Stone-Coated Steel Roof vs Metal Roofing Panels

Asphalt shingles and wood shake just don’t last that long. At best, you can expect around 30 years out of these roofing products. A lot of folks in Colorado are wanting a longer-lasting roof. There are a few things to consider when comparing stone-coated steel roof vs metal roofing panels. Both cost about the same and last about the same. Both are much more durable than traditional asphalt shingles and wood shake. Below, we explain the advantages and disadvantages of each, which one is ‘cooler’, compare costs and longevity, and help you make a decision between the two.

Short Answer: When comparing a stone-coated steel roof vs standing seam, a standing seam roof will cool your home better than steel shingles. However, stone-coated metal shingles look like a traditional residential roof. Both cost about the same to purchase and install.

What is Stone-Coated Steel Roofing

Stone-coated steel roofing, such as metal shingles, are just like traditional asphalt shingles, except instead of a fiberglass base, it’s metal. The granules on top are the same, and from a distance, they can resemble traditional shingles, wood shake, or even barrel tile. In fact, stone-coated metal shingles do a better job at resembling wood shake than asphalt shingles.

Stone-coated metal shingles are relatively new to the market. We often install these for our clients that are looking to replace their wood shake roof with something that still resembles wood shake, but lasts a lot longer and is much more durable.

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

What Are Metal Roofing Panels, Such as Standing Seam

Sheet metal roofing panels are smooth sheets of metal. Ours come cut to the inch for a precise fit, and in either 3′ or 4′ widths. Today, metal roofing panels come in more colors than ever before. Some from dozens of colors to choose from.

a new metal roof on a new house
Standing Seam metal roof

Advantages of Stone-Coated Steel Roofing

If your HOA is requiring your reroof to match other asphalt shingled roofs in your neighborhood, stone-coated metal shingles achieve this. For example, Decra’s Shingle XD looks just like asphalt shingles, even close-up, and comes in 5 different colors. Westlake Royal Roofing also has two stone-coated metal shingle options. Their Cottage line more closely resembles dimensional asphalt shingles.

Stone-coated metal shingles are easier to install than metal roofing panels, simply because they are smaller in size and weight. The size of metal shingles are about the same size as asphalt shingles, which is about 1″ x 3″. This is much easier to handle than a 3′ or 4′ wide by 10′ panel.

Stone-coated metal shingles are a little quieter than sheet metal roofing, during hail storms, for example. However, this really depends upon the insulation installed, and how the sheets are installed.

Another advantage of stone-coated metal shingles is that they come in more profiles or appearance options. For example, you can get metal shingles that resemble traditional asphalt shingles, or wood shake, or barrel tile.

Disadvantages of Stone-Coated Steel

As with asphalt shingles, the granules on stone-coated metal shingles are held-down with an adhesive. With metal shingles, that’s often acrylic. These granules can come off over time from abuse from hail, temperature fluctuation, etc. As a result, they can lose their color and appearance. The steel underneath is still there, so you’re still protected from hail, rain, etc., but they might not look as nice as they once did when they were new.

Unless you get Westlake’s Barrel-Vault Tile in Dover (white), stone-coated steel roofing shingles have the lowest reflectivity and emissivity values. i.e. they aren’t ‘cool’ in the warm months and don’t help nearly as much to help lower your cooling bill.

Although stone-coated metal shingles are easier to install, they do take longer to install than metal roofing panels. Given the same square footage of roof to cover, it takes less time to cover it with long sheets than it does with multiple smaller shingles.

Stone-coated metal shingles don’t shed snow as quickly as metal panels.

Advantages of Metal Roofing Panels

One advantage of metal roofing panels or standing seam is that it takes less time to install, compared to metal shingles.

A major advantage to sheet metal panels is that they are cooler than stone-coated metal shingles. In fact, any color of sheet metal panel is cooler than any other roofing material. A white metal roof has an average solar reflectance of .67 and an emissivity of .85. The closer to 1 (or 100%, the better!).

chart showing reflectivity and emissivity of common steep sloped roofing materials

Another nice thing about metal sheets is that they quickly shed snow. Let’s say you have a metal panel roof with a pitch of 6/12. That is, when you measure 12″ horizontally, the roof rises 6″. During a snow storm, after a certain amount of snow has accumulated, the snow will let go of your roof and slide off. “Look out below!”

Disadvantages of Metal Panels

The only disadvantage of metal roofing panels is that they don’t come in different profiles. They don’t resemble wood shake or tile or anything other than sheet metal.

Which Costs Less?

We’ve installed both stone-coated metal shingles and sheet metal panels. Both cost about the same to purchase. Although stone-coated metal shingles are easier to work with and install, it takes longer to install them as you’re working with smaller pieces of roofing material. Metal sheets, such as standing seam, takes less time to install, but they require more time to install at the ridges, valleys, and caps of roofs. So, the cost is about the same to purchase and install.

Both stone-coated metal shingles and sheet metal panels are recyclable in our area, such as Colorado Iron and Metal in Fort Collins.

So, How Do You Decide?

How do you decide between a stone-coated steel roof vs metal roofing panels? Which metal roofing product do you get when they cost about the same and last about as long?

For one, you have to ask yourself if you want that shingle, shake, or tile look, or if you want the sheet metal look. Keep in mind that sheet metal now comes in dozens of colors, and in 22, 24, or 26 gauge (the smaller the gauge number, the thicker the material is).

Or is it more important that you have a lower Summer cooling bill? If this is the most important thing to you, there’s really only one choice – sheet metal panels, be it standing seam or corrugated/PBC.

If you’re shopping for a new metal roof, congratulations! It’s a smart move. Although it costs more than asphalt shingles initially, it often costs less in the long run as it often lasts longer than asphalt shingles. When you’re ready for a new metal roof, whether it’s stone-coated metal shingles or sheet metal standing seam, contact us for a free inspection and estimate.