The Ultimate Guide to Architectural Shingles

This article was written by Brian Wedding and published by Roof Claim.


Asphalt shingles are a common roofing material in the United States, and of the different variations, architectural shingles are the most durable and reliable.

The best roofing shingles are ultimately the ones that fit your home and your budget, but architectural shingles are a great way to get high quality shingles comparable to slate or metal without the high price tag.

Architectural shingles colors can vary and it’s important to pick the roof shingle color that best matches the color of your house.

What Are Architectural Shingles?

Architectural roof shingles are also known as laminated or dimensional shingles. They are among the highest quality type of roofing shingles made and are composed of a heavy fiberglass mat base with ceramic-coated mineral granules that are embedded within water-resistant asphalt.

Because it is made of sturdy and reliable materials, it costs more than other types of shingles when compared against other types of asphalt shingles. The architectural shingles price might be a bit higher than other asphalt shingles with a cost of about $15 per square on average, but they are long-lasting and appealing to the eye since they are designed to resemble premium materials.

How Long Do Architectural Shingles Last?

Architectural asphalt shingles can last for 25 to 30 years because they are created from thicker materials that create a more resilient roof. As with every structure, severe weather can cut down the lifespan of your shingles, but the architectural shingles cost takes into account the variety of components that go into the shingle to create a stronger and longer lasting roof for your home.

How to Install Architectural Shingles

Installing architectural shingles is always best left to the professionals, there is a lot more to roofing than just laying a few shingles, no matter how high-quality they may be.

  • Start by preparing the roof deck and making sure it is a clean flat surface. Having a flat surface to work off of means that your architectural roof shingles will be flat, smooth, and will better deflect water from leaking through.
  • To better protect from water damage, the next step is to apply a drip edge to the roof deck and right over that, apply an underlayment horizontally for extra protection. The joints and valleys of your roof should also get an extra layer of water-shedding materials because those are the areas where your roof is most likely to leak.
  • It isn’t until after all those layers are added that you can start placing your shingles. Start from the bottom and go horizontally before you work your way up to the top. Once all the shingles have been placed, you can finally add ridge caps to the top of your roof.

Are They Worth The Extra Cost?

While architectural shingles do cost more than standard three-tab shingles, they are generally considered to be worth the extra cost for several reasons. First, they have a more textured and layered look than standard three-tab shingles, which can enhance the curb appeal and resale value of a home. Second, they are thicker and more durable than standard three-tab shingles, which makes them less likely to be damaged by high winds, hail, or other weather events. Lastly, they can provide better insulation and energy efficiency than standard shingles. They can help keep a home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, which can lower energy bills and reduce the environmental impact of a home.

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