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Best Roofing Shingles Based on Look and Functionality

Published on: June 24, 2022

Installing a new roof is an expensive investment in your commercial property or home. That’s why selecting the best roofing shingles based on your home’s design and the Washington climate is so important.

You want your roof to last as long as possible to get the most out of your investment. On average, it costs $8,000 to replace a residential roof. So here’s a guide to selecting high-quality shingles that will keep your home looking great.

Types of Asphalt Roofing Shingles

To get started, you should learn about the types of asphalt roofing shingles available. Understanding the differences and pros and cons of each will guide you in selecting the best ones for your home. There are three main options.

Asphalt roofing shingles

1. Strip Shingles/3-Tab Shingles

The cut of the shingle is where their name comes from. These are the most basic asphalt shingle types. You’ll get a slate-like appearance using strip shingles because they are flat in appearance.

With just one layer of asphalt, these shingles are also very light and are more cost-effective. Up until the 1980s, these were the predominant shingle installed on roofs. However, now they are more often associated with low-cost homes or homes where the owner wants to keep the original look and feel from when the home was built decades ago. 

Dimensional and designer shingles have since overtaken strip shingles as the more popular options due to their visual appeal.

2. Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional shingles might also be called architectural or laminate shingles. These are now the most installed roof types in Washington. These shingles feature two or more layers of asphalt that are fused together. The fusing of multiple layers provides a multi-dimensional appearance.

The goal when manufacturing dimensional shingles is to replicate the look of natural shake or slate roofs. Because these shingles have multiple layers, they are heavier than strip shingles and cost more. However, they also often carry a longer warranty to guarantee home protection for more years than strip shingles. 

3. Luxury Shingles

As the name suggests, luxury shingles offer the highest quality protection for your home. They are laminated shingles that provide an even more attractive appearance than dimensional shingles.

You’ll get the greatest weather protection while also upgrading your home to the most stunning design possible for a roof. Color options and diversity make luxury shingles a premier option and the depth in the appearance of these shingles is far and above what you’ll find with other options. 

These roofs mirror the look of old-world wood shake or quarried slate roofs so it’s no surprise they are called luxury shingles.

To learn more about roofing colors, read our blog about how to pick the right color shingles for your new roof.

Benefits of Asphalt Shingles

Modern asphalt roofs are far better at protecting buildings than they were several decades ago. Today, you’ll get the following benefits from an asphalt shingled roof.

  • Algae fighting properties
  • Hail resistance
  • Energy efficiency through heat reflection
  • Reduction in insurance costs due to improved home protection
  • Fire resistance

Allow the Professionals to Do It

How Much Do Roofing Shingles Cost?

The cost of roofing shingles will vary based on which option you select, the time of year you have your roof installed and the roofing contractor you work with for your new roof (Read more about how to choose the right roofing contractor). However, on average, homeowners spend $8,000-$9,000 to install a new shingled roof. Smaller homes might have a lower budget of around $5,000, while larger residential roofs can be $12,000 or more.

Asphalt shingles are the most economical roofing option. Other materials are more expensive and can double or even triple the price of roofing your home. These options include:

  • Composite
  • Wood
  • Clay
  • Metal

Signs You Need a New Roof

Sometimes you get clear signs that it’s time for a new roof. For example, when a serious hailstorm hits or your home suffers fire damage, you’ll likely see clear signs that it’s time for a new roof or at least roofing repairs

Other times, a small drip within your home or ceiling discoloration tips you off that it’s time to call a roofing contractor. You might discover that you need a new seal or a small repair. Or the roofing team might get on your roof and tell you it’s time for a full replacement.

Whatever tips you off that something isn’t right on top of your home, you should seek professional advice. Roofing is not a do-it-yourself project like some other home fixes. In addition to being extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, roofing also requires deep expertise.

Another telltale sign you need a new roof is if your roof is more than 20 years old and its warranty has expired. At this point, your homeowners’ insurance will become more costly and your home is vulnerable to a wind or hailstorm hitting and causing severe damage to more than just your roof.

Homeowners often struggle with the idea of replacing a roof before they experience a leak because roofing is so costly. However, roofing becomes even more costly if you wait until you have damage inside your home or to your roof’s plywood. 

You should begin budgeting for a new roof once your existing roof reaches 15 years of age so that the cost isn’t a deterrent to getting this crucial aspect of your home replaced.

What You Need to Know About Roofing Warranties

As you begin shopping for shingles, don’t forget to review the warranty. This is a factor in the total cost of your roof, which is something you want to factor in as you compare your options. 

Some shingles claim a lifetime warranty. Most of the time, that translates to a 10-year full replacement or repair cost for the home’s original owner. After 10 years, that lifetime warranty will pay out a depreciated value for your roof based on the shingle’s age.

Regretfully, the fine print is a complicated, yet important aspect of roofing warranties. So while you want to pay attention to warranties, you also can’t let that be the deciding factor in which shingles to go with.

Some exclusions to roofing warranties that you should know about include the following.

  • Improper home ventilation could void your roof’s warranty
  • Certain acts of God, such as hailstorms might be excluded (but covered under your homeowners insurance)
  • Your full replacement/repair warranty likely only covers 10 years with depreciation after that

Rooftop Solar Panel Considerations

Rooftop solar panels

Although Seattle, Washington, isn’t known for its sunny days, some people are still investing in rooftop solar panels to make their homes more sustainable and energy-efficient. If you’re considering rooftop solar panels, you should replace your roof first. That’s because once the solar panels are installed, you’ll need to pay an expert to come out and remove them before your roofing contractor can replace your roof.

Additionally, check your shingle’s warranty to see if it supports solar panel installation. Some manufacturers void your roof warranty once you install solar panels over top. You’ll also want to collaborate with your solar panel company to learn more about insurance factors.

Working with a Roofing Contractor to Find the Best Shingles

Ultimately, the best shingle for your home or building will vary based on your budget, home design and unique needs. The best way to know the right roofing shingle for you is to work with a roofing contractor that offers a free estimate and consultation. 

2FL Windows, Siding & Roofing takes time to meet with homeowners to learn about their design requirements and roof performance needs before recommending the best asphalt shingles based on those details. Schedule your free estimate now to begin the process of replacing your roof to protect your home.

Further Reading:

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