Are Metal Roofs Better Than Shingles?

Reader Contribution by Troy Griepentrog

Are metal roofs better than shingles? We are enclosing our deck and making it part of the house with a lower roofline. How does a metal roof stack up to shingles?

Both metal roofing and asphalt shingles have pros and cons. In his book The Good House Book: A Common-Sense Guide to Alternative Homebuilding, Clarke Snell says higher-quality asphalt shingles can be a viable option if properly chosen.  “Poor quality asphalt shingles … are the Styrofoam cup of the building industry, [but] high-quality asphalt shingles are much cheaper than metal, easy for one person to install, accommodate roof punctures such as chimneys and skylights with relative ease, and can last 30 to 40 years or more.”

On the other hand, metal roofing can be made from recycled material and recycled after it’s no longer useful for roofing. An additional benefit is that a reflective surface can reduce cooling bills.

To explore the pros and cons of both options, read Greener Roofing Options and Nuts + Bolts: Raise The Roof from our friends at Natural Home.

— Troy Griepentrog, associate editor