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Metal Roofing Comparison Guide


Metal roofs are environmentally friendly, cost-conscious, and gorgeous.

By integrating multi-layered anti-weathering technology with the top tier durability of high performance steel, modern metal roofs last a lifetime and look great doing it!  They’re no longer prone to rust, corrosion, or noise from rainwater.

Unlike the asphalt composition shingle market, where there are handful of big dog manufacturers, metal roofing manufacturers are numerous and frequently local.  The vast landscape of different metal roofing styles far surpasses any other type of roofing.  This article will provide you with what you need to know to navigate the landscape.

Metal roofing benefits

Asphalt composition shingles domination of the residential roofing market is rapidly changing as homeowners find that metal roofs often meet their priorities better.

  • Metal roofs can be markedly cheaper over a lifetime.  They last 50+ years.  Some last significantly longer, and there is no known upper limit to how long a maintained metal roof can last.  Steel is sturdy stuff.  Some metal roofs in Europe are hundreds of years old.  The typical asphalt composition roof lasts 15 to 25 years, meaning that you can pay for one metal roof or multiple composition roofs over your lifetime.
  • The savings continue.  Metal roofs can:
    • Increase home resale value by up to 6% (which can sometimes “pay for the roof” in equity).
    • Reduce energy costs by up to 40% by reflecting sunlight.
    • Reduce insurance costs due to being more resistant to impact, fire, and wind.
    • Reduce maintenance costs while increasing safety.  You can usually just spray it down with a hose (should never do that with asphalt shingles).
  • Metal roofs are 100% recyclable and are often manufactured from recycled material.  Asphalt shingles tend to end up in landfills.

Standing seam metal roofing panels

NuRay Standing Seam Metal RoofThe traditional look.  You may notice standing seam panels on homes, businesses, and government buildings alike.  They’re a super popular choice for growing marketplaces because they give a high-end, professional appearance.  And since business owners are learning that metal roofing lasts such a long time, they like the savings associated with not having to deal with the hassle of re-roofs down the road.

Standing seam is likewise growing rapidly in popularity among homeowners.  You may find them popping up in your town or even seen some neighborhoods full of standing seam metal roofs.  They may be the most widely applicable roofing type in the world because they have so many different benefits and fit in well for any sloped roof anywhere.  A lone barn in the middle of a field looks great with standing seam, as does a shop in a busy marketplace, as does a house at the end of a cul-de-sac.

Nu Ray Metals 6000 snap lock panels demonstrate the standing seam metal roofing look fantastically.  Coming in 24 or 26 gauge steel, the pencil-ribbed version provides the widely-appreciated smooth appearance from the street while helping to avoid the oil canning issue (visible waviness of flat portions of metal panels).

Shake metal roofing

Edco Metal RoofWood shakes have dropped in popularity from decades past since they’re tough to maintain and life expectancy isn’t amazing.  They’re gorgeous though, maybe the all time most loved roofing aesthetic.  Which explains why asphalt composition shingle manufacturers spend millions trying to mimic the cedar shake look.

Composition manufacturers have had some success replicating the shake look via creating dimensionality in the shingle profile, but the shingles still don’t have the natural cuts and roughness that shakes do.  The composite shingle dimensionality comes from height and color variations, and granules must be evenly distributed otherwise the shingles won’t function.

Metal doesn’t have this issue.  The panels can be cut and roughed in the factory to look exactly like wood shakes.  With the benefits of metal roofing, shake profiles give the best of both worlds: the beauty of wood shakes and the longevity and durability of steel roofing.

Tile metal roofing

Presidio Metal Tile RoofTile roofs provide excellent longevity, but they come at the cost of needing frequent repairs.  When debris accumulates on tiles, moisture readily penetrates the naturally porous material and cracks them.  Even though frequent maintenance can help prevent this, walking on tiles is dangerous and can easily cause more damage.

