Metal vs Shingle Roof – If you are a homeowner considering installing a new metal roof on your house, then undoubtedly, one of the burning questions on your mind is how much will it cost?
On average, you can expect to pay between $5.50 and $12.00 per square foot of metal roofing installed. Granted, this is a pretty wide pricing range, but, you can expect a metal shingle roof to average between $7.00 to $10.00 per square foot installed, while a standing seam metal roof will cost between $9.00 to $12.00 per square foot installed.
Now, assuming the average cost of $10.00 per square foot of metal roofing installed on an average-sized roof, it will cost about $17,000 to install approximately 17 squares or 1,700 square feet of metal roofing on a typical house.
The low-end cost for steel shingles installed over-top of the existing roof would be around $14,500 for the same roof, while the high-end cost of aluminum standing seam would be about $19,500 for a comparable roof.
If you opt for a less-costly option such as corrugated or ribbed steel roof, your cost will likely fall within $3.00 to $6.00 per square foot installed, depending on the metal thickness (gauges for steel or mils for aluminum) and the quality of paint finish (acrylic vs. Kynar 500 or Hylar 5000) for the system being installed, as well as your home’s geographic location.
When it comes to residential metal roofing, you are not only paying more for a higher quality material than asphalt shingle, but you are also paying for a more costly, professional installation that requires specialized skills, expertise, and equipment.
Keep in mind that there are a number of factors that may influence your final price for a new metal roof. These include the type of metal and the roof style you choose, your geographic location, and the overall complexity of your particular roof.
Here’s a handy guide that outlines the pros and cons of asphalt versus metal roofing. Use it to evaluate the options for your customers, and let us know what you use and why.
Pros for Asphalt Shingles
An accepted and proven material that builders know and trust. There’s a reason so many builders use the product, and it comes down to 100 years of service in the home building industry. Plus, home buyers are comfortable with it, which is extremely important.
Economical. The low cost of asphalt is probably its biggest selling point. A basic three-tab shingle roof might set you back about $100 to $200 per square (or a 10-foot-by-10-foot area), making it ideally suited to production housing or to entry-level housing.
Easy to work with and handle. Perhaps no other roofing product is as easy to install. In some cases, a house can be done in one day by professional contractors. Even serious DIYers have been known to tackle roofing projects, though it’s highly recommended that they don’t because of warranty issues.
Easy to repair. As easy as asphalt is to install, it’s equally easy to repair if it gets damaged.
Style options. Asphalt comes in basic offerings for the cost-conscious, but it can be ordered in fancy styles that mimic wood shakes or slate. Basic three-tab shingles dominate the category, but thicker, high-end laminates are available in many colors and with deep shadow lines.
Good performance record. Depending on the product line, asphalt shingles come with a 20- to 30-year warranty. Many are fire-rated (as high as Class A), and require minimal maintenance.
Some manufacturers offer products that meet Energy Star requirements and qualify as a cool roof under federal standards, making them eligible for tax credits.
Cons for Asphalt Shingles
Can be boring. Though snappy colors and styles are available, builders tend to select basic single-color products that have a tendency to look dull.
Susceptible to severe weather. In general, asphalt provides good uplift protection, but the product does not hold up well to severe weather such as hail.
The NAHB Research Center sayswind- and impact-resistant shingles are available, but they cost about 50 percent more than conventional products. Moreover, asphalt roofs that do not get adequate sunlight can be vulnerable to moss, mildew, and algae, which can shorten lifespan.
Longevity questions. Warranties on asphalt roofs are relatively high, but performance is closely tied to a well-ventilated roof deck and homeowner maintenance.
Can be heavy. While basic shingles weigh about 200 pounds per square, some laminated, textured, and higher-end architectural shingles can clock in at close to 500 pounds per square.
Nascent recycling. According to the Northeast Recycling Council, the U.S. manufactures and disposes of about 11 million tons of asphalt shingles per year. Most—about 10 million tons—is from installation scraps and tear-offs from re-roofing.
Moreover, the group cites EPA studies that shingle waste makes up 8% of the total building-related waste stream. The asphalt recycling industry is still young, however, though manufacturers are developing ways to find uses for the material including pavement, new roofing, and road and ground cover, says theCalifornia Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery.
Metal vs Shingle Roof Design Ideas
Pros for Metal Roofing:
Lightweight. Metal is about the lightest material you can install on your roof. Though weight varies based on type, contractors and manufacturers say aluminum varies from about 50 pounds per square, while steel can be anywhere from 100 pounds to 250 pounds per square.
Longevity. Metal offers good weather resistance and can last a long time. There are rumors of copper and zinc metal roofs in Europe lasting well over 100 years. Though this might be possible with care and maintenance, you can reasonably expect a metal roof to last about 60 years, give or take.
Long warranty. Many metal manufacturers offer limited warranties that last up to 50 years.
Stellar extreme-weather performance. Contractors say metal is excellent at preventing leaks, offers good wind resistance, and is fireproof. In fact, says the Metal Roofing Alliance, some insurance companies offer home buyers up to 30% reduction in premiums for weather-resistant metal roofs .
Environmentally friendly. One of the most energy-efficient roofing materials, metal reflects heat and helps keep houses cooler in the summer. Plus, the product often contains high, recycled content and is itself recyclable.
Cons for Metal Roofing:
Very expensive. Metal’s biggest drawback is the cost. Though manufacturers say prices have come down, metal, on average, costs three times as much as asphalt. Pricier metals such as stainless steel, copper, and zinc can cost way more.
Can have a harsh appearance. Metal has a long history on barns and agricultural buildings, but for those who aren’t familiar with this look, it can be harsh in a residential subdivision.
Extreme expansion and contraction. Critics contend that some metal roofs expand and contract quite a bit, which compromises their long-term performance and their ability to remain water tight. This is often a function of the installation.
Past failures and perception issues. Architects say there was a time when basic corrugated metal roofs corroded in 10 years or less. In some seaside applications, rust on some roofs is visible. Most products today, however, are made with alloys and specialized resin paints that can handle salt spray, extreme heat, and heavy precipitation without issue, the industry says.
Product selection is important for good performance. Though high-performing materials such as stainless steel, copper, and zinc are available, low-end steel products are still available. Architects advise against low-grade metals that are thinner and less durable, especially near seaside locations.
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