Pros and Cons of Metal Roofing Systems
Metal roofing systems are increasingly becoming popular for residential homes and many businesses prefer them as well.
Pros of Metal Roofing
The number one pro of a metal roofing system is lifespan. Metal is obviously a very strong material. Most warranties start at 40 years covering cracks, bubbles, chips, and peel-aways. Many go up to 50 or 60 years and in ideal conditions, they can last even longer than that. For homeowners who plan to make their place a lifetime home, metal roofs can be a better investment because the installation will likely be only a one-and-done thing, whereas an asphalt shingle roof may be a different story.
Metal roofs are made out of 100% recyclable material. Every panel that is removed from a roof can be repurposed for other means making it a very green option if that is something that is important to you.
Metal roofing panels are solar reflective. This actually pushes the heat away from your roof and makes heating and cooling your home more efficient. Depending on where you live, metal roofing systems can actually qualify for Energy Star Credits and you can get some of these credits on your taxes.
While we would not personally recommend this (and neither would many manufacturers), corrugated metal roofs can be installed using what is called a layover method. This involves simply installing the new material directly on the old roofing system. This will be slightly cheaper upfront since you don’t have labor costs associated with tear-off and disposal. Many manufacturers recommend avoiding this if possible since there could very well be damaged plywood underneath that needs to be replaced and a layover installation would not alarm you to this fact. However, if you are really on a tight budget and you just want to get the panels up as cheap as possible, the layover method might be the best option and only a metal roofing system allows you to implement this method.
Cons of Metal Roofing
One of the main factors homeowners look at when assessing if they want a metal roof is the upfront cost. Metal roofs typically cost much more upfront. While an asphalt shingle roof will typically cost $3-5 per sqft, a metal roofing system will cost roughly double that amount ranging between $5-10 per sqft.
Limited Pool of Qualified Contractors:
Finding a contractor with the tools and experience to properly and efficiently install a metal roofing system can be much more difficult than for an asphalt roofing system. Not just any contractor has the expertise and has consistently proven their ability to install metal roofing systems. And even if you find one, there may be a significant waiting period associated with the handful of contractors that homeowners all want working on their roofs.
One issue that doesn’t come up too many times but is still worth mentioning is, if your neighborhood is governed by a Homeowners Association sometimes HOAs will prevent you from installing a metal roof. If a metal roofing system doesn’t match the aesthetic of the neighborhood or you are trying to install a color that isn’t approved they will actually shut down your project. If you are considering a metal roofing system and your home is governed by an HOA it is worth talking to them first.
Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingle Roofing Systems
Asphalt architectural shingles are the most common roofing system you will find across the US. They are kind of the tried and true method but as with all options, there are good sides and bad sides to it.
Pros of Asphalt Shingle Roofing
Low Upfront Cost:
Most asphalt shingle roofs run between $3-5 per sqft while a metal roof will often cost twice as much. Obviously, if you are running with a tighter budget a metal roof might not be a realistic option and the protection of your home offered from an asphalt roof is an excellent value.
Big Contractor Pool:
One factor that is often overlooked is just how many contractors there are available to homeowners who want a standard asphalt shingle roof installed. Finding a contractor that is reliable, trustworthy, and proven their integrity across your service area is another question but you will definitely find no shortage of contractors that would like to install your asphalt roofing system and this can be helpful if you like to shop around a little before bringing a team on your project.
When you are looking for a roofing contractor you should always try to find one that is certified by a manufacturer such as GAF or Owens Corning. Not only do you assure their expertise but this also means your roof will be covered by warranties. These warranties include installation, workmanship, and algae build-up. This really giving you peace of mind that your new roof installation is protected on multiple fronts. Different manufacturers have different warranties (some 10 or 15 years) and a certified roofing contractor would be able to give you all of the details associated with their installation. Some of these warranties are not available for metal roofing systems and this leaves you somewhat at risk.
Cons of Asphalt Shingle Roofing
While asphalt shingles are still excellent protection for your home, they are significantly weaker and less durable than metal. Heavy rain, wind, or hail will cause damage to your asphalt shingles over time and they will require maintenance much quicker than a metal panel would. Metal roofs can last nearly a lifetime before they are required to be replaced, whereas asphalt roofs will need several full replacements in that amount of time.
Limited Color Options:
While homeowners typically don’t have very specific or unique color preferences for their roof, many businesses like the option to brand their facility with a colored roof. Asphalt shingle roofs are very limited in color options. Metal roofs, on the other hand, can be painted almost any color you choose. This is a great feature for businesses that want their facilities to be visually branded.
While the technology for recycling asphalt shingles is coming around, it is still very difficult to fully recycle an asphalt shingle. Most of the shingles on your roof will eventually end up in a landfill and will take a very long time to break down, whereas metal roofing systems are 100% recyclable. So if being environmentally friendly is important to you, that is definitely something you will want to consider.
Cost Vs Value
The Remodeling Magazine releases a Cost Vs Value Report
each year that compiles and averages information from homeowners and contractors across the US.
National Installation Recoup Percentage
What they found is that the 2020 National Average for an asphalt shingle roof replacement is $24,700. They then calculated the average resale value associated with that installation to be worth $16,287. This tells you that you can recoup about 66% of that installation cost.
The average cost of a metal roof installation is $40,318 and the resale value of that installation comes to $24,682 giving you a 62% value recoup rate.