What Are Architectural Shingles: All You Need to Know

Published On: December 5, 2022

Need help choosing the right roofing material for your home? Call Wharton Roofing at (979) 534-2014.

Traditional asphalt shingles are a popular choice for many homeowners thanks to their affordable price and easy installation. However, a 3-tab asphalt shingle roof degrades faster and doesn’t offer the same curb appeal as more expensive roofing materials like cedar shakes, metal, or slate.

If you’re wondering, “But what are architectural shingles?” the answer is a versatile roofing material that offers the best of both worlds: lightweight, more durable than traditional asphalt shingles, and many style options. Keep reading to learn more about architectural shingles and decide whether it’s the right roofing option for you.

What Are Architectural Shingles?

The basic composition of architectural shingles is similar to standard 3-tab shingles: a fiberglass backing, asphalt, granule coating, and adhesives.

The main difference between architectural shingles and 3-tab shingles is the product quality. Architectural shingles are heavier, sturdier, and longer-lasting than 3-tab shingles. They also have a more attractive dimensional appearance (hence their other name, “dimensional shingles”) and can resemble slate tiles or cedar shakes without the complex installation and high cost.

The Benefits of Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles offer many benefits, including:

  • Easy installation. Although architectural asphalt shingles are heavier than 3-tab shingles, they are substantially lighter than clay, slate, or concrete tiles. An architectural shingle roof typically requires no extra structural support and is quick and easy to install.
  • Simple maintenance. Many homeowners love the visual appeal of natural cedar shakes, but not the high installation costs and complex maintenance of cedar roofs. Architectural shingles combine the look of natural shakes with easy maintenance.
  • High durability. Standard 3-tab shingles usually last up to 15 years. Depending on the shingle type, architectural shingles may last 25-30 years and withstand winds, impact, fire, and UV rays.
  • Aesthetic appeal. The thick, dimensional profile of architectural shingles gives roofs a deeper and more textured look compared to 3-tab shingles. Architectural shingles can be a great fit for colonial, Victorian, or rustic-style homes. This shingle can resemble natural slate or weathered wood and come in shades of gray, brown, tan, and black.
  • Affordable price. While architectural shingles cost more than 3-tab shingles, an architectural shingle roof is still more affordable than a clay, slate, or metal tile roof. In the long run, architectural shingles may be a better-value option than 3-tab shingles, thanks to their longer lifespan.

How Much Does an Architectural Shingle Roof Cost?

After homeowners ask, “What are architectural shingles?” the next question is usually, “How much does a shingle roof of this type cost?”

Shingle roofing contractors in Bay City, TX, may give you different quotes on an architectural shingle roof project, depending on the specific shingle type you choose, your roof’s accessibility, any additional structural work your roof needs, and other factors.

Architectural shingles come in various styles and quality gradations. Luxury or premium architectural shingles may look better, last longer, and cost more than standard architectural shingles. You may choose these more expensive shingles if you want a roof that resembles natural materials more closely or if you need a higher degree of resistance to wind and impact damage.

On average, an architectural shingle roof will cost somewhere in the range of $4.50 to $8.25 per square foot, although additional installation costs may result in a more expensive roofing project. In comparison, a cedar shake roof may cost more than $14 per square foot, while slate tiles may cost up to $22 per square foot.

How Long Do Architectural Shingles Last?

Architectural shingle manufacturers state their product can last 30 years with proper maintenance. Realistically, you may expect an architectural shingle roof to last up to 85% of its maximum lifespan, or around 25 years.

How long your specific roof system lasts also depends on:

  • The underlying roof structure and any existing roof issues
  • The weather conditions in your area, including high winds and heavy hail
  • Any external damage by fallen objects like tree limbs
  • Regular roof maintenance and timely repairs

Are Architectural Shingles a Good Choice for Texas Homes?

The qualities of architectural shingles make them an excellent fit for homes in the Lone Star State. Architectural shingles are:

  • Wind-resistant. While standard asphalt shingles typically resist winds up to 60 mph, the higher-quality architectural shingles can withstand winds of 80 to 120 mph. As one of the windiest states, Texas calls for wind-resistant roofing materials.
  • Fire-resistant. The heavy fiberglass-and-asphalt architectural shingles offer excellent fire resistance, unlike fire-susceptible cedar shakes.
  • UV-resistant. You can choose architectural shingles with solar-reflective components that will help your roof withstand UV radiation. Shingles with reflective granules are also more energy efficient and may reduce your household’s cooling costs.
  • Impact-resistant. Heavy hail can damage your roof. Thicker, sturdier architectural shingles resist hail and fallen objects much better than standard asphalt shingles. For maximum durability, choose architectural shingles with a Class 4 impact resistance rating.

Should You Choose Architectural Shingles for Your Roof?

Architectural shingles may be the right roofing choice for you if:

  • You want a roof that is affordable, easy to install, and more durable than a standard asphalt shingle roof
  • You want to enhance your home’s curb appeal without the tricky installation and maintenance needs of a slate or shake roof
  • You like the look of natural slate, but your roof’s structure can’t support the weight of slate tiles
  • You’re putting your property on the market and want to boost your home’s resale value
  • You want to recreate the visual appeal of natural slate or cedar shakes at a significantly lower cost

Wharton Roofing: Top-Quality Shingle Roofing Services in Wharton, TX

Make sure you get a top-performing, long-lasting roof by choosing the right roofing contractor. With Wharton Roofing, you’ll never have to wonder, “what are architectural shingles and are they right for my home?” We can explain your options and install, repair, and replace shingle roofs in Bay City, Edna, Ganado, and other locations near Wharton, TX. Local homeowners choose us thanks to our superb craftsmanship, outstanding service, and flexible financing options.

Call (979) 534-2014 or fill out our online form for a free roofing project quote.

About Steven Griffin

Steven Griffin has been in the roofing industry for over 30 years. He has worked with a host of roofing companies throughout Florida and Texas. He started Sugar Land Roofing with a vision of bringing quality roofing services at an affordable price to those living in the Greater Houston, Texas area.