Though there are many types of roofing materials, two of the most popular are metal roofing and asphalt shingles. Homeowners are often left choosing between these two due to their similarities in versatility and moderate prices. The decision can be a tough one, but if you ask yourself these questions, you should have an easier time deciding.

How tight is your budget?

Both metal and asphalt shingle roofs are affordably priced in comparison to higher-end roofing choices like slate and clay tiles. But asphalt shingles tend to be the cheaper option. You can expect to pay between $7 and $10 per square foot for a corrosion-resistant steel roof or between $1 and $4 per square foot for an asphalt shingle roof. If you can spare the extra cash, metal might be worth it -- but asphalt is feasible if you're on a tighter budget.

Do you have issues with ice dams?

Ice dams are those thick sheets of ice that form on the edges of roofs during the winter. They can cause a lot of roof damage as they work their way under shingles and cause water damage to the underlayment. If you have issues with ice dams currently, a metal roof may be worth the extra cost. When snow starts to melt on a metal roof, it slides right off, rather that staying in place and slowly trickling down to refreeze into a dam.

How harsh are the winds in your area?

In areas where high winds are a big issue, metal roofing is often a better choice because the sheets are bigger, heavier, and harder to peel away from the roof surface. You might find yourself replacing a lot of shingles as they're peeled back by the wind. On the other hand, if your climate is quite mild without a lot of winds and hard-driven rain, asphalt shingles will stand up to the occasional gust.

How dedicated are you to green living?

You can find shingles made partially from recycled material, but if you're really into green living and willing to pay a bit more for an eco-friendly option, metal roofing is a good choice. The roofing reflects sunlight, so your AC bills stay lower in the summer. When your roof reaches the end of its life, it can be recycled.

If you value green living, live in a windy area, or are worried about ice dams, paying more for a metal roof may be worth it. But if none of these are particular concerns of yours, you might as well go for the more affordable asphalt shingles.

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