Types of Roofing

Homeowners can often take the roof over their heads for granted. As long as your roof keeps the rain off and doesn’t leak, it might be tempting to not pay it much attention. It is probably a good idea to know the age of your shingles and to check them out once a year to see what condition they are in. When it comes time to replace your shingles it may help if you have some research to guide you in your decision of which type of shingle to purchase. There are many different types of shingles to choose from. To get you started with some background information, here are the 2 most popular types of roofing in Canada and the pros and cons:

Asphalt Roofs

Cost: Approx. $3.04 to $4.25 per square foot


  • National average: $4,750
  • Low end: $2,000
  • High end: $11,000

How long it lasts: up to 25 years

Pros: Asphalt shingles are affordable, durable and are relatively easy to install. Many asphalt shingles meet Energy Star standards and help you cut energy bills. Asphalt shingles can be repaired over time and the life span of this shingle tends to last longer because of Canada’s cooler climate.

Cons: They can blow off easily in high winds and crack in climates with large temperature fluctuations. And they last only up to 25 years—a relatively (and deceptively) short time for a roof. They often require replacing well before 25 years depending on a number of factors.

Metal Roofs

Cost: Approx. $6.25 to $9 per square foot


  • National average: $10,365
  • Low end: $2,048
  • High end: $25,704

How long it lasts: 40 to 70 years

Pros: Can last more than twice as long as asphalt roofs. Metal roofing can resemble wood shakes, slate, or clay tiles, and comes in a rainbow of colours. Reflective pigments on metal roofs increase home energy efficiency and lower utility bills. It is lightweight and 100% recyclable. You can also install a metal roof over an existing roof, eliminating tear-off and disposal costs.

Cons: Metal roofing can be noisy during heavy rain and hail storms, plus improperly installed panels can loosen as they expand and contract during temperature fluctuations. Colours can be hard to match during repairs, and low-grade metals can be less durable and more prone to rust.