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What Is Architectural Roofing Shingles

Luxury Asphalt Shingles Costs

Comparing Roofing Materials | Ask This Old House

Topping out as the most expensive asphalt shingles on the market, luxury shingles are high-performance products, which means they last a long time. And more importantly, they look stunning. However, all this luxury comes at a cost.

You will almost always pay twice as much for luxury shingles as you will for architectural shingles, which means you can plan on spending between $2.30 and $2.55 per square foot of shingles.

While budgets often determine what type of shingle will go on a roof, thinking long term and getting the most value out of your project that you can should also influence your decisions. And while its difficult to offer exact cost amounts without consulting a contractor, you will get a better idea of the projected costs just by multiplying your square footage by the cost of the shingle per square foot.

What Exactly Are Architectural Shingles

For decades, when people spoke of asphalt shingles, they typically meant the 3-tab variety. These more basic shingles feature a woven fiberglass mat embedded in asphalt and covered with protective mineral granules. Along the bottom of each shingle, youll find three tabs separated by quarter-inch grooves. Architectural shingles have now taken over as the most popular style. They are also called dimensional or compositional shingles. They feature a tough fiberglass mat laminated between two layers of asphalt and covered with protective mineral granules. This laminated design yields a thicker, more substantial product than basic 3-tab shingles.

Difference Between Asphalt And Architectural Shingles

There are many distinct differences between asphalt and architectural shingles, the primary of which is that asphalt shingles are comprised of a single layer with architectural shingles consisting of two layers that have been laminated together. The heightened durability of architectural shingles means, however, that asphalt shingles weigh around 50 percent less.

When you purchase asphalt shingles for your roof, you should expect them to last for upwards of 20 years. On the other hand, architectural shingles are designed to last for 30 years or longer. Another reason to consider architectural shingles over asphalt shingles is that architectural shingles can add value to your home.

Prospective homeowners will find a home that has been equipped with architectural shingles to be more appealing than one with asphalt shingles. The only reason why you should consider asphalt shingles over architectural ones is if architectural shingles dont fit into your budget.

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What Are The 3 Types Of Asphalt Shingles

If youve decided the roofing material of preference is asphalt shingles, know that you have three options in regards to the type of asphalt shingles on the market today. The one you ultimately choose will most likely be determined by how your roof was designed, i.e. slope, number of vents, skylights, chimneys, dormers and other obstacles.

Another important factor is cost. If your budget only allows for the least expensive type and it is suitable for your roofs design, youll only have the one option. However, with more extravagant designs come a higher price point, which is an option for those who have a more expansive budget.

You want your shingles to look great, but you also want them to protect your home, which is another factor in deciding which of the three to use. The following information covers the three types of asphalt shingles and will bring more insights allowing you to make a fact-based decision.

Wind Uplift And Shingle Blow Off


When it comes to protecting your shingles from wind blow off, correct installation is critical. We recommend that you ask your contractor how many nails per shingle he uses 6 nails per row gives the Very Best protection against high winds.

GAF specifies that if you want to extend your warranty coverage for wind blow off from 110 mph to 130 mph, shingles need to have 6 nails. Otherwise, the warranty will be void.

Unfortunately, to save time, some roofers use only 5 nails, and others only use 4.

Thus, it is better for you to actually be home during the install, and make sure that the roofer you hire is doing a proper job. You dont necessarily need to get up on the roof and watch him nail the shingles, but it is important that he realizes that you are there.

You should clearly state your expectations to the company owner and the foreman before the work begins. Then, there is a lot less chance they will do a slack job.

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The Different Asphalt Shingle Roof Types And How Long They Last

Manufacturers have different approaches to how they produce asphalt shingles. Furthermore, they make shingles for all types of occasions that can range from price to durability to aesthetics. The following information offers an estimate of how long the different types of shingles will last on a home.

How To Choose The Best Roofing Shingles

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing shingles for your roofing project. Most likely, your budget is one of the largest factors. Accordingly, you want the best price on roofing shingles as well as the best value.

Typically, it can cost from $5,000 to $28,000 to replace a residential roof. Factors such as the square footage, your choice of shingle and local labor costs all influence the total price of installation.

For example, the average American home is around 2,000 square feet. Imagine that you have a 2,000 square-foot home. In that case, a new roof may cost between $7,700 and $60,500, including labor.

Across the United States, the cost to install a roof varies. On average, however, a new roof costs about seven dollars per square foot. This price usually includes all the various services involved in the installation, such as

  • Construction waste disposal
  • Two layers of old roof removal
  • Warranty

If you have special requirements, this will also affect the price of your roofing installation. The complexity of your roof will also contribute to the cost of the project.

