Metal Roof vs. Shingle Roofing

A roof indeed improves your home’s curb appeal –but it’s not just any roof. Choosing a durable roof begins by understanding the different options you have. And for San Antonio residential roofing, asphalt shingles and metal roofing are the most popular choices.

So, what is a metal roof? What is an asphalt shingle roof? What are the similarities and differences? We will be answering these questions today and much more to help you make the best decision.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingle roofing is the most popular option for most homeowners in the US. These roofs typically include sheets, stacks, and rolls with similar designs and composition materials. Common components of shingle roofs are ceramic granular on the upper side and on a smooth asphalt layer covering a fiberglass base.

To install, roofing contractors nail the shingles on a wooden-framed structure, laying them in layers and stacking them upward from the low side of the slop to the upper. This creates a slope and a more stable roofing system.

Shingles are more affordable than other roofing materials due to their low manufacturing costs. Hence, they are more pocket friendly. Recycling asphalt shingles is also much easier and possible than other materials.

But what makes them a better choice for roofers is that they are easy to install. A qualified contractor can work quickly and safely, giving you a great roof over your home.

Roofing crew

Advantages of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles keep growing in popularity as a perfect roofing material for residential properties. Here are some of the pros it offers.

Weather resistant

Asphalt shingles handle severe weather events like strong winds quite effectively. They are also fire resistant, making them ideal in fire-prone areas.

They are popular

Practicality is one of the reasons this roof type keeps growing in popularity. You can easily fix simple issues on the roof when they occur. Walk on the roof to clean and maintain it with ease.


The overall short-term cost of these roofs makes them a significant investment. A shingle roof is much easier to install, and it retains heat during the day to keep your house warm at night, helping save energy.

Easy installation

Asphalt shingle roofs are so easy to transport and install. That’s why there are so many contractors. You will be able to get a roof replacement when the time comes.

Fire resistance

The fire resistance feature of asphalt shingles roofing materials makes them a wonderful option for fire-prone areas. This, in addition to their popularity, increases their warranty coverage. You can easily get suppliers offering a lifetime warranty for properly installed shingles.

Disadvantages of an Asphalt Roof

Generally, asphalt shingle is a lightweight material that does not last very long. This is perhaps the mother of all cons for it. Aside from that, here are other disadvantages:

Less durable

The durability of roofing material matters a lot for many homeowners. Metal roofs can give you 50 to 100 years, while shingle roofs can barely reach 25years. It will be even much less if you don’t hire a roofing contractor like Bison Roofing to work on it.

Limited aesthetic

Even though they look great, they offer fewer aesthetic options than metal roofs. Getting the specific color you want might take a lot of work. You might paint them, but that, too, fades away quickly.

It retains heat

Heat retention might be good during the cold season but not in summer. Instead of reflecting heat, it absorbs it, which might lead to increased utility costs.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing systems feature large flat sheets folded in various patterns. They can come as corrugated metals and flat-seam metal roofs. Each type offers different roofing quality and can be used in specific roofs.

Flat seam metals are more expensive to manufacture and install. But it’s among the most fantastic roofing products with incredible interlocking seam designs. You will always have something incredible over your roof.

The metal roofing panels have seams that interlock and fasteners to hold the smooth metal surface on the roof frame below. With that, you have a strong and durable roof requiring minimal maintenance.

Corrugated metal panels are also an excellent option. They are made from steel, aluminum, tin, and composite metals and are easy to find from retailers across the region. Manufacturers make various patterns with corrugated shingles by folding them longitudinally in repeating patterns. The roof can then be installed using screws or nails with rubber washers to keep them in place.

Metal roofs tend to last longer than shingle roofs. However, there are certain features that may make them only somewhat suitable for some roofing needs. We will be looking at that shortly.

Advantages of Metal Roofs

Metal roofs offer several advantages compared to other materials. These include:

easy to maintain

During installation, you will need a nail gun and several other tools. A new roof could be more complex to install. But once done, you can forget about maintenance for some time. But this will depend on how they are installed.

