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Are metal roofing or shingles better for your home?

The success of any roofing project depends on the quality of the roofing materials you will use.

Yep, it isn’t just your home’s appearance that’s on the line!

The material you choose for your roof can directly affect how much maintenance you need to do, how long your roof lasts, indoor temperatures and even electricity usage – that’s why this is such an important decision.

When planning roof installation in Melbourne, you’ll have to start by deciding which roofing material is the best fit for your roofing project.

We’ve talked about metal roofing vs tiles before – but how does metal stack up compared to shingles?


What are the pros and cons of a metal roof vs shingles?

While shingles aren’t as dominant as tiles, they’re still pretty common in Melbourne thanks to the California bungalow style that swept the country from the 20’s to the 40’s.

You might be wondering what makes shingles different from tiles. Generally, there are three things that separate shingles from tiles:

  1. Shingles are flat, whereas tiles aren’t
  2. Shingles are thinner and lighter
  3. Tiles are more expensive

Compared to tiles, shingles come in a much broader range of materials, ranging from asphalt, to wood, to slate, to concrete.

metal roof installation

Each of these materials has their own strengths and disadvantages – of course, if you ask us, metal roofing is hands-down a superior choice to both tiles and shingles!


When the two most common types of shingled roofs are asphalt and wood, is this really any surprise they’re relatively short-lived and maintenance-heavy?

By contrast, metal roofing is much, much tougher. Part of this is because metal is inherently tougher, and part of this is things like COLORBOND’s proprietary coatings and metallurgic developments that protect metal roofing from rust, fading and more.


Australia is a hot country. While Melbourne isn’t as bad as other parts, the mercury can still climb quite high down here.

And that means we use a lot of air conditioning.

If you ask us, metal roof installation is the way to go. While certain shingle types also have good thermal performance, metal blows them out of the water by actively reflecting solar energy away from your home.

Metal roofing minimises heat absorption, helping you lower your air conditioning costs.


Metal is inherently low-maintenance. That’s because shingles are installed individually. Not only does this take longer, but it also leaves places for water to build up, mould to grow and moss to take hold.

By contrast, metal has no such gaps – it’s installed by the sheet, eliminating most nooks and crannies.

The result? Less maintenance!

Fire resistant

While certain shingle types are also fire-resistant, you can’t get away with a shingle roof for an industrial building!

Metal roofing is 100% non-combustible and can be installed in industrial buildings. Not to mention, the low weight of metal roofing does not pose any threat in any event of a fire.

Learn more about what makes metal the best choice for properties in bushfire zones.

Can metal roofing be installed over shingles?

So you aren’t terribly fond of your current roof. Maybe you’ve got your eye on a metal roof to replace it.

Most of the time, re roofing a home is a lengthy process, involving ripping out the current roof, installing the required supports for your new one and then installing your new roof itself.

If your existing property uses a shingle roof however,we have good news: in some cases, your roofing contractor can install metal directly on top of shingles.

Of course, whether or not this is feasible depends on a number of factors:

  • Strength of your building’s frame
  • Approval of planning and building permits
  • Ventilation concerns

How do you stop condensation on a metal roof when you install directly on top of shingles?

One of the biggest problems with installing directly on top of shingles is ventilation (see above).

Long story short, when done improperly, water vapour can get trapped between your old roof and your new metal one, leading to all sorts of problems down the line.

Luckily, this can be prevented with vented roofs or raising the metal slightly above the shingles to give vapours a way out.

What is the correct way to install metal roofing over shingles?

Once again, it depends!

Your roofing team will assess your current roof, identifying any challenges that might stop you from pulling this off and create a plan accordingly.

Of course, we still recommend going through the full teardown process. It’s longer and costlier, but it also comes with the lowest chance of complications.

What’s the best underlayment for metal roofs? And do I even need underlayment for metal roofs over shingles?

Underlayments – sarking, as we call them down here – are a crucial part of any metal roof, helping with insulation, reducing noise and forming a vapour barrier.

So what happens if you’re installing directly on top of shingles?

Luckily for you, most of the time, an underlayment won’t be necessary – your existing shingle roof already has an underlayment, after all!

Learn more about metal roof sarking.

Other metal roofing questions

Are metal roofs more expensive than shingles?

New metal roofing is a financially smart choice when it comes to your home –  in our experience, metal is more affordable than shingles for a couple of reasons:

  • Manufacturing – metal roofing is easier to make than many types of shingle
  • Installation – since it’s installed by sheets, metal roofing installation is faster
  • Recyclable – many manufacturers use recycled metal, bringing costs down

And of course, you can’t forget the money and time you’ll save with a low-maintenance metal roof!

What is the best color for a metal roof?

You won’t need to think about metal roof replacement anytime soon since metal roofing is specifically designed to withstand the harsh Australian conditions and is highly recommended to endure any environment.

At Watermaster Roofing, we use COLORBOND for the majority of jobs owing to its proprietary protective coatings which ensure your roof continues to dazzle for years to come.

Does metal roofing increase home value?

A newly-installed metal roof looks fantastic, end of story. They’re clean, uncluttered and come in a huge range of colours.

And most importantly, people are more than willing to pay a premium for a house that looks good!

Can you walk on a metal roof?

This is one of the most persistent myths about metal roofing is that you can’t stand on it without causing dents in the metal. People will recommend standing on parts where you know a support beam is to minimise the risk.

And all of this is completely unnecessary – metal roofing is tough enough to withstand your footsteps.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should – roof angles can be dangerous, and things like moisture and even leaves can create slipping hazards. Best leave this to a professional, who has the proper training and safety equipment to do roof maintenance for you.

Why you need to choose the right roofing material

Homeowners will need to consider what kind of roofing material to choose for their metal roofing installation.

The kind of roofing material won’t only determine how long your roof will last – like we mentioned above, it also comes into play in a number of other ways.

And as we mentioned before, metal roofing is highly preferable compared to tiles or shingles on most of these fronts.

If you choose the wrong roofing material, you can find yourself with any number of problems further down the line!

Metal roof installation Melbourne

Thinking about metal roof installation for your home?

Contact our metal roofing experts today!

Are you in the process of choosing a roofing material for your newly built or renovated home?

We understand your dilemma – roofing is an important decision that you need to make, carefully weighing up the pros and cons.

Fortunately, you needn’t make the decision alone.

In addition to carrying out the installation itself, our metal roofing experts in Melbourne can help you determine what’s appropriate for your home. From planning, to determining what type of metal roof is best, to deciding the gauge, to installation and roof plumbing, we’re the team to call.

Contact our team of qualified roofing contractors on 1300 576 075 or fill in the form to get started.

2022-05-25T07:40:16+00:00 January 28th, 2021|Metal roofing, Roof Plumbing|

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