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Complete Guide to Architectural Shingles: (Cost, Benefits, & More)

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Posted By: Roof Troopers

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You’re not the only homeowner who’s taken to the internet in search of more information when you have a hunch that you’ll need to replace your roof soon. Since a roof replacement is a significant investment, you want to find the best result for your home (and your wallet).

Still, you’re probably like most other homeowners in that you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on a premium slate or clay tile roof. One of the best investments in modern roofing is architectural shingles. By the end of this article, you might just be convinced that they’re the perfect solution for you.

What Are Architectural Shingles?

As any homeowner knows, the roof is one of the most important parts of the house. It protects against the elements and helps to keep the interior of the home warm or cool, depending on the season. When it comes time to replace an old roof or build a new one, there are many different materials to choose from.

One of the most popular options is architectural shingles— also called laminated or dimensional shingles.

architectural shingles red dimensional

Architectural shingles are made from asphalt and have a textured surface that resembles slate, cedar shakes, or other expensive roofing materials. They are also available in a variety of colors, making it easy to find a style that complements the rest of your home. In fact, their unique dimensional colors are what contributed to their name in the first place. While standard 3-tab shingles only come in one color shade, laminated shingles have many different tones and shades, giving the overall roof a dimensional look.

In addition to their aesthetic appeal, architectural shingles are also very durable and can last for decades with proper maintenance.

How Much Do Architectural Shingles Cost Compared to Other Materials?

Asphalt shingles are historically the most popular roofing material in America, but they’re not the only option. Other popular materials include:

  • Metal
  • Clay tiles
  • Cedar shakes
  • Slate

So, how do you know which material is right for your home? One factor to consider is cost.

Asphalt shingles are typically one of the more affordable options, but they’re not always the cheapest in the long run. For example, metal roofing may have a higher initial cost, but it could last longer and be more energy-efficient in the long term.

Architectural shingles typically run between $500-$900 per roofing square. (One roofing square = 100 square feet.) If you have a 3,000-square-foot home, you could expect to pay up to roughly $18,000 for a dimensional shingle roof.

While this cost is more than conventional 3-tab shingles, it is still less than metal, wood shakes, clay tiles, and slate. You’ll also get a few more years out of architectural shingles than you would with 3-tab shingles, making the upfront investment worth it.

If you love the look of cedar shakes or slate roofing but they’re not within your budget, architectural shingles are a perfect way to get a very similar look without breaking the bank.

Which Brands of Architectural Shingles Are the Most Popular?

The most popular brands of architectural shingles include GAF, CertainTeed, and Owens Corning— all manufacturing leaders in the roofing industry. These brands are all highly rated for their quality and durability. They also offer a variety of styles and colors to choose from, so you can find the perfect match for your home’s exterior.

You can’t go wrong with any of these brands, as they all perform well against wind, hail, and fire. You may even get lucky enough to work with a roofing contractor who is able to offer exclusive warranties through the manufacturer. At the end of the day, each brand offers different color options and benefits, so be sure to take a thorough look through their catalogs, so you feel confident with your choice.

How to Choose Architectural Shingle Colors

When it comes to choosing the right colors for your home, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • First, consider the overall look you are trying to achieve. Do you want your home to stand out or blend in with your surroundings?
  • Second, think about your siding. The dimensional nature of laminated shingles makes it easy to pair with many siding colors, but ultimately, you don’t want the two to clash. Opt for a shingle color that has flecks of your siding color for a cohesive look.
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to consult with a professional. A qualified roofing contractor can help you choose the best colors for your home and provide helpful advice on installation and maintenance. With their assistance, you can be sure that your new roof will be both beautiful and long-lasting.

architectural shingles big roof of house

Pros and Cons of Laminated Shingles

Now, let’s get into the granular details. Architectural shingles are the top choice for most homeowners, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. Take a look at these pros and cons to decipher if they could be a good fit for your home.

Dimensional Shingles Pros ✅

It’s no secret that architectural shingles have a lot of benefits. They include:

  • Beautiful, Unique Colors: Arguably, the biggest defining factor of architectural shingles is their color selection. You simply can’t find unique, dimensional color schemes like this on other roofing materials. You’ll be able to look through a vast catalog of color options and find one that fits your home perfectly.
  • Lightweight Nature: Asphalt shingles are lighter than other materials, meaning you don’t have to worry about any structural stress on your home.
  • Impressive Durability: With more durability than standard 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles typically last up to 30 years. The multiple layers of asphalt keep them protected against wind and inclement weather.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: The stunning, high-quality look of dimensional shingles instantly boosts curb appeal. You’ll get the look of premium materials like slate or cedar shakes without the high price investment.
  • Fast Installation: Almost every roofing contractor knows how to install asphalt shingles, plus they’re frequently manufactured and easily accessible. This makes for a fast installation (in as little as 1-2 days) that doesn’t interrupt your life.

Dimensional Shingles Cons ❌

Every rose has its thorns. While architectural shingles have many advantages, they do have some drawbacks that homeowners should be aware of. These include:

  • Less Eco-Friendly: Asphalt is a petroleum-based product, so it isn’t the most environmentally-friendly roofing material.
  • Potential for Granule Loss: Since architectural shingles have more layers, they also have more granules. Over time, these granules can fall off and clog your gutters or end up in your yard.
  • Higher Upfront Cost: Although their good lifespan offsets the initial investment, dimensional shingles do have a higher price tag than standard 3-tab shingles.
  • Not as Long-Lasting: Even though dimensional shingles can last up to 30 years, other materials like metal and tiles last much longer.

The Contractor You Choose Makes All the Difference

At the end of the day, even the most beautiful architectural shingles won’t do your home any good unless they’re expertly installed by a professional roofer. When it comes to an investment as significant as your home, you don’t want to cut corners.

That’s why so many homeowners choose Roof Troopers for their roof replacements. Our skilled team puts quality first and never takes shortcuts to get you the long-lasting roof you deserve.

Reach out to Roof Troopers today for a free estimate on a new architectural shingle roof!

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