Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
If you are considering a new roof for your home or property, you’ll need to take some time to learn about your options. There are a wide variety of roof shingle options available on the market. Depending on what type of material you choose, the shingle type will influence the roof’s overall durability.
There are seven different types of roof shingles that you need to know about when you consider purchasing your new roof. These seven types of shingles include:
- asphalt shingles
- architectural shingles
- metal roof shingles
- wood shingled roofs
- wood shake roofs
- solar shingles
- rubber roof shingles.
Since there isn’t much information available on the Internet today about roof shingles, we created this guide to help you. Below we’ll cover the seven different types of roof shingles so that you can make a decision about what type of shingles you’d like for your new roof.
Types of Roof Shingles
There are several different types of roof shingles that you can use whenever you are ready to purchase a new roof. Each different kind of shingle offers different
To help you better understand the variety of options, you’ll have when it comes to roof shingles, we’ll cover your options in a bit more detail below. You’ll need to consider a few things while you are in the process of researching your replacement roof. Remember, investing in a newly shingled roof won’t be cheap, so you’ll want to factor in the costs of the different materials, as well as their overall durability and lifespan.
It’s best to ensure that your new roof will last for the duration that you plan on owning your home. Depending on the type of shingle material you purchase, the length of time that the new roof will last can vary widely.
Asphalt Shingles: An Affordable Option
One of the most affordable material options when it comes to roofing is asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are extremely affordable because they are so easy to install. That’s one of the main reasons, so many homeowners rely on asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roof replacement selected by homeowners.
Asphalt shingles have three different categories to pick from for your roof. So, if you opt for asphalt shingles, you’ll need to select from:
- 3-tab asphalt
- Architectural style asphalt
- Fiberglass asphalt
If you are looking for affordability, then you may want to opt for 3-tab asphalt shingles. That’s because 3-tab asphalt shingles are some of the cheapest types of shingles you can buy. Unfortunately, however, they are
- Thinner than other shingles
- Wear out more quickly than other types of shingles
- Have an organic mat paper base
Most asphalt shingles cost somewhere between $80 and $100 per square foot. On top of paying for the shingles, you’ll also need to pay the experts an installation fee, which can run between $1700 and $8400.
If you do opt for a cool roof and a rebate, you will need to make sure that you live in a fairly temperate climate that doesn’t experience serious or extreme weather changes. That’s because asphalt shingles are much less durable than other roof types like:
- Cedar shakes
- Clay tiles
Asphalt shingles typically have a shorter lifespan than any of the other roof options. Asphalt shingles will only last about twenty to thirty years.
3-tab asphalt shingles cost around $2300 to $5300 to install, which is affordable. These shingles also offer cutouts that you’ll see along the bottom edge of the roof. So, one shingle can have the look of three different shingles when 3-tab asphalt shingles are installed, giving you a lot of variety when it comes to the appearance of your home’s roof.
If you prefer fiberglass asphalt shingles, these are a bit more expensive than your standard 3-tab asphalt shingles and would cost between $3800 and $8000. Compared to other types of asphalt shingles, fiberglass shingles are
- More resistant to UV rays
- Fire resistant
- Come with a longer warranty
The other type of asphalt shingle option you have is a fiberglass asphalt shingle. Comprised of fiberglass, these shingles cost a bit more compared to your other options. However, that’s because they are built to be much more durable than the other types of asphalt shingles, and can last as long as forty to fifty years.
Pros of Asphalt Shingles
- Asphalt shingles are the most common and popular option for roofing. That means it is very easy to find somebody that can repair asphalt shingles.
- Asphalt shingles are simple to both remove and install. That will bring down the amount of time you’ll spend working on your roof.
- You can install asphalt shingles on top of themselves. That helps to make the roof installation process much speedier.
- Asphalt shingles do a great job of deflecting UV rays. That means your home will stay cooler during the hot summers.
Cons of Asphalt Shingles
- Asphalt shingles don’t have a long shelf life and only work for about twenty or so years, depending on the weather. After that, you’ll need to get new ones.
- If you experience any bad hail or high wind conditions often where you live, this can quickly damage the granules as well as your asphalt shingles. That would require repair, which can get costly.
- Asphalt shingles aren’t the most durable option. If they experience an impact from heavy tree limbs or large hail, the shingles can break, and then you are stuck with a leak.
