How to choose between a metal roof or asphalt shingles

November 3, 2015

How to choose between a metal roof or asphalt shingles

Deciding between metal roofing and asphalt shingles depends on your budget, durability and longevity, and aesthetic preferences. To decide which roofing material is best for your house, keep the following considerations in mind.

How to choose between a metal roof or asphalt shingles

1. Examine your roofing budget

Metal roofing has the highest initial cost, so if budget is the primary concern, an asphalt roof is your best option. It's common for a metal roof to be two to three times the cost of an asphalt roof. However, your insurance company may reduce your home insurance premium if you install a metal roof.

2. Consider the long-term costs of your roof

An asphalt roof lasts between 10 and 20 years but in some cases, could need replacing in seven years. A metal roof can be expected to last 40 years or more if installed correctly. Also, ice dams, broken shingles and other common roofing hassles are eliminated when you choose a metal roof. When comparing roofing, it's important to examine each specific material's warranty. Some metal roofing is only guaranteed for 20 years, while some asphalt shingles are guaranteed for 30 to 40 years.

3. Find a reputable contractor

A roofing material's guarantee is only valid if it's installed correctly by a licensed professional. In some areas, finding a contractor with experience installing standing seam metal roofing can be difficult, while most regions have qualified asphalt-shingle roofers.

4. Evaluate your existing roof

In some cases, you may have to remove the existing roofing material prior to installing a metal roof. When reshingling with asphalt, if there is only one layer of shingles already on the roof, some contractors install new shingles over it. If the shingles must be removed before a new roof is installed, plan on adding several thousand dollars to your budget.

5. Recognize potential environmental concerns.

Most metal roofing contains at least 25 percent recycled metal. If the roof is removed, the roofing materials can be recycled. Asphalt shingles are recyclable, but many towns do not have a recycling program for them, so old shingles end up in the landfill. Most new asphalt shingles do not contain recycled materials.

6. Consider possible energy savings

In the summer, your energy consumption could drop substantially if you install a metal roof. A metal roof with a reflective surface deflects the sun's rays and keeps your house cooler. Asphalt shingles absorb heat, which can make your house hotter in the summer, but also warmer in the winter.

7. Evaluate potential resale value

Even if you plan to move soon, it may make financial sense to choose a metal roof. Many real estate agents believe that a metal roof is a substantial selling point, especially in areas where snow is a primary concern.

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