Metal Roofing vs. Shingles – Which Material Is Right For You?

If you are ready to put a new roof on your home, you may be considering which material is the right choice. Is easy to become absolutely flabbergasted by all of the options for roofing materials available on the market. It’s definitely great to have so many alternatives available. However, without a little guidance it can be extremely difficult to compare the pros and cons of each.

Choosing a roofing material is dependent on many factors. Your budget, personal preference, and the specifics regarding your home and the area where you live will all come into play in making a decision.

While there are many different roofing styles and materials available, this post is intended to compare just two. We hope this article will help your to choose between a metal roof and asphalt shingles.

Metal Roofing

Here in Coeur d’Alene, metal roofs are actually pretty common. They are definitely more complicated to than a roof composed of asphalt shingles when it comes to the installation process, but that’s not without accompanying benefits. Metal roofs stand up great against extreme weather conditions, and while they are typically more expensive than asphalt shingles, they tend to last longer.  They are also available in a variety of materials depending on your needs. Let’s break down the pros and cons.


  • Longevity:  Every homeowner wants their roof to last forever. A metal roof definitely has the potential to outlast an asphalt roof. They can last up to 100 years, depending on the material.
  • Low Maintenance: When a metal roof is installed properly, the amount of necessary maintenance is very low. The only real maintenance needed for metal roofs is keeping it clear of debris.
  • Energy Efficient: With constant advances in roofing technology, metal roofs have become more energy efficient than ever. Specially manufactured metal roofing materials can help regulate the temperature in your home. Furthermore, solar panels are easy to install on a metal roof, allowing you to benefit even more from this revolutionary energy saving technology.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Metal roofing is eco friendly due to the fact that it can be made from recycled materials, and can easily be recycled again!
  • Long Term Investment: It is true that a metal roof has a higher upfront cost. However, if you do the math, you’ll quickly find that a metal roof will save you money over the long term. The initial installation of a metal roof will likely cost about twice as much as you would pay to have a new roof of asphalt shingles installed on your home, but that metal roof will last as much as three times at long! That means you will have paid for a new asphalt shingle roof three times before you have to replace the metal one. By this logic, you could even go so far as to say an asphalt shingle roof actually costs 33% more than a metal roof over time.
  • Resistant To Fire: This one is pretty simple. Metal is not combustible, while asphalt shingles are a petroleum product and are not totally fire resistant. With forest fires becoming more common in North Idaho, you may want to consider a metal roof to protect against the possibility of fire to the roof deck due to rogue embers.


  • More Expensive Up Front: Yes, it’s true, a metal roof will cost you more initially. But as we explained above, having a metal roof could actually save you money in the long run.
  • More Difficult To Install: Installing a metal roof is a science and an art. They are much more difficult to install than a roof made up of asphalt shingles. For this reason the installation process may take longer than with other roofing types.
  • Fewer Available Contractors: Due to the difficulty and precision involved in installing a metal roof, it may be more difficult to find a qualified contractor in your area. Be sure to hire a quality roofing professional if you decide on a metal roof since most of the issues associated with this roof type are due to installer error.

Asphalt Shingle Roofing


  • Cheaper Initial Installation: The cost to install asphalt shingles is much cheaper than a metal roof, typically less than half the price. This is a huge draw for homeowners, and is one of the major reasons that shingles are so popular.
  • Less Labor Intensive: One of the great things about a traditional shingle roof is that it requires less labor for installation and replacement, ultimately saving you both time and money. 
  • Repairs Are Cheap: To repair shingles on your roof, you may need to only replace a few shingles here and there. This makes them desirable when compared to metal, because when a metal roof has damages, you may have to replace entire sections of your roof which will cost a lot more.
  • Choice Of Contractors: When compared to metal roofs, shingles are easier to install. This allows you to choose from a wider variety of contractors.


  • Higher Cost Over Time: As discussed above, a roof made up of shingles will cost you more over the lifetime of your home. This is simply because shingles do not last as long as metal roofs
  • Weight: Asphalt shingles tend to be heavier than the metal sheets used for metal roofing installations. The added weight of the shingle roof could add undue stress the the structure of your home.
  • Limited Colors: Shingles pretty much all come in colors which are dull and bland. Metal roofs, by contrast, can be painted many bright and interesting colors!
  • Less Durable: Unfortunately, the individual components of a shingle roof are far more susceptible to damage. When a shingle is damaged or dislodged, it needs to be replaced immediately in order to continue to protect your roof from water damage. A metal roof can sustain some damages and still be capable of protecting your home from the elements.
  • Fire Safety: While modern shingles are rated for fire safety, they still contain petroleum which is highly combustible.

There are many reasons you may want to choose either a metal or traditional roof. The roof protects your home and all of your belongings from the outside elements, and keeps your family safe. To choose which roofing style is right for you, you will need to consider your budget, the architecture of your roof, the environment in which you live, as well as any homeowners association requirements in your area.