Architectural Shingles: A More Durable Option
If you’re looking for a more durable option than asphalt shingles, but you still want something cost-effective, then consider architectural shingles. These shingles are far more durable and long-lasting when compared to your options with asphalt shingles. Plus, architectural shingles offer a more sculpted appearance since they provide an extra layer of laminate. That extra layer helps to contour their appearance, refining their design overall.
As far as cost is concerned, architectural shingles run higher than asphalt shingles but are still decently affordable. Architectural shingles cost about $1.50 to $5.50 per square foot, which totals about $150 to $550 per square. Architectural shingles offer better design and style options than asphalt shingles, so many homeowners love the fact they can simulate wood shake designs with these shingles.
In addition to this, architectural shingles can last anywhere between thirty to fifty years or more, as long as you maintain the shingles properly.
Pros of Architectural Shingles
- Architectural shingles create more interest in a roof because there are more options in textures. These options help to bolster the curb appeal of your home.
- Architectural shingles are typically placed in layers, so the roof appears more substantial than roofs made with just a single layer of shingles. Plus, these additional layers help hide imperfections in the home’s roof if you have any.
- Architectural shingles are far less likely to curl or crack over time when exposed to heat.
- Architectural shingles last much longer than asphalt shingles. Typically you’ll have these shingles for thirty to fifty years.
Cons of Architectural Shingles
- Architectural shingles cost much more than traditional asphalt shingles.
- Architectural shingles also weigh more than asphalt shingles, so homeowners have to ensure that their homes can support the extra weight of the architectural shingles.
- These shingles deal with the sun better than asphalt shingles, but still have issues dealing with hail and water, similar to asphalt shingles.
Metal Roof Shingles: The Most Durable and Most Expensive Choice
If you are looking for something that’s more durable for your roof and you have the money to spend, then you may want to consider metal roof shingles for your house. If you want something that appears very stylish and adds a lot of curb appeal, you’ll get that with metal shingles. Metal shingles come in several color choices. So, you can get the exact shade you desire for your roof.
Plus, metal roof shingles are also lightweight, so they hold up well on all houses, and that also makes them easy to install. If you have a home that cannot support a heavier roof, then you may want to consider purchasing metal roof shingles. Also, the best thing about metal roof shingles is how long they last. If you purchase metal roof shingles, they’ll stay in great shape for about seventy to one hundred years. That’s the longest lifespan compared to what other types of roofs offer.
The pricing of metal roofs are costly and can vary widely based on where you live. However, to give you an average idea of what this might cost, metal roofing shingles usually are priced at $2.80 to $3.85 per square foot. That means about $280 to $385 per square. You can also opt for your metal roof shingles in sheet panels as well.
Pros of Metal Roof Shingles
- Metal shingles tend to be quite durable. They can hold up against the hot sun, hail, and heavy winds. It is nearly impossible to damage a metal roof, making them extremely durable.
- Most metal roofs will last for more than fifty years, and some even last as long as one hundred years.
- Metal shingles have the seams raised above the roof. That means metal shingles are installed to be very strong and also to prevent leaks.
Cons of Metal Roof Shingles
- Finding a roofer that will install a metal roof can be challenging, because metal roofs aren’t as popular in the roofing industry, mostly because of how expensive they are.
- Metal roofs are very expensive and cost much more than asphalt roofs, so some homeowners simply cannot afford them.
- You cannot layer the metal shingles on top of any other roof style. So, when installing your metal roof, all of the other materials will need to come off first. That also increases the price of installing your metal roof.
- Also, to support a metal roof, your roof has to have a particular rise. So, not all houses can even qualify for metal roofs.
Wood Roofs: A Natural Style and Beautiful Roof Choice
Wood roofs include two different styles of roofs:
- Wooden roof shingles
- Wood shake roofs
We’ll discuss each type of roof in more detail below.
Your first option, wooden roof shingles, are formed from many different wood types, and then split up into small, thin sections. There isn’t a huge difference between a wooden roof shingle and wood shake roofs; it mainly boils down to style. Wood shingles are formed to make perfect shapes. On the other hand, wood shakes are sawn off to offer a more rustic appearance.
The second option, wood shake roofing shingles, are made out of cedar trees that are usually around two or three hundred years old. The shingles are made by splitting logs into sections, which we refer to as shakes. That’s why this type of shingle looks rough and rustic. Wooden shingles typically last longer than asphalt and are more durable when you install them, and as long as you take care of them correctly.
