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Stone-coated metal shingles vs asphalt shingles

Have you heard of stone-coated metal shingles? With them becoming more popular, we thought we’d compare them to traditional asphalt shingles. Maybe you’re considering ditching the short-lived asphalt shingles and switching to a roofing material that lasts longer and is more durable?

There are a lot of advantages to asphalt shingles. Cost and availability being just two of them. However, there are a few advantages to stone-coated metal shingles that you should seriously consider.

under side of stone-coated metal shingle close-up

close-up of the underside of a stone-coated metal shingle

Advantages of asphalt shingles

The big advantage to asphalt shingles over stone-coated metal shingles is cost. They cost less to purchase and install. Asphalt shingles are the least expensive steep slope roofing material, at around $3.40/sqft. for your average, mid-grade shingles. Stone-coated metal shingles, on the other hand, cost around $9.50/sf. Tear-off of previous roof costs extra.

Asphalt shingles are quicker to install. Our installers use a nail gun to install asphalt shingles, and it literally takes about 1 second to nail one shingle down. Cutting an asphalt shingle requires nothing more than a common utility knife, which easily fits into one’s pocket and takes half a second to cut an asphalt shingle.

Asphalt shingles offer more colors to choose from, compared to stone-coated metal shingles. Although this is quickly changing. Owens Corning’s TruDefinition Duration shingles alone come in 13 different colors. CertainTeed’s XT™ 25 3-tab shingles are offered in 20 colors!

Multiple manufacturers. Today, there are multiple asphalt shingle manufacturers to choose from, including Owens Corning, CertainTeed, GAF, Malarkey, IKO, and Tamko, just to name a few.

Easy access. You can walk into any Lowe’s or Home Depot, or just about any other hardware store, and purchase asphalt shingles. There are probably asphalt shingles at your local used building supply company, such as Uncle Benny’s Building Supplies or Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Disadvantages of asphalt shingles

Although Owens Corning has a shingle recycling program, there is not an asphalt shingle recycling center anywhere in our area :-(. The closest company we found that accepts old asphalt shingles for recycling is in Kansas. As a result, all torn-off shingles in your area get buried in your local landfill.

This is a big one. Asphalt shingles don’t last last as long as stone-coated metal shingles, or any metal roofing, for that matter. Your common, average architectural asphalt shingles last around 30 years. 3-tab shingles, 15-20 years. Stone-coated metal shingles, on the other hand, easily last more than twice this long – 50-70 years or more.

Advantages of stone-coated metal shingles

They last longer. Although stone-coated metal shingles are often warrantied at only 50 years, they frequently last longer than this – about 70 years or more.

Stone-coated metal shingles are more resistant to hail. In fact, Decra, one of our suppliers, shot their metal shingles with an ice cannon and it barely dented it 🙂

They are recycled in our area! We recently contacted Colorado Iron and Metal in Fort Collins, and they said they take all sorts of metal, including stone-coated metal shingles 🙂

Stone-coated metal shingles better imitate other roofing materials, such as shake and tile, and, oddly enough, asphalt shingles. Decra offers a barrel-style metal shingle, a scalloped Mediterranean tile metal shingle, a heavy-cut wood look-a-like metal shingle, a hand-split wood shake metal shingle, and a cedar shake metal shingle. Boral offers 5 metal shingle profiles including wood shake, traditional asphalt shingle, a high-profile asphalt shingle, a barrel shingle, and a Mediterranean tile metal shingle.

metal wood shake shingle

stone-coated metal shingle. Courtesy Boral Roofing

Disadvantages of stone-coated metal shingles

Stone-coated metal shingles cost around 3 times as much as 30-year asphalt shingles due to the fact that metal shingles require the underlayment be upgraded, and it simply takes more time to install metal shingles. Installation time is another disadvantage of stone-coated metal shingles. As just mentioned, it takes longer to install the metal shingles, especially the detail work, such as trimming the metal shingles at the edges, ridges and valleys, and vents of a roof. To cut asphalt shingles, a common utility knife works fine. To cut stone-coated metal shingles, special tools, such as a stone-coat cutter, is required.

Unlike asphalt shingles, stone-coated metal shingles aren’t (yet) available at your local hardware store. If you want to purchase and install stone-coated metal shingles yourself, the closest location we’ve found is a Menards in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and they only have one color and style to choose from, and it’s not in stock. We’re noticing, as wood shake roofs are wearing-out, homeowners and office owners are requesting stone-coated metal shingles. As a result, metal shingles are gaining in popularity.

Metal shingles don’t have the color options, yet, of traditional asphalt shingles. Decra’s Tile metal shingles come in a whopping 8 colors, which isn’t bad but doesn’t quite compare to asphalt shingles much wider variety of color choices. Boral Steel’s Barrel-Vault also comes in 8 colors. Other profiles come in fewer colors.

Summary

If you’re tired of replacing asphalt shingles every 15 to 30 years and throwing them into a landfill, want a roof that lasts longer, and don’t mind spending more for it, stone-coated metal shingles is the hot new roof. What’s more, if your HOA requires your new roof to match your neighbors, that won’t be a problem since metal shingles come in a variety of profiles and popular colors.