When it comes to metal roofing, there are both pros and cons to consider. On the upside, metal roofs typically last longer than asphalt shingle roofs—generally speaking, you can expect a metal roof to last 40-70 years, and in some cases, they can even last up to 100 years. That's quite a long time compared to asphalt shingles that last anywhere from 15-30 years, depending upon the type of shingle and quality of installation.

Metal roofs are also lightweight. This is great because you won't have a lot of extra weight on your home's structure. And finally, metal roofs require very little maintenance and come with lengthy warranty periods (up to 50 years).

The average price for metal roofs, including materials and installation, typically ranges from $7 to $14 per square foot. Factors such as the type of metal used, your location, and the complexity of the installation can cause the price to vary. This means the total cost for a 3,000-square-foot home can range from $21,000 to $42,000.

When it comes to insulation, metal roofs are effective at reflecting heat away from your home on hot summer days. However, they may need to offer more insulation in colder climates, potentially necessitating extra insulation.

Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Close-up view of asphalt shingle roofing material on a residential home, highlighting its texture and quality

Asphalt shingle roofs come with a unique set of pros and cons. Regarding cost, shingle roofs are one of the most affordable roofing materials available today.

Plus, asphalt shingle roofs come in many different types, including:

  • 3-tab
  • Architectural
  • Luxury
  • Composite Shingles
  • And more

However, one downside to asphalt shingle roofing is its shorter lifespan than metal roofs. Additionally, certain climates can cause premature wear due to extreme weather conditions like ice, wind, snow, or rain. Lastly, choosing an asphalt roof would require frequent maintenance and care to last its full lifespan.

The typical cost for installing an asphalt shingle roof ranges from $3.50 to $5.50 per square foot. For a 3,000-square-foot home, a total expense is between $5,140 and $18,374. It's important to note that these costs can fluctuate based on factors like the shingle type, your geographical location, and the intricacy of the installation process.

Popular Asphalt Shingle Brands in the US

You may have heard of some famous brands in the US regarding asphalt shingle roofing. These include the likes of GAF, CertainTeed, Owens Corning, and Atlas.


GAF has been around since 1886 and pioneered the laminated shingle—their use of different colors and textures for a 3D effect is still popular today. They offer a range of warranties and services to ensure you get quality products from a reliable name.


CertainTeed is one of the leading manufacturers of roofing materials in North America and has been around since 1904. Focusing on innovation and customer service, they offer standard 25-year warranties for every package.

Owens Corning

Owens Corning has over 75 years in business—and their shingles have become very popular for those wanting an esthetic roof. Their TruDefinition Duration shingles are made from two layers of fiberglass mat for increased protection and durability, with fewer nails needed than traditional three-tab shingles. Plus, they come in several colors to suit your home (or tastes).


Established in 1982, Atlas Roofing Corporation is a distinguished producer of building materials with a specialization in crafting top-quality asphalt shingle products. Boasting over four decades of industry experience, the company has consistently offered innovative roofing solutions tailored to the needs of both residential and commercial clients.

Atlas is dedicated to supplying diverse asphalt options, encompassing architectural, luxury, and impact-resistant shingles. This ensures that customers can find the ideal solution for their specific needs. Additionally, the company is recognized for incorporating advanced technologies, such as Scotchgard™ Protector, which inhibits algae growth on shingles, and Core4™ Enhanced Polymer Technology, which enhances their shingles' durability and weather resistance.

Which Roofing Material Is Right for You?

So metal vs. asphalt shingles: what should you choose?

Deciding between metal and asphalt shingles can be difficult, as several factors will influence your choice:

  • Your financial constraints.
  • The weather patterns in your region.
  • The level of maintenance you're prepared to undertake.
  • The duration of your stay in the property.


A metal roof will cost more upfront than a traditional shingle roof — it is estimated to be up to two times more expensive. On the other hand, metal roofs tend to last longer than shingle roofs—some metal roofs have been known to last up to 50 years or more—so there will possibly be no need for a total replacement during your tenure in the home. Traditional asphalt roof requires replacement every 15-20 years or less.

Popular Brands

Prominent brands such as GAF, CertainTeed, Owens Corning, and Atlas lead the industry when exploring asphalt shingle options.

For metal roofing, popular brands in the US include Worthouse, McElroy Metal, Classic Metal Roofing, ATAS International, MBCI, Englert, and Tamko. These manufacturers have a reputation for delivering high-quality metal roofing materials. To ensure you get the best roofing brand for your requirements, it is imperative that you consult with a roofing specialist who can provide you with expert advice.

Ultimately, metal roofs and asphalt shingles are great options if you want a durable roof for your house! Before committing to either one, however, consider each material's pros and cons. With that knowledge in hand, you can make an informed decision as to which type of roof is right for you.

Directorii: The Most Reliable Roofers in Your Area

In conclusion, choosing between metal and shingle roofs is a critical decision that should consider factors such as location, budget, and intended usage. Metal roofs have gained popularity due to their long-lasting nature, which often offsets the initial higher cost. On the other hand, asphalt shingles are a more affordable option. They are easier to repair or replace, but they lack the durability of metal roofs.

To make an informed decision, it's essential to evaluate your specific needs and environmental factors and consult with a roofing specialist. Roofing experts have extensive knowledge and experience in understanding factors that can influence your roof's lifespan. Furthermore, all roofing contractors listed on Directorii are certified with roofing manufacturers and can provide exclusive deals, promotions, maintenance advice, and overall guidance on maximizing your roof installation's benefits.

Get started with Directorii now to hire the best roofers near you and access a $20,000 guarantee when registering your project on our online platform.