Wood shingle installation runs about $4.25 to $9.50 per square foot. That totals up to about $425 to $950 per square. Depending on the type of wood you use for your wood shingle installation, and how well you take care of your roof, these shingles can last between fifteen to fifty years.
Wood shake roofing shingles last longer than some other types of shingles, like asphalt shingles. However, they cost more than many other materials, and they also aren’t environmentally friendly. Wood shake typically costs more than wood shingles. If you want to purchase a wood shake, that can cost you between $6 to $10 per square foot. This type of roof will last about thirty to forty years.
Pros of Wood Shingles
- It’s easy to install and repair wood shingle roofs. So, if you ever need any work done, it would be easy to find somebody, and it shouldn’t be too expensive.
- These types of roofs last for many years as long as you take care of them correctly. Some homeowners report that these roofs last around sixty years before needing to be replaced.
- Once you need to do a roof replacement, your old shingles or shakes can be recycled into mulch.
Cons of Wood Shingles
- It does cost a bit of money and take plenty of time to maintain a wood shingle roof, especially if you want that roof to last as long as sixty years.
- You’ll need to maintain your roof by performing regular moss removal. That’s because moss growth can damage your wood and force you to get your wood resealed often.
- If you need to have new shingles installed for some reason or your roof requires a repair, then that repaired area probably won’t match the rest of your roof.
- Wood roofs are also flammable even when they have been treated with chemicals that are used to make roofs fire-resistant. If you have a wood roof, then it won’t ever be fire-resistant, which can be a problem if you live in fire-prone areas.
Solar Shingles: Get Energy-Efficiency and Protect the Planet
One of the most popular types of roof shingles around today is solar roofing shingles. People love these types of shingles because of the environmentally-friendly savings and benefits they receive. However, of course, that also means these shingles are a lot more expensive than many of your other roofing options. However, these shingles do a lot more than simply keep water out of your home’s interior.
Solar shingles offer a serious additional benefit, which is they help generate electricity and power in your home. If you want to install solar shingles, they typically cost between $21 to $25 per square foot, which totals about $2100 to $2500 per square. Solar shingles also look great compared to other types of shingles, and you don’t need to place them over your entire house’s roof.
Instead, you’ll need to take some time out to figure out which type of roof you want to install alongside your solar roof shingles. Most people place their solar shingles on the south side of their home’s roof so that the shingles get as much sunlight to absorb as possible. Some people opt for eastern and western solar exposures, but that’s not as efficient as a southern exposure. Solar shingles typically have a lifespan of about twenty to twenty-five years.
Pros of Solar Shingles
- Solar shingles are aesthetically pleasing and come in many design and style choices.
- Solar shingles offer homeowners a very quick installation process.
- Solar shingles do a great job of protecting your roof.
- Solar shingles can make other shingles more cost-effective if you replace them at the same time.
Cons of Solar Shingles
- There aren’t many roofers that know how to install solar shingles. So, finding somebody to do the job, or finding somebody to make repairs, can be difficult.
- Solar shingles are new and haven’t been around as long, so they aren’t as well-researched.
- Solar shingles tend to cost more.
- Solar shingles can offer lower efficiency.
- Solar shingles are dependent on the slop and positioning of your roof.
- Solar shingles are difficult to take with you when you move.
Slate Tile Roofing Shingles: Durability Plus Natural Beauty
Slate roofing shingles are another option when it comes to roofing. These shingles are comprised of a stone material that is then installed as a shingle. These shingles often feel thin, but they are heavy and durable when you install them over your entire roof. Slate shingles tend to be very attractive, and many homeowners love them. Slate offers a natural beauty.
Although they are attractive to homeowners, slate shingles don’t provide a huge variety in color or design. So, if you want a material that offers a lot of options, this might not be the correct material for you. Also, slate shingles aren’t very cheap. You’ll pay around $8 to $14 per square foot, which totals to $800 to $1400 per square at installation.
Slate tiles also tend to be harder to install. However, when they are installed correctly by experts, slate shingles do last a long time. They are so durable that they have a lifespan that is between sixty to one hundred and fifty years. So, while it’s an expensive material that doesn’t offer a lot of variety, you’ll still get a beautiful, long-lasting roof if you opt for slate shingles.
