Cost of a Metal Roof vs. an Asphalt Roof

June 1st, 2016


By far the most common roofing material in North America is the asphalt shingle, and for good reason.  With a typical 20 to 30 year pro-rated warranty, they are a less expensive choice that will hold up well under wind, water, fire, ice and fluctuating temperatures.  Asphalt roofing shingles, aka composites, are fairly easy to install and repair, although they require some maintenance.


Metal roofing is becoming more and more popular for residential homes.  People are catching on to the many benefits of metal roofing.  Most metal roofing products come with a 50 year product warranty and have been known to last much longer than this.  They are extremely durable and hold up well under all weather conditions.  Many metal roofing products have test certifications showing their durability to hail, wind and fire.  Some metal roof warranties go beyond just covering manufacturing defects, and will also include coverage against deterioration of the paint finish.

Let’s Compare

When comparing the cost of asphalt roofing to metal roofing, a significant factor is the life cycle cost (ie. cost spread over the length of time it will last).

metal roof cost

 The initial cost of a metal roof may cost more than an asphalt roof, but how many times will you need to replace that asphalt roof during the next 50 years?  Asphalt roof warranties these days are growing closer and closer to the 50 year mark.  Regardless of whether your asphalt roof warranty covers you for five years or 50, it is important to know that the roofing warranty covers you against defective products, not regular wear and tear.  In other terms, if your asphalt shingles fail because they weren’t manufactured correctly, then you could submit a warranty claim; if they deteriorate because of sun, ice, snow and moss – which is far more likely – then don’t expect to get a replacement roof for free.

Metal Roof Options

The cost of a metal roof will vary based on many factors.  If you have a complex roof, that has many angles, dormers, sidewalls and chimneys, which require flashing, the price of the installation will go up.  Durability and longevity of your metal roof is in large part determined by the proper installation, so it is best to get it right the first time, don’t try to cut corners on the installation cost by trusting the job to an unqualified installer.  You will wind up paying for it later with costly repairs.  There are endless styles, finishes and colours of metal roofs to choose from.  More common metal roofing materials are aluminum, steel and copper.  Aluminum and steel roofing are typically pre-painted and formed into metal tiles, shakes, shingles or slates.  Prepare to pay a bit more for top quality paint finishes, such as Kynar500.

Asphalt Options

The cost of an asphalt roof will also vary based on roof complexity and type of asphalt product chosen.  Asphalt roofs come in a variety of colors and styles.  Some even mimic more expensive materials such as slate and wood shake.  There are several types to choose from including standard three-tab asphalt shingles or higher quality architectural asphalt shingles.

Asphalt Roof and Metal Roof Average Cost 

Keep in mind that the prices below are only general estimates.  Local labor and material costs and the difficulty of the installation can result in significant price differences.

Standard 3 tab asphalt shingles installation costs approximately $2-$4 CDN per square foot. For a roof measuring 1,500 square feet, the total cost from $3,000 to $6,000 CDN.  At this price, you can expect a warranty of approximately 20 years.

Architectural roof shingles cost approximately $4-$7 CDN per square foot installed, or roughly $6,000 to $10,500 CDN for a 1,500 square foot roof.  These higher quality asphalt shingles should come with a 40 year warranty.

Most asphalt shingle installations include the removal and disposal of existing shingles.  If this is not included in the price, it might cost an additional $1 to $4 CDN per square foot.

Metal roof installation costs around $5 to $15 CDN per square foot or more. This works out to a total price of roughly $7,500 to $22,500 CDN for a 1,500 square foot roof.

It’s possible in many cases to install a metal roof over old asphalt shingles.  If it’s necessary to remove the existing shingles, you might pay an additional $1 to $4 CDN per square foot.


Latest News