Homeowners who reach out to a residential roofing company typically already know what they want. However, there will be times you don’t, and you’ll rely on a licensed roofing contractor to suggest what’s best. One of the key decisions you may need to make is choosing the best roofing material for your replacement. Two of the most popular materials are asphalt shingles and metal roofs. Wondering how they’re different and how you’ll choose? Read on to learn more about their differences.

Durability Winner: Metal Roofs

Between asphalt shingles and metal roofs, the latter is far more durable. Rain or shine, metal roofs can endure. The warranties run anywhere from 30 to 50 years, but their actual lifespan can go beyond that and last up to 70 years. That said, they are not entirely infallible. A metal roof can end up dented when someone walks on it the wrong way, or when a branch or two falls on it. Another factor that can contribute to its demise is extreme hail. It’s key to have a conversation with your manufacturer about any concerns you have in terms of vulnerable materials. A good thing to remember is that copper is far less hardy than steel.

On the other hand, the lifespan of shingles is rather short. That’s due to a set of weaknesses that’s rather unique to them. Chronically damp conditions and water that’s pooling can lead to the growth of fungus and algae. The lifespan of the shingle roof can also be reduced considerably because of temperature spikes within both morning and evening. The warranties of shingle roofs usually run around 15 to 30 years.

Affordability Winner: Shingle Roofs

While there is more that can be taken out of a metal roof, when it’s installed, there are more costs to be paid up front. Usually, asphalt shingles are around $100 to $200 per hundred square feet (a 10 foot x 10 foot area/”square”). That is far cheaper than the $120 to $900 per square feet range of metal roofs. Installation for those specific roofs also tend to cost more since the job is specialized.

That said, a metal roof’s costs can be regained down the line. This is because there’s a relatively low chance that it will need to get replaced sooner than it should.

Installation and Repair Winner: Shingle Roofs

When it comes to installation, the asphalt shingle roof is far easier to install. All that’s needed is the most basic of tools paired with knowledge that’s specialized. The timeline for shingles installation can run anywhere from a day or two. Occasionally, the existing layer just has the new ones put on top.

On the other hand, a specialized, skilled tradesman is needed when it comes to metal roofing. There’s far less room for error and it’s more tedious. That also means it takes much more time.

Repairs for shingles are much easier than metal roofing. It should be noted that do-it-yourself (DIY) jobs are not recommended by roofing manufacturers because that could lead to the warranty getting voided.


Roofing is one of the most important parts of a home. Depending on what you prefer and what a licensed professional recommends, you could go with either an asphalt shingle roof or a metal one. Metal roofs are more durable, while the shingle roof is much easier to install and repair.

Trying to find the best roofing company near Needham? Contact Roofing and Siding of Boston today! We are a veteran-owned company in Massachusetts that has been in the roofing and siding business for over 10 years.