Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles: Cost, Pros & Cons, ROI

Hey there Mr. or Ms. Homeowner, how’s your day going? I heard it through the grapevine that you were starting the next part of your home improvement journey by picking out your roofing material and style – and that’s a big deal.

You should be proud and not stressed. There are so many different options when it comes to roofing and there is only one way to truly know your best options.

Do you know what that might be?

How does a grand welcoming to Roofing Class 101 sound? This is such a big deal! Why? We are going to be exploring a new facet of the Ultimate Buying Guide for Homeowners in this class!

Now this is not your typical chalk board classroom where I stand up and point a wooden ruler at the board. Oh no! That’s kind of boring.

We are going to delve straight into the specifics and the depths of roofing with an all new interactive way with entertainment.

We are going to unravel the roofs from the 1960s and discover what direction you should take, metal roofing or asphalt shingles. Do you think you’re ready?

Metal vs. Asphalt Shingles?

An asphalt shingle roof on a house

So, prior to truly jumping into the heart of this guide, I am going to give you the answer to this question right away.

So, when it comes to the choice between metal roofing and asphalt shingles, let’s sort of pretend like asphalt shingles are not really an option – the only option, metal roofing.

While the costs are going to be greater, the benefits in the case severely outweigh the so-called negatives.

When it comes to metal roofing, you are investing in high quality material, and presumably, the security that your new roof will be installed professionally, properly and safely.

You are investing in a product that has proven durability and longevity through extremes of weather and, if invested properly, can provide some Benjamins back in your wallet in the future! 😉

With all of that in mind, the next step for you in knowing that metal roofing is ultimately the route to go, is learning that there are several different types of metal roofing materials and styles or profiles such as metal shingles, stone-coated steel tiles, standing seam, ribbed, and corrugated metal sheets.

Needless to say, there are also several different types of asphalt shingles ranging from the low-end 3-tab, which is the cheapest option with the lowest expected service lifespan, to 3-dimensional (3D) architectural laminate (layered) shingles – a longer lasting option, as well as “premium shingles”.

For example, there’s a great variety of materials available with metal roofing including galvanized and Galvalume steel, aluminum, zinc, and even stainless steel. Not only are we going to explore all of these options, but we will also provide you with the cost, longevity, ROI and the pros and cons of each.

By the end of this article, you will be prepared with so much knowledge that when it’s time to book a contractor, they will likely be pleasantly surprised by your wealth of knowledge, which will make it easier for them to align on the right system and ultimately give you the proper quote you deserve! 😉

The Best Types of Metal Roofing Systems and Profiles are presented in the order of popularity and suitability of residential applications:

  • Standing Seam
  • Metal Shingles
  • Stone-coated steel shingles and tiles
  • Ribbed
  • Corrugated

Depending on which route you go, the price will go too!

Different Types of Metal

Are you familiar with steel or any other types of metal materials? Do you know who you can thank for that? Mr. Andrew Carnegie. In fact, if you want to learn some fascinating business history of one billionaire man, you should read about the intelligence of the man behind steel.

Anyways, the most common type of steel used in metal roofing is G-90 or Galvanized Steel — zinc-coated steel also referred to as hot-deep galvanized steel.

G-90 steel is commonly used in metal shingles, stone-coated steel, as well as some ribbed and corrugated sheet metal roofing profiles. There is also a low-end grade of galvanized steel known as G-60 (29-gauge steel), which is not something you want to put on your home.

Galvalume steel is a step up from G-90 steel. If you are going to install a premium metal roofing system such standing seam and would like to go with steel, than Galvalume steel — zinc and aluminum coated steel is better option than G-90 steel.

Now at same time, you have the opportunity to get a roof made from aluminum, copper, zinc, or even the fancy stainless steel – the options are truly endless.

Before we continue, do you want a fun heads-up? Well, if you are living near a coastal area, look no further than Aluminum roofing!

It’s the best option for salt-spray environment, because it’s not susceptible to any corrosion and it’s just plain-ol’ good! With that in mind, the next time you talk of scarcity, remember this moment.

Only opportunities – not scarcity. Anyways, would you like to get into the different styles of Metal Roofing? Let’s go!

Standing Seam

Standing Seam Metal Roof with PV Solar and Solar Thermal

When it comes to Standing Seam roofing, it’s known by many contractors and homeowners alike as one of the strongest and most popular of the bunch.

Packed with super-hero nutrients and materials, standing seam roofs are durable, maintenance-free, and can provide many energy-consumption-reduction benefits. Oh and did we mention, it’s fully-ready for a seamless PV solar integration? 😉

This Galvalume or aluminum (standing seam panels can be made of any metal including zinc and copper) roofing option allows for you, the homeowner, and the opportunity to design the profile of your roof with flexibility. On top of this benefit, these “bad boys” are designed and built to last.

It’s been said by numerous homeowners and contractors that standing seam metal roofs can actually last longer than the current residents.

In other words, those who install standing seam actually move out before their roof needs any maintenance or fixes.

Aka, we are looking at a beautiful ROI, or return on investment. Due to the fact you are paying a higher cost for such a roofing, it will last your stay at your house and at the same time could potentially help during the selling process of your home.

