Is it cheaper to get a metal roof or shingles?

Shingles asphalt roofing with skylights

Metal Roofing vs Shingle Roofing

Metal roofing is becoming more common on residential structures ever year. What all does metal roofing offer that has made it so popular? Well, there are few reasons, but they are powerful reasons, especially when we compare them to asphalt shingles, which are still the most common and popular roofing material. 

  • Metal roofing offers supreme durability – chances are you will never need to worry with roofing again. 
  • Metal roofing is eco-friendly – when it is replaced, the metal can be recycled and the new metal going on a roof is mostly recycled metal already. Minimizing what goes in the landfills! 
  • Metal roofing is energy efficient – while this is an expensive roofing material, you’ll recoup your cost with the cooling and heating savings. Even in hot climates, metal roofing is energy efficient as it reflects the solar radiant heat, saving as much as 25% on cooling costs. 
  • Metal roofing is stylish – by today’s architecture design trends, you can choose metal roofing looks like shingles or several other options to offer to provide a home with a style.

Should you put a metal roof over shingles?

Metal roofing is lightweight, so installing it over shingles shouldn’t pose a structure to weight ratio problem, meaning, you can install metal roofing over asphalt shingles. However, this doesn’t take into consideration the different local building codes. Metal roofing contractors will check local building codes to see if there is such restriction and quote you accordingly. 

Additionally, the metal roofing contractor you choose to work with will inspect the current roof, including the decking and rafters. If they feel they won’t support two roofs, they will advise you if they believe this could create a problem. Why would installing metal roofing over asphalt roofing be an issue? A single residential structure may not be engineered to hold the weight of two roofs, which is what this would end up being. 

Another factor that can determine if the current asphalt shingle roofing should be removed first would be having metal roofing with insulation installed. The insulation is going to add weight to the metal roofing panels and the roof structure. To have a roof that is durable, strong, and the insulation to provide the best performance, a contractor will likely recommend that the old roof come off first. 

Does metal roof need plywood?

Yes, every roof, including metal roofing, should have an underlayment, and in some municipalities, it is required for building code purposes. Homes that have been built with roof joists and sheathing, then underlayment should be installed first. 

One exception: Metal roofing installed over asphalt shingles does not require a plywood decking. However, contraction and expansion of the asphalt shingles can damage the metal over time. This is why some roofing metal roofing contractors and metal roofing manufacturers  require plywood and underlayment. While it does make metal roofing more expensive, it also will provide a long life span for the metal roofing. 

How do you stop condensation on a metal roof?

Traditionally, condensation on metal roofing is managed by having it insulated. Vinyl-backed fiberglass insulation will keep the metal roofing from reaching the dew point that creates condensation by preventing humid air contacting the cooler metal roof. 

Do you need a ridge vent with a metal roof?

If you are going to have metal roofing installed correctly, then, yes, it needs to have proper ventilation installed, aka, a ridge vent. A permeable material is used in manufacturing a ridge vent and when installed in metal roofing, it allows damp, stale, warm air to flow from the attic year round. This minimizes the moisture in the attic and balances the temperature. When correctly installed, a ridge vent lowers energy costs while increasing energy efficiency.

metal roofing  roof with shingles

Is metal roofing better than asphalt shingles? 

Asphalt shingles a cost-effective, reliable roofing material that has been used on homes for years. A popular roofing material that is has it perks, but with metal roofing coming in behind it quickly, you have to ask yourself, which is the better choice?  

  • While shingle roofs are the traditional roofing material and look like slate, tile, or wood shakes. Get them with scalloped edges or terra cotta look and in almost any color you can want. 
  • Metal roofing is no longer those corrugated tin panels on a barn. They come in aluminum, copper, galvanized metals, and zinc. They can be made to look other types of roofing materials, including shingles, and come a wide choice of colors and finishes now. 
  • Metal roofing tends to be more durable, withstanding high winds and hailstorms. They can be dented by tree branches, but with a 50 year warranty, you’ll get up to 70 years lifespan.
  • Asphalt shingles have other weaknesses which gives them a shorter lifespan. They easily succumb to algae and fungus growth, ice dams, and temperature spikes. With a maximum 30 year warranty, you could get 20 year lifespan. 
  • Asphalt shingle roofs are less expensive up front with an average cost of $100 per square foot where metal roofing can cost up to $900 per square foot. These prices are wide ranging and can vary from area to areas and size of the home. The cost of metal roofing is recouped later with lower insurance rates and better energy efficiency.  
  • Metal roofing is eco-friendly by being made from recycled material and ten can be recycled if and when it is removed. Asphalt shingles are not sustainable and contribute as much as 20 billion pounds to our landfills. Asphalt shingles are made from petroleum, depending on fossil fuels for manufacturing.
  • Asphalt shingle roofing is easier to install and repair, metal roofing requires a contractor with specific set of skills. 

Whether you go with asphalt shingle roofing or metal roofing will depend on your budget first, then your home’s architecture style. If you’re plans are to stay in you house for 20 years, you’ll recoup your  metal roofing expense. If you’re planning on 10 years or less, asphalt roofing would be the better option. Call 865-238-2628 today for your roofing needs in Knoxville and Chattanooga, TN.