Incredible options

Metal roofs offer more diverse aesthetics than other roofing options. This is because there are so many different metals to use. Check your local home remodeling magazine, and you will be surprised by just how many choices you have. Choose a traditional look or a more creative modern metal roof with nice paint.

Increases Home Value

Metal requires very low maintenance and is more durable than asphalt. When properly installed, it can take a lifetime before you can think of replacing it, which increases your home’s value. Also, it comes with insurance benefits where premiums are much lower, giving your home more value.

Good for the environment

Experts have discovered that metal roofs are more friendly to mother nature than shingles. This could make all the difference and save you money in terms of reducing overall energy consumption. Apart from recyclability, they reflect heat in warm climates, keeping your home cooler.

Extremely Durable

Homeowners association recommends metal roofs for San Antonio homes due to their durability. Aside from that, a metal roofing system offers better protection against natural occurrences like high winds and heavy rain. They are also fire-resistant.

Disadvantages of Metal Roofs

Even with all the pros above, metal roofs also come with several cons. These includes:

Difficult to install

Even though metal roofs offer low maintenance costs, installing them properly could be an issue. There are significantly few skilled professionals for them compared to other roof types.

More expensive

Metal roofs typically cost more to install per square foot. This is because they are more labor intensive and require more time and extensive skills to do a good job.  

Issues of oil caning

You may notice some waviness in a standing seam that should be flat. Luckily, it does not affect the overall strength of your roof. But it’s worth mentioning.

Insurance issues

Metal roofs give insurance benefits sometimes. However, it cannot be easy sometimes. Due to the complexity of their installation, it would require more premiums.

Entire Roof replaced

Metal Roof vs. Asphalt Shingle: Which is the Best?

Metal and asphalt are the most common residential roofing material materials today. But you can’t use both at once. So, which one should you pick? Consider the following:

Cost Comparison

Asphalt is much easier to install and is easily available. The cost of one metal roof could even cover two asphalt roofs. On average, you will spend $7000 to $10000 for an asphalt shingle roof and $12000 to $20000 for a metal roof. However, metal roofing offers are more cost-effective in the long run.  


Asphalt shingles can be designed to look like wood shakes. But that could be all you get in terms of aesthetics. Metal roofs offer more variety with different solid colors.

However, appearance is subjective. So you can get metal shingles or architectural shingles according to your needs. Besides, asphalt coating can improve your home’s general curb appeal, giving you a specific look.


Shingle installation is so easy you don’t need a lot of experience to do it. Anyone can do this, including installing rubber pipe boots (plumbing pipes for flashing), and the roof will stand. Metal, on the other hand, is more complex and requires specialized knowledge. However, they last much longer. It remains your choice to pick what makes you comfortable.  

Strength and Durability

A roof composed of metal will last more than 50 years. On the other hand, your shingle roofing project might end faster, but the roof will barely stand for 25 years. Asphalt is a popular roofing material but does not last as much as metal. So, think about how long you want to have the roof before choosing.

Energy Efficiency

Energy costs are quite a sensitive matter for homeowners. Metal reflects sunlight, keeping your home cool. Shingles, on the other hand, act like solar panels, absorbing the heat, which could increase utility costs. So, choose metal if you want to spend less on electricity consumption.


Proper maintenance will give your existing roof many more years. Both metal and asphalt shingles are easy to maintain. However, shingles require more maintenance tasks than metal. Choose metal if you don’t want to keep working on the roof.


Asphalt shingles and metal are both incredible roofing options. They can become recycled materials, withstand extreme weather, and you can use different paint systems to get the aesthetic you want and improve your home’s curb appeal. However, asphalt is more popular, easy to install, and easier to maintain than metal. Metal, on the other hand, is more durable.

You need a good installer to get the best from whatever roofing system you choose. Bison Roofing is here to meet all your roofing needs. Call for inquiries and to book your next roofing project.