For this style of roofing, you are looking at roughly $450-$600 per square (100 sq. ft.) for materials.

Now this does not include the potentiality of $700-$1,000 per square for professional installation, depending on where you live and who you choose to install with.

Metal Shingles

Tamko Metalworks - metal shingles roof on a ranch

Tamko Metalworks – metal shingles roof on a ranch

So the next best option besides is metal shingles. With such a wide variety of metal shingles, this option provides you with such security and safety with your home that you will never have to worry again! It’s sort of as if the magic fairy came by and said, “Worries be gone!”.

It’s actually been said that if you were to install metal shingles, you may never have to touch your roof again during your stay at your home – that’s how durable and long-lasting these last for.

With this in mind, the majority of metal shingles are going to be a bit more costly that what you are anticipating – but it’s worth it! I mean, did Cinderella yell at the Fairy Godmother for granting her a beautiful dress?

Why would you yell at the magic fairy for the price tag of “Worries be gone?” Just saying! Anyways, while they are still affordable, metal shingles cost roughly 2-3 times the regular price of asphalt shingles. With concealed fasteners, this is one of your best bets ya’ll! 🙂

Stone-Coated Steel

Alongside, standing seam and metal shingles, “these guys” are also quite popular on the block, especially in Florida. Known as one of the more common of the bunch, stone-coated steel tiles and shingles are available to potential builders and contractors in the form of tiles, shakes, and shingles.

Also, similar to that of Standing Seam, Stone-Coated Steel roofing is built from either G-90 Steel or Galvalume, which is the real deal here guys. This is a step up in the game of metal roofing – in other words, this is some nice quality steel.

Anyways, the style – which is infamous to homeowners in Florida, is quite relative in pricing to that of standing seam. What I mean is you are looking at spending roughly $400-$475 per square (100 square feet) for materials, including trim and supplies. — This would be just the cost of materials.

Now if you are more in alignment with this style of metal roofing, you are likely looking at an average base price of $1,250 per square, when it comes to installation – remember the base price. So when you are seeking to get something of this quality installed, please keep this number in mind.

Ribbed Metal

As a less-costly alternative to standing seam, ribbed metal roofing is another great option for homeowners who don’t mind concealed fasteners that may need to be checked upon and re-tightened every now and them.

This type of style is one that is suitable from your home, shed, garage and potentially even to the extent of a barn depending upon the metal and the pain finish.

Known as one of the most common forms of metal roofing, ribbed roofing are stylistically made from painted steel and come in different sizes – depending on your preference.

Since Ribbed Metal Roofing is a profile rather than a type of metal, it can be made from any grade of steel, aluminum – whatever product you choose! With exposed fasteners, ribbed style metal roofing is one of most affordable and cheapest of the bunch but can last decades – I mean if it’s well-kept and you re-tighten and replace the washers and seals. Just saying!

In reference to pricing and ROI, ribbed metal roofing roughly costs 30% more than regular shingles and with changes in gauge sizes, you are looking at roughly $1,000 of extra-costs. The ROI will depend upon the type of material you go with for ribbed roofing.

For an example, if you choose a G-60 Steel with a thin 29 gauge, you can anticipate the ROI being low due to peeling and corrosion. Now can you imagine what would happen if you stepped up to Galvalume? You can probably expect your entire stay at your house to be covered if you take care of your roofing.

Corrugated Metal

corrugated metal roof on a residence

Corrugated metal is considered the most basic metal roofing style. Like ribber metal panels, this style is also available in G-90 galvanized steel, Galvalume, aluminum.

Higher-end corrugated metal roofs finished with Kynar 500 paint finish are built to last for 25 to 30 years, or longer with proper maintenance. Now just say that to yourself nice and slowly.

The ROI on this style can be very good, given a significantly lower upfront cost compared to standing seam. Now, this style of roofing is extremely beneficial for those in the commercial industry, barns, or even on a smaller scale such as a shed or a garage.

With this in mind, to install such a style of roofing, according to, for a decent sized commercial facility or even large home can cost about $15,000 to $25,000. Compare this to roughly $30,000 to $50,000 for standing seam.

In regards to material pricing, you’re potentially looking at putting out a Benjamin or two (if you are unfamiliar with this term by now, that means $150 to $250) per square.

The reality is, if you are interested in the corrugated metal as a roofing system, consider going with a minimum 26-gauge steel (for metal thickness) finished with Kynar 500 paint. The pricing will vary depending on where you live and the company you buy from.

Closing Thoughts on Metal

Wow, we just learned a lot of awesome information, did you learn some new things and have some fun? I mean, I know I did! What’s fascinating to think about is the concept of your home being your main investment.

Also, your home has feelings too – don’t you think you should treat it with a high-quality, long-lasting, and high return on investment metal roofing? That’s what I thought!

Depending on your style and flow, I think standing seam, metal shingles, or stone-coated steel tiles are going to be your best bet in regards to ROI, pricing and overall style.

