Metal Roofing vs Shingles – Which is Right for You?

The year 2017 was a rough year for the Upper Midwest, according to the NOAA annual weather report. With extreme weather and freezing temperatures in Wisconsin and Minnesota, you may be realizing it’s time to replace your home’s roof. Which is better, a metal roof or shingles? The answer may depend on your situation.

Metal Roof vs. Shingles: Key Differences

Durability and weather resistance

When it comes to durability, metal roofing is the superior choice. Metal has the ability to retain its structural integrity despite strong winds, rain, snow, and hail.

Metal is also fireproof and lasts longer than any other construction material. In fact, metal roofs are expected to last up to 60 years—almost three times as long as regular asphalt shingles.


Asphalt shingles require thorough maintenance and inspection at least once a year. Valleys and pipe boots must be checked for potential leaks and damage.

Meanwhile, a metal roof requires little to no upkeep. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be checked for leaks, chalking, and corrosion. Metal roofing should be professionally inspected every three to five years to prevent costly complications.


Our metal roofing systems in Wisconsin are available in a wide range of styles and colors to suit your aesthetic and budget preferences. Choose from panel, ribbed, tile, or shingle metal roofing to match your property’s overall look. Metal roofs can also be customized to imitate the appearance of wood and asphalt shingles.

Energy efficiency

When it comes to energy efficiency, which is better, asphalt shingles or metal roofing?

Metal roofs have insulative qualities that enable them to reflect heat away from your home, lower indoor air temperature, and minimize wear on your HVAC system during warmer months. During winter, they can retain heat and help keep you warm.

Most metal roofing systems can also be mounted with solar panels and other energy-saving technologies.

Asphalt Shingles: Pros and Cons

Asphalt shingles, laid in an overlapping pattern that encourages moisture to run off the roof without entering the home, are the most common option. However, these shingles aren’t always the best choice. Here are some shingle roof pros and cons.


  • Affordable: The cost of shingles makes this type of roof extremely attractive, as it only costs a few thousand dollars to install shingles.
  • Easy to install: Installing asphalt shingles is easier and requires less expertise than metal roofs.
  • Traditional appearance: Asphalt shingles offer a more home-like, less commercial appearance.


  • Shorter lifespan: The warranties on asphalt shingles are typically around 20 years, although they often don’t last that long because of their vulnerability to extreme weather.
  • Poor economy in summer: In summer asphalt shingles absorb heat, and your air conditioning will have to work considerably harder to cool your home.
  • Heavy: Traditional asphalt shingles are heavy once installed, especially higher-end shingles.

Metal Roofs: Pros and Cons

Metal roofs used to be used primarily on rural buildings such as barns, but not any longer. Attractive metal shingles and metal roofs have become an option for both older homes and newer, custom homes. Here are some of the metal roof pros and cons.


  • Durable and long-lasting: Metal roofs are expected to last as much as 60 years, two or three times as long as traditional asphalt shingles.
  • Weather resistant: Metal roofs are better equipped to withstand the extreme weather of the Upper Midwest. Even hail won’t do much to a durable steel roof.
  • Economical: Smooth metal roofs reflect the sunlight in summer, helping your home stay cooler, and helping the snow melt in the winter.


  • Expensive: The cost of a metal roof is a big deterrent for many homeowners. A house that would cost a few thousand to put an asphalt shingle roof on could easily cost over $10,000 for a metal roof.
  • Difficult to repair: While metal roofs are largely maintenance-free, repairs are more difficult to do if just one section is damaged.
  • Industrial-looking: While some homeowners appreciate the unique look of a metal roof, many others still prefer the traditional look of asphalt.

Want help comparing metal roofing vs. shingles? Contact All Exteriors today, and we will help you decide which roofing option best suits your home! Whether you are in need of a new roof, a re-roof, or roofing repairs, we have the knowledge and the expertise to get the job done right the first time.

Feature image: Spok83/Shutterstock