The underlayment will also affect the cost of your roof. Also, the slope of your roof plays into how much it will cost to have your new roof installed.

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Should You Layer Shingles On Your Roof

In most areas, building codes allow up to two layers of clapboards to be installed on the roof. Using more than two layers of shingles can be too difficult for a roof, even if local building codes don’t prohibit it. If two layers are already in place, remove the old one before installing the new layer of shingles.

Composition Of Architectural And 3

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Both architectural and 3-tab shingles are composed of asphalt as well as fiberglass with a mat type backing, a top layer of granules and adhesives for adherence. The differences between the two have to do with the overall quality and material input. Architectural shingles contain a higher caliber of asphalt in contrast to 3-tab shingles. They also contain an increased number of granules on their surface, plus stronger adhesives and a base that is thicker and tougher. Architectural shingles are also infused with color distinctions that greatly intensify the look of the shingles. Added surface granules increase the chances of preserving this type of shingle for a longer period of time.

In contrast, 3-tab shingles are very flat in appearance, which is due to the fact that the tabs are of the same size and shape and are evenly placed in rows. As with architectural shingles, 3-tabs are available in colors though the colors are less intense in their coloration and texture.

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What Are Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles, also known as laminated or dimensional shingles, are made of two shingle strips laminated together, giving them a more dimensional base than a flat shingle. This multi-layered base creates a thick, durable material, giving architectural shingles a great reputation for enduring high winds and other extreme weather circumstances.

The depth and color variety of these shingles makes them comparable to the look of high-end, premium roofingfor a much more affordable price.

Where Can I Get A Reroof Permit In California

If a permit is not available online, it can be obtained at the OneStop Permit Center, City Hall, 456 W. Olive Avenue, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. All installation and repair work after installation of more than 100 square meters requires a permit before removing the existing roof or making repairs.

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The Disadvantages And Advantages Of 3


To complement your home, both types are available in various colors. Due to the way architectural shingles are made, they can have a wider variety of shades, texture, and shapes.

A three-tab shingle roof has a uniform style and can look flat. This is why architectural shingles are more visually appealing than 3-tab shingles. Also, architectural shingles can look similar to premium materials like slate or cedar, which gives the home an upscale look.


Architectural shingles are less likely to curl since they are thicker.

A standard 3-tab asphalt shingle roof will probably need replacement after 15-20 years. However, the thickness of the architectural shingles makes them significantly more durable. They can be expected to last about 50% longer than 3-tab shingles.

Most three-tab shingles only come with a 20-25 year limited warranty, while architectural shingles may come with 40 years, 50 years, or even a Lifetime warranty.


Three-tab shingles may cost less than architectural shingles and are therefore often used when the budget is critical.

Typically, architectural shingles cost about 25% more than 3-tab shingles, but they are now considered the standard for high-end homes.

Due to their look and quality, architectural shingles may be the best type to use if you want to increase the overall value of your house.

Do you need help choosing between 3 tab and architectural shingles? We can help! Schedule a free estimate with us.

More About

See Your Roof And Renovation Before You Commit With Exovision

How to Install Architectural Shingles

EXOVISION⢠allows clients to see what their home will look like with their new shingles before they commit to a contract. Clients consult with our renovation experts to decide on the best replacement roof for their home. They can then get a preview of what their renovated home will look like through EXOVISION. If the client decides to use EXOVATIONS contractors for the renovation, the EXOVISION fee will be deducted from their price.

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The Dynamic Benefits Of Asphalt

Due to modern engineering techniques and the dynamic properties of asphalt, manufacturers are capable of producing numerous specialty products that exist across all shingle types. These include shingles that fight algae growth, offer enhanced resistance to damaging hail, and offer cool roof color technologies that reflect the heat of the sun to keep homes cooler and can reduce the expenses of air conditioning. Depending on your location, choosing a specialty shingle can even reduce your insurance costs . In addition, asphalt shingles are naturally fire resistant, making them an ideal choice for areas where wildfires are prominent.

Interested in exploring the different options available to you? Try out CertainTeeds ColorView® home exterior visualizer tool – you can even upload a picture of your own home to try out different roofing, siding, paint and trim combinations to help bring your remodeling vision to reality.

You can also find a local contractor who can professionally install CertainTeed building products on your home by using our Find A Pro contractor locator tool.

What Is The Difference Between Regular Shingles Vs Architectural Shingles

When you compare 3 tab and architectural 3 major differences stand out:

Shingle composition: both types of shingles are made up of the same essential components:

asphalt granules for the top layer adhesives

However, the major difference is in the quality and the amount of materials. For example, architectural shingles have a much thicker and sturdier base mat, finer quality asphalt, stronger adhesives, and more top surface granules. Also, more advanced printing technologies are used to create subtle color variations that significantly enhance the shingles appearance. Greater amount of surface granules also means that architectural shingles will maintain their original look much longer, compared to regular shingles.

