Blog » How to Choose the Right Roofing Shingle

Whether you are selecting the roofing shingle for a new house or re-roofing your current home, there is more to consider than just style and color.

Whether you are selecting shingles for a new house or re-roofing your current home, there’s more to consider than just style and color.  Practical materials paired with proper installation dictates how long a roof will last.  Considering that a new roofing system is an investment, a wise decision is critical.  

Here are the key factors to take into account when choosing a roofing shingle:

Pitch:  The type of roofing material depends on the angle of the roof’s incline, referred to as its pitch.  This is typically measured in inches per foot.  A roof with a low pitch or a flat roof requires a material quite different than a roof with a very steep slope.  

Weight:  The size and weight of each shingle type varies.  Materials like slate and tile are very heavy, while composition or asphalt singles are extremely lightweight. The home must be adequate to carry the load.  

Price:  Consider material costs, as well as charges for labor.  Estimates can look very different depending on whether existing materials must be stripped or repairs are necessary.  Chimneys, dormers and intersecting rooflines play a role in determining cost as well.  

Durability:  Warranties are a very important factor to look into when choosing a roofing shingle.  Just as critical is researching the durability and weather-resistance.  Find out how options stand up to extreme weather and what type of maintenance is required.

Aesthetics & Architectural Style:  Up to 50% of your home’s exposed exterior is the roof.  While it might not be a top priority compared to cost and durability, choosing a shingle that reflects the home’s architectural style and compliments its siding is important.  

Here’s how the 3 main categories of shingles stand up to these factors:

Classic 3-Tab Shingles are best suited for homes with low pitch roofs.  They are affordable and durable, and offer a traditional look.  However, classic 3-tab shingles don’t generate the best re-sale value. The option is extremely lightweight making them suitable for homes that can’t carry a heavy roof load. Classic 3-tab shingles are available in a variety of colors and styles to suit the unique style of the home.  Another benefit is they require very little maintenance, and most varieties last 20-30 years.  

Dimensional-Architectural Shingles are the most common type of shingle seen on homes across the country.  They are cost-effective, durable and aesthetically appealing. Available in a variety of colors and styles, dimensional shingles can accent most any type of home architecture.  The material is thicker than classic 3-tab shingles, but provides extra protection against fire, wind damage and other outdoor elements.   Dimensional shingle roofs last 30-40 years and require very little maintenance.

Designer Shingles come in many styles, sizes and colors.  They’re popular for setting a home apart from the rest of the neighborhood.  While this shingle option is a great investment and opportunity to add value to a home, it’s naturally the most expensive.  For a home with unique architecture and steeply pitched rooflines, designer shingles are an excellent choice.  Although they are very heavy and installation can cost more, many warranties offer a period of 50 years.  

To learn more about choosing the right type of shingle for your home, contact PRS Roofing & Siding today!