Architectural Shingles: An Ultimate Guide - Shingle & Metal Roofs

Architectural Shingles: An Ultimate Guide

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Posted By:Shingle & Metal Team

When it’s time to replace your roof, you’re faced with an important decision: what type of shingles should you choose? While traditional three-tab shingles have been a go-to option for decades, architectural shingles are gaining popularity for their durability, aesthetics, and versatility. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore architectural shingles in detail, helping you make an informed decision for your home. Let’s dive in!

Inside this blog:

  • The advantages of architectural shingles
  • 5 key types of architectural shingles to consider
  • Installation + maintenance tips for architectural shingles

Keep reading to discover if architectural shingles are the right choice for your home!

What Are Architectural Shingles?


Architectural shingles, also known as laminated or dimensional shingles, are a premium roofing option designed to mimic the look of traditional wood or slate roofing materials. Unlike standard three-tab shingles, architectural shingles are composed of multiple layers that create a three-dimensional appearance, providing added texture and depth to your roof.

Why Choose Architectural Shingles? ๐Ÿค”

Before we delve into the specifics, let’s explore the key advantages of opting for architectural shingles:

  • Enhanced Aesthetics: Architectural shingles offer a more visually appealing, textured appearance compared to traditional three-tab shingles. They can elevate the overall look of your home, increasing curb appeal.
  • Durability: These shingles are built to last. They typically have a longer lifespan than standard shingles and can withstand harsh weather conditions, making them a solid investment in the long term.
  • Variety of Styles: Architectural shingles come in a wide range of styles, colors, and patterns, allowing you to choose a look that complements your home’s architecture and your personal preferences.
  • Improved Resale Value: Their premium appearance and durability can increase the resale value of your home, making it more attractive to potential buyers.
  • Warranty Coverage: Many manufacturers offer extended warranties on architectural shingles, providing peace of mind and protection for your investment.

5 Architectural Shingle Types ๐Ÿ—๏ธ

Before you select architectural shingles for your roofing project, it’s essential to understand the different types available:

1. Asphalt Shingles

These are the most common types of architectural shingles. They consist of a fiberglass mat covered in asphalt and mineral granules. Asphalt shingles are known for their durability and affordability.

2. Wood Shingles

Wood architectural shingles offer a rustic, natural appearance. They are often made from cedar and require regular maintenance to prevent rot and decay.

3. Slate Shingles

These shingles mimic the look of real slate but are much lighter and more affordable. They are often made from a combination of asphalt and fiberglass.

4. Metal Shingles

Metal architectural shingles provide a modern and sleek appearance. They are durable, energy-efficient, and resistant to fire and extreme weather.

5. Composite Shingles

Composite architectural shingles are made from a blend of materials, typically including recycled plastics and wood fibers. They are eco-friendly and mimic the look of natural materials.

Key Features of Architectural Shingles


Now that you’re familiar with the basics, let’s explore the key features that make architectural shingles stand out:

Layered Construction

Architectural shingles consist of multiple layers of material, which gives them a dimensional appearance. This layering also enhances their durability and resistance to weathering.


These shingles are built to withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain, wind, hail, and UV radiation. They often come with Class 4 impact resistance ratings.

Variety of Styles

Architectural shingles are available in a wide range of styles, allowing you to achieve the desired look for your home. Whether you prefer a traditional or modern appearance, you’ll find options to suit your taste.

Color Choices

Manufacturers offer an extensive palette of colors to choose from, ensuring you can find a shade that complements your home’s exterior.

Texture and Depth

The layered construction of architectural shingles creates a textured and three-dimensional appearance that adds depth and character to your roof.

Potential Drawbacks of Architectural Shingles

  • Cost: Architectural shingles are more expensive than traditional three-tab shingles, which can increase the initial cost of your roofing project.
  • Installation Complexity: These shingles are thicker and heavier than standard shingles, requiring careful installation by experienced roofing professionals.
  • Maintenance: Some types of architectural shingles, such as wood shingles, may require regular maintenance to prevent decay and extend their lifespan.

Installation and Maintenance ๐Ÿ”ง

Proper installation is crucial to maximize the benefits of architectural shingles. Here are the key steps involved in the installation process:

  • Roof Preparation: The existing roof should be inspected and any necessary repairs or replacements made. The roof deck is then prepared, ensuring it’s smooth and free of debris.
  • Underlayment: A high-quality underlayment, typically made of felt or synthetic material, is applied to provide an additional layer of protection against moisture.
  • Starter Strips: Starter strips are installed along the eaves and rakes of the roof to provide a secure base for the first row of shingles.
  • Shingle Installation: Architectural shingles are installed starting from the bottom of the roof and working upward. Each shingle is nailed down, typically with four nails, to ensure it stays in place.
  • Flashing and Ventilation: Proper flashing is installed around roof penetrations such as chimneys and vents to prevent water infiltration. Adequate ventilation is also ensured to maintain a healthy roof system.
  • Ridge Cap Shingles: The ridge of the roof is finished with ridge cap shingles, providing protection and a finished look.

Maintenance Tips for Architectural Shingles

  • Regular inspections: Conduct annual roof inspections to identify and address any issues promptly.
  • Keep gutters clean: Ensure your gutters are free of debris to prevent water from backing up under the shingles.
  • Trim overhanging branches: Cut back tree branches that hang over your roof to prevent damage from falling branches and debris.
  • Clear snow and ice: Remove snow and ice buildup to prevent water infiltration and ice dams.
  • Address moss and algae: Periodically remove moss, algae, and lichen to prevent damage to your shingles.

Cost of Architectural Shingles

The cost of architectural shingles varies depending on factors such as the type of material, brand, location, and the complexity of the installation. On average, architectural shingles can cost between $100 and $400 per square (100 square feet). Keep in mind that while they may be more expensive upfront than traditional three-tab shingles, their durability and lifespan can make them a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Choosing the Right Architectural Shingles for Your Home

When selecting architectural shingles for your roofing project, consider the 5 following factors:

1. Material

Choose the material that best suits your needs and preferences, whether it’s asphalt, wood, slate, metal, or composite.

2. Color and Style

Select a color and style that complements your home’s architecture and enhances its curb appeal.

3. Budget

Determine your budget for the roofing project, including materials, labor, and any additional costs.

4. Climate

Consider your local climate and the shingles’ ability to withstand weather conditions in your area.

5. Warranty

Research the warranties offered by different manufacturers to ensure you have adequate protection for your investment.

Boost Your Home’s Look With Architectural Shingles ๐Ÿ 

Architectural shingles offer homeowners a durable and visually appealing roofing option that can enhance the overall look and value of their homes. With a variety of materials, styles, and colors to choose from, you can customize your roof to suit your personal preferences and architectural style. While they may come with a higher upfront cost compared to traditional shingles, the long-term benefits, including increased durability and resale value, make them a worthwhile investment. When it’s time to replace your roof, consider the lasting beauty and protection that architectural shingles can provide.
Contact our expert team of roofers at Shingle and Metal Roofs today and experience speedy turnaround times and unmatched craftsmanship on your home. Weโ€™re excited to hear your questions and wants for your next roofing project!

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