farmhouse style home in portland with black metal roof

Metal Roof vs. Shingle Roof: Is there a Better Option for the Portland Area?

Posted By Gabe Callaway

With various roofing options available in Portland, it can be quite an overwhelming task to choose one that fits your needs. The choice usually boils down to two popular options: metal roof vs. shingle roofing.

Metal roofs will cost more in terms of installation, but they will have easier maintenance in the long run. It is also known for its durability and resilience. Meanwhile, shingle roofs are still considered the most common choice in many Portland homes as they are dependable and cost-effective.

The material you’ll choose for your roofing project will not only affect the aesthetic appeal of your home but will also define your long-term maintenance needs and total energy costs per month. Let’s take a closer look at the difference between metal roofs and shingle roofing so you can select the better roofing option for your home in Portland.

Metal Roof vs. Shingle Roofing: Which is Better for Your Portland Home?

First, both materials are available in different finishes to complement any home type. Shingles present a classic, traditional appearance, and some are now made to mimic the look of slate, wood shakes, or tile. They do not last as long as metal roofs as the material is prone to algae and fungus and damage brought by cracking and fluctuations in the temperature.

On the other hand, metal roofs are seen as bleak corrugated tin panels– but that is a thing of the past. Today, metal roofs are available in different colors and finish to suit any home. Metal roofs have generous lifespans of about 40 to 70 years, but they can be damaged or dented by extreme hail and other factors.

Metal Roof vs. Shingle Roofing: Average Costs

Since a metal roof is determined to last longer than shingle roofs, this will cost you more in terms of professional installation. You can expect to recoup the total costs in the long run as you won’t need to pay for a replacement soon. On average, metal roofs start from $180 to $950 per 100 square feet, while asphalt shingle roofs cost between $150 and $250 for the same area coverage.

Expect higher installation costs when:

  • Your Portland home has multiple stories
  • The roofing is complex (gable roofs or roof areas)
  • You have a roof with a steep pitch
  • Your roof underlayment needs timely replacement
  • You opt for a standing seam-type roof than a shingle or sheet roof
  • You opt for higher-quality metal material (copper or zinc)

Metal Roofing

Many homeowners in Portland, OR, have chosen metal roofs for years. This material remains a crowd-favorite choice thanks to its durability, long lifespan, and low maintenance requirements. This means you won’t likely need to shell out cash for a roof repair soon. Metal roofing is commonly made from fusing vertical, metal-blend panels. Today, they are available in different designs and can mimic the appearance of other standard roofing materials.

Commonly, metal roofing is made available in large flat sheets that are folded longitudinally depending on the specific pattern: such as flat seam and corrugated metal roofing. The flat seam metal roofing variety will cost you more regarding material costs and installation, but you can never go wrong with its interlocking seam design. This features fasteners that hold the metal surface to the frame underneath, ensuring stability for long years. (Related: The Pros & Cons of A Metal Roof In Portland)


  • It has a generous average lifespan ranging between 30 to 70 years. Notably, metal roofs are known to last longer than other standard counterparts in the market today.
  • The material is both fire and leak-resistant and has relatively low maintenance. Also, Having a metal roof increases the chances of energy savings for your home.
  • Metal roofs are environment-friendly, as most of their blends are made using recycled materials.


  • During the rainy season, metal roofs can be quite noisy
  • It will cost you more in terms of professional installation
  • The installation process is quite challenging, so DIY attempts are almost impossible
  • The material is heavy, which may present complications depending on the load-bearing capacity of your home

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt shingle roofs are considered the most common choice for residential roofing projects in the Portland area. Just ask any contractor or roofing company in the area! Shingles made from asphalt are efficient, cost-effective, and don’t need heavy maintenance on your end. What more can you ask for, right?

Shingles are usually sold in sheets, stacks, or rolls and have a uniform design. They take on a ceramic granular surface and smooth asphalt that’s layered over a standard fiberglass base. It is usually nailed onto wooden-framed wood structures. Since shingles are relatively inexpensive, it proves to be a popular choice for homeowners with a tight budget. The material is also easy to install, so you can count on the fact that most contractors are knowledgeable enough to work with them.


  • Relatively inexpensive and widely available
  • It is a durable roofing material for Portland homes
  • Easy to install for most professional roofing contractors


  • No chances for energy savings and it has poor snow retention capabilities
  • This roofing material can be damaged in extreme weather conditions
  • When compared to metal roofs, asphalt shingle roofing has a shorter lifespan

Which Roofing Material is Best for Your Portland Home?

The better roofing material between metal and shingle roofs for your home in Portland can depend on several factors, including your budget, maintenance requirements, and average lifespan. 

Maintenance and Care ─ The required upkeep for a metal roof is considerably easier than looking after an asphalt roof, but this will depend on the roof’s angle and slope (and whether a professional roofer completed the installation). Ideally, consult with a roofing professional in your area to determine the best maintenance activities you can follow.

Lifespan ─ A metal roof is expected to last for half a century (and more). But, depending on the environmental conditions it is constantly exposed to, you can expect about 40 to 70 years of good use with this roofing material. In contrast, asphalt shingle roofs may deteriorate faster than their metal roofing counterparts. Extreme weather, hailstorms, and strong winds may wear your shingle roofs rapidly.

Costs ─ Generally, metal roofing costs more per square foot than asphalt shingles, sometimes by a magnitude of two or three.

Resale Value ─ Homes with metal roofs typically sell for a little bit more, probably due to the material’s longevity and a recent surge in popularity. Homes with asphalt shingles on their roofs often sell for slightly less than comparable homes with metal roofs. However, in most circumstances, a shingle-roofed home’s age and maintenance level will have a more significant impact on the property’s resale value than the material choice.

Ultimately, a metal roof is an excellent investment for your Portland home if you have a sufficient budget. Not all hope is lost if you’re working with a limited budget. You’ll find that asphalt shingle roofs are a popular choice in the area as it is reliable and cost-efficient.

We strongly encourage consulting a roofing professional in the Portland area to determine the best material for your home’s roofing needs.


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