There are many different types of residential roofing material available to homeowners today. From slate to cedar shake to architectural shingles, the look of a home can be changed almost overnight with a new roof. Still, the most popular in roofing in North America is still the traditional 3-tab, asphalt shingle.

Does that mean it’s better? Not necessarily. But it does mean it’s more convenient. There are a lot of reasons for this, including familiarity, availability, and cost. People go with what they know, and those asphalt shingles with coarse granules have been around a long time.

Metal roofs for residential homes have been around for decades, too. But for the most part, however, this type of roofing has been used primarily on sheds, commercial facilities, and other larger buildings. However, using metal roofing for homes is a relatively new idea, although you can find examples of it through the years.

So why the sudden uptick in interest?


Metal roofing can be made to look like slate or cedar shake as well as offering several kinds of metal profiles. The color palette for metal roofing starts out at 250 colors, although custom colors are available. Metal roofing can be tied into any gutter system and designed to match any architecture.

Traditional roofings pretty much look the same now as they did when they first came on the scene. Although there are different colors and profiles, asphalt shingles are still pretty recognizable. And while it looks fine on almost any home design, it certainly won’t give the home a “wow” factor.

Ease of Installation

In many ways, metal roofing is more versatile than asphalt shingles. However, the installation of the two different roofing materials couldn’t be more different. Metal roofing installation is a much different process than traditional shingles, which means there aren’t as many installers available to work with the material.

Which isn’t to say metal roofing installation is difficult. There is just a specific way to do it and not every roofer has experience with proper installation of a metal roof. This means it’s much easier to find a roofer to install asphalt shingles than metal. It’s also easier to find replacement shingles in case of repair.

However, depending on the shape of your existing roof, you may be able to install a metal roof over the top. Worried about the weight of that extra roofing? At 42 pounds per 100 square feet, metal roofing is easily the lightest roofing material on the market.


Speaking of repair, the longevity between metal roofing and tradition asphalt or 3-tab shingles is no contest at all. You can only get 15-20 years out of traditional composite shingles, that’s about the limit. In the Pacific Northwest, our roofs take a beating from true four-season weather. Rain, wind, snow, ice, and sun really put materials to the test.

That’s true of shingles, cedar shakes, slate, and others. Metal roofing, however, is made to last a century. Of course, no roofing material is going to stand up to a tree getting blown over on it. But metal roofing will stand up to most debris that falls on the roof and can have coatings that will prevent it from fading, rot, or rust.

Metal roofing also stands up to the moss, algae, and lichen that is so prevalent with standard shingles. On a shingle roof, moss will keep water in place during the rainy season, allowing that water to seep in between the shingle and into the underlayment. If it freezes, it could lift the shingle, which allows in more water.

With metal roofing, there’s nowhere for the moss to get a foothold. That means the next rain that comes will more than likely wash away any spores that managed to get up there in the first place. For this reason, a metal roof requires much less maintenance than a standard roof.

Fewer replacements, fewer repairs, and less maintenance make for pretty easy upkeep. You may need to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris from the roof. But the roof itself will remain in pristine shape.


When comparing the pros and cons of different materials, a major consideration is going to be roofing costs. Although decking and underlayment will pencil out the same, a composite or 3-tab shingle roof will initially be much cheaper than a metal roofing system. But in the long term, the bottom line gets to be a little closer. Especially when you think about how much a composite will cost 15 years from now.

Metal roofing is more expensive than shingles, but they last much longer. Replacing a shingle is easier than metal roofing, but shingles need to be repaired or replaced at a much higher rate. It costs less to install a roof, but you won’t need to re-roof or replace a metal roof for a century.

Metal roofing is also more energy-efficient than traditional shingles. Aluminum actually reflects heat instead of absorbing, which could save you up to 30 percent in energy costs. Because it is an Energy-Star rated material, you may also receive tax credits.

In the short term, traditional shingles will be much cheaper. But if this is your forever home, you want to increase the value of your home, or you want to give your home a unique, sophisticated look, metal roofing will be well worth the up-front cost.

Have more questions about the benefits of aluminum roofing, reach out to Mountaintop Metal Roofing today. We have been working with metal roofing for 20 years, from Eugene to Longview, giving homeowners peace of mind that they won’t have to worry about their roofs anymore.