Metal Roof vs. Shingle Roof

Planning to install a new roof this summer? Congratulations! There’s nothing better than the peace of mind that comes from knowing your home is well protected, safe, and dry beneath your brand new roof.

Now you have a choice to make; namely, which kind of product to install. Knowing the difference between metal roofing and shingles can help you decide which type of roofing material is right for your home.

Metal or Shingles? Which Is Better?

Shingles are the most common kind of roofing in the United States. Their easy maintenance, good looks and low price point make shingles desirable for homeowners from coast to coast. However, metal roofing is becoming more common by the day, and homeowners who see the benefit of metal roofing often don’t go back. Compared to shingles, metal is eco-friendly, longer-lasting, light-weight, more durable, and requires almost no maintenance.

The kind of roofing you select for your home depends on how much you want to spend, how long you want your roof to last, and other factors. Here’s what you need to know:

All About Metal Roofing

Metal roofing was common in agricultural and industrial buildings long before it was used on homes. It’s only recently become a common fixture in residential settings. Residential metal roofing is also very different from agricultural and industrial roofing, so hire a contractor with experience installing residential metal roofing if you choose to go this route.

Available in Many Colors and Textures

Metal roofing comes in a variety of colors including blues, grays, reds, and even white. Darker colors absorb heat during the summer months, and thus are less energy efficient than lighter colors. Lighter roofing colors reflect heat back into the atmosphere to help control the temperature of the house.

Metal can be molded to take on different textures, and can even be shaped to mimic slate or cedar shingles. From the yard, it’s hard to tell the difference.


Most metal roofs are made from recycled material and are themselves easy to recycle. Metal roofing is a green product all around, especially when compared to shingles.

Long Lasting and Durable

Properly installed, metal roofing lasts as long as 70 years. For most homeowners, a metal roof is the only roof they’ll ever need to install.

Low Maintenance

Sharply graded metal roofing needs virtually no maintenance because most debris will roll off. Metal roofing with a low grade benefits from the occasional cleaning, which may be as simple as brushing debris off with a broom. Homeowners may do this themselves, or hire a professional. If you choose to do work that requires you to get on your roof, wait until the weather is dry, and always use proper safety equipment. Metal roofing can be slippery!

…What Are the Downsides?

For many homeowners, the one downside of metal roofing is its cost. Metal roof installation can be nearly double the cost of shingle roof installation. However, given that metal can also last double or triple the length of time compared to standard shingles, the cost pays off in the end.

All About Shingle Roofing

Shingle roofing has been in use for so long that the industry has perfected the product as much as possible. For homeowners on a budget, shingle roofing is the go-to roofing solution.

Also Available in Many Colors

Shingles come available in many colors including brown, black, gray, white, blue, red and green. Shingles aren’t available in as many colors as metal roofing but most homeowners can find a satisfactory option for their home.


Typical shingle roofing lasts about 20 years, though some heavily laminated shingle roofing can last up to 50 years. With proper maintenance, including occasional cleaning and removal of moss, shingle roofing is very durable in a variety of weather conditions. Shingles can become cracked or may go missing in high-wind situations, but this can be avoided by installing shingles that are rated for high-wind durability.

Cost Effective

Shingles are easily the least expensive roofing material available. Shingles allow homeowners on a budget to install a new shingle roof that works for them.

Easy to Repair

Because shingles are so common, it’s easy to find a contractor who can perform repairs and replacements. Shingles are a universally-understood product among roofing contractors.

…What Are the Downsides?

Compared to metal roofing, short service life makes shingles a less desirable product for some homeowners. If you’re looking for a product that will last longer, talk to your contractor about metal roofing.

Contact BB Roofing

BB Roofing installs both types of roofing materials: shingles and metal. For over 20 years, we’ve been providing quality roofing installation to the homeowners of Bluffton and the surrounding community. If you’ve made your decision about which type of roofing is right for you, give us a call to receive a quote.