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Architectural Shingle Roof Buying Guide

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What’s the Difference Between Architectural Shingles and 3 Tab Shingles?

Architectural shingles are thicker asphalt shingle types that can create the appearance of visually stunning natural roofing like slate, cedar, or clay tiles at a fraction of the cost.  Because of their extra thickness and contouring, they cost more than traditional asphalt shingles, but they last longer and carry longer warranties. They last from 30 to 50 years and are fire resistant, wind resistant, and prevent algae and mold growth making them one of the most popular type of roof shingles.

3 tab vs architectural shingles

Architectural Shingles Cost

The average cost for an architectural shingle roof will range between $13,500 to $21,500 depending on the slope, pitch, and size of your roof. You can expect to pay $1.00 to $1.50 per sq. foot or $100 to $150 per square installed on a standard sized single story home. 50 year architectural roofing shingles could cost from $500 to $785 per square (100 square feet).

Roof replacement costs can vary by region, but it’s always smart to get a few price estimates before contacting a local roofing installer.

Are Architectural Shingles Worth the Extra Cost?

There are a few reasons that homeowners consider architectural shingles to be worth the extra cost. They are more expensive than their cheaper traditional asphalt shingle counterpart, however they have an average of a 6% return on investment for your home’s value and outlast traditional shingles with a 30 to 50 year lifespan. Architectural shingles are the standard for high end homes and they just look better than regular shingles.

architectural asphalt shingles

Synthetic Slate Roofs

Architectural roofing shingles can also imitate the look of  a new slate roof without the weight issues that normally accompany this natural roofing material. Synthetic slate shingles do not require any additional roof support as slate would, saving you money on costly structural reinforcements for your home. This shingle type is made with composite material molded to mimic slate’s texture, dimensions, and appearance.

Synthetic Cedar Wood Shakes

Architectural shingles can also simulate cedar wood shake roofs. Synthetic cedar shingles are quite thick with random slots similar to real shakes. Synthetic wood shingles boast random colors and textures that provide a terrific accent for steep roof planes, turrets, and gables.

synthetic asphalt slate shingles

Architectural Roofing Styles

Newly constructed homes often feature dramatic rooflines with turrets, gables, or hip and ridge roofing sections that architectural shingles complement nicely. Also, when these types of shingles are installed on highly sloped roofs, water or snow can fall off easily. Architectural shingles are also a great option if you are exploring an upgrade to your existing roof as they can increase the aesthetic appeal of your home, as well as your overall home value.

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architectural shingle colors

Architectural shingles come in a wide range of colors, making them very versatile for your roof design. Roofing shingle colors vary depending on brand or design; however, most brands offer these colors for architectural roofing shingles:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Bronze
  • Brown
  • Copper
  • Gray
  • Green
  • Orange
  • Red
  • Silver
  • Tan
  • Teak
  • White
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