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Metal Roofing vs. Shingles Comparison: Make the Right Choice

Hey there, fellow West Michigan property owners! I’m a skilled roofer who knows how crucial it is to pick the right roofing material for our specific weather. That’s why I’m here to help you navigate the age-old debate: metal roofing or shingles? In this article, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of each choice, specifically for our properties in West Michigan.

Understanding West Michigan Climate and Roofing Challenges

Living in West Michigan means we experience some wild weather swings, from blistering summer heat to freezing winter temperatures. Our roofs face unique challenges, including heavy snowfall, high winds, and occasional hailstorms. So, it’s crucial to select a roofing material that can withstand these elements and provide long-lasting protection for our homes.

Metal Roofing: Pros and Cons

Let’s start with metal roofing, shall we?

Metal roofs have gained popularity for good reason. They offer exceptional durability, longevity, and resistance to harsh weather conditions. I have installed many metal roofs in West Michigan and can say they are reliable when installed correctly.

Some advantages of metal roofing include obvious aesthetics as well as impact rating for hail and possible debris during storms.

One thing to consider is hidden fastener metal roofing compared to exposed fastener metal. The latter is commonly used for barns and non-conditioned spaces, but the exposed fasteners can cause leaks over time.

There are various profiles for hidden fastener metal roofing systems. However, we will specifically discuss the Standing Seam profile, which is commonly used on metal roofs. While the standing seam profile is desired by many, this look is not appealing for some urban or modern homes. Thus the conversation about options begins.

Be careful with metal roofing. Sometimes new products, like the stone coated shingle roof we installed, may not meet expectations. I have personally encountered problems with newer products not living up to the hype.

The homeowner in Portage didn’t like the metal profile but preferred steel shingles instead. This is because most houses in their neighborhood on Angling Rd have a more modern look on the outside.

We installed the requested materials, but later discovered that the product needed some fixes and did not perform as expected. This is not what we want for a new roof. We will not recommend this product in the future.

Now that I’ve finished complaining about the bad Star Trek metal roof, let’s return to comparing metal roofing and shingles.

Metal Roofing vs. Shingles Comparison: The Key Factors for West Michigan Properties

Metal roofs last for decades, typically outperforming traditional shingles. Many of today’s asphalt shingles include warranties, like GAF’s 50 Year Golden Pledge. They’re incredibly durable, able to withstand high winds, heavy snow loads, and even some class 4 hail. Trust me; I’ve seen firsthand how metal roofs excel in our region’s challenging climate!

Plus, metal roofs are energy efficient, helping you save on cooling costs during those scorching summer months. Metal roofing provides an additional layer of air space above the roof and below the shingles. This layer helps insulate your home and keep it warm.

Now, it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention a few potential downsides. Metal roofs cost more upfront than shingles, but they are a good long-term investment. The longevity and energy savings they provide might make up for the initial expense.

Some folks also express concerns about noise during heavy rain or hail. However, proper insulation and sheathing can effectively address those concerns but not always eliminate them.

Metal roofing requires much more skill at terminations, flashings, chimneys, and any type of penetration from the roof. The contractor must have experience and use the right materials, such as ice and water shield for high temperatures, for installation. They should also secure the edges properly and flash the transitions to the siding correctly.

When installing a metal roof, it is crucial to consider the design of your home’s roofline. Do you have a simple ranch-style home with a straightforward roof? Or do you have a larger, more complex home with multiple roof sections? These factors will dramatically affect the cost of a metal roof in Kalamazoo County and local areas.

A ranch home roof costs around $45K for a new standing seam installation. On the other hand, a two-story mini mansion roof could cost up to $60K. This is because it requires extra trims and installation needs.

Metal roofs have limited color and style choices compared to shingles. People often ask, “What else can we choose?” This presents its own challenges, but at least it’s a job, right? And hey, sometimes simplicity and durability are the way to go!

Shingles: Pros and Cons

Hey there, let’s talk about the hot topic in West Michigan – yup, you guessed it, roofing shingles Pros and Cons! This handy-dandy material is pretty much the bread and butter of our homes’ roofs, right? And why wouldn’t they be? Shingles come in many styles, colors, and prices, giving our homes the freedom to stand out and look special.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff, and trust me, it’s super good! I’m talking about GAF’s superstars – the HDZ asphalt shingles and the Armorshield II shingles.

