We have people calling us almost every week asking how the prices of our metal roofs compare to “regular” roofs. Hearing these questions never fails to make me smile, because “regular” is of course a relative description and if you’re a manufacturer like us we would consider metal nothing BUT regular! However, I know that what they really mean is asphalt shingle roofing materials. It’s a statement about the price and ease of installation of asphalt shingles that they have become so commonplace as to be now considered regular - even though as roofing material goes it’s only recently (less than 100 years) that they have been developed and there are many parts of the world that don’t or won’t even use them. Just to clarify: when I say “recently” I mean in the history of construction. As a comparison, materials like metal, slate, and clay have been used for many centuries.
To answer the question: when comparing regular asphalt shingle roof prices to most metal roof prices, you can expect to pay more for a metal roof. The reasons that metal roofs cost more is that the material itself is generally twice (or more) the cost of asphalt, and the labor to install is generally twice (or more) the price of installing asphalt roofing.
The material costs more because steel, aluminum, and especially copper or zinc are all much more expensive raw ingredients than petroleum asphalt, dirt, and gravel (the stuff that makes up the bulk of a typical asphalt shingle). All but the very cheapest, thinnest, least refined metal roof can withstand many more years of exposure to the elements than asphalt shingle roofs, but it definitely costs more for the superior performance. Installation labor is also higher for the very reason that most metal roofs are installed intending that they last the life of the building, instead of the length of occupancy of a typical owner (maybe 10 years or so!). The more sophisticated material and installation method mean that the cost of the new roof will inevitably be higher than asphalt shingles.
So, paying more for a metal roof compared to a “regular” roof material is what you can expect. But you can also expect a much longer lifespan, lighter weight, better resistance to wind, high-end appearance, higher energy efficiency, superior recyclability and more re-sale value.
If you have a re-roofing or new roof project planned, start with the right information. Visit our Resources page for valuable free downloads, like our booklet comparing metal roofing to composition shingles, or get a free estimate today.