Did you know four out of five homeowners opt for asphalt shingles? 

Maybe it’s because that’s what you’ve always had. 

Maybe it’s because all of your neighbors already have them. 

Before you redo your home’s roof with another set of asphalt shingles, make sure you know the different types of roof shingles available to you. Today’s asphalt shingles aren’t the same ones you installed 10 years ago. 

These VIPs of roofing materials are ready for a major upgrade. 

4 Common Types of Roof Shingles

There are four major types of roof shingles in the market today. Each of these shingles may look similar on the surface, but the application and benefits vary.  

3-Tab Asphalt Shingles – This is the original type of asphalt shingle. According to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA), this style is the most common type of asphalt shingles. Chances are you’ve had these on your home at some point. They are also known as strip shingles and have a lifespan of about 15-20 years. 

  • Pros – 
    • Lightweight compared to other types of asphalt shingles. 
    • Budget-friendly and affordable
    • Easy to install 
  • Cons –
    • They wear out quicker than other types of roof shingles 
    • Thinner
    • Limited color and style options 

3-tab asphalt shingles are surprisingly durable, even though they are budget-friendly.

Architectural Roofing Shingles – This upgraded shingle option is thicker and gives a multi-dimensional appearance. They are also known as dimensional shingles or laminate shingles. 

  • Pros – 
    • Improved warranty protection. 
    • More durable than 3-tab asphalt.  
    • Aesthetically pleasing.
    • Longer lifespan than 3-tab asphalt.
  • Cons –
    • 20 percent more expensive than 3-tab asphalt. 
    • Heavier than 3-tab asphalt, adding more weight to your roof.   

Many people consider Architectural roof shingles to be the most popular type of asphalt shingles.

Premium Roofing Shingles – These types of asphalt shingles are specially engineered to withstand and absorb impact from external factors such as hail or falling debris. They are the highest quality among the types of roof shingles. Premium shingles can last between 25 – 40 years.

  • Pros –
    • Suitable for hail-prone regions
    • Higher durability and functionality.
    • Standout beautiful appearance.   
  • Cons –
    • Double the weight of strip shingles type.
    • Typically the most expensive type of asphalt shingles. 

Premium shingles are also known as luxury asphalt shingles.

COOL Roofing Shingles – These types of roof shingles are designed with solar-reflecting granules, which decrease heat absorption through your roof. COOL shingles have a lifespan of 15-30 years.

  • Pros –
    • It makes your home more energy efficient in hot climates 
    • Reduces strain on any home cooling devices 
    • Some states provide incentive programs for home and business owners who use COOL roofing materials.
  • Cons –
    • More expensive than 3-tab asphalt. 
    • Increases need for mechanical heating during winter

COOL roofing shingles reduce the amount of energy needed to cool your home thereby reducing your ecological footprint.

What To Consider When Choosing Asphalt Roof Shingles

Consider the following factors to help you choose the right type of asphalt shingles for your roof. 

  • Budget – Asphalt shingles have different material and labor costs. When choosing asphalt shingles, you need to consider your budget. The least expensive option is the 3-tab asphalt.  Architectural shingles are usually about 15 to 20 percent more, and premium shingles can be up to double the cost of architectural shingles. The more costly shingles will also offer a longer lifespan and a better warranty.
  • Color and Style – Of course, aesthetics are important. You don’t want to end up with a roof you don’t like or one that does not match the color of your sidings and home. A 3-tab shingle will give a great basic roof, but if you want something that looks like cedar shake, or a more upgraded look, you’ll want dimensional or luxury shingles. 
  • Warranty – Your roof is an investment. If something goes wrong, you need to be protected. This is why you should consider the warranty offerings of your options before you decide. 
  • Lifespan – You also need to consider how long you want your roof to last before you choose. With proper maintenance, 3-tab asphalt can last up to 20 years, while architectural shingles can last up to 30 years or more. 
  • Functionality – Beyond budget and style considerations, you need a roof that works. If you live in a hail-prone area or near the coast, you should consider a roof option that can withstand the impact of external factors in your neighborhood. 

Which Asphalt Shingles Are Right For You?

Because of the amazing benefits it offers, asphalt shingles protects over 50% homes in the U.S.

Asphalt shingles aren’t complicated. 

They are one of the most simple, economical, and reliable roofing options on the market. 

This is why they continue to be the most popular choice year after year. Talk to your contractor about the types of roof shingles available to you in your area. 

A free inspection from Abrams will give you a clear estimate, answer all of your questions, and provide you with a partner in roofing you can count on. Give us a call today!