The Most Popular Types of Roofing Shingles
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
When it comes to picking out what goes on your roof, there is an abundance of options out there, but one of the most popular options homeowners tend to go with are shingles.
So which shingle should you choose? There are more choices than you think — but here are some of the most popular, tried and true options available on the market today.
Asphalt shingles are one of the most well-known choices you can get when it comes to choosing roofing options for your home. They’re inexpensive compared to other types of roofing material, and, on average, can last anywhere from 20 to 50 years. There are three types of asphalt shingles to choose from, including:
Three-Tab Shingles. Possibly the most affordable option when it comes to choosing shingles for your home. They’re a simple easy choice for those that live in more temperate climates. They can last for up to 20 years (if they don’t end up blowing off in a storm before their time).
Dimensional or Architectural Shingles. Admittedly more expensive, and more durable than the Three-Tab option, promising to last up to 30 years and can help you qualify for a better and longer warranty. Of course, this comes down to preference, but aesthetically they tend to look more attractive, too.
Premium or Luxury Asphalt Shingles. These are able to imitate slate and cedar roofs in a considerably more affordable way. They weigh more than the basic three-tab, so that's something to keep in mind, but this weight provides an extra layer of protection for those that live in more intense climates that face extremes in wind and weather.
When it comes to longevity, tile roofing, made from materials like Terracotta clay and concrete, can last up to a hundred years. Tile can be formed uniquely to create your own custom roofing design, but there are plenty of classic patterns and options to pick from, too. Energy-efficient mission-architecture style tiles are typically found in homes in warmer climates where they can withstand the beat of the sun and avoid too much solar damage. On the other hand, they’re not recommended for homes in areas with more extreme weather, because they can be broken too easily by storms and falling debris. They are definitely a jump up, price-wise, from asphalt and can also cost anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 to install.
There are many different traditional and modern wood shingles to choose from, from cedar to pine and even redwood. However, wood shingles aren’t likely to last as long as other types of shingles unless you find the wood “shake” loophole. Wood shake roofs are made from much older trees and can even potentially last longer than asphalt shingles if installed properly. They can be more expensive than wood tiles, however, and admittedly neither option is ideal for climates that have regular fires, but now both are treated with fire retardant to make them overall safer options. Of course, the cost also depends on the type of wood, but wood shingles can cost anywhere from $14,000-$25,000 to install.
For those searching for durability, slate roof shingles can last anywhere from 60 to 150 years! Easy to maintain, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly, slate roofs are an attractive choice when it comes to picking the roof shingles for your home. They also don’t take much to maintain, as they’re resistant to mold and mildew and other usual roofing problems. Of course, they say you get what you pay for, and slate roofs can cost anywhere from $11,000-$24,000 to install. Don’t be quick to cut corners and turn this into a DIY project: slate is quite heavy and, on its own, can be fragile. There are some things best left up to the professionals.
For a potentially more economical decision, metal roofs can be a great option to install and can come in deep attractive colors that don’t fade easily. For those who live in areas susceptible to wildfires, or in climates with storms and snow, metal roofing is an even better investment. They can last an impressive amount of time, anywhere from 75-100 years. Like metal shingles, there are different options to choose from, with the most expensive and durable form being steel. They’re also less heavy than slate, for roofs that can’t handle any extra weight, and are probably a better option if you’re going to attempt a home installation. Even still, we recommend hiring someone to help ensure it's a one-time job.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Any decision you make when it comes to your home is hopefully a permanent one, and your roof is no exception. This is why you want to be sure that you not only like the roofing option you choose, but also ensure it was the best possible choice for the climate and surroundings you live in.
Do you live somewhere with inclement weather? Is your home beneath a canopy of trees? Have you calculated the potential upkeep costs for your roof based on the shingles you choose? Are there building codes in your neighborhood that might limit your options? What degree of a slope does your roof have? These are all things to keep in mind as you make your decision.