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Are Metal Roofs Cheaper Than Asphalt Roofs?

grey metal roof tiles and grey asphalt shingles

Asphalt roofs are cheaper upfront, averaging $7,662, compared to metal’s $19,857.14. This post examines both, beyond initial cost, to ensure you make a well-informed choice that suits your home’s needs and future value.

Initial Cost of Metal Roofs

grey metal tile roof

When it comes to choosing a metal roof for your home, the price can vary a lot. On average, across the country, setting up a metal roof might cost you about $19,857.14 as of May 2023. This cost can range from as low as $8,000 to as high as $80,000. This big price range depends on where you live and the type of metal roof you decide to go for.

For a home that’s about 2,000 square feet, with a roof that’s not too steep or flat, here’s a quick look at what different metal materials might cost you:

  • Galvalume Steel: This is a budget-friendly option that could cost you between $8,000 and $18,000. It’s known for its durability and resistance to corrosion.
  • Galvanized Steel: Another great choice, with prices ranging from $9,000 to $34,000. It’s coated with zinc to help prevent rust.
  • Aluminum: A bit pricier, aluminum roofs can set you back between $13,000 and $42,000. They’re lightweight and resist corrosion well.
  • Stainless Steel: Known for its strength, a stainless steel roof costs between $14,000 and $40,000.
  • Tin (Terne): This unique option ranges from $20,000 to $52,000 and is known for its vintage look.
  • Zinc: Offering a good balance of durability and aesthetics, zinc roofs are priced between $29,000 and $42,000.
  • Copper: On the higher end, copper roofs are the most expensive, ranging from $40,000 to $80,000. They stand out for their longevity and beautiful patina over time.

Use our Metal Roof Cost Calculator to instantly learn the cost of a metal roof on your home.

Initial Cost of Asphalt Roofs

grey asphalt shingles

Choosing an asphalt roof for your home is often seen as a more budget-friendly option. As of 2023, getting a new asphalt roof could cost you anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. The average cost most people across the country pay is about $7,662. This is considering a house that’s around 2,000 square feet, which is pretty standard.

Let’s break down the costs based on the type of asphalt shingles you might pick for your home:

  • 3-Tab Shingles: These are the most affordable choice, costing between $6,100 and $8,100. They’re quite popular due to their cost-effectiveness and simplicity.
  • Architectural Shingles: A bit pricier, these shingles range from $9,000 to $11,000. They offer a more dimensional look to your roof, making it more visually appealing.
  • Designer Shingles: For those looking for a premium look, designer shingles are the most expensive, with prices between $14,000 and $18,000. They come in various styles that mimic the look of more expensive roofing materials.

The cost of an asphalt roof depends on the style of shingles you choose. Each type has its own look and benefits, from the most straightforward designs to those that give your home a more elegant appearance. Remember, these prices are based on a typical home size and can vary depending on your specific needs and location. Use our Asphalt Roof Cost Calculator to instantly learn the cost of a asphalt roof on your home.

Cost Comparison Between Metal and Asphalt Roofs

When deciding between a metal and an asphalt roof for your home, one of the biggest questions is: Which one is cheaper? Let’s break it down based on the information we’ve discussed.

Upfront Cost

When you first look at the cost, asphalt roofs are usually easier on your wallet. On average, putting on an asphalt roof might cost you about $7,662. The price can change a bit, going from $5,000 to $25,000, depending on what kind of shingles you pick for a house that’s 2,000 square feet. Metal roofs, on the other side, start off more expensive.

The average cost to get a metal roof is around $19,857.14. This price can go up or down a lot, from $8,000 all the way to $80,000, based on the type of metal you choose. So, if you’re asking which one costs less at the beginning, asphalt roofs are the cheaper choice.

If you’re looking for the most cost-effective option at the start, asphalt roofs are the way to go. They offer a lower initial investment compared to metal roofs. However, it’s important to consider not just the upfront cost but also the long-term value, such as durability, maintenance, and potential energy savings, which might make metal roofs a worthwhile investment over time.

Considerations Beyond Cost

While cost is a significant factor when choosing between a metal and an asphalt roof for your home, there are other important aspects to consider. These factors can influence your satisfaction with the roof over time and even affect your home’s value.


The weather in your area plays a crucial role in deciding the best roofing material. Metal roofs are excellent for areas prone to heavy snow, high winds, or wildfires because of their durability and fire-resistant properties. They can shed snow and rain more effectively, reducing the risk of water damage. Asphalt shingles, however, are a good fit for a wide range of climates but may not perform as well under extreme conditions.

Aesthetic Preferences

Your roof should complement the overall look of your home. Metal roofs offer a modern and sleek appearance, with a variety of colors and styles that can match almost any home design. They can even mimic the look of traditional shingles, tiles, or wood shakes. Asphalt shingles are more traditional and can give your home a classic look. They also come in many colors and styles, making it easy to find an option that suits your taste.

ROI and Resale Value

Metal roofs are a great investment for the long term. They last a very long time, up to 40-70 years or more, which can make your house more appealing to buyers. They also help keep your home cool by reflecting sunlight, saving you money on cooling costs. Because of these benefits, metal roofs can increase the value of your home and may lead to a higher selling price.

On the other hand, asphalt roofs are less expensive and can still make your home look good to potential buyers. They might not last as long as metal roofs, but a new asphalt roof can make your house more attractive and help it sell quicker. Even though the return on investment might not be as high as with metal roofs, installing a new asphalt roof is still a smart move that can make your home stand out and provide peace of mind to buyers.


When picking between metal and asphalt roofs, both choices have their perks. Asphalt roofs are easier on the wallet at first, making them a popular choice for many homeowners. They come in different looks to match your home and keep costs down. Metal roofs cost more when you first buy them, but they’re tough, save energy, and can even make your house worth more if you decide to sell. They’re great for places with tough weather because they can handle a lot, from heavy snow to strong winds.

So, if you’re asking which is cheaper, asphalt roofs take the lead with their lower starting price. But remember, choosing the right roof isn’t just about what it costs now. It’s also about how it helps you in the long run, like saving on energy bills or not having to fix or replace it as often. If you’re not sure what’s best for your home, talking to a roofing expert can help. They can give you advice that fits just what you need.

Fact checked by Adrian Catolico – 02/20/2024