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What Are the Differences Between Asphalt and Metal Roofs?

Are you looking into a new roof? You have a plethora of options with varying qualities. If you’re debating on whether to get asphalt shingles or a metal roof on your home, you’re not alone. There are plenty of pros and cons to each of them and it’s a decision that will last decades. Here’s what you’ll need to know about each of the various choices so that you can make an informed decision.

Asphalt Roofs

Up to 90% of people who have asphalt roofing have fiberglass shingles, according to Roofers Guild. Asphalt roofing is less expensive than metal roofing and will need less labor to install. Those that are on a strict budget are probably more apt to get shingles. Cost is considerable a factor in many roofing purchases, but other factors should be considered as well. Asphalt shingle roofing, with proper ventilation and installation, could have a life expectancy of around 30 years. While asphalt roofing is cheaper, you have to replace it more often.

Strip shingles, dimensional shingles, and luxury shingles are the three types of asphalt roofing shingles on the market.

  • Strip Shingles – These are basic and made from a single layer. They can be called 3-tab shingles due to the cut, and weight, and typically cost less. They also have a flat look.


  • Dimensional Shingles – These are made of two or more layers, are thicker and richer in appearance, are made to look like a wood shake, are heavier than strip shingles, and have a better warranty.


  • Luxury Shingles – These are the best weather protection, color, and quality along with the best similarity to the wood shake. These are the highest quality asphalt shingle.

Metal Roofs

According to the 2020 Dodge Report, metal roofing for U.S. homeowners went from 12% of the market in 2019 to 15% in 2020. Metal roofing is more costly than shingles and will require more time, labor, and work to put in. It isn’t for those with a tight budget but is definitely for those that want their dollars to work more efficiently. Metal roofs tend to have a life expectancy of around 50 years. While they cost more, they also last nearly twice as long as asphalt shingles. Those looking for a one-time purchase and installation without having to worry about replacement should look into a metal roof.

Metal roofs can come in several options:

Aluminum – These don’t corrode and are sustainable, recyclable, and mid-priced.

Copper – These are natural, recyclable, expensive, and durable.

Seam Standing Metal – These can be made from a variety of metals, have a ribbed appearance, and can expand and contract.

Steel – These are more expensive, durable, several finishing options.

Tin – These are cheaper, easier to shape, and no longer common.

Zinc – These are natural, recyclable, expensive, and generally durable but vulnerable to hail.


No matter if your choice is asphalt shingle roofing or metal roofing, each should come with a warranty. It’s there for protection from any upcoming calamities. There should be one for the roofing material and one that comes with the workmanship.

Asphalt warranties typically have a yearly range that the warranty is valid for. These just include the material and not the workmanship to put them on. Metal roofing will also come with what is called a “paint warranty” which is there to protect the metal’s coating. Typically, this is a 30-year warranty. Your roof replacement business contractor will inform you about the material warranty and any additional ones you’re eligible for. They’ll also discuss their workmanship warranty with you. The workmanship warranty is there to cover and guarantee their expertise in installing the materials on your roof.

By talking with a roofing expert, you can discuss your options along with your needs. Rarely will the decision come down to just one aspect, instead it will be a combination of several factors. By knowing the pros and cons of each you can make an informed decision that is right for your needs for years to come. If you’d like to talk with someone who is in the roof replacement business about your options, give our office a call today at Neill and Son Roofing. We’re happy to discuss the different types of roofing materials and see what works for you.

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