close up image of asphalt architectural shingles on roof

A Homeowner’s Guide to Architectural Shingles

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Posted By:OpenBox Team

It only comes around once every two decades, but a roof replacement can feel like a monumental event in the life of any homeowner. Not only does it feel like a homeowning rite of passage, but it comes with a lot of stressors. You’ll be asked to make many decisions, including:

  • A budget
  • Which roofing materials you want to use
  • Which roofing company you want

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Each of those decisions comes with many moving parts that can make anyone’s head spin. But if you have narrowed your roofing material decision down to asphalt shingles, we’re here to convince you that architectural shingles are your best bet.

What are architectural shingles, exactly? That’s exactly what we’ll be explaining, along with maintenance tips and cost predictions. Keep reading to learn more!

Why Asphalt Shingles?

houses next to each other with asphalt shingle roofs

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in the United States. But what is it that makes homeowners turn to them, time after time? Here are just a few of the draws:

  • Cost – By far, the biggest advantage of asphalt roofing shingles is that they are hugely inexpensive. In fact, they are the cheapest roofing material on the market! Individual prices with vary, depending on the style that you choose and the brand, but you can expect a good deal on all of them.
  • Versatility – We all want our home to reflect our personal taste and sense of style, and asphalt shingles can do just that. With a wide range of colors, they have an aesthetic appeal that can work with any home.
  • Easy Installation – An asphalt shingle roof is simple to install, making it a popular choice for seasoned pros and DIY newbies alike! The ease of installation also means that they are perfect for quick and affordable repairs.
  • Low Maintenance – This particular roofing style requires minimal maintenance to look its best, making it a popular choice for busy homeowners.

Two Types of Asphalt Shingles

When it comes to asphalt shingles, you typically have two choices: 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles. Both of these styles have their pros and cons, and it is important to do your research to understand the difference. Here are some of the key points you should consider.

1) 3-Tab Shingles

If affordability is your main concern, 3-tab shingles are the right option for you. The cheapest roofing material on the market, 3-tab shingles, will get the job done in a way that works with your budget. Of course, it is important to note that 3-tab shingles have poor durability and may need more frequent repairs. They also don’t offer the same aesthetic appeal as architectural shingles, as they have a flat, one-dimensional look. 3-tab shingles are often considered outdated and generally not recommended by roofing contractors.

2) Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are the preferred type of asphalt shingle by most professional roofing contractors. Also known as dimensional shingles, architectural roofing shingles provide the most curb appeal of any type of asphalt shingle, as they add depth and interest to your roof. They also have increased durability and stand up better to impact damage than 3-tab shingles.

Why You Should Choose Architectural Shingles

close up image of window on the architectural shingle roof

Architectural shingles typically cost more than 3-tab shingles, which can make homeowners hesitate. After all, are they really worth the extra cost?

As roofers, our answer is yes! Not only will the upfront cost save you money in the long run when it comes to repair costs, but you’ll also add lots of curb appeal to your home. This is particularly useful if you are looking to sell your home in the near future, as both of these features can add value to your home.

How Much Do Architectural Shingles Cost?

When it comes to choosing between architectural asphalt shingles and 3-tab, many homeowners are concerned about the difference in costs. And while it’s true that you may pay more for architectural shingles than other roofing materials, you may be surprised to learn how affordable they can be.

Architectural shingles typically cost between $4.50-$7 per square foot. That means that homeowners who have a standard 2000-foot home will pay between $13,000-$20,000 for a full roof replacement. In contrast, 3-tab shingles only cost about $1-$2 per square foot, but you are likely to deal with more impact damage over the years. This can significantly shorten the lifespan of your roof and cause you to spend more than you had planned on.

Maintaining Your New Roof

yellow vinyl siding on house with gray roof

Roof maintenance is the best way to make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck! Here are our favorite maintenance tips to extend the lifespan of your roof.

  • Regular Inspections – Annual roof inspections with a qualified roofing contractor can help save you a headache in the long run. By spotting any issues early on, you’ll be able to extend the life of your shingles and roof deck.
  • Trim Trees – One of the primary causes of impact damage on a roof is falling tree branches. Keep all trees that hang above your roof line well-trimmed to avoid this.
  • Keep Your Roof Clean – A build-up of debris on your roof can lead to major issues, including water damage. You can avoid this by keeping your roof and gutters free of leaves, branches, or other debris that gathers throughout the year.
  • Replace Shingles – When a shingle or two blows off, it can be tempting to leave it. But even a few missing shingles can lead to extensive water damage to your whole home. You can protect your roof by promptly replacing any blown-off shingles.

Get an Expert Opinion

Choosing a roofing material can feel like a huge undertaking. Luckily, our team at OpenBox Roofing has the expertise to assist you in the decision-making process. From asphalt shingles to cedar shakes and slate, we can do it all! Contact us today to set up your consultation. 

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