Thickness: overall architectural shingles are 50% thicker and heavier than 3 tab ones. A thicker body of the shingle gives it more strength against wind uplift and other types of severe weather. 3 tab shingles are weaker and flimsier, as a result they dont last as long, especially in regions that have frequent bad weather.

Surface look: 3 tab shingles have a very flat look. This is because all the tabs are the same size and shape, and run in even rows.

Architectural shingles have a three dimensional appearance because the tabs have slightly difference shapes and sizes. Moreover, extra thickness also contributes to a more dimensional look.

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Need Help Finding The Right Color For Your New Roof

Theres so much more to think about than just picking the right color to match your style of home, but that remains among the top considerations for homeowners.

Here are some tips on how to choose the right shingle color. We invite you try out the IKO ROOFViewer® Interactive Roof Shingle Selector Tool to see how any of our shingles will look on your style of home and coordinate with other exterior elements. You can even upload a photo of your own home to try on different shingles.

Always look at actual shingle samples in various light conditions before deciding, just as you would look at paint samples when picking an interior color for your walls. An IKO sales rep or professional roofing contractor will be happy to help you. Just ask!

The information on this website is subject to change without notice. IKO assumes no responsibility for errors that may appear on this website.

IKO strives to accurately reproduce the screen images of the shingle swatches and house photos shown. However, due to manufacturing variances, the limitations of your monitor resolution and the variation in natural exterior lighting, actual colors may vary from the images you see. To ensure complete satisfaction you should make final color selections from several full size shingles and view a sample of the product installed on a home. Please refer to our Legal Notices for U.S.A. or our Legal Notices for Canada.

How Do You Make Roofing Shingles

How to Install Timberline HD Shingles with the Closed-Cut Valley Method | GAF Pro Series

How to make a tile with your own hands 1. Cut a roll roof piece of 2.50 meters. They found it to be the largest manageable size they could work with. 2. Create a pattern. Each 8 foot piece is cut into three pieces. One side is straight and the other wavy. Create a model that will mark all the others.

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Style And Return On Investment

Architectural shingles were developed in the 1970s as upscale home finishes. Over time, they have become more widely used because their textured, high-end appearance is available at a reasonable price point. Additionally, a nice looking and dependable roof can boost your homes value and return nearly 72% of your investment. For more information, check out our previous post on how a new roof can increase home value.

Are Less Vulnerable To Storm Damage

*Photo courtesy of Owens Corning

Tri-state homeowners understand that the weather can get pretty dramatic from time-to-time. Hurricane-force winds and severe ice storms bring down large branches that can damage shingles. High winds alone can loosen shingles until they break or come right off the roof. Furthermore, research reveals how sealed shingles that have been affected by wind show lasting evidence of the event having occurred. Compare the low 60 mph wind rating common with 3-tab shingles to the 130 mph wind rating of GAFs Timberline series and Owens Cornings Duration TruDefinition Premium series.

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Which Shingle Is More Durable

Durability is a very important factor, because you want your new roof to last a long time. GAF and CertainTeed have comparable quality shingles.

Still, many roofers have their personal preference. This may be due to local weather differences, as well as particular installation methods of each roofer.

In terms of pure facts, Landmark shingles weigh at least 250 270 lb per square. This makes them about 30% more heavy than Timberlines. Some roofers believe this extra weight makes Landmark more sturdy and less susceptible to wind blow off.

They are also more resistant to cracks, cupping and heavy impact such as hail. One disadvantage is that the extra weight makes for a more challenging, time consuming installation. This can be one of the reasons why some less experiences roofers would not like Certainteed shingles.

Other roofers think Timberline roofs are just as sturdy. The extra weight in the CertainTeed shingles is due to added limestone, which in their opinion is a useless filler material.

Composite Plastic Roof Shingles

Architectural Shingles Austin Tx

Composite plastic shingles are generally produced from recycled plastic materials. They are a way to get more life out of plastics and other materials that would simply be tossed out in most instances so they are a great environmentally friendly roof replacement option. You can expect to pay $4 to $6 per sq. foot for plastic shingles or $400 to $600 per square installed on a standard sized single story home.Composite plastic shingles can be designed to imitate stone slate tiles or even wood shakes. They are much lighter than slate or other roofing types which make them easy to install. Composite plastic shingles are relatively affordable, but they are not as long lasting as most other shingle types. Plastic roofing lasts from 7 to 20 years depending on the type of plastic you choose to install.

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