Pros of Slate Shingles
- As long as you care for your slate roofs properly, they will last for ages. The durability of slate shingles means they can last as long as 150 years.
- Slate shingles are comprised of natural stone, making them very beautiful and attractive. Many people opt for slate shingles like the natural color variety offered by the stone.
- Slate shingles allow you to have an environmentally-friendly roof. There will be no pollution during the manufacturing of the shingles or the installation. Also, slate shingles can be recycled if you decide later that you want a different kind of roof.
- Slate shingles help to keep the house at a consistent temperature. That will help bring down your monthly cooling and heating bills, depending on the season.
Cons of Slate Shingles
- It can be very expensive to install slate shingles. That means it can be difficult for homeowners to afford since slate shingles often fall out of people’s budgets.
- Slate roofs can be very heavy once they are completed. Not all homes are built strong enough to support this kind of weight. Sometimes a home has to be reinforced with a more durable roof deck before having the slate shingles installed. When this happens, it only raises the cost of slate shingles.
- Slate shingles do last for a long time. However, if any piece breaks, it can be difficult to locate a tile that will fit primarily because natural stone shingles can vary quite a bit.
- Another problem with slate shingles is that not all roofers know how to install slate shingles or work on them. To install them properly, a roofer must comprehend how to handle its thickness.
Rubber Roof Shingles: An Innovative Style Without Maintenance
If you want something innovative, then consider rubber roof shingles. Rubber roof shingles are unique in the roofing world and derived from rubber that is formed into shingles. These shingles look similar to asphalt shingles when they are placed in today’s homes. Luckily, it’s easy to install rubber shingles, and these types of shingles don’t require much maintenance. So, if you aren’t into worrying about maintenance, rubber shingles just might be the right choice for you.
Rubber roof shingles, however, are more costly than asphalt shingles. If you want to purchase rubber roof shingles, you will pay about $4.00 to $8.25 per square foot, which totals up to $400 to $825 per square. However, rubber roofing can be worth it, since this type of roof can last between fifteen to twenty-five years.
If you opt for rubber roof shingles, you may wind up with less expensive energy bills. That means you can save money on your monthly utility bills. However, when it comes to saving on your electricity bill, the type of rubber membrane used on your shingles can affect how much you save on your monthly bills, and how much your overall cost is to install the roof. Rubber roof shingles come in three types:
- EPDM (which is the most expensive kind).
Pros of Rubber Roof Shingles
- Rubber roof shingles are very durable and can last on your home for anywhere between fifteen to twenty-five years.
- Rubber roof shingles are very lightweight. That makes them easy to install, and also means they can be installed on just about any type of house around. You won’t have to worry about the weight or adding reinforcements.
- Rubber roof shingles are very low maintenance. So, if you don’t enjoy taking care of your roof often, they could be a good option for you.
- Rubber roof shingles are also eco-friendly when they are made and installed, so they are a great option to protect the environment.
Cons of Rubber Roof Shingles
- With rubber roof shingles, the color on your shingles can fade easily and quickly.
- Rubber roof shingles can also be delicate at times, and it seems like they break easier than other shingles.
- With rubber roof shingles, professional installation is required.
Standard Shingle Lifespan: How Long Will Your Shingles Last?
Figuring out how long your shingles will last depends on the type of shingles you’ve had installed on your house and the weather conditions where you live. Knowing that will allow you to understand how long your new roof should last. Below we’ve provided a table of all roof types and their lifespans to help you make your decision.
|Average Roof Shingle Lifespan
|Roof Shingle Types
|3 to 7 years
|Asphalt 3 Tab Shingles
|Asphalt Architectural Shingles
|Built-Up Roofing (BUR)
|Clay Roofing Shingles
|Coal and Tar
|Concrete Tile Roofing
|15 to 25 years
|Green Vegetation Roof
|5 to 40 years
|Imitation Slate Tiles
|10 to 35 years
|40 to 80 years
|Slate Stone Tiles
|60 to 150 years
|TPO Rubber Roof
|7 to 20 years
Now that we’ve reviewed the seven most common types of roof shingles around, you should have enough knowledge to assess what type of shingle you’d like to purchase. We’ve certainly covered a wide variety, so you should be able to understand what you like the most, and what will work best for your home in the long run.
Your final decision should be based on your budget as well as the design and style of roof that you want. With the numerous options available on the market today, you should be able to find what you need.
Share this Post