Shingles vs. Metal Roofing: How To Make The Best Choice

How can you determine a winning choice with residential metal roofing vs shingles? Each residential roofing material has its advantages. Let’s unpack a few factors and let you decide!

Your Decision

Before we dig into the many factors affecting the ideal roof for your Central Florida home, remember these are merely suggestions. Nobody — not your neighbors, family, or local roofer — can compel you to choose a roofing material you do not want. So many issues play into the investment, your choice is entirely yours.

Your roofer can offer advice gained from years of installation experience. But the final decision — residential metal roofing vs shingles — is yours, and your roofer will respect it. A genuinely skilled, experienced residential roofing contractor can install almost any type of roof quickly, professionally, and correctly. 


Fiberglass-asphalt shingles are North America’s #1 residential roofing material, chiefly due to their very low installation cost, which is their main advantage over metal roofing. You can expect to reroof your Florida home two or three times with shingles, however, in the same period a metal roof will remain in service. That low initial cost must be evaluated carefully. 

Today’s shingles are a careful blend of strong fiberglass (for toughness and durability) with time-tested asphalt for water resistance and flexibility. Shingles are available in a wide range of colors, including some that offer energy efficiency by reflecting heat.

Shingles can be installed by just about anybody, which again can be both an advantage and disadvantage. Protect yourself by hiring a roofer of the best quality. Many roofers know the maxim, “A good roofer can install a modestly priced roof well, but a bad roofer’s poor installation can ruin the most expensive roof.”

Shingles, despite their low up-front cost, do have some issues that may cause Florida homeowners concern:

  • Color fading — The strong ultraviolet and infrared rays of Florida’s sun take a toll on shingle granules (the color in a shingle) and the chemicals in the asphalt, causing shingles to fade, crack, and erode quickly.
  • High maintenance — A shingle roof must be diligently maintained; annual inspections are a start, but repairs should be made promptly, year after year.
  • Short life — Shingles last a half to a third as long as metal roofing.

Residential Metal Roofing

Residential metal roofing has undergone a boom in recent years. This is both good and bad, since metal roofing has many desirable qualities yet can be installed incorrectly by inexperienced roofers.

Metal roofing’s many positive qualities include:

  • Long lifespan — Metal roofing routinely lasts five or more decades, thanks to strong metal and superior finishes.
  • Highly reflective —  The sun’s infrared rays reflect off metal better than off shingles, so you can enjoy a cooler Florida home!
  • Lightweight panels — Lessen the load on your Florida home’s rafters by opting for metal panels, which weigh less per square foot than shingles.
  • Color choices — Today’s metal roofing comes in a rainbow of color choices; you are sure to find a hue that works with your home and lifestyle.
  • Wind resistance — Metal roofing can withstand hurricane-force winds.
  • Energy efficient  — Lower your cooling bills with highly reflective metal roofing.
  • Low maintenance — While annual inspections are always a wise idea, metal roofing needs almost no repair and very little maintenance.

No roofing material is perfect. For all its superior qualities, metal roofing has a few drawbacks: 

  • Installation expense — Metal roofing, which lasts two to three times longer than shingles, typically costs more that shingles to install
  • Potential noise concerns — When correctly installed on battens, a metal roof is no louder than any other roofing material, but installation and insulation are key
  • Varying quality — As with any roofing material, not all metal roofing is equal; some metal roof panels are made with very thin, poor-quality metal, so be sure to ask your roofer for the thickest, strongest metal your budget allows
  • Installation — By working only with a residential roofer with vast metal roofing experience, you can ensure proper installation of metal roofing; this prevents common flaws like oil-canning, chipped finishes, and faulty mechanical fasteners

Many Florida homeowners are in their houses for the long run. They settle and stay, and a metal roof is ideal for that lifestyle. Metal roofing is a very wise investment for anyone planning to own a home thirty to fifty years, or anyone planning to pass the home to relatives. 

Shingles may be a solution if you plan to occupy your Central Florida home for only a handful of years. Metal roofing grows more economical the longer you stay in your home. Please contact us today at Alan’s Roofing. We are available to help you with all your roofing decisions for your Central Florida home. Metal, shingles, tile: we install and repair them all.