There’s a reason why these guys are the most sought metal-roofing styles on the block. Now, let’s take a spin around the corner and check out what’s happening on asphalt Street.

Asphalt Shingles

Welcome to Asphalt Street – where here, we talk all things asphalt. The competition to any form of metal roofing is asphalt shingles and there are three different styles that you can choose from.

Actually, as we are researching and writing this article, we were thinking about the concept of competition to metal roofing. I am going to let you decide what the true competition is – or if there is even one.

By the way, if you remember correctly, I already told you who the winner was. Hint hint. Anyways, your style roofing is your personal preference.

Consider your roofing like the top-hat to your outfit or your brand new fedora to top-off the outfit. I am not sure if you knew this but a roof is totally a fashion statement in the home-game – you know a bit about metal roofing, now it’s time to learn about asphalt shingles.

3-Tab Asphalt Shingles

The first option when it comes to shingles is known as 3-tab. Right off the bat, one major advantage of a 3-tab shingle style is that it’s rather inexpensive compared to any other roofing option.

3-tab shingles are only rated for up to 60mph to 70mph wind uplift, meaning that this particular kind of shingles is not suitable for storm-prone coastal areas.

3-tab shingle is very common among residential rental communities and lower income housing due to the affordable pricing or low cost associated with the initial investment in this roofing system.

3-Tab shingles are simply a style where each shingle has 3 tabs of equal size and shape, which ultimately makes it look well… flat… two-dimensional (no volume)… asphalt shingles.

Without truly pinpointing it down, this is sort-of the basic model of all homes and truly has rather questionable benefit for you as a homeowner. I mean with poor wind uplift ratings, the potentiality to be damaged by thermal shocks, and even the circumstances of being blown away due to storms or broken down by hail…

Do you see where the direction of this is going? May I move on to the next one? Oh wait! You need to know the prices – just in case, right? To install such a style of roofing, you are looking at roughly $95 per 100 sq. ft. (not including other materials and supplies), and the installation cost of roughly $300 per square, depending on the company you hire, project difficulty, and your home’s location.


Similar to that of 3-tab shingles, you have architectural, which is gradually becoming more common.

Known as dimensional shingles, architectural shingles are more dependable because they are thicker and have a better ROI and longevity than 3-tab ones.

While 3-tab shingles will typically only last for 15 to 20 years, architectural shingles can last up to 30+ years. Now, while these are gradually becoming more popular across the country, the prices have gradually been on the rise.

On average, depending on where you live and the contractor you pick, you are looking at roughly $150 per 100 sq. ft. of materials, which is fair in comparison to 3-tab strip shingles.

We are sure you are wondering how much it costs to install, right? Well here, it depends on the style of your roofing – whether it’s high-pitched or not.

For an example, a lower-slope, simple roof could cost as low as $3.50 per square ft. installed, while a more difficult and steeper roof could cost $5.00+ per square ft. installed.

Why is it this way? Well, to be honest, to install this style of roofing you are investing in a fairly labor-intensive process.

By investing in a quality installation, you can expect a higher ROI in the future – that’s a little FYI.

Premium (Laminate Shingles)

The last type of asphalt shingles to look at is known as premium shingles, which are also known as laminate shingles.

Now “these guys” are slightly different from architectural shingles or the dimensional style – why? Premium shingles are actually way more aesthetically pleasing than any other form of asphalt shingles.

At the same time, they are of higher quality, which results in higher performance. We are talking increased impact resistance during thunderstorms or rapid temperature changes, which ultimately results in longer lifespan and utility for the homeowner – aka longevity increasing.

With that being said, with proper installation and care, a home with a premium shingles could result in a significant ROI – only if those premium shingles are well-kept (regular inspections, cleaning if needed), and installed properly.

Now, I am guessing out of all of the asphalt shingles, this is the one that you’re probably like “iffy” on so you’re curious on pricing, right? Well, here’s the situation, material costs alone are about $2.50-$3.50 per square foot or $250-$350 for 100 square feet of premium shingles.

To install laminate shingles, depending on the contractor you choose, you are going to be spending roughly $3.00 to $5.00 per square foot – which ultimately adds up to near $550-$750 per 100 square feet – aka this premium style of asphalt roofing is much pricier in comparison.

With that in mind, installation is along the same lines – you should expect to pay somewhere near the $700 per square, depending on the quality of the premium shingles and the company you choose to hire.

Final Exam for Roofing 101

Okay class we finally completing our explorations for the week on Roofing 101. We ventured down the path of metal roofing and asphalt shingles to get a more grounded understanding of all the different options potential homeowners have when it comes to building or rebuilding their home.

Upon this research, we learned that metal-roofing is truly the best bang for your buck type of deal – with maximum benefits, intense ROI, and minimal negatives, there is no other option.

Now, I am not downing anyone who believes in the way of asphalt shingles – hey if that’s for you, we support you!

However, now that you know all of your options, you might be interested in trying something new. Let me throw an idea out there really quick?

Try looking at a G-90 steel standing seam roof matched with beautiful copper seamless gutters and downspouts — what do you think that would look like? Just an idea. Congratulations though – you passed your final exam for roofing 101!

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