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Updated by Stephanie Puchacz on Apr 26, 2021
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4 Shingle Types to Buy & Why

There are a variety of different types of shingles available in the market. From composition shingles to synthetic slate shingles, homeowners have plenty of shingle options to choose from when looking to install a new roof. But what type of shingle is best? Which shingle is the best value for the best price? What shingle type lasts the longest? We’ve got the answers!

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3 Tab Shingles

3 Tab Shingles

Pros:

  • Lower cost to install (up to $1.20 per square foot)
  • Easy to repair
  • Large option of colors and styles available
  • Lighter and consists of less material
  • Easy and fairly quick installation
  • Energy-efficient options are available
  • Fire resistant

Cons:

  • More vulnerable to harsh weather
  • Unable to withstand high winds (can handle winds up to 60 mph)
  • Flat in appearance
  • Shorter lifespan than other shingle types
  • Will not increase the value of a home
  • Not the most environmentally friendly
  • At least a 2/12 roof pitch is required for installation
  • Excess friction can knock the granules loose
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Architectural Shingles

Architectural Shingles

Pros:

  • Easy and quick installation
  • Ability to withstand high winds (can handle winds up to 130 mph)
  • Wider variety of color, shading, and shape options
  • Energy-efficient options are available
  • Provides dimension to your home, visually appealing
  • Less likely to curl than 3-tab shingles
  • Fire Resistant
  • Often offered with a lifetime warranty (50+ years)

Cons:

  • Higher installation cost (up to $3.00 per square foot)
  • Not the most environmentally friendly
  • Lesser grades of architectural shingles can have a shorter life span
  • At least a 2/12 roof pitch is required for installation
  • Can be damaged by heavy hail
  • Excess friction can knock the granules loose

Architectural shingles have a typical lifespan of 30-50 years, giving homeowners more time in-between roof replacements and roof repairs. Although this shingle type costs more than its counterpart 3 tab shingles, most homeowners find it worthwhile to pay a little more for more durability and an extended warranty.

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Roof Shake or Wooden Shingles

Roof Shake or Wooden Shingles

Pros:

  • Unique look that will boost the curb appeal of your home
  • Extremely wind resistant (can handle winds anywhere from 173 mph to 245 mph depending on cut and size)
  • Impact resistance
  • Ultraviolet (UV) light-resistant
  • Energy efficient
  • Eco-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Has a longer average lifespan than asphalt shingles
  • Boosts the value of your home
  • Fire-resistant if the wood is properly treated prior to installation

Cons:

  • More expensive than asphalt shingles (up to $5.50 per square foot)
  • Attract insects such as wasps and other wood loving insects
  • Requires more routine maintenance than an asphalt shingle to prevent moss, mold, and mildew growth
  • Absorbs water, therefore that moisture can lead to the wood rotting and warping if not installed correctly
  • Untreated wood has a very poor fire rating and is even prohibited by the fire codes in some areas
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Slate Tiles

Slate Tiles

Pros:

  • Presents a classic, clean, and modern look
  • Extremely durable in high winds, high temperatures, and hail events
  • Fireproof
  • Longevity & warranties (most slate tile manufacturers will offer up to a 100-year warranty)
  • Low maintenance as slate is not susceptible to damaging effect that causes wear and tear on asphalt shingles and absorbs very little water due to the slates density
  • Will greatly increase your resale home value due to the permanence, durability, and aesthetic appeal. This will make your home more attractive to potential buyers should you ever decide to sell.
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons:

  • Much more costly than other roofing options (up to $20.00 per square foot)
  • Weight (slate roofs weigh up to 4x as much as an asphalt roof)
  • Be sure to hire a roofing company contractor with expertise in slate roofing, otherwise, it is likely it will be installed incorrectly, which can lead to large problems with your roof
  • Poor durability when walking on the roof unless you know what you’re doing
  • Repairs are difficult as it is nearly impossible to find a perfect match for replacement tiles