By beautifully replicating Spanish tile, CertainTeed’s Presidio tile metal panels combines all the benefits of metal and tile without the drawbacks of tile.

  • Class 4 impact resistance
  • Class A fire resistance
  • 130 mph wind rating
  • 16 CRRC-rated Cool Roof colors
  • Can reflect up to 66% of solar rays
  • DDS high-performance steel alloy
  • Thermally deposited anti-corrosive G90 coating
  • Anti-corrosive zinc phosphate layer
  • Tri-pigment Reflective Technology PVDF paint system

Many tile roofs that reach end of life are replaced by a different style of material because of all the drawbacks of tile, composition shingles being the main replacement.  But with modern metal roofing technology, tile roofs can be replaced with metal roofing with the same profile, longer lasting appearance and longevity.

Slate and shingles metal roofing

certainteed Slate Metal RoofEven with stellar longevity (up to 200 years), slate roofs are becoming rarer in these days.  If everything goes perfectly, a slate roof can function phenomenally and look great doing it.  But the variables that can go wrong are typically not known before the roof is installed.  These include:

  • Storms and falling debris.  Like tile, slate is prone to cracking from impact.  Experienced technicians and even cats can crack slate shingles from walking on them.
  • Improper flashing installation.
  • Exposed fastener deterioration over time.
  • Inconsistent layout.
  • Difficulty finding replacement shingles.

With strong impact resistance and easy-to-find replacement panels (if needed), metal roofs can provide the rough, rocky texture of real slate without the significant drawbacks.

Corrugated metal roofing

You’ll only find corrugated metal roofing installed new on garages, barns, outhouses, and similar structures.  With options for 26 gauge steel and anti-corrosion finishes, modern corrugated metal roofing has significantly improved from decades past.  But because its aesthetic is strongly associated with the agriculture theme, homeowners and store-front business owners typically opt for standing seam metal panels over corrugated steel.

Perhaps the reason corrugated metal roofing has been phased out for structures that can’t tolerate some leaking is the fasteners are exposed, causing inevitable leaks as the rubber washers deteriorate over time.


Metal roofing may be the most versatile, least expensive (over the long term), and most eco-friendly roofing material available today.  It comes in three chief types:

  • Standing seam metal panels.  With panels extending from ridge to eave, with typical width of 16 inches, homes, storefront businesses, and government buildings have been installing these all over the country.  Aesthetically, they go with near everything.  Economically, they’re the best choice for many long-term thinkers.
  • Shake, tile, and slate profile metal roofing panels and shingles.  As these popular roofing types of old are phased out by asphalt composition roofing shingles, metal roofing technology offers new options that best replicate the traditional roofing.  You’re no longer in a jam if you have a shake, tile, or slate roof and you’re having trouble replacing it and your only viable option is composite shingles.  You can go metal and get the beloved tile, shake, or slate look.
  • Corrugated metal roofing.  With the agricultural look, this style is still installed on some barns, garages, and similar buildings.  But because of exposed fasteners that lose their watertight seal over time, corrugated metal roofing is no longer a common option for homes or businesses.

Imagine yourself with one of these beautiful metal roofs!  Call us today for your free roofing estimate ((253) 544-3651) and we can help you put your vision into action.  We serve Sumner, Auburn, Puyallup, Tacoma, and the surrounding area.

2 thoughts on “Metal Roofing Comparison Guide”

  1. My husband and I want to replace our roof, so we wanted tips on roofing materials. I didn’t know you could increase your home value by 6% if you have a metal roof. That’s something my husband and I could use since we plan on moving one more time before we get old, so I’ll ask the roofing contractor we hire what they think about metal roofs, thanks to this post!

    1. Chase Construction North West

      Glad we could help, Sarah. Even asphalt composite shingle roofs can raise home value, but those usually are not thought of in those terms because of how they wear out. Since a well set up metal roof can last longer than the structure it’s built on, it’s useful to include thinking in terms of the increased investment value they provide homes.

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