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Metal Roofing vs Shingles: A Comparison for Australian Homes

When it comes to selecting the right roofing material for your home, the decision carries considerable weight. A roof does more than just protect your home from rain and sun – it also adds to how your house looks and can even affect your energy bills. In the debate between metal roofing vs shingles, it’s not just about which one looks better; it’s about which one works better for your situation. 

This blog post is here to help guide you through the details of both options. We’ll explore the strengths and challenges of each. Whether you’re putting a roof on a brand-new house or swapping out an old one, getting to know the differences between metal roofs and shingles is key. Let’s dive in and discover which might be the right choice for your home.

What is Metal Roofing?

Metal roofing is a durable and modern solution widely adopted across Australia for its resilience and versatility. Comprising materials like Colorbond and Zincalume, metal roofs offer homeowners a long-lasting protective layer with a sleek finish. Colorbond, a trademark name, has become synonymous with quality in the Australian market and is known for its baked-on paint finish that resists the harsh Australian climate. Zincalume, on the other hand, is famed for its alloy coating that blends aluminium, zinc, and silicon for superb corrosion resistance.

A metal roof is not only sturdy but also lightweight, making it easier to handle and install. Its key features include a high resistance to extreme weather, from blistering sun to tumultuous storms, and it often comes with significant warranties thanks to its robust nature. The reflective surface of metal roofing can also contribute to better insulation, keeping homes cooler during scorching summers. It’s no surprise that Australian homeowners often prefer metal roofing for its blend of functionality and aesthetic appeal, offering a modern twist to traditional roofing without compromising on performance.

Benefits of Metal Roofing

Long-Lasting and Sturdy

Metal roofing is a standout for its impressive durability. It’s built to last, often seeing out many years beyond the lifespan of other roofing materials. This makes it a smart pick for any home, providing a roof that needs fewer repairs and replacements over the years.

Energy Efficient and Eco-Friendly

With energy costs on the rise, a metal roof can be a cost-saver. It reflects the sun’s heat rather than absorbing it, which can mean cooler indoors and lower air conditioning expenses. For those keen on green living, metal roofs are often made from recycled materials and are fully recyclable at the end of their life, ticking the box for sustainability.


Whether facing downpours, gusty winds, or the harsh Aussie sun, metal roofs can handle it. Their ability to resist severe weather conditions makes them a solid choice for safety and comfort through all seasons. It’s this resilience that gives homeowners extra confidence in their roofing investment.

What are Shingles?

Shingles are a popular choice for covering roofs, made up of individual, overlapping sections laid from the bottom edge of the roof up. Each piece is thin and shaped like a rectangle. They’re placed in rows, with each row covering the join of the one below it.

The most common type is the asphalt shingle, known for being cost-effective and versatile. They are available in many colours and can be made to look like more expensive materials like slate or wood, giving homeowners the chance to make their houses look fancy without spending too much.

Wood shingles, which are often made from cedar, redwood, or pine, give a home a traditional, natural look. They bring an old-world charm but need more care to keep them in good condition and make them last longer.

Shingles are favoured for their straightforward installation and the fact that you can easily replace just the broken pieces if needed. They might not last as long as metal roofs, but they offer a reliable layer of protection from weather. With a variety of materials and colours available, shingles allow for customising the roof’s look to match the home’s style at a manageable cost.

Benefits of Shingle Roofing

Aesthetic Flexibility

Shingle roofing stands out for its exceptional variety in appearance. It offers a spectrum of colours and textures, allowing homeowners to select the perfect match for their property’s architectural design. From quaint cottages to modern mansions, shingles can be tailored to enhance the visual charm of any building.

Versatile Design Compatibility

The adaptability of shingles makes them ideal for roofs with unique shapes and contours. They can be easily shaped and sized to fit complex structures, ensuring a cohesive look across various roof designs. This design-friendly nature makes shingles especially suitable for intricate roofing layouts.

Ease of Installation

Shingle roofing is straightforward to install. This ease translates to lower labour costs and a speedier installation process, reducing the overall impact on the homeowner’s schedule. The installation’s simplicity does not compromise the roof’s performance, with recent advancements increasing shingle resilience and longevity.

Improved Durability

Modern shingle roofing has come a long way in terms of durability. With improved materials and manufacturing techniques, shingles now offer a more reliable and enduring roofing solution. While they may not reach the lifespan of metal roofing, they maintain their integrity for many years, making them a solid investment for homeowners looking for a balance between cost and longevity.

Metal Roofing vs Shingles

Longevity and Performance

When weighing up the merits of metal roofing vs shingles, longevity and performance are pivotal factors. Metal roofing is renowned for its robustness, often remaining in prime condition for 50 years or more, making it a stalwart against the ravages of time. In contrast, traditional shingle roofing, while sturdy, generally offers a shorter lifespan, typically up to 20-30 years before requiring replacement.

Climate suitability plays a significant role in performance. Metal roofs excel in harsh weather conditions, standing firm against high winds, heavy rain, and snow with remarkable resilience. Their reflective properties also fend off the sun’s intense heat, making them a popular choice in hotter climes. On the other hand, shingles possess a natural adaptability, effectively shedding rain and resisting sun damage, though they can be more vulnerable to extreme weather patterns.

Maintenance demands further distinguish the two. Metal roofing’s demand on time and effort is noticeably low; it resists moss and algae growth and needs little more than the occasional clean to maintain its lustre. Shingles require a more attentive eye to guard against potential issues such as curling, lifting, or loss after severe weather incidents.

Both materials present unique benefits in terms of longevity and performance. The decision rests on individual requirements and the environmental stresses the roof will need to withstand.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

When picking out roofing, it’s good to think about how it affects the planet. Metal roofs are a green choice. Most of the time, they’re made from recycled stuff and when they’re too old, they can be recycled again. They also keep houses cooler by bouncing back the sun, which is great for saving on air conditioning and being kinder to the environment.

Shingles have come a long way too. Now, they often use recycled materials and you can recycle them after they’ve done their job. Not all shingles are the same, though — some are more earth-friendly than others.

Installation Process and Ease

Fitting a roof over your home is a big job, no matter the material. Metal roofing can be trickier to install; it’s a precise task that often calls for specialised skills. But, once in place, it’s a done deal for decades.

On the flip side, shingles are more forgiving for the DIY enthusiast or local tradespeople. They come ready to be laid down straight out of the box and are more straightforward to replace if they get damaged.

Why Choose My Slate Roofing for Your Roofing Needs?

At My Slate Roofing, we pride ourselves on guiding you to the ideal roofing choice for your unique needs. Our dedication to top-quality materials and stellar customer service ensures you’re not just getting a roof, but a tailored shelter crafted with expertise.


In summary, the debate of metal roofing vs shingles is centred around longevity, aesthetics, and sustainability. Whether you favour the durable and eco-friendly nature of metal or the traditional charm and variety of shingles, the choice comes down to your specific needs and preferences.

Have you weighed up the pros and cons of metal roofing vs shingles? If you’re ready to take the next step towards a sturdy, stylish, and sustainable roof, contact My Slate Roofing today. Our team of experts is on hand to guide you to the perfect choice for your home. Don’t wait for the next storm to test your roof – secure your peace of mind now. Get in touch for a consultation and transform your roofing experience.

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