Since the early parts of human civilization, shingles have been an important part of any roofing system. Whether you’re looking at European architectural designs, Far East Asian or even American designs, you’ll find that shingles are one of the most common kinds of roofing materials for gabled-design roofs.
Architectural roofing or shingles were developed in the 1980s as an improvement from your typical 3-tab and asphalt shingles which only had a limited lifespan. As the name suggests, this roofing material has also been highly demanded in the market since the embossed look can easily catch the attention of passersby and architectural enthusiasts.
But before we can start comparing which one of the two roofing materials is better, we have to first look at the advantages that each of these materials offers and what is their unique characteristics.
One of the most common and highly sought-after roofing material in the market is architectural shingles which are known for being durable and long-lasting. As the name suggests, this type of shingles has a three-dimensional appeal that makes it stand out with an embossed look. This gives it a more classy theme since most roofs are flat.
When we mean regular roofing, we are talking about some of the most prevalent materials that are available in your local builder’s depot. For this one, we’ll be using asphalt shingles as the roofing material that represents what is conventionally known as a ‘regular’ roof. Asphalt shingles account for 2/3 of the roofing materials used across the United States when it comes to residential homes and sometimes commercial buildings.
Although not necessarily an advantage nor a disadvantage, architectural shingles are thicker and weigh more than asphalt shingles if placed on a roof with the same area. Homeowners are highly advised to have strong supporting beams and structures if ever they do plan on using architectural shingles since this will usually weigh more than a ton.
In terms of cost, asphalt shingles will usually cost less than architectural shingles. On average, asphalt shingles will cost you around $150 for every square. Architectural shingles, on the other hand, will cost around $550 for every square. Homeowners have to also keep in mind the labor costs of installing these roofing materials.
Asphalt shingles have a shorter lifespan than architectural shingles. In most cases, asphalt shingles will usually last 15 – 20 years before it is replaced with other roofing materials. Architectural shingles, on the other hand, will last 20 – 35 years under the right conditions.
Overall, architectural shingles are by far a better choice than your regular roofing materials since it has a longer lifespan, better overall durability against flowing water, high winds, and high energy impacts.
While architectural shingles might be a cut above your average regular roofing materials, there are still some factors that homeowners need to keep in mind when choosing between the two materials.
Since architectural shingles are more well-rounded and more durable than asphalt shingles, it’s bound to have a heftier price tag. Moreover, being a highly sought-out material in the market means that stocks might run out faster than asphalt shingles and other roofing materials. Moreover, it takes more time, energy, and money to make this material. All of these factors make architectural shingles a harder roofing material to come by. If you’re having trouble looking for architectural shingles within your area, you can always contact your roofing contractor who might have connections with manufacturers.
Another factor that most homeowners and roofing specialists have to take into account is the weight of the material. In most cases, 3-tab shingles and other types of shingles are lightweight and won’t usually weigh a ton if placed on your average 1600 square feet roof. However architectural shingles are generally thicker and weigh more than your average asphalt shingles. In some cases, these types of shingles will easily weigh over a ton. It’s best to keep this in mind when installing your roof with the appropriate supporting structures.
Weather conditions should also be placed in the equation. If you’re living in colder states, then it is highly advised that installation should take place on warmer seasons so that there will be more accurate measurements as architectural shingles tend to be thicker.
At the end of the day, architectural shingles are a better and more well-rounded choice than your conventional regular roofing materials. Not only is it durable and long-lasting, but it can also significantly increase the aesthetic value of your home. It might be a bit expensive than any other roofing materials in the market, but they are definitely worth the price tag.