The GAF HDZ asphalt shingles are popular and stylish, like the cool kids with trendy haircuts and dream bikes. With their unique LayerLock™ technology, we’re talking about some serious wind resistance. That’s a major perk for us here in Kalamazoo, given our history with strong seasonal winds. They also feature the Dura Grip™ adhesive that seals each shingle tightly and reduces the risk of shingle blow-off.

But hey, the awesomeness doesn’t stop there. The HDZ shingles have a warranty from GAF called “No Guesswork”. It includes a lifetime limited warranty and ten years of premium protection for material defects.

If your contractor is a GAF certified roofer, you can also get extended warranties. That’s like getting a security blanket and insurance for your roof, how cool is that?

Now, let’s not forget about the Armorshield II shingles. These are perfect for homeowners who want beautiful, durable, and impact-resistant materials all in one.

These strong shingles can shield your home from hailstorms in Kalamazoo, keeping it safe and secure. And the cherry on top? They might even qualify you for a reduction in your homeowner’s insurance. Win-win, right?

These shingles look great when installed and in the summer, they actually melt together . . . literally.

This material is great because it doesn’t lose any granules during installation. You can hit or scrape it without any problem, making it easy for the roofer to install and keep it clean.

Asphalt shingles need quite some time in the sunlight before they “lay down”. The Armorshield shingle will lie flat after a few days in the Michigan summer sun. This improves the overall profile of the roof.

GAF asphalt shingles and Armorshield shingles are both designed to endure the unique weather conditions of Kalamazoo. The warranties on both these shingles are the same as most metal roofing warranties. These options are a great choice as they are often less than 50% of the cost of metal.

Let’s take a look at that 2500 SQFT home we talked about for the metal roofing. Installing GAF HDZ shingles on those same (2) homes (a standard ranch and a mini mansion) would range in price from $12K -$17K. Compare this to the $45K+ range we discussed when using metal roofing in those applications.

You can see with the benefits of the product and cost savings this really does become a conversation about what is best for the home and the home owner and no longer is as easy as just requesting “I want the best material”.

Wrapping Up: Roofing Options for Kalamazoo Homes – Metal or Shingles?

Shingles as you’ve read often take the win when it comes to cost-effectiveness. If your budget is a bit tight or you’re not seeing yourself in your current home for the long haul, then shingles might just be your best choice. Plus, they give you an impressive palette of design choices, promising a great match with your home’s existing vibe.

Extra Tips for Kalamazoo Folks

As proud residents of Kalamazoo, Michigan, a couple of things need to be considered before you settle on a roofing choice. Stay ahead of the game by brushing up on local building codes and norms.

Depending on the locality, there may be unique stipulations for roofing materials, so be sure to check if your choice meets the requirements. If you are in the Vine neighborhood or any historical district you need to check with your local neighborhood association on the ability to change the roof material type. This is not often the case outside of associations and historical areas but certainly something to take into consideration.

Metal Roofing vs. Shingles: Fitting Just Right for Kalamazoo Homes

Also, don’t forget about your home’s architectural charm. Be it a snug little cottage or a slice of modern architectural art, your roofing material should enhance its Character. Luckily, both metal roofing and shingles sport a spectrum of styles catering to diverse architectural tastes. Character Exteriors can provide design capabilities to highlight all options for you in a visual way.

Above all, remember that the key to a long-lasting roof, no matter the material, is consistent maintenance and inspection. Sweeping off debris, inspecting for loose or damaged shingles, and keeping those gutters squeaky clean are essential to staving off potential future troubles.

Summing Up

So, when it comes to choosing between metal roofing and shingles for your Kalamazoo home, it really hinges on your particular requirements, financial plan, and long-term vision. Metal roofing could be your go-to if you’re after superior endurance and possible aesthetics. But, if you’re looking for a cost-effective and flexible option, shingles might be your pick, especially in an emergency or need to have work performed quickly after leaks or a storm.

Metal Roofing vs. Shingles: A Thoughtful Choice for Kalamazoo Property Owners

It’s important to remember that this article is a broad comparison and it’s always wise to get a professional roofing contractor involved. They can tailor advice to your property’s unique demands, provide reliable cost projections, and walk you through the whole roofing process.

So, our dear Kalamazoo neighbors, take your time, do your homework, and make a conscious decision. Your roof is a major investment in securing and extending your home’s life, so choosing the right material is vital. Here’s to ensuring our homes stay safe, protected, and dry for many years, no matter what Mother Nature decides to serve up!

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