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Shingles v. Tin Roof | Which One is Better?

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

Getting a new roof is expensive, and the two biggest factors to consider are the total cost of the project and how long you want the roof to last. There are many options available, and it can be overwhelming. Researching ahead of time will help you make the right decision.

Benefits of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles have been around a long time and are well known for their reliability, cost-effectiveness and for being relatively maintenance-free. Shingles are cheaper on the front end (normally less than half the price of metal), which is appealing if money is the deciding factor and you're willing to replace your roof within the next 15-20 years.

Shingles are easier and quicker to install. They are prepackaged, ready to be used and can be purchased locally in most big home supply stores. They can be walked on once they have been secured to the roof, and they provide better traction for the installers.

Shingles contain asphalt, which is a combustible material. The granules added over the asphalt coating make the shingles fire-resistant on the surface, but if a flame or fire reaches the asphalt coating, it is likely to catch on fire.

Shingles are damaged much easier than metal, especially during extreme weather conditions. Heat from the sun is drawn to shingles because the dark colors absorb the warmth. That heat is held in and transfers inside the home like solar heat, which in turn, causes the air conditioner to work harder trying to balance the indoor temperature of your home, meanwhile increasing your energy costs.

Shingles typically come with better warranties, including: manufacturer error, material defect, algae growth, wind resistance, and contractor error. The cheaper 3-tab shingles should last from 10 to 15 years, whereas the architectural shingles should stay intact from 20 to 25 years. Insurance companies usually offer a discount on your insurance once the new roof is installed, so contact your agent for more information.

Metal Roofing Pros and Cons

Metal roofing requires more effort for installation-- panels have to be fitted together and connected using screws, which takes more time and precision than a nail gun. It also requires more work and skill on the part of the installer. Additionally, walking on or putting weight on the metal can dent it and in some cases, it can buckle under pressure.

A metal roof will outlast at least three shingled roofs and would end up saving you roughly $9,000 in the long run. Metal roofs can last up to 60 years, so if saving money is important for you, choose a metal roof, and you'll likely never have to replace it.

Your insurance company may also offer an additional discount for having a metal roof, and you may qualify for tax credits as well. Metal roofs are energy efficient and can save you money on your heating and cooling costs. However, because a metal roof is more expensive, it will cost the insurance company more to replace it should anything happen to your roof. Always discuss these points with your insurance company prior to the installation.

Metal comes in a variety of Energy-Star rated colors and finishes. Because metal roofs last longer, it may increase your property value and help your home sell more easily. Another benefit is that upkeep on a metal roof is minimal, which is an additional selling point for potential buyers.

Additional Considerations

Some Homeowners' Associations don't allow metal roofing in their neighborhoods. Common reasons are that metal looks too industrial and goes against the look of a neighborhood. If your property is located in a subdivision with a Homeowners' Association, discuss the rules with them before installing a new roof.

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