Cost Differences Between Asphalt and Metal Roofs

17 February 2017
 Categories: , Blog

When it's time for a new roof, it can be difficult to determine which roof makes the most economic sense. Asphalt is one of the most common options used for constructing a roof because of its low cost. However, those who travel through a subdivision that has many new homes constructed is less likely to see asphalt as a common material used for roofs. Metal is rising in popularity as a result of the longevity of metal. Metal roofs can last for 50 years and do not require a lot of maintenance. They'll also continue to look beautiful. Given that there are upsides and downsides to asphalt and metal roofing, if cost is the deciding factor, it is important to fully understand the costs associated with each type.

Asphalt vs. Metal

The cost of metal roofing depends on the type of roofing material that you use. The least expensive roofing material is the corrugated steel panel and can cost as little as $120 per roofing square. Copper zinc roofing, on the other hand, can cost as much as $900 per roofing square. Copper has the best corrosion resistance out of the roofing materials, so if corrosion is a major concern, it may be considered worthwhile to choose the more expensive copper. Corrugated steel requires that a special coating be applied. After the coating wears away, the corrugated steel rusts. Copper can last over 60 years, while corrugated steel can last for as little as 10 years.

While the cost of metal roofs can vary, asphalt roofing is still usually less expensive than most types of metal roofs. The asphalt roof can cost as little as $150 per square. Typically, the materials cost for having a roof installed is 40% of the total cost, while the labor costs are 60%. The 3-tab shingles can last 25 years and are among the least expensive options. However, there are also much more expensive premium shingles that can cost as much as $700 per square. The warranty is much longer and the roof can last as long as 50 years.


Given that the differences in the cost between metal and asphalt roofs can sometimes not be that great, it may be a good idea to simply select the roofing option based on what you prefer. The aesthetics of asphalt roofs vs. metal roofs is highly subjective, and it comes down to what you prefer. Talk to a contractor like JM Roofing & Siding for more guidance if you're having trouble deciding.