Nashville Roofing: Metal vs. Shingle Roofs

Nashville Roofing: Metal vs. Shingle Roofs

A new roof is a huge (and intimidating) investment. With the right contractor and materials, however, your investment can last for several decades. In fact, many high-quality roofs can last up to 50 years or more.

Stratton Exteriors is proud to be one of Nashville’s leading roof contractors. We use only the best materials and techniques when installing roofs in Nashville. And we’re always happy to help our customers choose the right roof for their budget and expectations.

One of the main questions we get when offering a roofing consultation is what kind of roof is best? Shingles or metal?

Today, we’re examining the pros and cons of both shingle and metal roofs. 

Shingle Roofs

Shingle roofs, composed of asphalt shingles in a 3-tab or architectural style, have been used in construction for over a century. The classic, rectangular appearance of asphalt shingles can be seen on millions of homes all around the world. But are they right for you?

Pros: Affordability. 3-tab asphalt shingles are among the most affordable of all roofing options. The materials can cost thousands less than those for architectural shingle roofs.

3-tab asphalt shingles are flat shingles that run in regularly spaced rows and have quarter-inch grooves. They give a roof a flat, uniform and even appearance. Architectural shingles, on the other hand, are thicker and more dimensional than 3-tab options. They can make a shingle roof look more like a traditional shake roof. Because architectural shingles are thicker than 3-tab, they weigh almost 50 percent more. Many design experts feel that architectural shingles, in addition to being thicker and more durable than 3-tab, also offer more curb appeal. The dimensional, layered appearance of architectural shingles are more design-forward, especially on stylish homes.

Cons: Durability and lifespan. 

3-tab shingles have a general lifespan of 12-17 years. While that seems like a long time, you have to consider the expense and inconvenience of replacing a roof every decade and a half. If you own your home for just 30 years, that’s two replaced roofs you’ll have to pay for.

Architectural shingles, on the other hand, can last up to 30 years. Some premium grades can last 40 years. If you appreciate the look of asphalt shingles, architectural shingles are the more durable and cost-effective choice.

Perhaps the biggest con of asphalt shingles is their performance in inclement weather and heat. Asphalt shingles can be dislodged by strong winds or heavy precipitation like hail. Tree branches falling can also damage a shingle roof.

Additionally, many asphalt shingle roofs have low emissivity, meaning they absorb heat and don’t easily re-emit the heat back into the atmosphere. Low emissivity shingle roofs can cause an increase in overall household temperature, forcing your HVAC system to work harder to cool your home during the hot summer months.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs have grown in popularity in recent years, due to the increased demand for energy-efficient home features. Should you choose a metal roof for your home?

Pros: Life expectancy. Metal roofs eclipse the lifespan of most other roofing materials. Steel and aluminum roofs last an average of 50 years, while copper models can last up to 100 years.

Metal roofs can also withstand inclement weather, falling branches, and heat better than standard asphalt shingles roofs. In case of fire, metal roofs do not spark or catch fire the way asphalt shingles might.

Additionally, metal roofs have higher emissivity and reflectivity than shingle roofs. These features help keep your home cooler during the summer.

Cons: Installation time. For many homeowners, the length of time it takes to install a metal roof is a drawback. Because metal is heavier and requires special training and expert contractors, the process can take longer.

Many homeowners also like the look of a metal roof. For historic homes that look best with asphalt shingles, a metal roof might not be a good design choice.

Finally, metal roofs are expensive. For homeowners working on a strict budget who need a new roof immediately, a metal roof might not be the best option.

Stratton Exteriors is proud to offer expert roofing contractors and craftsmanship to Nashville residents. If you’re in need of a roof replacement, don’t settle for sub-par roofing specialists.

Contact Stratton Exteriors today to schedule your free consultation.