Metal Vs Asphalt Roof: When Are Shingles Better?

Asphalt shingles and metal are two of the most commonly used roofing materials available on the market. Drive through any neighborhood and chances are you’ll see one of them on a house, if not both. Some might argue that metal roofs are slowly rendering asphalt shingles obsolete—but while metal roofs have their benefits, there are circumstances where asphalt shingles are the undisputed best choice.

Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most common roofing materials. While specific materials vary, they’re usually formed of a shingle base, a layer of asphalt, and an additional layer of mineral granules on top.


Asphalt roofing shingles are one of the most inexpensive roofing materials available. They’re fairly easy to install, as well as easy to replace when damaged. They also come in a variety of finishes and styles, even those that mimic other materials, which makes them a good fit design-wise for almost any exterior style.


Because asphalt roof shingles are so light, they’re easily damaged by storms or high winds. They crack more easily when exposed to rapidly changing temperatures, and can become damaged if installed during the winter. In hot weather, they absorb and trap heat (unless you use solar reflective shingles) which means they aren’t the most energy efficient.

Pros and Cons of a Metal Roof

While not as common as asphalt shingles, metal roofs have experienced a rapid popularity increase in recent years. Common metals used in these roofs include steel, copper, aluminum, or tin.


Metal roofs are extremely durable, lasting decades when properly installed. Their reflective surfaces make them very energy efficient. They can be fully recycled and often contain a percentage of recycled materials already; which, when paired with their durability, makes them the more environmentally friendly choice. Finally, metal roofs are considered very stylish and come in a variety of colors and materials.


Metal roofs are expensive, both in terms of material price and the cost of installation. They can be dented by large chunks of hail, branches, or other debris—some are even soft enough to dent when you walk on them. They’re more difficult to repair than asphalt shingles, as well. Finally, metal roofs tend to be noisier, especially during heavy rain.

When are Asphalt Shingles Better?

Asphalt shingles and metal roofs each come with their own benefits and drawbacks. While the better choice can vary on a case-by-case basis, there are instances where asphalt shingles are the undoubtedly better choice:

When You Have a Limited Starting Budget

While they do last longer, metal roofs are much more expensive when first installed. Asphalt shingles may be less durable, but that doesn’t mean they’re weak—a properly installed and well-maintained asphalt roof will last up to twenty years. If your starting budget is low, then an asphalt roof is the best choice.

When You Live Somewhere Cold

As mentioned, many asphalt shingles absorb and trap heat. While this isn’t ideal in hot, sunny cities, it does make them an excellent choice for locations that have cold winters (such as Massachusetts), especially if they still get a lot of sun. Just make sure to have built-up snow removed!

When You Prefer a Quiet Roof

The sound of rain drumming on a metal roof can be calming to some, but to others, it’s unbearable. While you can insulate a metal roof to deaden sounds, those tend to come at an extra cost. Asphalt shingles, meanwhile, are quiet from the start.

When You Want a Traditional Style

While metal roofs are considered stylish, they mostly fit with a sleek, contemporary style. If you want a home with a more traditional look, you can’t go wrong with asphalt shingles. You can go for the standard asphalt look or get shingles finished to look like slate, tile, or even wood.

Browse Woodland HomeWorks’ Asphalt Roofing Packages

Whether you have an asphalt roof that needs repairs or want to get one installed, Woodland HomeWorks has you covered. We’re a certified FOUR-STAR installer of Certainteed’s Integrity roof system, with a warranty package to fit any budget. Contact us and get a free quote on your roof today.