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Posted by : Colby Stockton

Architectural shingles have become increasingly popular in the world of roofing due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and longevity.

If you’re considering upgrading your roof, architectural shingles might be the perfect choice for you. In this thorough guide, we will explore:

  • What architectural shingles are
  • Their benefits
  • The cost associated with them
  • How to install architectural shingles
  • Tips on how to maintain them to ensure your investment lasts for years to come

What Are Architectural Shingles?

close up on architectural shingles

Architectural shingles, also known as laminated or dimensional shingles, are a type of roofing material that offers both functionality and aesthetic appeal. Unlike traditional 3-tab asphalt shingles, architectural shingles are designed to mimic the appearance of wood shakes or slate tiles. They are constructed with multiple layers of asphalt and feature a textured, three-dimensional appearance.

Key Features of Architectural Shingles:

  • Layered Design: Architectural shingles are built with multiple layers of asphalt, which adds to their strength and durability.
  • Varied Shapes and Sizes: These shingles come in various shapes and sizes, creating a more dynamic and visually appealing roof surface.
  • Enhanced Aesthetics: The depth and texture of architectural shingles can significantly improve the curb appeal of your home.
  • Durability: They are known for their longevity, often lasting 30 years or more with proper maintenance.

Benefits of Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles offer several advantages over traditional roofing materials, making them a popular choice among homeowners. Here are some of the key benefits:

Aesthetic Appeal:

Architectural shingles are available in a wide range of colors and styles, allowing homeowners to choose a look that complements their home’s architecture. The three-dimensional design creates a visually striking roof that enhances the overall curb appeal.


Thanks to their layered construction, architectural shingles are more durable and better equipped to withstand harsh weather conditions. They are less likely to crack or warp, making them an excellent choice for areas prone to storms and heavy rainfall.


Compared to traditional asphalt shingles, architectural shingles have a longer lifespan. They typically come with warranties ranging from 25 to 50 years, ensuring peace of mind for homeowners.

Energy Efficiency:

Some architectural shingles are designed to reflect sunlight and heat, helping to lower cooling costs during hot summers. This can result in energy savings over time.

Resale Value:

Investing in architectural shingles can increase the resale value of your home. Potential buyers often appreciate the durability and aesthetic appeal they bring, which can make your property more attractive in the real estate market.

The Cost of Architectural Shingles

The cost of architectural shingles can vary depending on several factors, including the type of shingle, your location, and the size of your roof. On average, you can expect to pay between $100 and $200 per square foot for materials and installation. Here’s a breakdown of the cost considerations:

  • Material Cost: Architectural shingles come in different price ranges, with premium options costing more than standard ones. The quality and brand of the shingles you choose will impact the overall cost.
  • Roof Size: The size of your roof directly affects the cost of materials and labor. Larger roofs will naturally require more shingles and more time to install.
  • Location: Regional variations in labor and material costs can influence the overall price. It’s essential to get local estimates to determine the cost specific to your area.
  • Additional Features: If your roof has complex features such as dormers, skylights, or chimneys, these can increase the installation cost due to the extra time and materials required.
  • Labor: Labor costs for roofing installation can vary, so it’s advisable to obtain quotes from reputable roofing contractors in your area. Be sure to choose a licensed and insured contractor for the best results.

While architectural shingles may have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional asphalt shingles, their durability and longevity make them a cost-effective choice in the long run.

How to Install Architectural Shingles in 5 Steps

Installing architectural shingles is a detailed process that requires careful planning and precision. It’s essential to follow manufacturer guidelines and, if necessary, consult a professional roofing contractor. Here is a simplified step-by-step guide to help you understand the installation process:

Tools and Materials You’ll Need:

Before you begin, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Architectural shingles
  • Underlayment (usually synthetic or felt)
  • Roofing nails
  • Roofing adhesive
  • Drip edge
  • Flashing material
  • Roofing vents (if needed)
  • Roofing tar
  • Hammer
  • Roofing nail gun
  • Tape measure
  • Roofing knife
  • Chalk line

Step 1: Prepare the Roof:

Remove old roofing materials if necessary, ensuring the roof deck is clean and free of debris. Install drip edge along the eaves to direct water away from the roof’s edge. Apply an underlayment to provide an additional layer of protection against moisture.

Step 2: Lay the Shingles:

Start at the bottom edge of the roof and work your way up. Overlap each row of shingles to create a staggered pattern, typically around 6 inches.

Use roofing nails to secure the shingles, following the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and spacing. Install flashing around roof openings, such as chimneys and vents, to prevent leaks.

Step 3: Ridge Cap Installation:

Install ridge caps at the peak of the roof to provide added protection and a finished look. Ridge caps are specially designed shingles that cover the ridge line of the roof.

Step 4: Clean and Inspect:

Once all shingles are in place, thoroughly clean the roof to remove any debris or loose nails. Inspect the installation for any issues or areas that may require additional sealing or repair.

Step 5: Maintenance:

Regularly inspect your roof for signs of damage or wear. Replace damaged shingles promptly to prevent water infiltration. Clean gutters and remove debris to ensure proper drainage.

While these steps provide a general overview of architectural shingle installation, it’s crucial to consult the specific installation instructions provided by the manufacturer and, if needed, hire a professional roofer for a precise and durable installation.

How to Maintain Architectural Shingles

architectural shingles on the peaks of a house

Proper maintenance is key to ensuring the longevity and performance of your architectural shingle roof. Here are some essential maintenance tips:

  • Regular Inspections: Inspect your roof at least twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall, to check for damage, loose shingles, or signs of wear. Look for cracked or curled shingles and areas where water might be pooling.
  • Keep Gutters Clean: Clogged gutters can lead to water backup and potential roof leaks. Clean your gutters regularly to ensure proper water drainage.
  • Trim Overhanging Branches: Overhanging tree branches can scrape against your shingles and cause damage. Trim branches that pose a risk to your roof.
  • Remove Debris: Leaves, twigs, and other debris can accumulate on your roof, leading to moisture retention and potential damage. Remove debris as soon as possible to prevent problems.
  • Address Repairs Promptly: If you notice any damaged or missing shingles, address the issue promptly. Replacing damaged shingles as soon as possible can prevent water infiltration and further damage.
  • Professional Inspection: Consider hiring a professional roofing contractor for a comprehensive inspection every few years to catch any potential issues early and extend the lifespan of your roof.
  • Proper Ventilation: Ensure that your attic is adequately ventilated to prevent heat and moisture buildup, which can affect the longevity of your shingles.

Install Roof Shingles With a Professional

Architectural shingles offer an excellent roofing solution that combines durability, aesthetic appeal, and longevity. While the initial cost may be higher, the benefits far outweigh the investment. By following proper installation techniques and regular maintenance, you can enjoy a beautiful and long-lasting roof that enhances the overall value and curb appeal of your home. Remember that consulting with a roofing professional is always a good idea to ensure the best results and to address any specific concerns related to your roofing project.

Contact Highroad Roofing today to learn about the benefits of a professional shingle installation!

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