What Is The Cost of Shingles vs. Metal Roofs? (2024)

By Updated July 15, 2024

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One of the most important factors when considering the cost of a new roof is your choice of roofing materials. Shingles, particularly asphalt shingles, are the most common material and are budget-friendly. Metal roofs are growing in popularity thanks to their durable and eco-friendly design but remain pricier. We’ll compare and contrast these two roofing materials based on cost, maintenance, durability, and other factors in the guide below to help you make your choice.


Major Cost Factors of Shingle Roofs

Shingle material, roof size, and installation labor dictate most shingle roof costs.

Shingle Material

Shingles can be composed of a variety of materials, and each boasts its own pros, cons, and price points.

Here’s how these shingle options compare in price.

Shingle MaterialPrice per Square Foot

Asphalt

$4–$15

Wood

$6–$18

Composite

$7.50–$13

Slate

$15–$30

Solar

$21–$25

*Cost data in this article was sourced from Fixr and HomeAdvisor.

Roof Size

Most types of roofing materials are priced by the square foot, and larger roofs require more materials. Here’s what an asphalt shingle roof is likely to cost at $4 to $15 per square foot.

Roof Size in Sq. Ft.Cost Range

1,000

$4,000–$15,000

1,500

$6,000–$22,500

2,000

$8,000–$30,000

2,500

$10,000–$37,500

3,000

$12,000–$45,000

Labor Costs

Consider the price of professional installation in addition to material costs. Licensed roofing contractors typically charge $30 to $80 per hour or $2 to $3 per square foot, depending on the job’s complexity. Most professional roofers will be able to install asphalt shingles quickly and easily.


Major Cost Factors of Metal Roofs

Metal roof installation pricing depends on the type and style of metal material, roof size, and labor.

Style of Metal Roof

Metal roofing systems may be made up of sheets, panels, or shingles.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for these different styles of metal roofing materials:

Metal Roof StyleCost per Sq. Ft.

Corrugated sheet

$3.50–$15

Flat sheet

$4–$6.50

Shingles

$7–$22

Standing-seam panels

$7–$30

Type of Metal

Not every style of metal roofing is available in every type of metal, but you’ll have some choice. All metal roofing options are durable and fire-resistant, but they have different appearances, life spans, and costs.

Here’s how these metals compare in terms of price:

MetalCost per Sq. Ft.

Aluminum

$4–$11

Tin

$5–$12

Zinc

$6–$12

Steel

$6–$16

Lead

$10–$15

Copper

$15–$30

Size of Metal Roofs

Size plays a significant role in determining a roofing project’s total cost. Here’s how much you can expect to pay for standing seam panels based on square footage:

Roof Size in Sq. Ft.Cost Range

1,000

$7,000–$30,000

1,500

$10,500–$45,000

2,000

$14,000–$60,000

2,500

$17,500–$75,000

3,000

$21,000–$90,000

Labor

Roofers typically charge $3 to $5 per square foot for metal roof installation labor. Note that not all professional roofing contractors have the knowledge and experience necessary to install metal materials.


Other Cost Factors of Shingles vs. Metal Roofs

Consider these additional cost factors when deciding between a shingle roof and a metal roof:

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Professional vs. DIY Installation

Here’s how shingle roofing and metal roofing compare based on the ease of DIY installation:

Shingle Installation

Asphalt shingles are easy to lay and cut into shape, but roofing is still a risky job. Additionally, a home’s roofing system is incredibly important to its structural integrity, and the warranty on most roofing materials requires professional installation. Your upfront costs will be lower if you don’t pay for labor, but you’ll likely pay in the long run when it comes to roof repair costs if you install a roof yourself. We recommend hiring professionals for installation in most cases.

Metal Roof Installation

Metal is less DIY-friendly than shingles. Corrugated and flat sheets may appear simple to install, but the project can easily go wrong—incorrect installation can lead to leaks and corrosion. Some standing-seam metal panels require special machinery to crimp the seals between panels. Only licensed roofing contractors should perform metal roof installation.

How to Hire a Professional

Here’s how to approach contacting professional roofing contractors:


Benefits and Drawbacks of Shingle Roofs

Shingle roofs offer ease of installation and solid resale value, but they are a less durable option.

➕ Better resale value
➕ Easier to install and repair
➕ Lowest total cost of all popular residential roofing materials

➖ Lower energy efficiency in hot weather
➖ Not recyclable and will end up in landfills
➖ Substantially less durable, particularly basic asphalt shingles


Benefits and Drawbacks of Metal Roofs

Metal roofs last longer than other roofing types but are pricier to install.

➕ Longer life span than shingles
➕ Offers more energy savings by reflecting heat
➕ Requires less maintenance

➖ Harder to install and repair
➖ Lower resale value
➖ More expensive than shingles

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Our Recommendation

The average cost of shingles is lower than metal, but metal is more durable. The best roofing option for you will ultimately depend on your budget, the climate in which you live, and your tolerance for roof maintenance. We recommend talking to a roofing professional who has experience with both shingles and metal roofing materials to help you make your decision.


Shingles vs. Metal Roof FAQ

Is it more cost-effective to get a metal roof or shingles?

Shingles cost less upfront, but metal may be more cost-effective in the long run because of how durable it is.

Can I put a metal roof over shingles?

You can put a metal roof over shingles in some cases, but you should check your local building codes before proceeding.

What are the disadvantages of a metal roof?

Metal roofs have a number of benefits, but they also have some drawbacks:
• Difficult to repair and color-match
• Fasteners may fail before panels
• Higher material and installation cost than shingles
• May be noisier in rain and hail
• Possibility of rust or corrosion