A new home construction with new roof being worked on

Metal Roofing or Shingle Roof: Insider Advice to Help You Decide

As one of the leading roofers at Lake of Ozarks, we are often asked if metal roofing is better than a shingle roof. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as straight forward or evident as most people would like it to be. 

There are lots of options available within these two main types of roofs, but for now let’s look at the larger picture snapshot for each of these choices.

You can opt to install asphalt shingles if you’re looking for a safe bet in terms of durability, availability, and ease of installation. On the other hand, if you want more durability, longer life, and perhaps something different then metal roofing is worth considering.

Even though asphalt shingles and metal roofing are both durable, in some instances, one may be better than the other. That’s why it isn’t an easy question to answer, but we’ll attempt to answer this on a case-by-case basis in this article. We’ll discuss things like aesthetics, eco-friendliness, and cost, all three of which are major deciding factors for most buyers.

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Metal Roofing

Blue metal roof and large picture windows in a lake home.

As a leading lake of the Ozarks roofing service, we have worked on and installed metal roofing across many homes over the years. We can safely say that installing metal roofing is definitely more complex than installing shingles in most cases. It requires experience, solid technique and there are a lot more elements to be considered and completed properly for a successful installation.

Metal roofing has become much more common for homes over the past 10-20 years. One of the reasons why more people are choosing to install a metal roof is because it can withstand violent weather, in addition to having a lifespan of several decades.

Advantages of Metal Roofing

  • Lightweight: It weighs less than shingles, so it puts less stress on the house structure.
  • Long life: As mentioned above, it can last for 50 years or more if it’s installed correctly. However, this can also depend on the nature of the metal. Copper and zinc, while expensive, can last for up to 100 years.
  • Cheaper to maintain: Even though the initial installation cost is high, it does not cost nearly as much to maintain.
  • Fire Resistant: Metal roofs are usually Class A-rated, which means they don’t combust or catch fire.
  • Does not weather: Compared to wood, plastic, glass, etc. metal is the most durable material and does not weather easily. So it can readily withstand strong winds, snow, hail, etc.
  • Eco-friendly: Metal roofing is easily recyclable, and since it lasts long, residual waste is not an issue.
  • Available in different varieties: Metal is available in a range of material, shape, color, and size. You can install standing seam metal roofing panels or those with fasteners. You can even install steel roofing that mimics the look of shingles or tiles.

Shingle Roofing

A shingle roof is the most common type of roof out there. Most homes have shingle roofs, making them the most common roofing material compared to metal. While there are many benefits to installing a shingle roof the biggest one and the reason why many people opt for it is the low-cost upfront. Plus, it is relatively easy to install for roofers.

Advantages of a Shingle Roof

  • A roofer laying brown asphalt shingles on a roof.More cost-effective to install: Shingle roofs are among the most affordable roofing options available, costing around 50% less than a metal roof.
  • Easy to install or replace: Installing shingles is considerably less labor-intensive and when the time comes, individual shingles are easy to replace. In most cases, the shingles only need to be nailed to the deck. Repairs are definitely not nearly as easy or inexpensive with metal roofing.
  • Cheap to repair: As mentioned above, roofing that is easier to work on is going to be cheaper to install, repair, and replace. In addition, individual shingle packages are inexpensive to purchase as well. So, replacing a broken or missing shingle is relatively cheap.
  • Can withstand foot traffic: Many roofers at Lake of the Ozarks still prefer to install shingled roofs because they are easier and safer to walk on. Once they are secured in place, you can easily walk on them, making the job of the installers much easier and is many cases, less dangerous. This is especially so on steep roofs on our high bluffs overlooking the lake. As you can imagine, navigating a steep and slippery metal roof would be treacherous on many of our lake homes. Plus, walking on the metal must be kept to a minimum, as it can cuff or dent the metal.

Which Material is Best for Your Home?

Well, let’s start with your budget. If you’re working with a lower budget then shingles are a no-brainer. You will get the best bang for your buck with shingles. Not to mention that a professionally installed shingle roof will still last you a good 20 years. On the other hand, if you have the money and want something super-durable and low maintenance, then metal roofing may be the way to go.

Also, consider your time-horizon. If you are planning on selling your home within the next ten to twenty years, then you may really want to seriously consider shingles. And on the other hand, if you plan to live in your home for a very long time, then metal might be the best answer.

The other factor you’ll want to weigh is the design of your roof. When deciding for a pitched or sloped roof, you will need to check the manufacturer’s directions regarding the pitch of the roof prior to installation. Based on the materials you choose, there may be some restrictions.

Also, a more complex roof design, with numerous dormers, skylights, valleys, vent pipes, and flashing points, etc. will complicate installing a metal roof. Roofers will also need to consider how much sunlight and shade each part of the roof gets. Because uneven heating of the metal can cause the roofing material to expand unevenly, which can be a cause for concern.

Connect With a Professional Lake of the Ozarks Roofer.

So…whether you prefer shingle roofs, metal roofs, or are undecided, the best way to move forward is to find a reputable company to take a look for you and make a recommendation. A respected roofing company generally has seasoned contractors who have worked on dozens of similar projects. And you can usually get a free roof inspection and estimate, so you can benefit from their experience by way of a solid recommendation.

That said, as mentioned earlier if you are on a tighter budget or shorter time horizon, nothing beats asphalt shingle roofs. However, just keep in mind that in the long term you’ll be spending a little more on maintenance. That cost can be significantly higher if your home experiences storm damage from hail, or high winds. 

Whether you need a free roofing inspection, emergency roofing services or a new roof, Lake of the Ozarks, we’ve got you covered!

That’s why bringing a professional on board is an essential part of the decision-making process.

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